Tag Archives: human resources

Being a Passionate Entrepreneur

Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash

Last year, I decided to freshen up my company’s social media marketing.  Actually, my wonderful social media team at Epiphany Creative Services convinced me that I needed to up my game.  Upping my game meant adding a YouTube channel where I can post recordings of presentations and podcasts.

The YouTube channel now has a playlist of almost 50 recordings.  Most are about one minute long and primarily discuss human resources issues since that’s what my business handles.  But I also talk about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.  In one popular recording, I talk about the need for entrepreneurs to be passionate about their business.

I own a human resources consulting business. Am I passionate about HR? No.   

HR is about managing human interactions in the workplace.  People don’t outgrow their childhood social training and personality traits; they just get older.  The schoolyard bully grows up to be a bullying coworker or boss.  The conscientious kid who helped others becomes the indispensable worker bee needed on every committee or project but who rarely receives credit for what she or he does.  The slightly narcissistic kids in the popular clique self-promote themselves into promotions and awards where they can continue being condescending to the not-so-popular kids who are now coworkers.

A psychologist probably finds it fascinating because companies are lab experiments reflecting the prevailing social standards and group dynamics. But for the rest of us, HR veers from hilarious to maddening to tedious. 

What I’m passionate about is helping others and leveling up the playing field for equality of opportunity.  HR consulting is the means to that end.  My legal training and the years I spent working as an in-house lawyer gave me the expertise that I now use to help small companies.   

Frankly, none of my company’s clients could afford to have someone like me (or one of my team) on their payroll full-time.  That’s where leveling up comes in.  My consulting business allows small business owners to tap into that expertise without the overhead. It’s immensely satisfying when I can offer small businesses the same expertise that their larger competitors take for granted. 

Being an entrepreneur requires being passionate about your business.  For me, the passion is about the mission of my business, helping others and leveling the playing field.   If you’d like to check out the mini-podcast on this topic or one of the other recordings, follow this link to my YouTube channel:  https://bit.ly/3Eo14Xc.


About Norma Shirk

My company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, helps employers (with up to 50 employees) to create human resources policies and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to help small companies grow by creating the necessary back office administrative structure while avoiding the dead weight of a bureaucracy.  To read my musings on the wacky world of human resources, see the HR Compliance Jungle (www.hrcompliancejungle.com) which alternates on Wednesday mornings with my history blog, History By Norma, (available at http://www.normashirk.com). To read my musings on a variety of topics, see my posts on Her Savvy (www.hersavvy.com).

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DIY vs. Outsourcing

DIY vs. Outsourcing

Abigail and Bob started their business five years ago after being downsized from corporate jobs.  Until recently they were the only employees, working long hours and outsourcing specific tasks to free-lancers (a/k/a independent contractors).  Now they want to add employees to prepare for several new customers.  They believe replacing the free-lancers with employees will allow them to streamline processes, speed up response times and become more profitable.

Refugees from corporate America, Abigail and Bob want to avoid bogging down in bureaucracy, but they also know they need some administrative structure. They are smart, educated individuals, so they begin researching HR issues and employment laws. They quickly feel overwhelmed and confused.

As small business owners, they know how to change tack quickly when something isn’t working, so instead of becoming HR compliance experts, they take a phased approach.  First, they decide on their philosophical approach to employee and HR issues. They want their policies to have a positive spin, rewarding employees for initiative and good performances as opposed to punishing them for mistakes. Next, they identify all the tasks to be performed by each newly hired employee so that accurate job descriptions can be created.  It’s impossible to hire the “right” employee if no one knows what skill set that person should have.

With this initial phase completed, they are ready to move to the next phase which is to select an HR consultant to assist with implementation.  By hiring an HR consultant who is a subject matter expert, Abigail and Bob will get solid HR assistance while freeing their time to run their business.

These types of issues arise every day for small business owners who must weigh the pros and cons of DIY versus outsourcing.  Is your company growing? Are you making changes and facing this kind of decision?  For those who decide to outsource, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor helps small business owners like Abigail and Bob to create HR policies that are appropriate for their company’s size and then serves as a resource to their staff as the policies are implemented.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy. Visit Norma’s website: www.complianceriskadvisor.com/.

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