5 Signs You’re Ready to Hire a Second-In-Command

Here’s the truth: You can’t do it all. And as your business grows, there will come a time when you’ll need a second-in-command.

If you want to scale to seven®, it’s going to happen at some point.

That means having someone in the Integrator / Online COO role to delegate strategy, management, and results to. 

Think about it. Elon Musk doesn’t directly manage all the engineers and scientists who work for him. Estee Lauder isn’t in the factory overseeing operations or counting lipsticks. Mark Zuckerburg isn’t personally screening all the ads you see on Facebook.

You’re a CEO for a reason. Your greatest strength is your vision, your ideas, and your ability to LEAD.

And that’s what you should be focusing on. That’s what your business NEEDS.

That being said, how do you know when your business needs a second-in-command?

1 – You’re working too many hours and not experiencing the freedom you want as a business owner.

You’ll notice a shift from having more time than money to being willing to pay money to save time. When time becomes your limitation and you can hire to take anything off of your plate that doesn’t require YOU, having a strong right-hand in the biz to run the day-to-day will be a key hire.

2 – You find yourself struggling with turning your vision into actionable steps and repeatable systems.

This is likely not a natural gift of yours. Most business owners’ eyes glaze over when it comes to details. But someone needs to be able to translate that big vision into a step-by-step plan in order for it to become a reality. There are special unicorns who can do this in their sleep… and it may be time for you to find one!

3 – You’re giving your business whiplash with every change in direction or new idea.

You need someone to challenge you, albeit nicely, by asking the right questions to get you to slow down sometimes and evaluate the flood of ideas you have every day. Your second-in-command can’t be a yes man/woman – you need someone who will push back and give you the tough love you need to see clearly. Sometimes, it’s not a firm no, but simply a “not yet”. Your SIC will be able to schedule out new projects in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your team. One of their greatest strengths is follow-through, so they’ll also ensure that the projects you start actually get finished, instead of having so many loose ends and projects floating around.

4 – You feel like you must be speaking a different language than your team. 

You communicated exactly what you wanted… but when it comes back to you it’s nothing like what you expected. You’re starting to feel crazy or think your team is incapable, but actually one of your greatest strengths is also a weakness. Because you can visualize things so well and you value speed – what’s crystal clear in your mind and you quickly communicate to your team is sometimes nothing like what you actually see. You’re saying words, but your team isn’t getting the details needed to meet your expectations. And when your team communicates with you, you tune out or get frustrated because they won’t “get to the point”. You need a translator – and SIC’s happen to be multilingual in “visionary” and “technician” speak.

5 – Instead of a high-performing team, you’ve got high turnover.

For many reasons, some already mentioned above, you’re often not the best suited to “manage” a team. Sure, you are a natural “leader”, inspiring and motivating your team, helping them see the big picture and purpose behind what you’re all doing. BUT – that’s not the same as managing. If you’re experiencing high turnover, or an underperforming team it’s time to call in a second-in-command to run the day-to-day.

Now your next question might be… “Where do I find an SIC?!”

I’ve got good and bad news. The bad news is that for every FOUR visionary entrepreneur there’s estimated to be only ONE integrator. So they’re in pretty high demand. And on top of that, just because you find someone with the skills to be a second-in-command doesn’t mean that the two of you are complimentary or that YOU are COO ready. (There’s a difference in your business needing a COO and you being ready to work well with one.)

The good news – that’s where I come in. I’ve worked as a second-in-command in multiple online businesses ranging from $300k- $2M in annual revenue, I’ve coached many business duos and I’m also the visionary CEO of my business. I understand both sides and I know what it takes to find the right match and to cultivate the kind of relationship that will help your business scale.

If you’re interested in hiring, training or upleveling a second-in-command, DM me “SIC” on Instagram and I’ll share how YOU can get COO ready. 


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