FreeKill asks:

Why do you only accept job applications from people who already live in Nebraska? Some people like me, for example, would love the opportunity to work for you and would actually move to Nebraska if they job was available.

ShoeMoney: Good question and one that I get a lot. Over the last 5-6 years I have hired close to 100 people. Not 1 has worked out. I blame myself for this. I am a horrible manager. I like people that are self managed. I just want people who can do the work without any direction from me… I want to give them a task 1 time then don’t want to hear from them until that task is complete and if its not complete when they said it was going to be done then your fired. (and thats how it went for a long time). When I fired them though I knew it was 99% my fault so I would compensate them and usually even give them extra and tell them best of luck.

The only problem with that is its completely unrealistic and if you lack management skills (like me) then hiring a remote person makes that even harder. Not even to mention your just pissing away money.

So add on top of the the trust issues. Each remote person you bring on is a liability. You are giving them access to your servers on a very high level. Being we are a small shop (or used to be) we never had a dev environment. All developing was done on the live server. So trust was a really big thing. I had been burnt by guys who just would leave the server down and goto bed… and that would make me go insane.

Now I know what your thinking – Wasn’t David Dellanave AKA dillsmack a remote hire? Well not really.. basically I had known Dave for over 10 years and one day in IRC I was ranting about how I would *NEVER* hire a remote programmer ever again and he (dillsmack) messaged me and said he would like a shot to prove me wrong. He also said he would work for a very low hourly wage and show me what he could do.

What was I going to say… no ? So I gave him a login and told him what I wanted to get done and he made a huge impact right away. I think I hired him in the fall (august) of 2004 and I was so fricking over my head. I was doing all of the programing, graphics, server administration, email admin, dns admin, you name it… I was doing it and I had NO LIFE. Not to mention this was back when nextpimp was getting over 100,000 unique hits a day. The server was soooo over loaded that the kernel would panic and it would randomly reboot at least once per day (not the http service im talking the whole box would reboot). Anyway Dave had a lot of experience with high volume websites and immediately started optimizing and scaling it out.

Flash forward a little bit and David came to me one day with an idea on how to leverage the nextpimp nextel formats to other platforms like sprint and cingular. I told him I thought it was a great idea and I would give him 40% of the profits that this would make. Deal. What we did, did not last but I think on Dave’s end alone he profited over 50k the first month we did that. For the next couple years we did several deals like that. Dave’s hourly wage was a joke I don’t even think he was keeping track of his hours because the revenue split was where it was at. This was good though. I did not want a hourly employee… I wanted partners in the company. So we redid our deal to be a flat salary + profit sharing and continued that for the next 2 years.

Then in 2007 I came up with this idea for shoemoneyads which long story short turned into AuctionAds. When we sold the company in July (only 4 months later) I thought it was fair to give him exactly what I was going to get out of it (which I can’t disclose.. sorry). After the auctionads sale was complete I talked to David about doing a new deal (it had been 2 years since our last one) where he would have ownership and not just drawing a salary+profit sharing. We did some corporate reshuffling and now David owns a decent position in the entire ShoeMoney system.

So in the example for David – I was dead set against hiring remote people but David was willing to do what it took to show me that not only was he a good employee but he was invaluable. Over the years of working together he has had some amazing job offers up into the 300k/year range and I have encouraged him to go after them. But he always says back to me, “ya right I am not gonna get rich working for the man”. Obviously its worked out well. David believed in what we were doing and has stuck with me and because of that he is pretty set financially and still in his mid 20’s.

Also I will tell you in the process David has become one of my closest friends and also the god father of my first born child.

David is probably the best example if you want to see what kind of remote person works well but I will give you some other examples as well.

Unique Blog Designs – They first came to me a while back and asked if they could redo my blog design… I was like sure… Then they did it and they did it fast! It was awesome and I did not have to manage them. I just told them what I wanted and they did it. I have since referred some fortune 500 clients to them and have also hired them to do some other big scale projects. UBD has established itself as THE blog and web design company by proving to people they have the skills you can’t live without.

NewsPaperGirl – We had invested a lot of money in a charity event for and I wanted to get some good exposure with a awesome press release. I twittered asking for a prweb ninja who can get 5’s and great distribution. @prweb responded with Newspapergrl aka Janet Meiners. So I wrote her a email asking how much she would charge and what not. She promptly responded with her rates but added that she would be willing to just do it for me for free (OOHH). So I sent her the prweb fees and she submitted. I will be honest when I first saw the press release she did I was not that impressed. I am a branding guy and I did not feel like our company was mentioned enough. She was really focusing on the event. She said to rust her and that she knows what she was doing. Fair enough (I love confident people).

Then a couple days later my phone was ringing off the hook (no joke). I was on 4 radio stations and in 2 news papers and had inquiries from a TON of media sources. Janet had been able to score another perfect prweb score and had incredible distribution for my press release.

Guess who will be the only person I will call in the future and guess how much I care about price =P

I do not like to hire remote people but I like to use the best…

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

62 thoughts on “How Do You Choose Who To Hire and Why Not Remote?”
  1. Learning to trust people is tough. You have a lot of great skills no doubt, but being able to trust workers would be an additional asset to your resume. I’ve had trouble with it in the past as well, but once I learned to let go it made life less stressful and things still got done. If you can find good people and develop them they’ll love you forever and remember it even if they move onto other jobs.

  2. yes, there is no problem in hiring a reputed person/company even if located outside.. πŸ˜‰

  3. Great post on remote hiring but it didn’t answer the question … they didn’t ask about working remote, they asked why you wouldn’t hire someone from out of state even if they would relocate to you for the job.

  4. Shoemoney, great post! One thing to note. The link for UBD is broken as it appears to go to a domain that’s for sale. Should it have “unique” in the URL? Thanks!

  5. intellectual property control is the tough part whether people are local or remote. It is easier local though as you can keep your thumb on them and control the pc they use. However, It is fairly easy for a good programmer to replicate software regardless of primary work location. I like the idea of breaking up a project into small work units built by people that do not collaborate and then assembling them into the completed application seperately. Hiring someone to code a whole site or complete portable functions seems to be asking for trouble. Marketing is a whole ‘nuther subject and should be kept very close as it seems to me to make alot of the difference these days.

  6. Managing is a hard job, and its even worse when you know how to do something and you think it is easy but the person you want to do the job can’t put 2 and 2 together. Myself I was always a better right hand man then the leader just because I would lose my cool to often.

    On the flip side of things hiring a good manager can save you time and money and as the owner of the company you can then work on the business instead of in the business which is something you should never do as an owner.

    Myself, I hope I never get to the point that you are at Shoe, I want my cake and I want to eat it too but I don’t want people watching me stuff my face!

    So here is my question sir Shoe!

    If you have problems as a manager how are you going to run a successful team in the top affiliate challenge knowing most of your team is nothing more then novice affiliate marketers?

  7. That being said, with the technology today couldn’t you just video conference/interview. If they have the skillset why would location stop you?

  8. Shoe, have you considered hiring a general manager or project manager? Basically someone that would manage the people for you? That would leave you free to come up with your big ideas and do the marketing etc that you’re obviously good at…

    Just a thought. Anyway, I really enjoy posts of this type that let us sort of peek behind the curtain of Shoemoney. Keep up the good work!

  9. This story is similar to a guy named Barnes going to work for Thomas Edison. Sounds like Dave used a tip right out of Hills think and grow rich.

  10. Ya I like the more personal posts from Shoe too. You can learn more from someone you feel like you know then a complete stranger.

  11. I forgot about the moving part. Basically since 99% of the people do not work out I would never want anyone to move here and not work out. Even if they are willing to take the risk I would not feel comfortable having them uproot their life for what has been proven not to work in the past. Make sense?

  12. haha, I’ve read this bold word falsely (as good), and was puzzled that you were so close that you let him have child with your wife πŸ™‚ Concerning blog design, etc. my website has 30,000 uniques daily, and I’d pay much if someone was able to transfer it from blogger to word press and scale my traffic and do redeisgn. Also, how do I hire a company or media marketer (site specific) who could attract big brands to advertise on my website directly. I’d pay for this position as well! any tips?

    “Also I will tell you in the process David has become one of my closest friends and also the god father of my first born child.”

  13. This is article is spot on. 99% of people i hire are also no good. Good people are few and far between. I think the best people to hire are friends of friends or referrals. Have you done that? and has it worked out for you?

  14. Sounds like in your case you may be hiring employees rather than independent pros. I would never leave a critical issue unresolved (assuming it is within my ability to fix, but I would not accept work for something I could not handle.) I have pulled many all nighters and periods of no life to get the job done for a client. I treat every client the same as I would a partnership rather than just as a job. This is not just my standards, it should be the standards of any independent pro.

    That is not to say I like to pull all nighters or have no life, but I will do so in an emergency. Emergencies happen, but if they happen too often then that might be the sign of bad management on the clients end. Bad clients can get fired just as easy as a bad contractor.

    If you are difficult to work for, it might be that no amount of money is worth taking the job. We need to keep our sanity and an extra bump from one client doesn’t do much in the grand scheme of things. Sure, Dillsmack worked out great for both sides but this is probably a one time thing or very rare anyway.

    Management is required for any sort of outsourcing (I have seen plenty of jobs outsourced to contractors in India go bad for lack of outsourcing,) but independent pros also need to be managers. You just need to find someone who fits your personality I guess. Some people like to micromanage things, other people just want things to get done without having to deal with the contractors. For the contractor, it is sometimes hard to know what type of person you are until too late. Are you communicating your preferences to the contractor before pulling the plug?

    I think a project manager would be a good idea, but I think if your team is small then you can get away with having some ace people on your team who don’t need to be actively managed.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  15. How about people that live a half hour away? That’s not directly connected to you? What about Tigh isn’t he still around, although I guess he’s there with you.

  16. […] I wrote a press release for Shoemoney free, I did it for two reasons. One, it’s Shoemoney and the exposure is worth way more than the […]

  17. no man its correct. they are using both domains. with i or not. like to be or not to be.

  18. And what a good job that Dillsmack has done. The kid seems to have it all! Not many people in their mid-20s have the kind of maturity to seize an opportunity like that much less forgo others that could have been more lucrative up front. There is a real shortage of technical talent in the US which is why you see so many Indians and Chinese people walking around Silicon Valley. Hell, Yahoo even has billboards on 101 looking for programmers! Most people don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it because it’s a friggin pain in the ass.

  19. Thanks for the mention, Shoe. We have very much enjoyed working with you and Dillsmack, as well. It’s going to be great to meet up at IZEA Fest and Blog World again in a few months. Cheers.

  20. One of the best and inspiring posts yet. I feel like this blog is changing to a business blog from a make money on line blog. If that makes sense. A cross between John Chow and Marketing Pilgrim. n e ways good question and good answer.

  21. it’s posts like this – that don’t make me regret adding this site into my favorite’s list

  22. It must get somewhat frustrating having a high turnover rate. I guess high is even an understatement in your case πŸ˜€

  23. Note to self: As nice an idea working for ShoeMoney might sound, be apprehensive about accepting a position.

  24. I would have to say in many ways we are alike. I have problems trusting people and I think people should be told one time what the task is and not be told over and over. I learned a few things from this post.

  25. Wow, 100 and 99% fail πŸ™‚ !
    Look like you need more luck πŸ™‚

  26. I agree with you: The best people are the one you can “fire and forget”, like a missile. You give them their target and they come back with the hit.
    Unfortunately this are the same people who are clever enough to do their own thing with their own business and dont need a simple job.
    So it only works in a real partnership like you did it. Share the risk and share the money.

  27. Doing the math, you listed 2 successes, does that mean you had 198 failed employees? I love the idea of revenue sharing. Too bad I’m not a PHP guy (I’m .net). Yet another dream crushed!

  28. I used to work in HR at a retail store and hired and fired many people, but Shoe you take the cake there! I had way better than a 1% retention rate! Oh well, I guess if you know what you want and you donÒ€ℒt get it, no need to waste time and money!

  29. Its one of the most difficult things in business as each staff member is an investment of money but more important time and experience. I have been lucky to have staff for more 10 years. Thats why its imperative to take care of them and show them their worth. Outsourcing of course is something all together different. good post and its good to know we are not alone

  30. I think to two big reasons people keep talking is because they want to make a name for themselves so they can sell a product to their followers later, or as you said to just brag.

  31. Thanks ShoeMoney for the low down on newspapergirl. I am going to contact her to get a press release done.


  32. I think it’s good that you have choosen to work it like this, most of the time new employees require training what if they are not fot for the job?

  33. Shoemoney, thanks for the writeup. I’m still following up with everyone who has contacted me as a result.

    In this case, the story wasn’t the event but the soldiers and their families at home and how the run was raising money for them. However, if it was about internet marketing, your name would be all over it.

    I’m curious, of the coverage you got, how many had name recognition – did they know who you are? Were the places that picked up the story based in Las Vegas?

    An online press releases can get around 50k impressions, and hundreds of reads (these are released on PRWeb) in a week or two. Compared to traditional PR, it’s a bargain. Plus it has a long shelf life in search engines.


  34. I think that’s why profit percentage is a great way of working it. They have it in their best interest NOT to share the data or work.

  35. I think Shoe is saying that he has a tough time managing people that need their hand held. There are people like myself that do very well on their own with little interaction, then others need constant guidance. That’s why I never liked working with offshore companies. You had to hold their had so much that you might as well have paid a native language speaker to do it. I’d rather have 1 excellent person than 10 smart sheep.

  36. […] losers won’t my mind goes to think about something I was reading yesterday, a blog post from about hiring employees, finding freelancers and partners. At one point he apologizes or something, but he shouldn’t!  Innovative 21st century, new […]

  37. This is article is spot on. 99% of people i hire are also no good. Good people are few and far between. I think the best people to hire are friends of friends or referrals. Have you done that? and has it worked out for you?

  38. Fire people is part of an entrepeneur life…nobody likes it but it is how if works

  39. […] – Jeremy Schoemaker – Janet volunteered to write a professional press release for ShoeMoney and succeeded with an editorial score of 5 out of 5! Because of this press release Jeremy was […]

  40. Good enough explanation for me. I have lived in Nebraska for the last 30 years – the last 12 in Lincoln…so I guess I qualify… when do I start? πŸ˜‰

  41. […] press release, you should consider her services as well. Don’t take my word for it. Read what Jeremy Shoemaker (aka Shoemoney) wrote about Janet’s press releases- a very powerful testimony testimony if you asked. Not trying to be mean to Jeremy, but it is good […]

  42. […] I wrote a press release for Shoemoney free, I did it for two reasons. One, it’s Shoemoney and the exposure is worth way more than the […]

  43. […] I wrote a press release for Shoemoney free, I did it for two reasons. One, itÒ€ℒs Shoemoney and the exposure is worth way more than the money. […]

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