Nicole Martin: I’m the accidental entrepreneur

You’ll notice it instantly. Nicole Martin, Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of HRBoost®, loves what she does, and she does it remarkably well. “I’m the accidental entrepreneur,” said Nicole, “I looked back after starting my own business and said, ‘I started a business. Whoa!’” Nicole didn’t set out to create HRBoost®. She simply followed her passion to help clients understand the importance human resources can play in developing a strong business. Today Nicole is a successful entrepreneur and an HR industry innovator who is dedicated to helping small to mid-size business realize their potential through their employees.
A self-professed “country girl in disguise,” Nicole Martin grew up in Montana, where, she says, “Everyone knows you and greets you on the street.” Nicole was also lucky to have a great mentor early in life: her mom. “My mother is highly spiritual, and she raised me with the philosophy of being happy,” said Nicole. “She always believed in that you are a special person—she ingrained that in me—and you are capable of anything.”
At the age of 18 Nicole was ready to start proving her mom right. She left Montana and moved in with her godmother in Libertyville, Illinois. Right out of high school, Nicole got a job as a receptionist at a pre-Y2K firm where she found her passion quite by accident. “They were hiring all these computer experts from overseas, but when they arrived, the company just put them in the reception area because they didn’t know what to do with them,” recalled Nicole. “It was just inhumane.”
During the same time, Nicole was working on a training program for a college human resources class. “I wanted to help these guys out in the hallway, so I just marched into the director’s office and asked him if he wanted to see the training program I created for school.” When Nicole was finished with her presentation, the director created a human resources department for the site, hired a manager and moved 18-year-old Nicole from reception to human resources.

Nicole has been building HR departments from the ground up ever since. What makes her approach so unique, she says, is that she begins with the business’ vision and creates HR programs that are completely integrated with that vision. From the hiring process to annual reviews, the programs Nicole creates are designed to further the business, boost productivity, and help employees understand why and how their contributions are meaningful.

It is our Vision at HRBoost to bring JOY and PURPOSE to PEOPLE through their Work. It is how we serve our clients and the people that choose to join up on their visions. We live it at HRBoost and believe everyone deserves the same opportunity. In this competitive world there are a few organizations which provide the best Human Resources Management System in the marketplace, and HRBoost LLC is one of them. Emphasizing on the courage to pursue passion, the ability to bring out a change and redefining entrepreneurship, CIO Look brings to you the journey of an avid leader, Nicole Martin, the Founder and CEO of HRBoost LLC.

I try to lead by example and I also share for the benefit of all. I have published two books that really speak to women, though men have let me know they enjoy them equally as well. The Power of Joy and Purpose is my personal story and I share my 7 Presence Principles as I get asked nearly every day, how do I do it all so joyfully? I don’t do it alone. I also co-authored a book with John Tinghitella last year. We named it, NO FEAR Negotiation for Women, a book where we set forth a process that women can add to their list of abilities and for the greater benefit of our country. Men are about results and Women are about effort. We need both in business. With over 2.2 million women who have left the participating talent pool these past 12 months, everyone should be finding ways to support families more holistically. Flexibility and trust are critical to building a team of women. I know! My business happens to be all women, and many are in their child rearing years. Thankfully, I look back at how I built an intellectual playground for myself as a new mother back in 2010. Now my business serves many more who are like I once was and they too, deserve to do the work they have become skilled at and not stop earning just because they want to be mothers and/or grandmothers too.
Nicole is an internationally renowned speaker and an author. She is a dynamic and empowering consultative leader, and a futurist skilled in helping organizations to meet their strategic objectives. In recognition of her complete commitment to professional excellence as well as her community, Nicole has been honored by multiple organizations and most recently as a 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Champion, by Enterprising Women Magazine, a 2017 Excellence in Business Award winner, and a Mirror Review enlistee of, 20 Impeccable Women in Business recognition in 2017. As a highly regarded and sought after expert, her knowledge and advice have been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. Recent publications, in which she has been seen, include, the Daily Herald Business Ledger, and Fast Company. She is the author of the books, The Talent Emergency, The Human Side of Profitability, No Fear Negotiation for Women(August 2019), and The Power of Joy and Purpose. She is also the author of the chapter “Emotionally Speaking” in the book titled Leading from the Heart.

Well, it is very common to face a lot of challenges, criticism, hurdles, and failure in any business. However, every business organization should be very careful to listen to our clients, their experience, and ways we can better serve them. The flexibility and custom approach to how we work with clients has fueled our growth and success. The main challenge that HRBoost® has been faced was to be access to capital, both financial and human. After that, as the business grows, those challenges just increase in their scale.
I think the initial challenges of being a CEO are many. One is needing human capital and financial capital to scale and grow. Many will not grow because they are not investing in talent and often it is the CEO’s job to bear debt. I made a calculated risk to invest in my talent and invest in my bench strength. In the early years, I was reacting to my business and as a mother and wife it can be a challenge to orchestrate work life integration. I look back and realize that when I put down a process, hired capable talent, and disappeared to let them work, the process proved through; and now, we can do it again, and again, and again. You must trust the people you hire, and you must trust the process. When it is time to take a calculated risk, you invest and do what you can to increase the odds.

I feel it is imperative to get hands on experience doing what you seek to learn. Make sure it brings you joy before investing time, energy, and dedicating your life to it. Enjoy the journey and be prepared to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you, but also don’t patronize you. Remember, even if it gets harder, or takes longer, stay diligent. Anything you love will be worth it.
We serve businesses spanning over multiple sectors; these include Professional Services, Non-Profit Organizations, High Tech, Manufacturing, Staffing firms, Hospitality, and Healthcare. Our clients are typically from high growth business with 50-250 employees. Our model is to meet the clients wherever they are, thus we provide full-service embedded HR support, project to project support, culture design and management training, employee programs and assessments, virtual support, and phone support. I am honored to lead a high performance team of HR leaders who partners with our business clients to meet them wherever they are on their journey, to being a best place to work. We have experienced tremendous growth and proudly nearly every client has been sourced through word of mouth. Our appeal and success is due to our personal dedication for each and every client.

It is our Vision at HRBoost® to bring JOY and PURPOSE to PEOPLE through their Work. It is how we serve our clients and the people that choose to join up on their visions. We live it at HRBoost®