I never had a life-long passion to be a business owner. I never even had an adult passion to be one. In fact, I only initially became one because I felt called by God to do so.
In 2009 I was laid off from my job as a corporate Director of HR and Marketing. I needed to find a new position but for the first time in my career, nothing was panning out. Of course, this was during the time of the “great recession,” and I was in the same boat as many others—laid off and needing to find a means of survival during a particularly challenging time.
It was then that I begin to feel the first “whisperings” from God to launch in a new direction—go start my own business as an HR consultant. My response? Absolutely not. I had no clue how to do that, didn’t have the finances to do it, didn’t feel remotely qualified to do it, nor had I developed some new passion for small business ownership. So it seemed like a pretty clear cut-and-dried “no” from me, and I told God he had the wrong gal for the job. But as is often the case, God had other ideas (and a better future) planned for me.
Me? A Small Business Owner?
Interestingly enough, during that time, I began to receive requests for consulting from various local small businesses in and around the RTP area, requests to provide my extensive HR generalist and business operations experience to help others succeed and “do better.” And what do you know? I found I really enjoyed that! A helper by nature (because God knew that too), this was right up my alley—building into others and their teams, leadership, and organization as a whole. I enjoyed assisting them with a myriad of HR services and general business management consultations.
And that’s when I began to become acclimated to, and ultimately excited about, the possibility of making this my new full-time career. (I say “excited” with a big dose of “Oh my gosh, what am I doing?!” thrown in.) So with a final, albeit cautious, “yes” to God (and to myself), I was on my way.
It Takes a Village
It definitely took a village to help me get started. I found Wake Tech’s Small Business Center offered many classes and resources for entrepreneurs and those looking to start their own business. I discovered that the Chambers also offer resources to small business owners and serve to connect small business owners with other business owners, and so I joined the Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and Morrisville Chambers.
I also began networking, something I had never done as a corporate employee but realized that now that as I was/am a business owner, it’s important that I get out there and let others know that Close HR Connections exists, and how it exists. It exists as an on-site (we come to our clients), as-needed, fractional HR Consulting firm serving start-up, small, and medium-sized businesses by providing all manner of People Management/HR Consulting Services.
The Journey Continues
For the past nine years, I have been blessed immensely with the opportunity to meet many other small business owners that have become valued referral partners and resources for not only my business, but as referrals to contacts, prospects, and clients for their business needs as well. My “bullpen team” of attorneys, CPAs, bookkeepers, insurance brokers, IT professionals, marketing, social media, and other business professionals have been invaluable to not only me but many others I have encountered and worked with through the years. I take great joy in connecting entrepreneurs and business owners to one another because at heart, I am a “connecter.”
And now here I am, coming up on 10 years as Close HR Connections. What a ride it’s been! My team and I continue on the God-ordained journey of providing expert HR/People Management services to businesses and organizations throughout the RTP area and beyond.
These days, more and more I am asked by others how I got my business started and can they talk to me about how to start their own business. I, of course, am happy to be a part of the “village” for new entrepreneurs and small business owners. Giving back is always high on my radar.
I feel privileged to be an entrepreneur/small business owner celebrating Small Business Week. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself here at such a time as this. Thank you, God, for this amazing opportunity even though being an entrepreneur/small biz owner is, in all honesty, the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most faith-stretching thing I’ve ever done. It is also, however, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. God has been good to me all while continuing to stretch and “grow” me every step of the way.
God Bless the entrepreneurs and small business owners in America! I’m proud to be in such awesome company. Thank you for all you do and the daily sacrifices you make!
If you’d like to know more about how Close HR can assist you, please contact us. We’re happy to start the conversation.