Q&A 4Her – Dr. Garnett Newcombe, CEO of Human Potential Consultants
When Garnett Newcombe and Joyce Keener established Human Potential Consultants, a company that assists individuals classified as having extraordinary challenges with re-entering the workforce such as persons with disabilities, veterans, dislocated workers and the formerly incarcerated, their biggest obstacle was convincing government and nonprofit agencies that HPC’s goal was not to replace a service, but to be used as an alternative to their already existing services.
Today, HPC is established as an “alternative employment resource” for government and nonprofit agencies. The company is one of only a handful that provides a wide range of diverse employment solution services. This achievement and persistence confirms that HPC implements the highest standards for all its customers.
MyCity4Her got the chance to talk to Dr. Newcombe about her business and she shared her thoughts on success, what she’d do differently in business and more. Read the full interview below.
Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?
Yes. As young girl I always had an imagination. My parents taught me early in life that the ability to envision is a “possibility.” Moreover, imagination opens the door for inspired ideas and awakes me to unlimited possibilities. Reflecting back, I struggled with the structured 8 to 5 business environment; I always looked for the jobs that I could have control of my own outcomes i.e. flight attendant, professor and finally owning my own business. With that said, “Human Potential Consultants, LLC was built on the belief that everyone has potential we just sometimes require a little assistance with articulating how to achieve it.”
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?
HPC contracts with governmental agencies at the Federal, State and local level. It is so important to maintain diversity in how your business is funded; never depend on one source of funding. Several years ago, HPC had several State Contracts, when the economic downturn hit California; HPC was very top heavy with State contracts. The good news two or three prior, I applied for and received a number of certifications — minority-owned business, small business — that qualified HPC for Federal contract opportunities. What is significant here, HPC had never used the certifications to bring in work. We had to quickly diversify our business model by submitting quotes, bids, RFPs to the Federal and local governments. This approach stabilized the company.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
As a CEO, it’s important to trust your staff, that’s why you hired them. For me letting go and letting my staff do their job was a huge struggle. I was in my comfort zone when I was operating in the background and micro-managing my staff. Moreover it was much easier for me to hide behind my staff than getting out networking and letting people know what HPC does. However, facing these barriers head-on allowed me to transition from working in my business to working on my business.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
At this juncture in my life, I love sharing what I know. When my sister and I started HPC, resources were scarce; we had to make the best decision we knew how without the opportunity to run it by someone else who may have had the expertise in a particular area.
What if you knew then what you know now –would you do differently and why?
Life is a journey and I see owning my business the same way. It’s been an exciting journey of learning and sharing new things. I’m just as excited as I was when I first made the decision to start HPC.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
I spend time with the family, fishing, writing and vacationing.
How do you define success?
Success to me is being spiritually connected with God. Through him all things are possible. If the goals I set are in line with his guidance, accomplishing that goal is a success.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business –what would it be?
Accept the fact that you are a CEO or President of your Company. Once you do this, you will start thinking, feeling like a CEO. That is, it is no longer is about you as an individual; it’s about your customers, your employees, finances, business growth; sustaining and stabilizing your business so that it will be profitable. Moreover, a major mindset change has to occur once you accept that you are a “CEO.” It a Game changer; the dynamics of your way of thinking immediately change!