The Perception of Independence with Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR

When it comes to things that drive Julius Rhodes, family is the strongest. His business, mpr group, is named after his parents and began because of his father's perspective on the need for human resources at a higher level. As a child, Julius would hear his father discuss the gap in human resources in the meat packing business he worked for. His father felt that his employer wasn't giving the attention needed to create the best work environment for employees.

While Julius was exposed to the issue at a young age, his interested in HR spiked when he read the book The Jungle in high school. "I saw human resources as a way to people like my dad and accomplish what they wanted by meeting their personnel needs," he said.

During his undergrad years at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Julius studied personnel administration and then later received his Masters of Science from Loyola University's Institute of Human Resource and Industrial Relations. After years of working in HR for various large corporations, he began thinking about the future and how he could contribute at a higher level. 

"The birth of my first child put things into a unique perspective. It was at the moment that I wanted to explore the industry and create the best experience for individuals looking to grow," he stated. 

Similarly to other founders, Julius met challenges in starting mpr group saying, "Getting away from my comfort zone and a regular income was difficult. I gave up a perception of security for perception of independence." 

Julius was also challenged with his own perceptions of self. Thoughts of doubt came to mind when thinking about what he had to offer businesses and who would be willing to hire him. What ultimately catapulted Julius to success was his appreciation for relationship building.

"My greatest achievements from this endeavor has been the relationships that I've built. Being able to have an impact on people and their businesses is rewarding for me. I love helping people move forward and create an impact on real issues with real people," he said.

Those impacts would not have been possible had Julius not followed his own advice for founders stating, "You can't be afraid to admit that you don't know something. You will be found out and it will effect your credibility. You also cannot be afraid to stretch yourself and try new things." 

Julius also states that pushing yourself and your comfort zones is only a partial success. "It is one thing to be successful on your own, but it is another to create a community of successful people. You don't get ahead by servicing yourself, always be at the service of others," he advises.

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