Since early child hood, I have always been a do-it-myself individual. It is an attitude I attribute largely to the way my father raised me and my brother. The three of us were always working around the farm making repairs and handling new construction. We did our own plumbing, electrical work, mowing, cleaning, car maintenance, and everything else. My family was reasonably well off financially so we could have hired plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc, if something needed built or repaired, but that just was not in our nature.
When I transitioned into running a business mid-way through college, my mentality was unchanged. I still did everything myself. Whether it was customer support, accounting, or development, I did it.
As my projects grew, in scale and ambition, I began warming up to the idea of having others involved and working along side me. Over the course of a couple of years, I gradually built up a small network of contractors and volunteers to assist with support, development, design, etc. I also hired an accountant to manage the books (do this early folks!).
One year ago today, I committed fully to the idea of working with others and hired my first full time employee, Sean Davis.
Sean had been working with me as a support contractor on Easy Digital Downloads since late spring, 2014, so we were already pretty accustomed to working together, but that’s not to say there weren’t some rough edges. I learned very quickly that there is so, so, so much more to managing a team of employees (even when there is just one) than simply writing them a paycheck each month for the work they do.
I had the
pleasure opportunity to learn first hand about unemployment taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, running payroll, and so many other menial aspects of running a business that employees more people than just yourself. Tip: hire someone (even if part time) that knows more about those systems than you do. It will be well worth the cost.
It has been a year since Sean was officially signed on as an employee of Pippin’s Pages, LLC, and today he is part of a six person team. Yep, I went from 1 to six employees in less than a year.
Today, the employees of Pippin’s Pages, LLC, consists of:
- Pippin Williamson (me), Owner
- Sean Davis, support, design and development for Easy Digital Downloads
- Andrew Munro, co-founder, support and development for AffiliateWP
- Chris Klosowski, co-lead developer for Easy Digital Downloads
- Topher DeRosia, documentation for Easy Digital Downloads
- John Parris, support and development for Easy Digital Downloads
The six of us make up the employees of Pippin’s Pages, LLC, but there are an additional 6 contractors that contribute development, support, and other services to the company projects on a frequent basis.
If you had asked me two years ago if I wanted to run a multi-person team, I probably would have shrugged and said “probably not”. Today, I can tell without a shred of doubt that bringing on the five individuals above is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for the success and well being of my company.
Nine months ago, I wrote on this subject and described how the projects have grown far more by bringing on the right people than they ever could have with me alone. That fact has been reaffirmed in my mind over and over again in the last 12 months.
I am truly honored and humbled to have Sean, Andrew, Chris, Topher, and John working with me. They have helped me grow beyond my own capacity and achieve so much more together. To them, and everyone else who contributes big or small, I am eternally grateful. I am still not sure why they put up with me.