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As a business becomes increasingly successful, an entrepreneur must examine her business’ changing needs and implement a system for meeting them. Booming success often means hiring a team of people to see to the details so the entrepreneur has time to run the business. Creating a winning team is a bit more complicated than just asking a bunch of people for help â€" is there a right way to do it? Is there a way to go about it that will leave members of the team, as well as the owner, feeling fulfilled while the business thrives?


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 three of the Jane “types” and the different ways they may handle hiring a team.


Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business and makes good money. She is comfortable and determined in buying and selling, 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.


To Jane Dough, business is business. In her world, systems and efficiency share the throne. When hiring a team, she is likely to choose members based on their specific skill sets and how those skill sets and their exacting implementation will affect the system she plans on using.


Pros and cons:

  • Pro: Because Jane Dough is a pragmatic business owner, she’ll choose team members who know what they’re doing, and do it well.

  • Con: Because Jane Dough is so focused on pragmatism, she may hire team members who don’t get along well with each other â€" personalities aren’t as important to her as efficiency and a job well done. But down the road, conflicting personalities may negatively impact the system she loves.

  • Pro: Jane Dough’s fast pace means she gets a lot done and doesn’t waste too much time waffling on decisions about whether to hire someone.

  • Con: That fast pace is enough to make anyone’s head spin, and if Jane Dough isn’t careful she may overlook a candidate with better long-term potential in favor of someone who fits the bill right now â€" putting her future self at a disadvantage.


Merry Jane. This entrepreneur is usually building a part-time or “flexible time” business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she’s an ad agency consultant or she makes beautiful artwork) that she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule.  She may have a day-job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. She realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she’s happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom to work how and when she wants, around her other commitments. 

Because Merry Jane is “freedom-focused,” she’ll need a team that allows her to continue working as many or as few hours as she wants to, which means that she’ll have to be flexible with their schedules, too.


Pros and cons:

  • Pro: Merry Jane loves her freedom, so she’ll hire dependable people who can do their jobs without a ton of direction.
  • Con: Loving her freedom can come at a price â€" Because her business may not be her first priority, communication may slip from time-to-time.  If her team is unclear in what they need to do or if they take too much accountability, this can create problems for Merry Jane. 
  • Pro: Hiring people means that Merry Jane can delegate some of her work and therefore have even greater flexibility.
  • Con: Creating a team also adds responsibility, of which Merry Jane already has plenty â€" she’ll need to face payroll, meetings, e-mails and phone calls that she didn’t deal with before â€" and this may mean more administrative work than she anticipated.


Tenacity Jane is an entrepreneur with an undeniable passion for her business, but who is struggling (a little or a lot) with the business’ financial performance.  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 group of female entrepreneur.


Tenacity Jane’s greatest asset is her attitude. She may feel overwhelmed at times but she keeps on keeping on because she truly believes in the business she’s building and she wants to make it work. As she seeks to hire a team, Tenacity Jane will seek people with great attitudes like her own.


Pros and cons:

  • Pro: Tenacity Jane feels like she can make this work, despite having faced many business challenges â€" she has a positive, “keep chugging” attitude.
  • Con: When hiring a team, attitude isn’t enough.  Tenacity Jane may be drawn to people who are also enthused about her business, but does she take the time to (and does she know exactly how to) evaluate their skills, experience, and preparedness to do the work at hand?
  • Pro: Tenacity Jane loves her business concept and can see the big vision of what it can someday be, which may include a large team sometime down the road.   
  • Con: Because she is focused on the “ultimate” vision, Tenacity Jane may not map out the path to get there step-by-step.  If this happens, she runs the risk of hiring too many people too soon (and then not being able to retain them) or hiring them in the wrong order to maximize business growth. 


Whether hiring a team is strictly business, or it’s a small part of a grand scheme, it’s a big deal. Women entrepreneurs shouldn’t go into it without a solid idea about who to hire, what they’ll do and how they’ll do it â€" and how all of that will affect the business in the short- and long-term. From Jane Dough to Merry Jane to Tenacity Jane, business owners must get a plan in place before hiring to ensure the step from one-woman-band to marching band sounds great.


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 11/4/2009

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