Joe is the founder of SalesX, a 3-time winner of the Best Sales Agency award at the US Search awards. 

Today’s episode goes back to the start of SalesX, in 2010. 

Joe was still working for a company when he first thought of starting SalesX as a way to start selling things by himself. 

He found clients easily and started working solo fast. 

But he also quickly realised that people who needed help with sales, needed help with everything else too.

What started out in sales, snowballed into learning web design, coding SEO, ads… and much more. 

Suddenly, SalesX was a digital agency. With a 1-person team. 

To do that, he worked 18 hours a day just to make ends meet. 

The turning point?

Joe was in the office late. The heating had switched off. But he just wanted to sleep. 

He pulled out a sleeping bag that he already had in his car. And lay on the floor shivering. Thinking, “what am I doing?” 

He knew that in the long run, it was going to get better. But he was suffering to get there.

His wife was making good money. But the income from his side had been cut in half

Joe had thought about getting a partner. But he needed someone that was ready to go all in on the business and stay for the long run.

How can you find the key hire that’s a match for your business? 

Joe had investor interest from others. At the start of SalesX, two investors were willing to give him a collective of $100K for a small cut of the business. But he didn’t take it up — unsure if it was going to be a success. 

He has always been alone in business. 

When it came to taking other people on, Joe’s minimal approach to management set the bar high for the onboarding process. So much so, few people would make it out the other side. 

As he described it, it’d been like trying to make a clapping sound with just one hand. 

To actually make that sound, he had to find someone with the same mindset.

Did he really need a co-founder, or could he find a key hire ready to step up?

In this episode, I coach Joe through the process of finding a sweet spot between finding that key hire and his expectations. To get to a point where the only true risk is business as usual. 

We talk about

  • His expectations and bad experiences
  • Cost-effective recruitment strategies
  • The question of “full” partnership

Joe is a founder who knows what he wants. And this conversation flags the trials and tribulations that a $500,000 risk to hire that key someone presents.