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This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Angela Nuttle, a corporate trainer. She is a 20+ year Corporate America Leader turned Entrepreneur CEO and has been in a home office for 18 months with fantastic success! She works directly with Fortune 1000 CEOS, business leaders, and HR teams to discover and develop their key talent for profitable business environments. She also works directly with business people teaching them how to show up with executive presence so they can be successful in today’s business world. As a result of her rapid success with clients, she had to hire a virtual team to share in the joy.
How did you get started working from home?
I had a very successful career in fortune 500 companies as an executive leader. I was moving around for my company and helping them to become successful by building people strategies, leadership development and talent programs. I loved the work, but really wanted to hone in specifically on talent development. At that time, my mother was terminally ill and needed help being cared for. My husband and I made a decision to move near my mother in the Midwest. I took a director role with Roche for a couple of years, and my mother went into remission. We decided that we were going to stay and begin the consulting firm.
How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I already knew that there was a market for the unique skill set I possessed, and I was being consistently rewarded for it. Before I left Corporate America, I already had some contracts in the works from a few months of networking and relationship building. I went with what I am passionate about!
How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I actually started visualizing my business by building a website on wix.com. I’m a visual person so that process was very helpful and forced me to really think about the services I wanted offer. I got going on the basics: creating a name, getting the EIN number, getting the tax and bank information set up. I also established a set period of time that I would take in feedback and ideas from those I trusted. Once that time period was up, I went to work creating the vision, and I didn’t ask for feedback anymore. I was given a great book by my mentor, Kris Taylor with Evergreen Leadership, and the book is called The Business of Consulting. I used it to set up some agreements, proposal templates, and things that I would need as the business grew. I CONSISTENTLY met with people for coffee before I was even ready to go out on my own. Relationship building early on is critical. I also did a lot of praying because I was jumping off the cliff of a high paying corporate career to owning my own business!
How did you get your first client or customer or job?
My first client was in partnership with my mentor. We had submitted a couple of proposals together and landed a project with Caterpillar. After that, the relationship building started paying off. I did land a major client as a result of looking at one of my group postings on LinkedIn and responding to a need for an interim HR leader who could also build a leadership development program. That project has turned into a longer term engagement with very exciting work.
How do you market your business?
People say that I am a marketing guru, but I really go by instinct. I continue to build relationships the old fashioned way of meeting and talking, but I also use Infusion Soft marketing software, heavy social media, trade shows, and speaking engagements. I am 18 months in, and now people are calling me instead of me having to call upon them.
What does your usual day look like?
The days are different. Some days I get up, have some quiet time, then work in my home office after I get my daughter to school (which is a great benefit of working for yourself). The day involves calls, development work for clients, strategy. I have a big whiteboard that helps me keep my priorities straight. Some days I am headed to be with a client onsite or flying on a plane for a speaking engagement or program delivery. It’s far from the ordinary humdrum of sitting in meetings all day long.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I would have known how wonderful this would be! Also, being more selective on the types of contracts I took. I was known as a jack of all trades in HR and Organizational Development, so I said yes to everything initially, and some of the work drained my energy. There are one or two contracts that I probably would have passed on to someone else had I known.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
a. Do what you feel passionately about- you will have much more energy and success when you believe in your own “mission”.
b. Hire for expertise. I realized that I was approaching the hiring process like I was still in corporate. I found myself paying someone to develop them and creating more work for myself.
c. Don’t spend a ton of money on trade shows and heavy advertising. Social media and relationships still work for service type work. Find places where you can speak on your expertise.
d. Discipline yourself to spend time with the family. You will find yourself working harder than you imagined, and your family is your respite.