Women’s History Month seemed like the perfect time to interview the founder of Morgan Consulting Resources, Paula Morgan – a dynamic entrepreneur who paved the way for the company’s success and built a legacy that will live on for generations.
Q: What do you feel were some key factors that led to the success of MCR through the years?
Paula: Equity was an important piece of it, and the fact that people would be treated fairly, and team members that came into the company and were producers could gain stock options.
The other thing we were intentional about was building a different compensation structure into our search firm. Having worked both sides, I felt compensation should be more equitable to recruiters as that side takes so much more work than the sales side. We used a financial planner to put together a comprehensive retirement plan -- that is still the biggest contribution to my own retirement.
The other part that I tried to live by was that although I was the president and the ‘boss’ for a long time, I did not need to act like a boss. We all worked together collaboratively. Lisa Coyne was our third administrator and now she’s running the company and that makes me so happy! She grew so much in her skills and has accomplished so much for MCR.
Q: What have been Morgan's differentiators over their competitors?
Paula: Customer service has always been a key part of our vision at MCR, and to respect everyone we encounter; we treat our candidates as well as we treat our clients. We take the time to truly get to know our candidates to determine if the prospective role is the right fit for them and the clients. You need to really know both sides, the candidate and the employer, to thoroughly to make it work for both parties.
That is part of MCR’s DNA.
Q: What has been the most satisfying aspect of having a company in the healthcare executive recruiting field?
Paula: To see how this incredible team has continued to press forward…making the Forbes Magazine list for Best Recruitment firms, for example, as well as continuing to make the Modern Healthcare List, year after year, is incredible. I am so proud of the entire team and to know I left the company in good shape - which was very intentional. The team allowed me to slow down; the whole plan was to wind down slowly and graciously, and let the new leaders do their thing. It went so well! I loved doing executive search and if you can do the work that you are passionate about, you will do it well and probably be successful.
I was always a matchmaker at heart.
Q: What are you most proud of that you/the company achieved during your tenure?
Paula: It has been rewarding to build something that was so good that everyone who came into this company succeeded beautifully. I have always been in a leadership role, and sometimes it is hard to stepout of that. To see all that we have accomplished and are continuing to do just fills me up; trust is a big part of what has made MCR work.
Q: As it is Women's History Month, what advice would you give to others who aspire to start a company, like you did?
Paula: You start by asking yourself some critical questions… like, what is motivating this decision? Update your resume and examine your strengths: are you a math/business process whiz? Do you have good sales and negotiating skills? What are your five-year goals? What work has given you the most satisfaction? Do you love working with teams, or are you more of a loner?
Unless you are independently wealthy, budget will be a key factor in any startup. Examine your financial situation and determine what you need to cover your business startup and personal expenses until your company is self-sustaining. Do not overestimate income in the first few months. Make sure to budget conservatively.
Also – consider what will you do about taxes, insurance, and retirement. Getting good advice from a financial planner can help in these areas and assist you in determining the right corporate structure for your company. Having a good CPA, Attorney and Financial Planner you can trust will help you get off to the right start.
Finally, I highly recommend having a partner that you trust implicitly. Going it alone can be tough. Being solely responsible is a 24/7 proposition and may consume you. That old saying “two heads are better than one” is almost always correct—as none of us are infallible and mistakes are costly. Brainstorming the structure of a company made a lot of sense when three of us sat down with a strategic planner for two days; it made all the difference in the outcome.
Finally, work/life balance is important to long term survival for you and the company.