It’s sunday morning & I just cleaned off 40 cans of empty La Croix off my desk...
Now it’s time to boogie.
This is the sunday recap email, so let’s take a look back at the week:
- Day 13 - Product Samples are on the way!
- Day 14 - Great Artists Steal (How we used a popular tactic to raise capital for the fund)
- Day 15 - Hiring a Good Operator Feels like Magic
- Day 16 - Bankshots only work in basketball (how i think about companies)
Overall, this week was the last week we focused on the venture fund.
We hired a fund manager/operator to run the fund (a brilliant guy. Ex-harvard law, ex-mckinsey, runs a company doing 8-figures a year, and wants to be an investor after he sells his company, so he’s going to run the fund with me as his side hustle!)
A lot of you ask how I juggle so many projects. The obvious answer is i don’t.
I am good at getting things started, from zero to one. And then I hire operators to run things from 1 to infinity.
So how the heck do you hire a great operator? Someone who will take the work off your plate, and not fumble the ball on execution?
For me - I have a specific way of doing things. It starts with the way I write my job posts (and where I post it).
I’ve unlocked the Day 15 post that I sent out to the all access pass members. It shows my unconventional approach to finding an operator.
Day 15 - Hiring An Operator
Every business owner needs an operator. My goal is to have operators for all of my businesses.
When you have a good operator, it feels like magic. You wake up and the business is growing, without you doing anything. People talk about passive income. This is passive production.
Find the right person. Give them skin in the game. Point them in the right direction. Let them rip.
Here are my rules for setting up a great operator relationship:
- Spend 10x more time than needed making it absolutely clear what the biz needs
- Make sure incentives are aligned
- And the most important rule…. Do interesting projects - because great people want to work on great projects. If your project is lame, it’s really hard to attract a great operator.
Hiring an operator takes time. You have to write the job posting, spread the word, look through 100+ resumes, do 15+ phone screens, do reference checks etc…
Here’s what most people do:
- Spend an hour writing a generic job post
- Post it on their website (minimal traffic) and post it on job boards like indeed (you’re just another fish in a sea of fish)
- Sit back and pray the right person applies
It’s crazy! Companies should think of job postings like guys think about Tinder. You don’t want to look like every-other-guy. You want to be hot and witty and charming and have 3 pictures that show your different sides (the golden triad: shirtless swimming, cooking a dinner, and doing charity work).
I do the exact opposite.
- I spend a shit ton of time writing a job post. I write it like it’s a piece of content I want to go viral (see below). I want 30% of people to hate it. And 30% of people to see it and feel like this was written for them.
- I post it on twitter, where it can be seen & shared by the type of people who I want to see & share it.
- I reach out in my network and try to get people to apply to the gig.
Here’s this in action. I’ll break it down tweet by tweet. (link to the full tweet storm)
The first line needs to be a hook / tease. I want you to be interested (putting up the bat signal? About what? What does that mean?)
The second line is about YOU (not me). 9 out of 10 people would start talking about themselves. Instead, I am trying to catch the eye of someone who wants to be a startup investor someday.
Lastly is the promise: “I’m going to give a shot to someone who’s hungry and wants to learn by doing”
This is all about credibility. I have to brag a little (raised a few million bucks) and then again back to YOU. What do YOU get out of this? (learn the investing process from A to Z)
Again - what do YOU get? More detail this time. You get 4 years of experience in 1 year (sweet), and you get a piece of my carry and no salary (trying to be ultra clear about $$).
Also - it’s not too good to be true. You have to give something back. You give your nights/weekends to hustle for the fund.
OK this is *chefs kiss* if I do say so myself.. Most job posts lead with “you must have X years of experience”. I go the other way. I try to describe a lifestyle or a personality trait first. When people read this, it resonates in a way that “7 years of experience and a bachelors degree” doesn’t.
I spent a lot of time coming up with variations of phrases / ways to say these tweets. This shit looks casual - but behind the curtain, I sweat these details .. and then try to make it look casual & off the cuff.
OK why say this?
Well, I am offering $0 salary. So normally, that would put you at the back of the line. My only asset is that someone here is going to get real, tangible experience & responsibility.
So I’m trying to give them a framework. Make them want to be a driver (or at least riding shotgun). Rather than a backseat passenger or in the trunk, just along for the ride (jobs at bigger firms).
Also - by speaking in unique ways, and offering these frameworks - I’m selling myself too as someone interesting to work with. Someone you can learn from.
You know how they say: “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers” - it’s the same thing in reverse. People don’t join jobs, they join leaders.
This is my version of “values” .
Company values are usually boring as hell. I tried to phrase mine in a way that’s catchy/interesting - and everyone applying will know what I care about. For the right person, this is music to their ears.
For the wrong person (someone who is very traditional, structured, regimented), this job posting should repel them. I want my job post to turn off at least 30% of people who read it, and for 30% they should feel like this is their life’s calling.
OK my last piece of job posting judo - I call out who I want to apply. An outsider, the underdog.
And I tag a friend who has a good following, which increases the likelihood that she’ll RT and cast a wider net for me!
Look at these twitter stats...Over 300k impressions. And 30k people actually clicked to interact with the tweet.
200+ DMs, and some people got a little creative with their application.
Like… The person who made a spotify playlist and used song titles to make their case:
Or... This person who grabbed a domain and made a simple website for the fund
Or… The guy who put together a full notion doc about why I should hire him
Or...The person who venmo'd me 2 cents
As you can tell - this type of job post not only got way more visibility - for some people, this resonated and they went all-out to try and get the gig.
Hiring is just part 1.
Part 2 is what I call - “going overboard on the onboarding”
I stole this from my basketball coach in high school.
When we came back for our senior year, he handed each of us a big envelope and said - open this when you get home.
I opened it up and it said: “my hopes and dreams for you this year” and it laid out a clear vision for me on the team.
What my role is. What my stats can be. What areas I need to improve. What I’m bringing to the team that nobody else is. I was blown away. I felt like this guy really cared about me and understood me and wanted what’s best for me.
So I do that for people I work with too.
Here’s an example of one I made for someone who came to work for me at Bebo (click here to get it)
When someone joins my team, I want them to have clarity on their role, and excitement that they aren’t coming to just some job.
This is a special place with special people doing special things.
I use a 3-Week trial
Interviews are like first dates. It’s two people sitting down and having a pretending contest.
That’s why I always try to use a 3-week trial for anyone I hire. The best way to know if we want to work together, is to work together for a bit.
Alright - if you didn’t know how to hire an operator...Now ya know.
Next week - we shift to venture #2 - creating a $1m+ online course.
have a good sunday,