does an assistant make me look bureaucratic?

Editor’s Be aware: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the previous COO of eBay, will supply candid, sensible, and generally stunning recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected].

Q. At what level ought to a startup CEO rent an government assistant? Our enterprise has not but raised a Collection A spherical, but I’m struggling to carve out time to give attention to strategic work simply purely primarily based on hours within the day and power ranges. I might love some recommendation on what to do. 

-Scrappy startup CEO

Pricey Scrappy Startup CEO,

Making certain that you’ve the bandwidth and house to give attention to what actually issues is tremendous essential. There’s not one set reply on methods to do it. There are alternatives, which can embody hiring, or delegating, or restructuring.


I believe I perceive why you might be feeling some hesitancy about hiring an government assistant. Startups are presupposed to be scrappy, and as a founder you might really feel strain to do every little thing by yourself and never rent assist employees till you attain a sure degree of success. An inclination in the direction of scrappiness is an efficient intuition, however on the similar time in case you have extra work than the bandwidth to do it and in case you have the money accessible to rent help, it could be sensible to take action. With out this assist you’ll proceed to be restricted, which in flip might restrict your organization’s progress.  

Let’s look on the limitations you might be dealing with:

Bandwidth: Are you constrained by time and unable to work on what’s most essential? If you’re sapped of time and power is there another person who can tackle some duties for you? Can another person do it higher than you?

Assets: How a lot money do you’ve got? How a lot do you wish to burn earlier than you attain the following spherical of funding? Hiring somebody goes to value. Let’s say this place can be compensated with a big wage and probably some inventory. You must ask your self, is that this the place you wish to spend the cash? At this level it’s important to preserve your restricted sources in thoughts. If you happen to rent this particular person, you possible received’t be capable to rent another person. What do you want? Would an engineer who might construct out your product or a salesman who is aware of methods to get your first 50 prospects get you additional? 

Maybe some founders see it as bureaucratic or “unstartup”-like. However it’s your job to unravel for work you may’t get to. If you happen to can afford to rent somebody on this position and it’ll liberate cycles for you, it could make sense. Additionally have in mind, this particular person might do jobs past scheduling, they usually could possibly be devoted to assist different folks as effectively. It’s widespread for everybody at a startup to put on many hats and this position is not any totally different. 


Being a startup CEO is an all-consuming job. You’re presupposed to really feel like your hair is on fireplace many of the day. However in case you are not capable of get to what’s most essential and what you might be uniquely certified to do, it’s time to seek out different methods to get it executed. You must discover a option to get extra out of the hours within the day, extra money within the financial institution, and quicker progress to make it to the following spherical. 


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