Stop wishing your employees were clones

If you’ve ever said, “I wish there were ten of me to help in my business,” this article is for you.  Entrepreneurs often take the next step into being employers and run into some serious barriers.

If you’ve been an employer for more than a day, you’ve learned that employees make some really dumb judgement calls.  Employees don’t perform at the level you want nor as quickly as you hope.  Employees are sometimes dishonest or unethical.   Employees are sometimes problems rather than solutions to the problems your business faces. It’s easy to think that these issues exist because employees aren’t you and they don’t have the perspectives and qualities that have brought you so far.  You need to change your thought process just a bit.

As an entrepreneur and an employer, the solution is never to have a bunch of clones made. Here’s why:

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business and having 10, 20, or 100 copies of yourself doing things exactly the way you want is going to cause your business to fail.  Having different people in your business can be the reason it succeeds and it is vital to growth.

As you’ve noticed, you’re just one person.  Your ability to be creative in all the ways that a business needs is limited to your perspectives.  This means you as a small business owner have to be your businesses’s expert in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, HR, Operations, Supply Chain Management, Shipping, Conflict Management, Risk Management…etc.

Creativity, however, is the reason most businesses succeed–and grow.   According to Forrester Research  Inc, creative companies have the following benefits:

  1. Achieve growth and increased revenues (at least 51% compared to 20% of non-creative businesses)
  2. Have greater market share
  3. Win recognition as good places to work (think big names like Google).

Having multiple perspectives to contribute to all the needs your business has means growth, change, improvement, and yes, mistakes on the path to your success.  It is not possible for one person to do everything–and it is not possible for one perspective to compete with multiple perspectives.  It takes a team. When you have a team of people, you learn from them just as much as they learn from you.

Now, having the wrong people on the team is a legitimate concern. There are certainly times when an employee may not be a good fit for your business–and there’s a lot you can do up front to make sure you don’t hire that person in the first place.  See  5 Ways to Keep From Hiring the Wrong Person.

Remember, one of the best things for your business is a competent and well-trained employee who contributes positively to the product and culture of your company. The good news is, you can create this employee right in your business.  Just not through cloning.  If you’re interested in learning ways to creating a winning team, check out this article 6 Ways to Increase Your Team’s Productivity




Forrester Research Inc. (2014). The Creative Dividend: How Creativity Impacts Business Results.

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