E39: How to Build Your Team Without Violating Employment Law

I knew that to grow my business, I needed to delegate some of the work, maybe duplicate some of the talents that I had, because I couldn't keep doing it all on my own.”

- Asha Wilkerson, Esq.

Episode Summary:

Welcome back to the podcast, everybody! Today we are marching forward in our small series on building your business for the long run. This episode is a quick introduction to the workshop entitled How to Build Your Team Without Violating Employment Law that we will be hosting on Friday, March 18, 2022! We will be getting into how to do things the right way for you, your business, and your team of employees.

Hiring and onboarding can be daunting, especially when starting out, so this is all about making these steps more manageable and even exciting! An essential factor in this is getting away from the false sense of having to do everything ourselves, and building a great team is the key to a healthier business that is not solely reliant on you!

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • [01:40] Why hiring and growing your team can free up your time and take you to the next level
  • [02:37] The amazing opportunity that comes with becoming an employer
  • [03:36] Challenges facing Black female entrepreneurs and growing revenue
  • [04:41] The potential for community impact when you are intentional  with your investments
  • [06:45] Asha’s early experience with hiring and lessons learned
  • [08:27] How to sign up for Asha’s upcoming workshop

Resources Mentioned:

Connect With Us: 






[00:00:03] AW: You’re listening to The Transcend Podcast. I’m your host, Asha Wilkerson, an attorney by training and an educator at heart. This podcast is all about empowering you to build a business and leave a legacy. Here’s the thing, the wealth gap in America is consistently increasing. While full time entrepreneurship is not for everyone, even a side hustle could change your financial landscape, if you’re intentional about using your business to build wealth. I’ve run my own law firm for over 10 years. In that time, I’ve helped countless California businesses go from idea to six figures. On this podcast, we talk about what it truly takes to build a sustainable business and find financial freedom. Let’s dive in.




[00:00:48] AW: Welcome back to another episode of Transcend the Podcast. I’m so glad you’re here, per usual. This week, as you know, will be the third workshop in our series, teaching you how to build a business to leave a legacy. This week, the workshop is called how to build your team without violating employment law. Now, I know. I know, I know, I know that thinking about onboarding and hiring employees is terrifying, right? Maybe. Are you terrified? I know that when I got ready to hire my first employee, I was a little bit scared. I mean, there were a lot of things that I wasn’t quite sure of do I actually have enough money to do this? Did I get set up correctly with all the right entities, the EDD, getting my tax – Well, I had my tax ID number already, but how do I get set up with payroll? How do I make sure I pay people properly? All of that stuff.


How do I choose the right person? All of these questions had me so anxious. I knew that in order to grow my business, I needed to delegate some of the work, maybe duplicate some of the talent that I had, because I couldn’t keep doing it all on my own. There’s absolutely no shame in trying to hire somebody. You have to do it to be able to get to the next level. In this workshop, we’ll cover how you can safely and correctly onboard contractors, or employees, and finally get to a place where you can free up your time, knowing good people are in place to help you run your business. This is so important.


I mean, yeah. There’s all the things that you need to worry about in terms of making sure that the right forms and things like that are filled out. Also, it’s a really awesome responsibility to have employees. Think about it. You’re putting money in someone’s pocket. As much fear as can come along with being an employer, I also want you to think about how much pride you can have as being an employer. Don’t think about it as being scary, but think about it as an opportunity for you to grow and for your business to grow, and for you to impact the neighborhood and the community around you.


As an employer, you get to hire whoever you want, whoever you want to be a part of your business. You can hire your niece, your nephew, you can hire that person, that teenager who just looks like they need another job, like they need an opportunity. You can hire someone who is coming out of jail. You can hire your grandmother to put more money in her pocket. You can hire whoever you want that is going to help your team grow, your business grow. It’s such an awesome, awesome responsibility that I think that if you’re ready to do that, and if you’re planning on getting ready to do that, totally awesome.


I should have looked up the statistic for this podcast, but I don’t remember where I saw it. There’s something like, black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs. A lot of female entrepreneurs don’t earn more than $20,000, or $23,000 in their business. That’s a problem. We’re working on that, increasing revenue. Also, there’s a number of black-owned businesses that do not have employees. I don’t know what the numbers are for Latinx businesses, or Asian-owned businesses, or any other businesses, but there’s a really small number of minority-owned businesses that actually has employees.


If we’re talking about building businesses and leaving legacies, we need to be able to onboard people. We have this, sometimes false sense of we got to do it by ourselves. If I don’t do it, if I don’t keep my hands on it, what’s going to happen? It’s going to fall apart. That’s not true. You just need to learn how to onboard the right people and how to train folks in the way that you want them to do business for you. I want to challenge you. When you’re thinking about making money for yourself and for your immediate family, I want to challenge you to think about the impact you can make on your community when you hire people from your community.


Not everybody has to be a local hire. You can certainly choose what businesses to patronize. For example, right now, I rely heavily on virtual assistant services, but I have intentionally chosen a woman-owned, Latina-owned virtual assistant firm that has a number of different employees under her business that I work with on a regular basis. Even though it’s not right here, local in Oakland, I am intentional about where I am spending my dollars and where I am investing my money as an entrepreneur.


I want you to think about the same things as you get ready to hire and grow your business. Now, tactically speaking on Friday, March 18th, at 11 a.m., we’re going to cover these three areas. I’m going to teach you how to determine the difference between employees and contractors. That’s a very big one. That is one of the fastest ways to get in trouble in employment law. A lot of people think it’s easier to just hire contractors. It’s cheaper. Might be cheaper until you get caught. That’s the problem.


Then in California, specifically, there are penalties for misclassifying employees that range from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on how many violations you have. I encourage people not to take the risk. I don’t think it’s worth it. I think you just need to understand and budget for the amount of money it’s going to take to have an employee and learn what you need to do for that. The first difference is understanding – or the first pillar is understanding the differences between contractors and employees.


The second thing I’m going to teach you to do is how to build up your team. How do you choose the right people? Not everybody is going to be a right fit and that’s okay. How do you actually ask the questions that you need to try and find the people that you want? I went through a couple hires in the beginning that were – I was young, when I had my first employee. I was probably 26. No, maybe 27. Let’s see. I graduated law school at 25. Worked for two years for a law firm, I’m 27. Maybe I was 28. 27 and a half, 28, by the time I hired my first employee.


The first one was great. She was great. She was an intern and interned with me through her school. Then I hired her on in the summer and in the following year, and then she ended up going to law school. Shout out to Alissa. She’s a practicing attorney now. I had hired a couple people after her, and I was so nice. I didn’t quite look at the skill that the people had, which I should have. I was like, “Oh, they’re just so nice and they want to help me and I want to help them.” A couple of them didn’t work out, because they didn’t actually have the skill set that I needed. I want to help you determine what are the skills that you need, what kind of person that is going to be to help meet the needs in your business. It’s exciting to be able to hire people, but you also need to know how to hire the right people.


The last thing I’m going to cover with you are the steps that you need to take to make your first hire. There’s a few things that you actually need to do to get yourself set up, like payroll, getting a payroll account. I would not have your accountant run payroll for you, I would go with a licensed professional, a licensed company like Paychex, or Gusto, or Intuit, I think still does payroll, just Quicken, or ADP, those kinds of companies. Because if they mess up on payroll, they take the responsibility for messing up. It doesn’t fall on your shoulders. That’s important, especially if you’re new and you’re not quite sure what you’re doing. I want you to make sure you surround yourself with the folks who do know.


There’s a few other things that you have to do in there before you hire your first employee. I’ll share them with you on Friday, March 18th at 11 a.m. Pacific time, California time. If you are ready to sign up for the workshop, I want you to go to transcendthemembership.com/events and join. Sign up for the workshop. You’ll see on that landing page that there are a number of workshops there. Sign up for any and all of them that you are interested in, and I will continue to have more in the future.


Now from you, what I would like for you to do is to share this podcast with any other entrepreneur that you think would benefit from listening to this podcast. Tell them to sign up for the workshops. They are designed specifically for you as black and Latinx entrepreneurs, who are looking to build a business and leave a legacy. All right, that’s all I have for you now. I know that I will see you Friday. Talk to you soon.



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