Accomplishing daily tasks as a new entrepreneur may seem daunting and can be expensive if you are not ready to hire a full time administrator. Adding a freelance virtual assistant (VA) may add value and be the answer, especially a VA who can reduce burdens, frustration, and daily office angst. Think about it - only pay for what you need. When hiring a VA you don’t need to purchase unemployment insurance or healthcare benefits above and beyond the salary requirements. And, if networking is key to how you build business than likely you’ll spend most of your time away from the office. Finding time to get those daunting office duties accomplished may quickly become back burner priority leaving your head swimming. There is so much value in delegation and collaborative support, which may lead to future successes.
Recently, I sat down to lunch at Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza with Carolenn Biglari, owner of Biglari Solutions, who provides VA services and value added support to entrepreneurs daily. Although this was our first time to meetup outside of networking groups and online forums, I think it is safe to say that we both quickly felt at ease with each other by taking our friendship offline for a genuine connection. It was a no brainer for two southern girls with Michigan roots anticipating delicious menu options.
Breathing in the aroma from the wood fired pizza, we decided to sit outside under the covered patio. This is where Carolenn began to share her story with me starting with how her family moved to Huntsville, AL before she took up residency and it was here that she met the love of her life, Dorek Biglari. Right about that time, the table buzzer announced that lunch was ready to be served. We had decided to split The Patriarch and Caprese Salad, which were excellent choices satisfying our taste buds. She blessed our food and fellowship and continued her story about her first encounter with Dorek. She met him unexpectedly through the Huntsville Swing Dance Society on a Thursday night at Lowe Mill. As it turned out, Carolenn, who was a regular attender, had casually invited a different gentleman to join her for the Thursday evening class. However, there was mutual attraction between her and Dorek that was waiting to bloom. Impressively, he was there for only the second time ever, which stirred her even more. Little did she know, her life would change forever after that night. In fact, as I write this, they recently celebrated their daughter's first birthday and their second wedding anniversary.
Getting to know Carolenn, it is easy to recognize her uncanny ability to find hope and love in all situations while still being incredibly grounded. Dipping a slice of pizza into her salad dressing and smiling, she began to share her love and passion for family. They are her inspiration for launching her business after all. And it should not come as a surprise that she has a servants heart, which reflects seamlessly into the foundation of her business plan, branding, and image. It simply is who she is and the cornerstone of Biglari Solutions. She continued to share her mission, which is, “To provide administrative, social media, and creative support to entrepreneurs.” As a lifelong learner, Carolenn values education and continues to invest in herself and her business producing added value professional services for her clients benefit. Confident in her skills and abilities, she has harnessed strength as she builds her already strong portfolio.
Leaning closer, I whisper loudly while simultaneously chuckling, “Do you ever feel challenged?” She grins back at me and laughs cooly. “Every day I allow myself to find challenges because staying comfortable is a roadblock for growth.” In agreement, I nod as I find myself comfortably connected to this new business owner. Out of curiosity, I inquire, “Who has been your inspiration in life?” Without hesitation she responds with, “My mom! She has beautifully modeled perseverance and lifelong learning to me.” It was clear to me their bond is deeply treasured. She added, “I have also been discipled by long time friends, Robert and his wife LaQuita, who lead with servants hearts.” Her hands planted near her heart she beamed gratefully. I pondered how wonderful it is for having genuine mentors that help to guide and make decisions, especially for business. Interrupting my thoughts as she cleared her throat, and gave me a serious look placing her fork next to her meal, “You know, my husband has an amazing life story filled with trials and tribulations.” As she paused for a moment I noticed she let out a slight sight. “His faith in God inspires me, especially everything he has been through.” Straightening the napkin in her lap, she added, “And we want to lead our daughter, who is just twelve months old, by giving her the example of being a lifelong learner with a servants heart.”
“What advice would you give your daughter if she chooses to become a VA or an entrepreneur someday?” I asked. Without hesitation, Carolenn knew exactly what to say, “I would tell her to be confident, to know who you are, never stop learning, try new things, be adventurous, and hire a VA to help you to impact your business growth whenever possible.” An adoring mother who looks forward to her daughter becoming a future leader, business owner, and entrepreneur - it was a beautiful moment to consider for strong female leaders who give hope to others.
Our meal complete we left with a doggy bag in hand and headed back towards our vehicles, which were parked in the lot at Campus No. 805. Naturally, we stopped in front of the mural on the back side of Straight to Ale, facing the green-space, which commemorated our time together with the snap of a picture. Everyone needs a VA like Carolenn in their professional lives - she offers a wide variety of valued added support services that reduce burdens, frustration, and angst. To learn more about the services provided by Biglari Solutions, visit www.biglarisolutions.com/home
About HLA Consulting
HLA Consulting, located in Huntsville, AL home to NASA and the US Space & Rocket Center, provides high-level strategic communications, public affairs and marketing services to local and national highly recognized firms and organizations. The HLA team takes pride in making businesses great by building a strong reputation, raising awareness and expanding their constituency.