Your Business is Only as Good as Your Team; Don’t Let a Toxic Person Ruin it

It was not too long ago that Donald Trump made the phrase “You’re fired!” famous with his hit reality show The Apprentice. At the end of each show, he would eliminate a participant with this legendary line. As a business owner, letting people go comes with the territory. Let me share a few pieces of advice on when to say, “You’re fired.”

When they can no longer perform the job that they’re being paid to do.
Typically, they lack the skill or discipline to get the job done. If you think someone is going to improve, they rarely do. That is my experience. Ninety days is plenty of time to determine this.

When they need to be reminded to do the job they’re being paid to do.
They constantly need to be reminded of what they need to do. If we need to babysit you, we don’t want you. 

They’re not reliable.
It drives me insane when I have a person who will miss work and then tell me they had a personal situation. They’ll ask me, “Don’t you have personal situations?” 

I reply, “Yes, but they don’t make me miss work.” I can compartmentalize. If you’re not reliable, then you are not one we want to rely on.

They compromise your brand.
They don’t play by the rules that you’ve set. I had an employee who was upselling our clients, which is a no-no. We honor our original agreement and have ways of presenting options later. We don’t ever go to a job with the intent of upselling a client. This is a no-no!

They’re culture killers.
They have no positivity about them at all. They’re not loyal to your company, they’re always just looking out for themselves. They never fit the team mold. They’re typically openly critical about leadership as well as about their coworkers. 

When they’re being overpaid for what they can produce.
You hire a person and then you look back six to eight months later and their ability, their capacities, is about 80 percent of what you expected. Sometimes you need to reposition them. Sometimes you need to give them a pay cut. Once I know that we’re overpaying for you, we are going to modify your salary, modify your job description, or let you go.

Article written by Sean Castrina (

Sean is the author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success, The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, and the World’s Greatest Business Plan.


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