A number of years ago I had the perfect job for me. I loved everything about it; I had a fantastic boss who was an outstanding role model, wonderful supportive coworkers, dedicated dynamic clients and the flexibility to enjoy an incredible work-life balance. Who wouldn’t love all those things? Well, sadly, it was a pilot project and when the funding ran-out, my dream job came to an end. I found myself out of work and wanting to recreate the perfect job; for the first time in my life, I considered becoming an entrepreneur. It was a scary concept, but I knew it was one worth trying, so I dug in and got started!
I have to admit, by the time my Human Resources Consulting business, Corner Stone HR Inc, officially started in June 2011, I didn’t think I would face any of the ‘regular’ entrepreneurial challenges. I thought I had it all figured out. I loved the three years I had spent working with small business owners developing their foundational HR tools and templates and I had experience helping others with their business development – that was all I needed to know to be successful, right? Boy was I naive! I quickly learned that my experience helping others with their business plans was nothing like writing my own and promoting events and products for other organizations was a lot different than marketing myself and my services. I had a lot to learn.
I wasn’t going to give up and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions and ask for help. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I received was from Marvella Wells, NLOWE’s Business Advisor, Western. She suggested I join NLOWE’s Business Connections Program, and I was smart enough to listen!
The Business Connections Program undoubtedly helped me make connections. I not only met, networked and shared concepts, challenges and successes with other like-minded women business owners but I also connected a lot of the dots with regard to my own business basics. As a result of the nine module program, I began using social media channels as a marketing tool and I perfected my elevator pitch; both of which came in handy recently during NLOWE’s Video Marketing Training with Jaeny Baik in which I participated. The Program made me think about my business from a new perspective and formalized and documented concepts that were in my head, but not yet on paper (which I’m sure you know are two entirely different things!). My business confidence improved, critical components of Corner Stone HR were further developed and I made lasting friendships with amazing and talented women business owners (we are all now members of NLOWE’s Mastermind Group, Western).
Networking, another module of the Program, is the greatest advice I can offer to new entrepreneurs – join groups and attend conferences, workshops, mixers, etc. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are out there – you never know what you may learn and how many new doors it may open for you.
Carla May is the owner of Corner Stone HR Inc, a Human Resources Consulting Company providing quality HR advice and solutions. They provide customized tools and templates you can implement today and rely on tomorrow.
Or you can contact Carla at: Carla@cornerstonehr.ca.