Meredith Shines the Spotlight on……. Sharon DeLay

Name: Sharon DeLay

Business Name: BoldlyGO Career and HR Management

Tell us about yourself. I love small businesses. I understand the challenges they face, the obstacles they encounter. I’ve been in small business the majority of my professional life. So, helping small businesses with the HR and daily operations needs they have makes perfect sense for my sensibilities. I call myself a “grass-roots” girl and I think that goes all the way back to my days in political communications. It was not unusual to be working for under-funded candidates and issues, so when something needed to be done, thinking creatively and strategically was a requirement. We did it because we had to, not because it was the watchword of the times. That thinking has never left me; so now when I’m faced with challenges with a client, I ask myself, “What would a grass-roots girl do?”

My official business bio is that BoldlyGO Career and HR Management provides operational and HR consulting for small businesses, including sourcing, hiring and developing their workforces. I have been in HR for 15+ years, primarily in employee relations, training and development, and strategic planning. I earned my Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation and maintain that with at least 60 hours of continuing education credit every three years. This year (2012) will be my 10th anniversary in business.  Additionally, last year I started a second business, Adjunct Solutions, that also keeps me busy!

Tell us three words that describe you: Responsible, honest, dog-patsy

Who are your mentors and why? This is always an interesting question to me because I learn from so many different people. I adore my NAWBO Roundtable. The women in that group share so much with me that helps me be better. I learn from my clients and authors of books that I read. There are not just one or two people, though. I think of every encounter and opportunity as a learning opportunity. There is a small group of women, though, that really influence me. They work very hard in their businesses, yet manage to also have the balance in their lives to explore and enjoy their non-work interests. I have never been good at the whole balance thing, yet I find that in this past year, I’m starting to crave it.

What’s next for your business? Good question! The danger of being entrepreneurial is that you’re constantly looking at opportunities to grow your business and, quite frankly, your personal revenue opportunities. The thing we consultants always tell everyone is to FOCUS, but we’re often the worst about listening to our own advice. I’m not different from any of this. I am constantly exploring how to put more stability and systems into my business (systems which will give me that stability). Referrals from others are starting to increase for me. I would love to introduce a partner into the business so we could expand our scope of operations. That has been something that’s been processing around in the back of my head.

Current business challenge: Probably like it is with everyone, it’s TIME, or lack thereof! If I could only find 12 more hours a day…My other challenge is that I need to be better about asking for the sale. I take a very “soft” approach that often translates into simply not asking someone for their business. I hear that is a “woman thing,” but it certainly isn’t good for business!

What are your thoughts on how you view your competition?  Funny you should ask this question. I was just talking to some people the other day about networking with competition. I believe there is enough business for everyone, so being territorial is unnecessary (and unproductive). I actually enjoy meeting other people who are doing what I am doing. We all have a slightly different focus. We all have different skills sets. By understanding what other people do, then I can confidently refer to other experts. It all comes back to me eventually.

How do you live your brand?  I am authentic, honest, and I work hard for the money I earn and people pay for me. I believe in partnering with people. Eventually, their need for me will go away, either because I have taught them well, or they have grown and need more than I can give them (such as a FT person). If I help a small business reach either of these outcomes, I’m thrilled.

Favorite way to build buzz, create celebrity and change the world: I’m a big fan of using social media, especially LinkedIn. I even teach classes on it!

Best business decision:  To ask others for help. To outsource what I hate doing. To realize I’m not in this alone.

Hardest lesson learned: To ask others for help. To outsource what I hate doing. To realize I’m not in this alone.

Guilty pleasure: Words with Friends

Favorite hobby: I don’t have a hobby. I need a hobby, but I’m just not artsy/craftsy. If I made dogs my hobby, I would just need to chuck it all, get a kennel license and be done with it.

Favorite book or movie – I love anything Nora Ephron. Jen Lancaster is my favorite “current” author. I’m loyal to Shakespeare and his key messages about humanity. The movie that sticks with me most is Shawshank Redemption. I also really liked Seven Pounds with Will Smith, and The Mist (based on a Stephen King book), which coincidentally is also directed by the same person who directed Shawshank. I love morality tales, and all of these movies and Shakespeare, at least, are all about morality tales.

Pet peeve: I have a few, but of course you should expect this out of me. First, I hate people who have complaints, but never solutions. Complaining is okay, and sometimes needed, but if you can’t also provide a solution, then you’re just a pain in my backside. Second, I can’t stand when people assume rather than ask. I am a big believer that whatever challenge, barrier or problem we’re currently encountering is not something someone else has not already encountered and solved. We just need to do our due diligence and ASK. If the issue is new, then we need to turn the solution into something that generates revenue. Then we all win. And I don’t like entitlement. I worked hard and paid my way through for everything I have. I don’t have much tolerance for people who don’t have the same work ethic.

For lunch today: I have not eaten lunch yet. I’m still trying to get myself on the treadmill.

Slow or Fast: FAST!!!! (My one friend calls me the Falcon because of the pace at which I move.)

Dog or Cat? Dog, of course.

Where Can We Find Out More About You?

© 2012 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing

Meredith Liepelt is a Brand Strategist specializing in creating visibility for experts. For branding and marketing insights, challenges and inspiration, visit

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.


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