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Lessons from Four Years of Tinderbox Consulting

It recently occurred to me that I’ve been running own company longer than any job I’ve ever had.

The longest I was employed was 15 years ago. While attending college at Western Washington University, I worked in the computer maintenance department. Not that I was a computer geek (meant in a good way!), but it was where Work Study placed me. After the first school year, my boss hired me beyond Work Study. He gave me more hours and I was able to work during summers. Still, I only did that job for about three years.

The next 15 years were a blur of media jobs, consulting jobs, and even unemployment. Then came Tinderbox Consulting.

In February, I will have owned and operated Tinderbox Consulting for four years. From day one, I worked Tinderbox as a full-time gig. Eventually, I begged my wife, Natalie, to join me. She now does payroll and bookkeeping for Tinderbox. I also had to hire a full-time employee, Alyssa.

I’m not pointing this out to brag. Although I feel blessed beyond words, I didn’t do this alone.

On the contrary, I’m pointing out that it took me starting my own company to find a place where I fit. My resume is that of a person who seemingly can’t keep a job. Which is typical of most millennials today.

I’ve learned not to judge a candidate based on their resume. It’s a terrible way to discover what a person can bring to a company. Instead, look at the cover letter, their social profiles and what they did to land the interview. Did they call you incessantly? Did they connect with you on LinkedIn? Did they send a handwritten thank-you card?

And in the interview, ask crazy questions:

“Why should I hire you?”
“Why shouldn’t I hire you?”
“What do your biggest fans say about you?”
“What do your enemies say about you?”
“What’s a common misconception people have about you?”
“If we¬†offered you the job, why would you take it?”

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