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It seemed like a match made in heaven. The potential team member’s enthusiasm, experience, and promised dedication appeared to be a perfect fit for the team’s needs. But once she got settled in, her enthusiasm was overbearing, her experience became bossiness and her dedication was downright scary. It’s likely that every female business owner will encounter a poor fit at some point â€" so how can she handle it?


A new study from Jane Out of the Box, an authority on women entrepreneurs, recently revealed there are five distinct types of women in business. Each of these five types has unique approach to running a businessâ€"and as a consequence, each of them has a unique combination of characteristics and factors. This article profiles two of the Jane “types” and the different ways they may handle hiring the wrong person on a team and all that comes with it.


Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business. She is comfortable and determined in marketing and sales, which may be why she’s five times more likely than the average female business owner to hit the million dollar mark. Jane Dough is clear in her priorities and may be intentionally and actively growing an asset-based or legacy business. It is estimated that 18% of women fall in the category of Jane Dough.


For Jane Dough, business is business. So if a team member’s performance is negatively affecting the success of her company, she’ll have no problem terminating the relationship â€" it’s purely business.


Some things Jane Dough should think about:


  •  Walk in Their Shoes. We said business is business for Jane Dough, and we meant it. But sometimes business is NOT just business for other people. So when she’s ready to cut the ties in her usual quick and deft manner, Jane Dough should wield those scissors gently in an effort to allow the team member in question to keep her pride in tact.

  • A Quick Check-Up. If something isn’t working,  Jane Dough’s first reaction will be to assume  the person is at fault, rather than the system. Jane Dough trusts  systems, but sometimes they can have weak spots, which are exposed when a new team member is introduced.  Jane Dough won’t know for sure if it’s the person or the system until she makes a thorough assessment of both.

  • Take Five. Jane Dough often works so fast and efficiently that she may overlook someone’s long-term potential in favor of fixing a problem right NOW. If a recent hire doesn’t appear to be working out, Jane Dough should assess whether putting a little time and energy into training this team member might pay off in the long run. Rather than firing her on the spot and losing a longer-term asset, Jane Dough might be able to put in a little additional training time to gain a loyal team member and a long-term  payout.


Tenacity Jane is an entrepreneur with an undeniable passion for her business, but who tends to be struggling with cash flow. As a result, she’s working longer hours, and making less money than she’d like. Nevertheless, Tenacity Jane is bound and determined to make her business a success. At 31% of women in business, Tenacity Janes are the largest single Jane type.


As her name suggests, Tenacity Jane works as hard as she can to ensure things will work out. Used to dealing with struggles, Tenacity Jane may react to hiring the wrong person by hunkering down and trying to weather the storm, like she does many other challenges. More than anything, Tenacity Jane is determined, and she’s not going down without a fight.


  • Weathering it Out, Or Not. Because she’s so determined for things to work, Tenacity Jane may put off firing someone she’s just hired, even at the expense of her business. However, her business can’t afford to support the wrong person. If Tenacity Jane believes she has hired the wrong person, she can develop a list of pros and cons associated with keeping the individual on board and then make her decisions logically rather than emotionally. 

  • Moving Forward. Assuming Tenacity Jane does decide to let the team member go, she’ll most likely need to replace her quickly so she can focus on business-building activities.  When making the next hiring decision, Tenacity Jane can follow this system to heighten her chance of making the next hire a huge success: 

    • Consider lessons learned.  Where did break downs occur and how can they be prevented next time?  What went “right” that should be preserved as other areas are improved?

    • Ask for referrals and references.  This means asking trusted friends to help identify an ideal candidate as well as interviewing the candidate’s references.

    • Use a trial period.  Depending on the nature of your work and the assignment, hire the person for a 30-day to 90-day trial.  This puts you in an excellent position to easily end the relationship if it isn’t working out.

    • Provide clear objectives AND a written process for the work to be done.  By doing so, you’ll be able to much more clearly separate the person from the process, in the unfortunate event that any new hire have performance problems.   


For women in business, it can be difficult to face up to personnel challenges.   But as Jane Dough and Tenacity Jane have shown, evaluating both sides of the story before making decisions can ensure a powerful, positive result for all involved.   


Interested in learning more about the five Jane types and which Jane you are? Check out

This Business article was written by Michele DeKinder-Smith on 12/9/2009

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at