Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. Mom, wife, entrepreneur – these are all things that describe who I am. My name is Anessa Fike, and when I think about myself in the truest form, I am part creative, part extrovert, and part matchmaker – but not in the way you might think. I’m a former journalist that fell into Human Resources – and I’ve always loved learning about people’s stories. Instead of writing about them, now I use those stories to help people find their calling in their work. I match great talent with best places to work. Anyone who knows me may also describe me as fiercely loyal and a major feminist – I believe wholeheartedly in women owning their own power and empowering others – which doesn’t mean we always believe 100% in ourselves but that we help lift each other up to be the amazing beings we can be.
Q. What is your work?
A. I’m the founder and Chief People Officer of AF Recruiting LLC. AF Recruiting LLC is a boutique People Operations and Talent Acquisition firm that specializes in helping startups and small businesses grow while keeping culture and employee happiness at the front of center of the company.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. AF Recruiting LLC is re-branding to Fike + Co with the amazing work of Brandboss Creative – shoutout to another amazing #ladyboss, Jordan Lacenski. We’ve been working on the People Operations and HR side of small businesses for years now, and the name better reflects the breadth of what we do.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. In August, I hired my first full-time employee to join me in AF Recruiting. It is scary to make that leap, but it was the right time. I had been solopreneuring it for 5 years, and I had had to say no to clients for more than a year now because I didn’t have the bandwidth to take them on. Now, AF Recruiting turned Fike + Co can help more companies grow, and more people find their dream jobs.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I love working with people. I’m an extrovert, so I get my energy from people. People Operations and knowing how to shape a company to be one of the best places to work is something that I have an intuition about, and it’s something that can’t be taught. The same goes for recruiting. You may be great at sourcing candidates, but knowing if a candidate is going to be a great fit for an organization takes a lot of art with a little science thrown in.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. I think it’s a Kate Spade quote, but don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. We all have something that makes us unique, so let yours shine. I was told very early on in my career that if I put my head down and didn’t speak up, that I’d get farther. I learned quickly – but not quickly enough – that I would never fit in that box that someone else placed upon me.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. “You’ve got this.” I say it to my 4-yr-old son when he is entering a new classroom at school. I say it to my husband when he has a large presentation at work. I say it to my girlfriends when they ask for a raise that they have deserved for years. And I say it to myself when I have a glimpse of doubt in my own abilities.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. For years, I stopped writing. I became engrained in working for the next promotion, and my creativity stopped. I love to write – even if it is only a little at a time. I have that flow in me that has to be let out. Even on those gray winter mornings in December when I wouldn’t want to write as a journalist – and when the 9 am deadline came to get the newspaper out that day, I pushed myself to tap into the flow, and just go.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Yoke and Abundance came to me at a time when I needed it the most. I don’t know a ton of female entrepreneurs, but the ones I do know are amazing. They are phenomenal, and I think there is power in female entrepreneurship as a community. And I thank Alisha and Yoke and Abundance for that. And I thank Jordan from Brandboss Creative for introducing me to Alisha’s work. Jordan is also a strong, badass female boss!
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Child’s pose – it’s one of the few times I can fully relax.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I try to breathe in every minute of amazing that happens in the day-to-day. From my son’s smile to my husband’s laugh to calling a candidate to offer them an amazing job – for me, all of that is abundance for me, my family, and the people that I work with.