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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
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helps you in your leadership.



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7 Questions with Nicole Martin
7 Questions with Nicole Martin

Name: Nicole Martin

Current title: Chief Empowerment Officer

Current organisation: HRBoost LLC

Nicole Martin is Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of HRBoost, LLC, a HR Shared Services consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. In recognition of her professional excellence as well as her community, Nicole has been honored by multiple organizations including most recently as one of Mirror Review’s 10 Game Changing Women in 2019. Awardee for Business Excellence by the Chicago Daily Herald, and a 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Champion by Enterprising Women Magazine. A sought-after expert, her knowledge and advice have been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. In addition, Nicole is the host online of HR in the Fast Lane and contributing writer for the Chicago Business Journal. Nicole has authored, International Literary Award and Amazon Best Seller, The Talent Emergency, the accompanying Talent Emergency Guidebook, The Human Side of Profitability, The Power of Joy & Purpose, and her newly released co-authored book No Fear Negotiation for Women. She will be the opening Keynote for the Women’s Health and Empowerment Conference in Paris in June 2021 for her book, The Power of Joy and Purpose. Nicole serves on a number of Boards dedicated to Human Capital, Culture and HR Excellence of which include Best & Brightest® Companies to Work For, Social Service in the community and Women in Business. To learn more about Nicole, go to or

7 Questions with Nicole Martin

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?

I would say the biggest challenge I faced in being an entrepreneur is to overcome fear. Thankfully I have overcome this but it took self reflection, preparation and practice. In fact, it is a daily intention I live.

2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I have always done the work I love. I feel HR is a workplace ministry and I am a proud American so I commit my knowledge and experience to the small and medium workplaces in our country. Strategic HR day one, employee one. I found a niche in the marketplace and the more I learned about HR Outsourcing the more passionate I became about what was being sold as HR that was in fact NOT HR as I knew it. It was my first client that helped me see I was a business rather than a consultant and the rest is history.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I have a very structured schedule that begins with serving my family and health first. Like on airplanes, I believe I must provide oxygen to myself in order to best serve those that entrust their graces to me in business. Mondays and Wednesdays are "work on it" days and no face to face. They are days I exercise with my trainer and pick up my kids from school. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday days are "work in it" days. Days I am in the field, networking and showing up for paid engagements. I don't work weekends.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

As the visionary in my business I must stay positive and forward looking. To do this, I stay in the present and live "presence" Whatever I am doing in the moment NOW I show up with heart, mind and being. Every moment I must show up with presence or its lost energy and effect.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Leadership is personal and should be shared for the benefit of others. Long ago I read a book called Wisdom Bowls and it helped me realize I wasn't visualizing the Divine invitation to my authentic self. I healed experientially and shared for the benefit of all how I came to my authentic self in my self published book, The Power of Joy and Purpose. I believe we all have God given gifts and how we choose to live them to the benefit of others is all that matters.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?

I empower others.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?

At the end of completing work for my first retainer client the client commended me. "Nicole, I like your business! What would I get if I invested $100K?" It took me a year to look in the mirror and do the hard work to see who he saw. It was life changing.

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