Meet Tiara N. Riley, the founder of Essential HR Connections.

With over 12 years of experience in the Human Resources field and a passion for serving small business owners, she decided to form EHRC to meet that need. Tiara has worked with small businesses, non-profits, and Fortune 500 corporations…so she has seen it all! She possesses a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech in Psychology and a Master’s Degree from UMGC in HR Management. Additionally, she is certified in Project Management, HR Management, HR Consulting, and is a SHRM Certified Professional.

All of these credentials combine to make her the right fit to serve your organization. She understands it can be costly to hire a full-time HR Professional, but she also understands it can be risky (and costly) to try to figure out this world on your own. With that in mind, she founded Essential HR Connections to ensure that small business owners could focus on the business…while we focus on their people (the real MVPs).

How does it feel to be a black woman during this time?
The best way I can describe being a Black Woman during this time is by using the title of my current read, “Black Girls Must Die Exhausted”!!!
Although Black Women are magic and phenomenal in every sense of the word, we are doing absolutely too much! I want us all to let go of the “Black Superwoman” troupe and get into the life of luxury we all deserve. It is not a badge of honor to be busy, exhausted, burned out, and we have to stop viewing it that way.
Rest is not a luxury it is a birthright. It’s not something you earn, it’s something you deserve simply for being a human. Take the break, turn off your phone, schedule your therapist, go on vacation, hire the housekeeper, get that massage…do whatever you need to do to be WHOLE. And do it consistently.

What does Women History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month means a chance for us to celebrate, honor, and appreciate all that women do to make society run! We often minimize the contributions women make to our everyday lives, meanwhile, women positively impact the lives of those around her every day. This month is a chance for us to celebrate the amazing Women in our history…and also appreciate the extraordinary women in our lives.

What prompted you to start your business or brand?
In my 12 years of Human Resources experience, I’ve noticed that there was a huge need for small business owners to invest in an HR Professional, but they don’t because the cost can be incredibly prohibitive. With my company, EHRC, I am able to serve small business owners and protect their most valuable asset (their team) at an affordable rate.
HR Consulting is the best of both worlds for a small business owner. It minimizes the legal risk/exposure, allows you to offload the tasks of managing a team, and allows you to grow strategically.

What has been your greatest achievement?
I’ve had a number of accomplishments over the years to include graduating high school at 16, being a talented athlete (competitive cheerleading), securing my Master’s Degree in HR, purchasing my first home, starting a business…so many things that I’m grateful for!
Also, the non-tangible achievements like surviving the grief of miscarriage, healing my emotional trauma, having healthy and genuine relationships, consistently practicing self-care, and finding balance while I strive to have “it all”.
But. My greatest achievement to date is the smile on my daughter’s face. Every time I see her laughing, smiling face…I’m reminded that her happiness is my greatest achievement. Hands down! It’s a reminder that I’m doing something right!

What advice would you give a new woman entrepreneur?
Set boundaries EARLY! The earlier in any relationship that you set boundaries, the easier it is to set.
All money isn’t good money, don’t accept all clients who approach you because not everyone is the RIGHT client.
Take time off to simply exist, you do not have to work 24/7 to be successful.
Price yourself appropriately, if you are unsure what industry standard is…do your research.