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Consultant / Small Business Owner Finds Sanity

As an executive coach, Chris Posti tells her clients that when it comes to professional growth and development, they are either spiraling up or spiraling down.  You can’t be static because everyone else around you will be growing, and compared to them, you will actually be in a slow downward spiral.

chris-postiWhen Chris started her Human Resources Consulting business in 1992, her goal was to grow her business: first to be successful in Pittsburgh, and then to replicate the business in other cities as either an extension of the business or as a franchise. By 1997 Posti & Associates, Inc. had 20 employees in Pittsburgh and things appeared to be on track.  There was one little problem – Chris was not happy or fulfilled.   Instead of doing the work she loved, she was managing people and managing a growing business. Chris had a light bulb moment when she realized that she was spiraling down!

Over the course of the next couple of years, Chris gradually shed all of her employees, using only some subcontractors as needed. At the same time, she scaled back on the services she provided to include only those she is truly passionate about: executive coaching, outplacement, and limited human resources consulting.

Since then, Chris tells me that her income has varied, but she has had better years than ever.  And she’s happy!

Chris notes that one of the things that enabled her to successfully make the transition was having a great website that reflected her firm’s capabilities.  In fact, just 2 years ago, Chris got her biggest client to date through her website.  Moreover, that relationship is so good that this client has given a compelling testimonial which she has added to her website.  Powerful testimonials reinforce her credibility to anyone who views her website, and Chris’ site has dozens of them. (Incidentally, if you don’t have testimonials, I recommend you consider adding them.)

Chris’s story makes me think of something that another client (and my unofficial business mentor) told me.  I liked it so much I have it written on the whiteboard in my office and I look at it every day: “Volume is vanity. Profits are sanity.” Often we start a business with the goal of growth, and feel we will be successful when we reach a specific threshold: have 10 employees, or a million dollars of sales a year, etc. But instead, we feel stressed and unhappy.  Like Chris, we sometimes need to step back and think, “Why did I want this in the first place?”

Please feel free to learn more about Chris Posti by visiting her website at Check out her awesome testimonials, too.  Chris also writes a “careers” column for the PittsburghTribune-Review, and you can read her columns here:




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