January 2022 Member Spotlight

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January 2022 Member Spotlight

Antisha D. Walley is an NASE member from Kyle, Texas and is the President of Make the Change, LLC. Make the Change is a woman owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and minority owned human resources consultancy. Their services include professional development training and consulting on full cycle recruiting, compensation strategy, and employee relations.

When and why did you join the NASE?
I joined the NASE in March of 2021 to learn from the knowledge and experiences of other entrepreneurs and to reap the benefits NASE offers like grant opportunities and free publicity for my business.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
While in the Air Force as a meteorologist, I noticed that, as additional duties separate from my primary responsibilities, I enjoyed helping create flexible schedules, writing standard operating procedures, and identifying inconsistencies in training documents. Later I realized these were all human resources related tasks, so I began the pursuit of a business degree which led to me earning a Master’s in Business with concentration in human resources.

When and why did you start your business?
With each HR role I have held from Employee Relations Advisor to Human Resources Director, I found it challenging but rewarding. I also found that when working for businesses, as an HR representative you often are forced to move forward with decisions you don’t agree with. I knew that as a consultant I would be making the decisions for my own business and providing recommendations to other businesses, but I would not be forced to make decisions I did not agree with. That inspired me to open my own Human Resources consultancy in January of 2020.

How do you market your business?
I have a website, Facebook and Instagram business pages, and I use LinkedIn regularly to share my professional knowledge and values, often promoting Make the Change (MTC) as well.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
My biggest challenge has been increasing clients and securing funding for MTC. As a federal contractor, competition is fierce, so I teamed up with a company who has 20 years of acquisitions experience and they have not only mentored me, but helped me become a subcontractor on a lucrative contract. I have applied for grants to secure funding and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign that had two donors the same day. I can’t say that I have completely overcome the challenges but I am definitely working through them.

Do you have any employees?
I currently employ 1 part time employee who started as an intern a few months ago and 1 Proposal and Grant Writing Consultant. Working with an intern and being someone who myself spent years trying to secure employment has inspired me to launch an HR training and employment center. The focus of the employment center is to aid those who have been unable to secure employment in the Human Resources field because they don’t have direct HR experience. I hope to add additional consultants and trainers to mentor and train the next generation of HR professionals who are currently struggling to find the right fit. My goal is to hire, train, and develop 4 HR career hopefuls by 2023, and as many as I can in upcoming years to do the tremendous HR work that is so greatly needed worldwide.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
Like most entrepreneurs and business owners, my workdays vary quite a bit. About 40 percent of my day is working on the subcontract I am responsible for, with 20 percent being spent working on tasks for another client, and the remaining time spent on business development for MTC and networking with people interested in my HR training and employment center. I rarely ever work less than 10 hours per day and often work 20 hours or more on the weekends.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self employed is the freedom I have to attend all of my daughter’s and God son’s athletic events and being able to travel home to be with my family in Mississippi as often as I desire.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliment I ever received was at a time when people didn’t really trust human resources, that “my honesty and transparency combined with my field knowledge, tactfulness, and commitment to equality in the workplace is a game changer for businesses, employees, and the perception of HR.” That compliment came from an employee after I had to discipline them. That’s why my LinkedIn profile reads “Antisha Walley, Human Resources Game Changer.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
Show up, speak up and stand out. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Show up to the conferences and webinars for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups. Speak up when you have questions or when you have useful knowledge or resources to share. Stand out using differentiation and/or innovation in your product or service, and by offering creative solutions to your customers’ problems. All of these things help build your network which is critical to an entrepreneur’s success.

Any other information you would like to share?
There are many ways to become successful as an entrepreneur but remember to define success for yourself and don’t let someone else define it for you. I have found I am much happier reaching goals I’ve set for myself instead of those set by someone else.

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