How to let go of creative control and hire someone

Six common misconceptions

Chances are, if you own a creative business, you’ve thought about hiring help. But then after a few seconds of dreaming, you decide it’s too hard, too much of a commitment, and besides, you’ve got way too much work to do. I hate to break it to you, but none of those things are true. Here are some misconceptions about hiring people that I’ve personally been guilty of (yes – all of them), to help pave the way for a far more productive, successful and profitable creative business.

Six common misconceptions about hiring for your creative business:

1. You have to hire someone full-time.

No way! It took me almost eight years as a business owner to realize that there are people out there who would love to work a few hours or more a week or the odd casual contract. There are stay-at-home-moms, people wanting to try out different industries, and freelancers looking for as much extra work as they can find.

2. You have to hire someone local.

Nuh uh. Today there are fewer and fewer jobs and tasks that actually require a person’s physical presence. It’s amazing the amount of work that can get done using Google Docs, Creative Cloud, Evernote, Wipster, and Skype. We contract editors and producers from all over the country and work with them closely to manage projects from start to finish.  

3. The quality of your company’s work will go down.

If you can create solid procedures for each job, quality should not be affected when hiring people that are good at what they do. In fact, if you’re not having to spread your attention across every aspect of the business then the quality of your work will actually improve. If you are hiring the right skills then the new person is probably better at that job than you are anyway – so it can be a win-win for everyone.

4. Whomever you train will go out on their own and become a competitor.

This happens. It helps to have non-disclosure and non-compete documents so former employees don’t steal your clients (at least not right away!), but quite honestly, if you are good at what you do and look after your clients and employees then you have nothing to worry about. And anyway, most people don’t want to start their own business, it’s too freaking hard – you know that!

5. No one is as good as me.

Well…maybe you don’t know enough people? I’m sure you are amazing at what you do but there are literally millions of people on the earth that given the right circumstances could do a pretty good job delivering to your standard. A big part of being the ‘boss’ is trusting others and getting the best out of your contractors and employees – not micro-managing or doing every task yourself. The sooner you make this shift the sooner you will realize the true benefits of having a team that complements each other.

6. Nobody cares about the work as much as I do.

This one is a little bit true. We know this business is your baby and that you care deeply about what it represents and the work coming out of it. This is good; harness that passion and lead by example, but don’t expect your employees to have the same holistic view. The person you hire is going to care mostly about the work that they’re doing and their specific role in the company, but they’ll be trusting you to run the business. You both care, just about different things, and this is healthy. Most people want to make a significant contribution at work – you just have to give them the ownership and empower them to do so.

Once you get past some (or all) of these misconceptions, you can take an initial step toward making your first hire – and your world will never be the same again.

Are there any other misconceptions or barriers you’ve faced in trying to hire someone? And if you did take that initial step, what was something that worked well?

While owning two production companies, being head over heels for his wife, chasing 3 kids around and striving to live a full and authentic life, Ryan is also Co-Founder of Studio Sherpas - a collaborative built on equipping video producers and creative freelancers with tools to help build a business around their lives instead of a life around their business. 

To download their latest free resource or join their next online training, visit their site at