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7 Things I've Learned Starting my HR Business

About 18 months ago, I started an HR consulting business. I had been thinking about it for a while and felt led through my faith to do it. However, I delayed for several years because I was scared – scared of not having a steady paycheck, scared of not having benefits, and scared of putting myself out there.  But when I look back so many things in my life and career readied me to take the leap to business owner.

Here are 7 things I’ve learned.

#1 Starting a business is not for the faint at heart.

It is hard work y’all. I knew at some level that clients wouldn’t come raining down out of the sky but didn’t realize I’d have to pound the pavement quite so much.

#2 Old dogs can learn new tricks.

I am on the other side of 50 and have learned more in the last 18 months than in the previous 5 years combined. This includes how to set up a business, build a website, marketing strategies, QuickBooks (well I didn’t learn that so well), and much more.

#3 Sales is relationship-building.

The word, Sales, used to strike fear in my heart. If I’m honest, it still kinda does but I’m trying to change the narrative. I’m looking at it as building relationships and if business comes from it, that’s great. If not, I got to meet a new person and find out a little bit about what makes them remarkable.

#4 Give freely and it will come back to you.

I have wondered at times if I’m giving away too much – toolkits, time, resources, advice. However, I think that some of this is necessary and that it will pay off in the long run. As a bonus, it feels good to help people.

#5 Be a good boss.

Part of the reason that I started my business was bad bosses but I’m the WORST at times as my own boss. I criticize myself, work 60 hours a week, and have trouble unplugging. I’m working on it!

#6 A lot of people don’t know what HR is.

It has taken a while for me to refine my explanation of what I do and I’m sure it will change again. When I mention HR, people immediately jump to hiring or think about the administrative parts of the HR function. Many people don't seem to look at HR favorably, which indicates that maybe their organizations need to hire me to flip that script:) I see HR as a catalyst for helping people meet their potential and organizations create great workplaces.

#7 Don’t be afraid to fail.

I have put many programs and initiatives out there that have bombed. It takes persistence and trial and error to achieve success and learn from failure.

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