Janine Truitt took a huge leap of faith and left Corporate America after 10 years of dedicated service for various companies. She was tired of seeing the same problems over and over again at the firms she worked for and knew that she had to become the solution so she started Talent Think Innovations www.talentthinkinnovations.com
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Before going out on my own I was an HR practitioner across a variety of industries. As I moved through different companies over the course of ten years, there was a common theme of HR lacking the necessary business acumen to make the proper recommendations to their internal partners. I also noticed that there was a lack of empathy and concern for the employees. Lastly, I found myself being inspired by the overall innovation and creativity of the firms I worked for, but HR sadly lacked in these areas as well. My motivation for starting my business was knowing that I had the knowledge, skills, abilities and toolkit to do better than what I was seeing working in Corporate America.
Tell us about your business.
My business Talent Think Innovations, LLC came to life in January of 2013. I started it off as a HR and Talent Management Consulting Firm, but has transitioned to a Business Strategy Consulting Firm focusing on HR/Talent Management Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Executive Coaching , Technology Advisory, and Influencer Marketing for both SMB’s and Individuals. Talent Think Innovations works with both businesses and individuals to illuminate the opportunities that lie within the people behind an operation; while also integrating the use of smart strategy, technology and tools to facilitate the continual growth of the business. In addition, I am a speaker and I am the Co-Founder of The Work Like a Mother/Talent Think Innovations Personal Branding and Career Academy in Westport, Connecticut for mothers who are looking to re-skill themselves to re-enter the workforce.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first thing I did in my business was to register my LLC immediately. I joined the Chamber of Commerce in my area. I also ran some local ads to raise some local awareness of my business. Thereafter, I made sure to position myself at conferences and local events either as a speaker or as a participant so I could spread the word about the business via my networks. In the very beginning, I was going to 2-3 events per month to network and talk up my business. Additionally, I made sure to invest in an accounting system fairly early on to formalize by accounting process.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
The most effective way of raising awareness around my business has been via social media and word of mouth. Social Media has been tremendous with regard to building awareness and visibility for my business. It has also garnered me a ton of clients. Word of Mouth is still king as well. Clients that have worked with me have accounted for not only repeat business, but new business leads and referrals as well.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge has been unlearning everything I knew about life, purpose and my career pursuits. Spending years in the Corporate Arena lends itself to a certain set of rules, conditioning and mindset that doesn’t always translate well when you become a entrepreneur. When I went full-time in my business in 2014, I left with one check to my name and no clue how well my business was going to do. My family and I had to sacrifice a lot and reframe how we lived our lives.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I overcame these challenges through prayer, a lot of introspection, and meditation. Everything between 2013-2015 was calling me to transform myself so I could excel with this business and as such I did the work. It was hard, but it was worth it.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Meditation and drawing into my family and husband help me tremendously. I have also found that having other entrepreneur friends on speed dial help for days when I need to vent, scream or bounce ideas around.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I distinguished myself from my competitors when I decided to become an overall business strategy firm with HR/Talent Management as one of a few service offerings. There are tons of HR consulting firms around. My advantage is I can provide a holistic offering to businesses as they seek to either scale or startup their businesses. With Talent Think Innovations I look at branding, business forecasting, workforce planning, and a long-term relationship where I become their partner-in-business as they continue to grow. Many of my clients have become friends, we keep in touch, we meet for lunch and we are each better for working with one another. It’s a heart-centered business.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
A business partner of mine shared with me that it is okay to shift my priorities to create more balance in my life. Life is fluid and so should my business. She told me to tailor my business to suit the life I want and need to live.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is not just about coming up with a catchy name and starting a social media profile everywhere. It’s about relationships, failures, resets, pivots, and a lot of hard work that will end up framing some of the best times of your life. Enjoy the ride!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My favorite business tool is: Evernote. I do everything from draft blog posts, to curating information for my weekly live streaming show, Ask Czarina Live. It is a life-saver and very affordable.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
· Instagram @CzarinaofHR
· Twitter @CzarinaofHR
· Snapchat @CzarinaofHR
· LinkedIn: Janine N. Truitt
· Periscope www.periscope.tv/CzarinaofHR
· You Tube www.youtube.com/TheAristocracyofHR
· Blog www.thearistocracyofhr.com
· Hashtags #czarinaapproved #WAHM #workingmom #femaleceo #blackownedbusiness #entrepreneurs #bloggers #blackgirlswhoblog #blmgirls #browngirlswhoblog #caribbeangirlswhoblog #womeninbusiness #empoweringwomen
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Conscious Capitalism is one of the more memorable books I have read.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
The next few months have a lot of new endeavors in store. I am launching a global live-stream show with a colleague of mine in Scotland. I am relaunching a t-shirt line in conjunction with my husband. We are in the process of having the image for the t-shirt designed now. I am also relaunching my mentorship program Talent Think Social Circle this fall. To achieve anything I have on my plate requires me to practice a lot of self-care so I don’t burn out. Additionally, I have to physically write out my projects on my white boards in my office so I can see them. I am doing much more promotion through my networks and platforms than usual – with the determination that I will achieve my goals and milestones on all fronts.