I’m concerned…

SmartCompany /

The way we’re growing, I am really fearful that I will soon lose the magic of being about to work in an entrepreneurial start-up.


Naomi Simson

I’m worried, fearful, or just nervous, because to keep growing is also to keep changing… and to keep recruiting – and with every new hire there is a chance that the magic of what it is to work in a start-up entrepreneurial business could change.


I love the business of gift giving, I love what I do in a day, and the people who work with me are fabulous. Our growth remains really strong (we have already passed last year’s revenue figures, and we still have five months to run of the year) but to achieve our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) by 2015 we still have a lot of work to do.


I was asked the question recently – how do I determine who is the next most important person to recruit. Marcus Buckingham shared his wisdom on that regarding getting people to do love/loathe lists. Then recruit someone to do all the things on the loath lists (they of course will have different strengths and are likely to love what another person loathes).


I have always thought, rather than just throwing more bodies at the issue, how can we turn the loath lists into a process or a software application. What are the repetitive tasks that people do over and over again, how could we develop technology to automate those things? Of course we have not achieved this in every area of the business – but it is a philosophy we have.


But now I must recruit, I think so far there are nine new roles this year (its only February) and several have been appointed. But as each of these new people come on board my challenge becomes how can I give enough of myself to make sure that each of them really gets what it is to be a RedBallooner.


We have an onboarding program. Each new person has a buddy, there are balloons on their desks day one, a RedBalloon experience, team lunches, lunch with me… and lots of other things to ensure that our new hires get who we are – and what our values are all about.


It’s exciting but scary – I remember when I could literally get everyone in a huddle – alignment was a daily activity. It’s different now.


My baby is now in primary school – soon to be a teenager – of course I am a nervous parent. But this fear does not stop me from acting. I look forward to this next exciting phase.


Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.
To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here.


SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

We Recommend