Are you a female entrepreneur looking to overcome the challenges of running a business and thrive in the entrepreneurial world? Or maybe you’re a small business owner seeking to improve your HR infrastructure and set yourself up for success. Either way, you won’t want to miss this exclusive interview with Jame Geathers, a successful HR consultant and mentor who has been there and done that.
Jame shares her inspiring journey from being a “company woman” to becoming an accidental entrepreneur, the experiences and challenges she faced as a female business owner, and valuable advice on how to overcome obstacles and achieve success. She also provides insights on building and supporting effective HR infrastructures for small businesses, the importance of mentorship and sponsorship for women in business, and common mistakes to avoid in HR management.
Learn from a seasoned entrepreneur and advocate for women’s empowerment – don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your business to the next level.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur, and how did you get started in the HR consulting and mentoring space?
I often refer to myself as “the accidental entrepreneur” I never intended to go into business for myself. I was always a company woman. The turning point for me was in 2014 I was working 60-hour weeks and often bringing my daughter to the office on weekends. That combined with seeing what I loved (HR) being used as a weapon, I was over it. When I notified my employer that I was starting my own business, he mocked me and called my bluff. I resigned and started my business the next day. Nothing inspires me like being told I can’t do something.
As a female entrepreneur, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?
As a female entrepreneur, the challenges I’ve faced have included the normal challenges – funding, building a client list and getting exposure. That said, one of the challenges that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t speak about enough is imposter syndrome. Regardless of how much knowledge and experience you bring to the table, it’s easy to struggle with believing you can and will achieve your goals. What helps me to overcome this is making time each day to be mindful of all that I’ve accomplished, being grateful for my God-given purpose and my belief the He has given me what I need to win.
Can you talk about your experience in building and supporting HR infrastructures for small business owners and the impact it has had on their success?
Since starting my business in 2014, my company has empowered small business owners to employ legally and ethically. Traditionally small business owners either have an administrative assistant/office manager handling the human resources or they handle it themselves due to a lack of knowledge around the complexity of HR or lack of funding. The challenge with this is that it usually results in someone with a lack of experience making decisions that can greatly impact the business. My company offers affordable HR solutions that will set them up for success.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing women entrepreneurs today, and what advice would you give to someone starting in the field?
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. When deciding to go into business make sure you are okay with uncertainty and a lack of stability. Make sure you do your research, always continue learning and remain flexible. One of the most valuable traits of successful entrepreneurs is our ability to pivot as needed.
How do you balance your professional and personal responsibilities, and what strategies have you found helpful?
This is an unpopular opinion but I don’t believe in work-life balance. I believe we have one life and our work is only a part of that life. As I have gotten older, I have grown to recognize my priorities and the value of my time and have learned to schedule my clients, community obligations and personal obligations accordingly. We all have the same 24 hours in our day and must take back our power in determining how we spend those hours.
You are involved in several community organizations. How do you see your work and leadership impacting the community, particularly in supporting women?
I am completely unapologetic about my commitment to supporting women to be empowered to fulfill their potential. As a female entrepreneur, I believe that we have a responsibility to mentor, sponsor and empower other women on their journeys. As I move along my journey I serve with and fundraise for several organizations that empower all women. Additionally, I recently founded BIPOC Mentors, an organization that is focused on providing mentoring for BIPOC women by BIPOC women.
How important is mentorship to women in business, and what role does it play in career advancement?
Mentoring is extremely important. Having a more experienced professional to guide you on your journey is an invaluable resource that too many women do not have. Oftentimes female professionals are overlooked for career advancement because they are not in the room when the opportunities are decided much less at the table. While mentoring is valuable, having a mentor will not solve this issue. This is where sponsoring comes in. Having a sponsor that has a seat at the table can ensure that women are not only mentioned in the critical conversations but that a space is made for them at the table.
What are some of the common mistakes you see small business owners make in regards to HR and how can they avoid them?
The three biggest mistakes I see small business owners make are failing to have an employee handbook customized to support the culture they want in their business, failing to document appropriately and hiring the wrong people. If the business owner chooses to use generic policies or worse, forgoes having policies altogether, they run the risk of relinquishing control of their company culture to their employees. This creates confusion about expectations and leadership among the team. The next mistake is failing to document. This can apply to several areas of their business but I’m specifically referring to it as it relates to their team. Documenting expectations via policies and thorough position descriptions ensures that you are clearly communicating with your employees. Additionally, documenting disciplinary incidents and actions is a must. Even if the situation only warrants a conversation, it is a must that you document that it occurred. This ensures that you are consistent in your practices and in the event of a termination or lawsuit you can provide the necessary documentation to protect your business.
What are your plans for the future, and how do you envision your work supporting and empowering women and small business owners in the years to come?
My plans for the future include continuing to advocate for women and small businesses through mentoring, volunteering and becoming more involved in the legislative process. I might even run for office one day – we’ll see.
Discover how Jame Geathers can help you take your business to the next level by visiting
- Website: https://smallbusinesshrservices.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jame.geathers/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamegeathers/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jame.geathers.7
or contacting her directly at (770) 765-3065 or mailing to PO Box 1034, Marietta, Georgia 30061