When I started this business I did so not because I really wanted to be a consultant or an entrepreneur, but because I wanted to be a mom. If you have read this blog for a while or heard me speak, you know my story. Cliff notes version: I went on maternity leave with my now 7 year old, was told three weeks before I was to return that I would be laid off. New baby, personality not conducive to being a stay at home mom and living in a city where having only an hour commute was a luxury. So I branched out on my own and 6 years later, here we are.
In those early days I worked very part time. I almost don’t consider the first two years of the business as real because I worked maybe two days a week (not 8 hour days) and dedicated most of that time to my son. I did do a lot of dreaming during those days though and over and over there were two things I would tell my husband about my business.
First, when I hired I wanted to make sure that I gave people the same opportunity I had. The opportunity to build their work around their life and not the other way around. The typical 8-5, M-F, take time off if you need to take your kid to the doctor doesn’t have to, and won’t, apply to this business. Anyone I hire can work when they want, how they want as long as the work gets done. They don’t ever have to worry about taking time off to be with a sick kid or taking a Tuesday off just because they want. On Friday, if their work for the week is done, I genuinely don’t care how they made it happen.
Second, when I hired, I had a list of people I wanted to bring on board. At the top of the list was Christine Kopp. Christine and I worked together at ACCENT Marketing – a call center company. We all have those co-workers who become friends and Christine is one of those people. Before either of us had kids, we vacationed together, traveled for work together and always worked really well together both at work and outside of work.
I’m so happy to announce that with my first hire, I’ve done both of the above. Hired Christine and given her the opportunity to work around her life. She’s busy. She has three girls.
Three girls. Seriously.
I had been thinking of hiring help for a while. The business doubled in revenue last year and quite frankly, this is long overdue. Christine reached out earlier this year asking about something she saw that would allow her to work from home, still be flexible with her girls, but keep her relevant in HR for when she was ready to go back to work. I took it as a sign and pitched the idea of her joining me.
She took the bait.
I was a little worried that she might not. If you’ve ever worked in a small business before, you know that roles are hard to define initially and everyone has to do a little bit of everything. Christine will be an HR Consultant but will be helping me in other areas of the business as well. She is a benefit expert and has worked as a generalist so her experience is very well rounded.
Plus, she is the extrovert that every introvert needs. The one who appreciates the introverts need for alone time, but also encourages them to get out of their minds every once in a while. We balance each other out and that makes for a great team.
Christine joined me last week in sunny CA (she lives in Kansas City) to do a little on-boarding and brainstorming and I’m excited about where this is going. There will be lots more to come from her and about her in the coming weeks.
The business turns 6 on April 19th so look for a formal press release on Christine and more info on the blog, but I didn’t want to wait until then to announce her hire.
Please send her well wishes and a few prayers – working with me ain’t easy!