- Emily Kern
Small Business Spotlight: Erika Butler (HIHR)
This month's spotlight is a special one. Erika Butler, SHRM-SCP, is a talented HR leader and the CEO of Higher International Human Resources. We've had the pleasure of working with Erika, and her growing team, since she founded it last January. There's a lot we can learn from her career journey - so let's dive in!
1) Erika, your professional career is so impressive! Tell us about your work experiences up to this point.
Thank you, Emily! I have been fortunate to have the combination of leading large teams over 100+ people (with department leaders reporting to me) and supporting multiple Corporate Executives as an HR leader. I feel this combination has uniquely positioned me to lead an HR company with a team that knows what HR support business leaders need. I have really enjoyed my 10+ years in Corporate America and feel I have learned how to drive positive change and results for an organization and learned how to build effective teams.
2) With a resume as robust as yours, what led you to leave "Corporate America" and start your own Human Resources company?
For me it all came down to my children. I truly loved working in Corporate America. I worked with incredibly talented leaders, received wonderful training, got to experience travel and work in different countries, had amazing mentorship and the list goes on. It was hard to leave. However, we found with both Father and Mother working in fortunate 500 companies, it was difficult to make sure our children had the love, support and quality time we strongly desired to give them. One of us was going to have to make a shift and it ended up being me. Having your own company gives you the ability to make your own schedule, be your own boss, ensure you are there for all of the important things in your children’s lives - and it has worked very well for the season we are in with young children.
As our children grow, this may look different - but for now it is a wonderful option for our family. My hope and prayer is that we are creating great opportunities for our children and going forward they can learn life skills, have projects and jobs within the organization we have built….and learn that with faith, passion and some hard work anything is possible! In all we do, our marriage and kids come first. It
takes some schedule juggling and supportive family …but we are committed to making it work!
3) What have you most enjoyed about being the CEO of Higher International Human Resources?
I love watching our team succeed. We have received very positive comments from our clients and several of our team members have already become instrumental parts of the businesses they support. I love seeing others in our organization thrive and have a path forward doing something they are passionate about and being treated with respect, support and encouragement!
4) In your first year of business, you experienced a lot of successes and consulted with well-known companies. How were you able to achieve success so quickly?
I didn’t realize this at the time, but this business was being built over the last decade through deep trusting business relationships, contacts and friendship (i.e. network). Once some of the individuals in my network learned of the services we can provide, we received wonderful referrals and projects based on the trust and results myself and our team members were able to deliver in the past. If you bring credibility, results, trust and a strong relationship to the table, I really believe good things will come…and it is very exciting to watch the results!
5) What advice would you give to someone who is in a miserable 9-5 job but is afraid to go out on their own?
I would first recommend that they look for another job that they will enjoy while they financially set themselves up to launch their own company (if that is what they desire). I would also let them know that it is very possible and if this is something that is on their heart they need to go for it. If they manage their budget and time well, they can be extremely successful in running a business. Getting a mentor that has been there before and doing your research/homework is critical to getting sound advice and a great path forward.
6) Anything else you'd like to add?
I want to share that making this shift can be scary and exciting, putting yourself out there. One of my favorite motto's is, "Don’t wait…do it scared,” that I learned from following the Dave Ramsey and Christy Wright Business Boutique movement. Just because you have fear about a new initiative, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. The Bible is full of examples of God calling the ill-equipped and the scared. If you are being called to something – go for it and take the baby steps to move forward! I also think it is extremely important to make time for your spiritual, mental and physical health. If you come out of a healthy place you can achieve much more, make better decisions and prioritize correctly. If you have a vision, a dream, a goal…you will not regret giving it a try and living the life of purpose you were designed for!
Wow! There's so much to learn from Erika and her journey.
In what area of your life do you need to adopt Erika's motto to "do it scared?" What are you called to do that you need to step into? Maybe it's starting a business. Maybe it's thinking about the long-term impact your career is having on your family. Maybe it's finding a mentor so you can begin your entrepreneurial journey. Maybe it's talking with HR support to make sure your employees are set up for success.
If you need HR support, you're in luck. Erika has the best team out there! Review their services at GoHIHR.com, or contact us for more information.