Una Hartzell-Baird is a solid, dependable writer whose experience, sense of humor, and curiosity set her apart. She loves to use her skills to help her clients’ work shine. We asked her a few questions about her consulting journey and why having a solid network is key.
PbPI: What made you decide to become an independent workforce consultant?
Una: I think I’ve always been on the path to independence. Becoming a consultant and working as a writer became a reality after I realized that I’d not only learned all of the skills I needed to do the work well, I’d also learned all of the skills I needed to run a business well.
As a homeschooling parent, I’m already keen on breaking traditional expectations. I like to use processes as a means of freeing my time for creativity and deep work, but in my own ways.
PbPI: What do you love about what you do?
Una: I LOVE to use my skills to help people’s work shine. Most of the time I’m ghostwriting so it’s rare that I receive credit for my work. But it doesn’t matter the way you might expect! Seeing a blog, article, sales deck, or “about” page come to life with my writing and editing is an incredible feeling.
PbPI: What sets you apart from others who do work like yours?
Una: I like to think that I’m pretty similar to many professional copywriters – a solid writer who is dependable. My experience in small business, leadership, translation, and sales gives me a boost when working with businesses. Though my sense of humor and curiosity set me apart further. My family rolls their eyes at my humor sometimes, so I remind them that it pays the bills!
PbPI: Who are your ideal clients, and why?
Una: If you have a project that requires writing and that overwhelms you and frustrates you because it could already be done – then you’re my ideal client.
People who either hate to write but have to, love to write but have too much to do, or already wrote something but are sick of seeing it even though it needs more work (social media posts, an update, a one-pager, etc.) – these are my ideal clients.
Why? I like being a problem solver and I LIVE for that sigh of relief clients breathe when we work together.
So if you have a writing dumpster fire on your hands, let’s talk.
PbPI: Why is having a solid network of other people professionals important to you?
Una: A solid network of other people professionals is important to me because PEOPLE are important to me. We have so much capacity for incredible things in our one wonderful life and it all crumbles if people don’t have what they need. People professionals are at the heart of some of the most critical work we do as humans – DEI, pay disparity, mental health, and so much more.
PbPI: What makes you feel Powered Up?
Una: My top Powered Up go-tos are learning about what people ahead of me professionally are up to and an amped up music playlist.
PbPI: How do you manage your time as a busy people professional?
Una: Time management is all about who you are and what works for you. I like schedules, predictability, and routine. For me, this means I plan a week in advance, hold space for meetings on specific days (with deep work time scheduled on other days), and frontload my work for times when I know my energy and focus are high. I also aim for 70% capacity so I have time to be a problem solver and lifesaver when the unexpected comes up for clients.
PbPI: How do you avoid stress and burnout?
Una: Avoiding stress and burnout for me means doing less of everything for others and more for myself. It’s taken a while to reach a point where I can recognize I’m pushing too hard and adjust, but it’s been a more sustainable practice. Taking more time for the things that bring me joy helps me be dependable, creative, and capable of taking on the unexpected.
PbPI: What are some of your goals for the future?
Una: I would LOVE to teach. It’s what I wanted to be growing up and as a homeschooling parent I’ve only confirmed how much I love it. In fact, I’m slowly collecting ideas and topics around writing for the non-writer to develop courses to take the overwhelm out of writing for those of us who hate it but still have to do it.
PbPI: What advice do you have for others who are considering becoming workforce consultants?
Una: Raise your hand. Put your name in the hat. Ask for what you want and need. Take risks. Starting out is a great time to make all the mistakes and try on different hats as you find your path. Few established businesses have that kind of luxury and that’s a huge plus when you launch something new.
Let people tell you “no” but don’t assume it on their behalf. A dear friend once told me about reaching out to potential clients, “Go for the business because they can’t work with you any less than they already do!” That’s solid advice.
Una Hartzell-Baird is the Owner of Split-Second Consulting. Copywriting, business writing, editing, and mentoring writers are Una’s happy places. She excels at capturing tone and voice in engaging copy, whether it’s a marketing launch or communicating unpopular news to clients and employees. Learn more about Split-Second Consulting at splitsecondcopy.com.