October 16, 2013

Interview with Anetra Henry-Hunting, Principal The Hunting Group

Work at Home Wednesday

Name: Anetra Henry-Hunting Company: The Hunting Group

Please tell us about your business:   I started The Hunting Group in 2010 after the company I worked for went bankrupt and closed abruptly.  I'd been searching for months for another job, interviewing, traveling for interviews only to be told I was overqualified, or needed a master's degree, or I was too ambitious--basically no.  I finally decided to tell myself yes and start my own business with the support and help of my husband, Nick. We offered management and marketing solutions and focused on small to medium sized businesses. I initially started doing contract work, requiring me to be on-site, but the nature of my clients have changed as I have shifted to more sponsorship clients versus operations management consulting which allows me to work fully from home.

My degree is in Marketing, however my experience is in operations management for the Salon, spa, and wellness industry. Part of my duties included influencing or making marketing decisions for the locations I managed--especially when it came to sponsorship/donation requests.  I've seen it all and that's why I decided to re-focus my business in this area.  It really bothers me to see entrepreneurs have amazing ideas for events, but because they are uneducated about the process, they get denied funding.  Also, it bothers me to see small and medium sized businesses miss out on the opportunity to create loyal clients because they, too, are uneducated about the benefits of sponsorship or what to ask for to make it a true win-win.

How long have you been working from home?   2 years

Do you work from home full time or part time?  Full time

How do you stay connected with colleagues in your field?   Social media is a major help-- Google +,Facebook, and LinkedIn groups help me stay connected to my contemporaries.  However, there is no substitute for that personal connection.  I Skype with one of my accountability partners several times per week and meet face to face with another colleague 2-3 times per month.

How do you deal with the isolating nature of working from home? Skyping with my accountability partner several times per week makes me feel like I'm still in an office somewhat.  I also keep a TV on in a different room for the voices.  It fills my "home quarters" up with the sounds of ideas and work!

How do you stay motivated without the accountability of a "time clock"?   Motivation based on a "time-clock" has never been an issue for me.  When I had a clock to punch, I was that person that had to stop myself because I was undervaluing my time.  I once calculated that I worked for $6/hour as a Regional Director because of the amount of time I was putting in. 

What are the biggest challenges you face when working from home?  The bouts of "ADD" type behavior.  I'm still a wife, a daughter, sister, friend, dog owner--and I am IN my house and everyone knows it.  It can be easy to get distracted by the list of "chores" that "someone" was supposed to do, but somehow, got left undone or those mid-day phone calls from a loved one who forgets that I'm not just "at home" but I WORK from home.

Do you work in your underwear?   Sometimes, if pajamas count as underwear, then yes.

What is the best part about working from home?   
The best part is to only have to turn "on" the parts of me that need to be "on".  When I worked in corporate, I had to look a certain way (get dressed, do my hair and make-up, and smile--especially in the spa, salon, and wellness industry) just to go somewhere to do what I do best all while being aware what my body language may be saying to a team member.  Working from home, I get to focus ALL my energy on the project at hand and not (always) worry about if my lipstick is still on or if my hair is out of place.

What is the one item that you find vital to have in your home office?  Lysol wipes.

What is the one piece of advice that you can give to those just starting out working from home?  I strongly recommend getting an "accountability partner"--someone who has permission to tell you when you when are moving in the wrong direction regarding your goals.  Mine gets on my nerves (LOL), but she keeps me on my toes and out of my comfort zone so I can continue to grow professionally and personally.

Continue the conversation... 
+The Hunting Group   +Anetra Henry Hunting   LinkedIn                                   

If you are an entrepreneur that works from home and would like to be highlighted in an interview, 
please submit your information here.

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