You need to channel your coaching and mentoring energy for your clients - your team needs to support your energy and free you to have a greater capacity to serve. If someone on your team is dragging you down, hijacking your time, or hurting your business performance, you need to make tough decisions immediately.
Don’t wait months hoping things will magically turn around. What I did is a classic example of wishful thinking that soured my relationship with that team member.
People with deep-rooted attitude problems, who are prone to blaming others and avoiding responsibility, are likely going to start making YOU wrong for their poor performance.
You are playing a very risky game by keeping these people on your team. Letting them go after months of problems can be even more difficult (and costly).
When I finally let this woman go, she made a big stink and acted like I had wronged her. She expected a big payout even though she was part-time and wasn’t technically an employee (she was an independent contractor who had other companies as clients in addition to mine).
I got a letter from her attorney demanding $25,000 for no reason. I balked at this and refused to pay, as I didn’t owe her anything.
Unfortunately, I didn’t understand my vulnerability as an employer in California. The system here is incredibly biased in favor of employees.
The legal distinction between independent contractor and employee is very fuzzy and open to interpretation. Many entrepreneurs aren’t aware of this and unknowingly hire independent contractors who should be classified as employees.
So this woman filed a complaint against me with the labor commission stating she should have been an employee. She made false claims to overtime pay (which she never worked) and never provided any accurate evidence.
My biggest mistake was contesting her complaint. It was a losing battle because no matter how good my defense, no matter how erroneous her claims, the government was biased towards her. This woman’s attorney LEFT her halfway through the case and even though was representing herself poorly, she still won.
After a yearlong legal battle that cost me over $50,000 in attorney fees, I got ordered to pay my former team member $50,000 – TWICE as much as she was originally asking for.
It was my worst experience as a business owner. It felt so unfair.
Luckily, I had the money to pay her and was able to move on and create far more success. I took it as a learning experience. I will never make the same mistakes again!