The people you choose will change the trajectory of your business and your life. David Lee Jensen helped grow a huge company that had lots of success in choosing the right people. David is the author of the #1 Bestselling book called The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret, and travels the world as a motivational keynote speaker focused on team building, hiring, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Today, he joins Terri Levine to share his journey to founding The Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint. He also gives some tips on how you can hire the right people for your business or land the job you love.
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Hiring The Right People For Your Business With David Lee Jensen
I’m delighted to have you with us. To remind you, you’re here to learn from experts who will share with you how they do business from a heart-centered place, heart-to-heart, relationship to relationship, integrity, transparency, and authenticity. That’s the Heartrepreneur way. I have with me, David Lee Jensen. He is a two-time best-selling author. He is an international speaker and he is the Founder of the Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint and that’s what has intrigued me. David, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me, Terri. I appreciate it.
I’m excited to have you. Before we get into the Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint, how did you get down to your path to what you’ve discovered, what you do and how you love what you do? What was your journey like?
Unfortunately, my journey started as many do in the entrepreneur world through pain, coming through something that was a shift in life, a shift in view, a shift in willingness to be brave. When I was a child, my mother remarried my stepfather who was quite abusive. I ended up in a scenario where it wasn’t just disciplined anymore. It wasn’t just the parents fighting anymore. It was a matter of survival. At that point, I had to dial 911 and our entire lives changed from there. What occurred from that was a deep dig for pretty much the rest of my life into choosing the right people. I believe that the people you choose will change the trajectory of your business and your life. I looked into how did this occur in that relationship and how did that continue to occur in my relationships later, whether they be personal or business. I fine-tuned it. I helped grow a huge company and we had lots of success in choosing the right people. I codify it and put it into a book and created a course. Now, I’m making good out of that situation.
That’s what I love to know. I’m glad we started off with a 911. I find that we get to wherever we are through a series of events and things that happen in our lives and the things that change us are the things that we can share and teach others. I love your background and I appreciate it.
I didn’t even share that until I was over 40. Even my wife for many years had not heard the story. It was a point where it was, “This is necessary,” not because it was my story or what was me, but because every single person I’ve ever met has their own story. They have their own worries, fears, and concerns that they have to go through to be able to build their business or to be able to build on relationships. I thought it was important to share that you can’t come out on the other side and succeed.
We have people who are entrepreneurs, some who are wanting to be entrepreneurs and certainly we’ve got executives and C-level people. What do you love about being an entrepreneur? I’m always curious what people dig about it.
For me the first step of becoming an entrepreneur was building something on the side, starting to create, starting to write and starting to survey. What are people interested in? What problems are they running into? What do I do that’s a unique ability? The first excitement of it is the discovery process. I feel it turns into a content process where then you have to take those cool ideas and turn them into a book, a speaking platform or a coaching platform. We had this huge a-ha moment. We were in Hawaii. I had a speaking engagement there when I was in the banking industry. I had put together this small online course on hiring called the Hiring Academy.
It’s still up there and doing terrific. However, that night we went to sleep, a beautiful sunset party, this and the other. I woke up in the morning with money in my PayPal account. I was like, “I made money while I was sleeping.” In the afternoon, more money came and I was like, “This is unbelievable.” It’s that mailbox money moment. A few days later, I got an email from someone saying, “Your advice changed the approach that I have for my business. It changed my life. You’ve helped me so much.” I realized, “I’m helping people while I sleep.” That was the game-changer. I literally quit my day job, stopped punching a clock for someone else. What I love about being an entrepreneur, is I make my own schedule, I make my own life and that’s invaluable and I want that for others.
That’s similar to me. I started out as an entrepreneur. I sold several companies and then I took a job. I was president of a national healthcare company for several years. Now, I can explain it as being a wage slave. I was highly paid on somebody’s schedule and somebody’s travel plans. All of a sudden one day, I said, “I don’t feel like I’m serving the planet in a great way. I think there’s something more for me to do.” I quit. Everybody thought I was crazy. It was the best thing I ever did because I get cards, letters, emails and client gifts and I’m making a real difference in the world. That’s what I want to say to everyone who’s reading. You do something that makes a difference. Maybe you can’t quit your job right now but whatever it is that you’re passionate about that makes a difference, that’s what I want you to bring forth.
What I haven’t mentioned is the project that I’m doing is called CR8 Entrepreneurs. It’s CR8. We trademarked it. That’s our logo and our little baseball cap thing. We have t-shirts, hats, and whips. We’re doing an annual conference, which we teach people, help them learn to become an author, a speaker, a coach, and an online marketer because those are the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Year after year we have amazing speakers like Joe Polish, Tim Storey, Steve Sims, and Ted McGrath. All these great minds in the areas of the author, speaker, coach and online marketer. We have CR8Conference.com. Every single year we publicize training new entrepreneurs so you can quit your day job, but actually have a platform begin, which I think is invaluable.
What are the titles of your best-selling books so people can get them?
My first book was called The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret, which was inspired by Richard Branson’s Screw It, Let’s Do It. It’s like, “It’s The Naked Interview. We strip it down.” There was also a movie called The Naked Truth. That’s a great use of the word naked and it did attract attention. It helped me get my message out. That first book is How to Interview and Get Hired. I advise employers with our course Hiring Academy, how to hire the right people the first time and every time. I swapped it and I created a company in a course called Interview Blueprint. That’s How to Interview and Get Hired. That comes from the book, Hire Me Or Else: How To Land A Job You Love.
We’ll have a new book called CR8 Your Future. That’s how to monetize your passion as an entrepreneur.
I have to give you kudos because titles are everything for books and those are some of the clever titles I’ve ever heard. They’re brilliant. I used to be in Corporate America and used to do lots of interviews, seeking great talent. I took a lot of courses and then I was given these standard questions to ask and I still had a lot of bad hires. What are your thoughts about that?
It’s almost demonstrated by the other side of the desk even better because I, for a brief period of time, worked for one of the huge conglomerates that then turns out hiring a temp to perm, this and the other. What they would train is to make sure that the employer knew that you wanted a career, not just a job. “I want a career, not just a job. I want to be here to make your life easier.” They were lined in a script that someone was learning. That didn’t create any longevity because there was no genuine interest in the position. They were trying to go and get a job.
Employers have to be diligent, not desperate to ensure that they don’t end up buying one of those lines and that they ask questions outside of the box. You spend more time at work than you do in your office or your home office than you do in your own home or your own relationships. Shouldn’t you spend some time, attention and care in selecting the people that you would give the front door key to your house? My biggest advice is to care about the process. Some people just need a warm body, but if you cared about the process then you would make many different decisions.The people you choose will change the trajectory of your business and your life. Click To Tweet
I’m relating to that. I can remember a scenario where we used to hire physical therapists. There’s a great demand for them and our job was to fill a position. I remember chatting with a therapist and there were definitely red flags going off and I thought, “If she comes in and she only does it for a few months.” She came in and she was a disaster and ruined a team of 56 people. After that, I got serious about going only to pick the right people. If it means an open position, it means an open position. That’s a very valuable lesson. I wanted to share the opposite side of the coin and tell you a little story. I remember when I was interviewing to be a speech-language pathologist many years ago. I wanted to get hired by this company. At the end of the interview, they said, “Do you have any questions?” I said, “Yes, why am I your candidate of choice?” There were seven people interviewing me who all looked at each other like, “Who says that?” I got hired. What do you think about the way I did that?
That’s awesome. I’ll send you a copy of my book Hire Me Or Else because in there I always have the last question because every interview ends with, “Do you have any other questions for us?” I wrote an entire chapter called When Can I Start? That’s exactly what you should do. Ask when can I start?
I always remember that interview and I wanted that job so bad. The whole interview, it felt like it went well and I thought, “I’m going to go for an assumptive close and see what happens,” and it worked.
Everyone should do that. They should do their research ahead of time. When employers call and say, “We’d like to book you for an interview.” They should find out, do they know where they’re going and what they’re doing. They should know something about the company and want to work there.
A lot of my clients are transitioning out of jobs, planning their transition and they ask me all the time, “How do I know what my brand is supposed to be about? What my message is supposed to be about?” I Googled you and researched you and I said, “I think David can help.” Can you help?
There are a lot of people out there who can help. One of the things I do and I’m putting this actual exercise in the CR8 Your Future book. We cover it thoroughly. We actually do an exercise at the conference. The CR8 Your Future Conference isn’t just a motivational conference. It is a factual workshop where you’re going to write your purpose, write your brand and write your book title. We workshop it out because I feel like the result of a two-day motivational event is you’re motivated for two days. The actionable steps and accountability are never there. We’ve created a community where you go to the event, the CR8 Conference. You leave with a notebook full of tools and you’ve already begun your side hustle. With that in mind, mastering your message is just an exercise.
I believe that you should turn everything off, no phones, no distraction and then you should write down a bunch of questions about what problem you’re trying to solve and what solutions you have. All of those different avenues so that you can clarify your message. If you start with the end in mind, if you start with that result of what you’re going to deliver, then the beginning becomes much easier. It becomes much clearer because that’s the result you want and you learn how to communicate it. If you’re on an elevator and shake someone’s hand, you can say, “This is what I do. We create entrepreneurs.” Everyone knows what I do.
I appreciate that because many times I hear people say something jargony and cutesy and I don’t understand what they do. Like, “I help you turn your dreams into reality.” What does that mean? “I’ll get you from point A to point B?” I’m like, “What is point A? What is point B and how do you get me there?”
That’s the question, “For just $5,000 what we can do is.” That’s the other thing I hate is these masterminds where you spend $10,000, $25,000 to sit in somebody’s backyard while they tell you about, “When I was a kid I go.” I was like, “No.” We’re going to create a community of helping entrepreneurs to get each other through those situations so we can create lots of entrepreneurs. I believe that’ll change the entire landscape of our economy and our planet as a whole. It doesn’t matter if you’re into the woo-woo getting from A to B or whether your practical hiring practices. Entrepreneurship changes the game for everyone around you. If we could create eight million entrepreneurs, we could affect the eight billion on planet earth. That’s my passion about.
I feel the exact same way. I love the whole concept behind CR8 Your Future conference. The kinds of people that you have, the community you’re building, and I agree with you. These inspirational, motivational conferences are that. When people leave, nothing has transformed. It’s information, it’s fascination. It’s not truly a transformation. CR8 Your Future Conference sounds brilliant. Remind people again, your book titles and how to find the conference.
If they’re needing to hire the right people for their business, The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret. If they are looking to land a position with a company, whether it’s a senior executive or something entry-level in the field, coming out of college, transitioning out of the military. We’ve spoken to a bunch of military bases about it as well. It’s Hire Me Or Else: How To Land A Job You Love. Both of those are available on Amazon at Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold. The latest book is called CR8 Your Future and the conference is CR8 Conference. We always have amazing speakers and an amazing ability to help you take your new entrepreneurial business to the next level or to start an entrepreneurial business. We get a lot of existing entrepreneurs to come because of who the speakers are and you’re always learning something. Joe Polish says, “If you’re the smartest guy in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”
You are the Founder of the Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint. Tell us a little bit about that as well.
The Hiring Academy was taking that interview pattern and putting it together so that businesses could implement it. It’s not just me telling them, “You must do this, you must do that.” No. The ten truths that I wrote about hiring are not etched in stone. They’re not the Ten Commandments. They are factually ten guidelines that worked for me well in building a company of a couple of hundred employees and retaining them for a long time. There may be things that you have come into that work better for you and you can take away a few and add a few. There are ten guidelines and then we create a 32-page workbook and a course. In the end, you come out with a binder of your hiring process for your company. It’s valuable. We have them in Domino’s locations, McDonald’s locations and then some Fortune 50 companies as well. Any business can apply this hiring process and that’s HiringAcademy.com.
That’s brilliant because I watch new entrepreneurs and they’re ready to hire their first team members. Most of them don’t have an idea of who they’re looking for, what they’re looking for, and without the right people on your team, it’s very difficult to grow a company. I’m going to talk about larger companies. I worked with a lot of larger companies like General Electric and some other companies. Some of their hiring practices were etched on stone, rigid and didn’t allow for questions where you could see people’s personalities or see how you would handle this gift. I think that both entrepreneurs need to learn this and I definitely have seen larger corporations need to figure out how do you hire and I love the idea of having this Interview Blueprint. That’s phenomenal.
One of the coolest things that you mentioned is those processes that companies put in that you must do it this way and you can’t ask this. This whole worry about is it within the HR guideline and laws? I’m not an HR attorney, so I don’t give advice like that. Most companies, it’s just policy. It’s not actually the law. When you’re checking references, even though they say, “I can’t divulge that information,” I give a bunch of creative ways to get around that. Things like asking, “Would you let Terri come to a barbecue at your house?” They’re like, “Of course, I would. She’s so sweet.” Now you’ve got your resonation about that person rather than just the standard, “I’m sorry, Terri worked here from these days to these days.” You want to get around that.
I do references for people that I used to hire in Corporate America years ago. Somebody called me and they asked if I can get this reference for this one girl, I said, “I haven’t had her work with me for many years.” They said, “Are you still in touch with her?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because she’s trustworthy and loyal.” I realized at the end, I’ve answered all their questions.
They must be a Hiring Academy client.
That’s what I was thinking. By the time I finished speaking, I thought, “They got all the information out of me that I’m sure they wanted.” I didn’t even realize it because it was beautifully asked and it was very clever. They got a reference from someone who said, “I can’t possibly give a reference. It’s too many years ago.” What’s the one piece of advice that you want our audience to take a hold of?
It circles back to that the people you choose will change the trajectory of your business and your life. Take that to heart and consider that as you’re bringing on friends, relationships and business associates, because if you care, then that care will reflect in who you choose.
That is about the best business advice I’ve ever heard. I’ve been very blessed and fortunate. I’ve been in this industry for many years and I’ve had some of the same assistance with me for years. I’ve had some clients with me for many years. I call them family members. I want to keep my same family members. I feel we all have the same mission, we have the same values. I believe that is because I’ve been very selective about who comes on my team and making sure our values are aligned and they truly understand the Heartrepreneur cause. I feel confident that the people on my team do.
I know that’s a little general, but factually, if more business owners, more entrepreneurs took that approach, then people would be happier in what they’re doing. I think that would cause a calming of the seats that would help our world a lot.
I think that we need more entrepreneurs with heart. If you’re thinking of a side hustle or if you’re saying at some point, “I want to not be a wage slave,” there’s just so much opportunity. David, what’s the number one way that people can connect and find you? You are a valuable resource.
It’s easy to @DavidLeeJensen on Instagram. Pretty much @DavidLeeJensen anywhere else on social media is found. I’ve got the David Lee Jensen fan page on Facebook. My LinkedIn is David Lee Jensen. The CR8Conference.com is where we’re focusing all our attention to help people like you and your group create entrepreneurship for the future.If you start with the end in mind, that result of what you're going to deliver, the beginning becomes much easier. Click To Tweet
CR8 Conference sounds valuable. I highly recommend that you check out the CR8 Conference. Definitely check out David Lee Jensen, check out his books, check out the Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint. You have been phenomenal. I dig what you’re doing. Thank you for being of such service and thank you for being a guest with me at the show.
Thank you so much for that. I appreciate it.
You’re welcome. For the readers, as always, thank you for joining us. We have a couple of gifts for you. We have a very educational webinar called The Seven Deviations, which will completely change your business and it’s absolutely free. Make sure you have a paper, a pen and you’re ready to take some valuable notes. That’s at TLWebinar.com. The other special gift we have is a very active Facebook group with other Heartrepreneurs just like you. That’s on Facebook. It’s #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine. We invite you to join us there to contribute value. David, we’d love to have you join there as well so we can continue the conversation. We thank you for being here and most of all, we thank our guest David Lee Jensen, for being here.
- Hiring Academy & Interview Blueprint
- Hiring Academy
- The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret
- Screw It, Let’s Do It
- Hire Me Or Else: How To Land A Job You Love
- Amazon – The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret
- Barnes & Noble – The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret
- @DavidLeeJensen – Instagram
- @DavidLeeJensen – Twitter
- David Lee Jensen – Facebook
- David Lee Jensen – LinkedIn
- #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine – Facebook Group
About David Lee Jensen
He is the author of the #1 Bestselling book The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret and travels the world as a motivational keynote speaker focused on Team Building, Hiring, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. David shares his insight, inspiration, and secrets to success, from growing a company to $2.5 billion in client sales. His analogies on happiness and his story of overcoming personal adversity to get there are riveting.
His expertise in hiring the right person, the first time and every time is applicable in every arena as “The people you choose will change the trajectory of your business and your life.” His clients include Fortune 50 to industry associations, including Microsoft, NetApp, McDonald’s, Jamba Juice and Grant Cardone Enterprises. David will entertain, educate and engage your conference audience or workshop team with practical exercises to increase personal performance.
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