I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM193- Founder Provides Business Management for Online Business Owners

Podcast interview with Sara Lingenfelter

 

Sara is founder and owner of Virtual Biz Partner, a close team that provides business management for online business owners worldwide. She has a proven track record of managing and growing businesses while simplifying strategies, systems, and technology. Sara is also dedicated to providing work-from-home opportunities to women through an accessible online educational course that teaches them how to get started as a Virtual Assistant. When she’s not supporting online entrepreneurs you can find her spending time with her young son, watching movies, enjoying the outdoors and probably eating some chocolate or other tasty food!

  • CEO Hack: Book- Essentialism
  • CEO Nugget: (1) Stop trying to do what every else has done (2) Listen to yourself
  • CEO Defined: Owner of a business who has the freedom to make decisions

Website: https://www.virtualbizpartner.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saralingenfelter/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VirtualBizPartnercom/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saralingenfelter/



Full Interview


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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today as Sara Lingenfelter of Virtual Biz Partners, Sara, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Sara Lingenfelter 0:36

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

Awesome to have you on and super excited to have you on what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Sara so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sara is the founder and owner of Virtual Biz Partner, a close team that provides business management for online business entrepreneurs and owners worldwide. She has a proven track record of managing and growing businesses while simplifying strategies, systems, and technology.

Sara is also dedicated to providing work-from-home opportunities to women through an accessible online educational course that teaches them how to get started as Virtual Assistants. When she's not supporting online entrepreneurs, you can find her spending time with their son watching movies, enjoying the outdoors, and probably eating some chocolate or other tasty food. Sara, Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Sara Lingenfelter 1:22

I am so ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And who doesn't love chocolate and tasty foods, so I can definitely go with you? But what I wanted to do is hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, what led you to start your business?

Sara Lingenfelter 1:35

Yeah, definitely. It's so interesting because if you would have asked me several years ago, I would have never said this was my plan. I never thought I would have my own business. It just wasn't something I'd ever considered. And I had been to college and I was going to be a probation and parole officer. So I had this plan and knew what I was going to do always loved criminal justice and the legal field. And to make a long story short, I got married and moved to a rural community. And there just weren't very many jobs. And I was working from home for a job I've had for a while. But it was never supposed to be like a long-term job. I was doing bookkeeping, so nothing close to probation and parole.

And as I started looking for opportunities with my degree, there weren't very many. And what I did find it was going to be a lot of commuting and a lot of time away from home. And I just wasn't willing to do that with my son being so young, no family near and that's when I started thinking, okay, there's gotta be something else I can do. There's got to be other opportunities for that, like one thing led to another I learned about a Virtual Assistant, and I kind of started dabbling in it, because I still didn't really understand the online world and all of the opportunities.

And then after about six months is when I started to look at like, Okay, wait a minute, I think I've found something. And that's how I started in a nutshell. And then it just continued to grow. I loved it, I quit my job in let's see, it was January of 2013. I quit my job to do my business full-time. And I've never looked back.

Gresham Harkless 3:08

That sounds completely awesome. And like so many people who do what they go to school for anymore? Seems like exactly. I myself was an English major. And I thought I was gonna go to law school, actually, when I find my podcast interview, so there we go.

Sara Lingenfelter 3:23

Yeah, well, I learned stuff. It was an expensive learning lesson.

Gresham Harkless 3:27

Yes, yes, yes. Also, I know you touched a little bit on it. I know you mentioned that when you first started, you didn't really understand exactly what Virtual Assistant was. So I guess could you break that down for us a little bit more as entrepreneurs and business owners on what a Virtual Assistant does? And what would you do to kind of support your clients?

Sara Lingenfelter 3:44

Yeah, definitely. Well, at that time, I still was a lot of employee jobs. And so when I learned with a Virtual Assistant, and this independent contractor that can work from home for other online businesses, they just didn't really grasp it. And so what I found out is that there are all these online businesses that need usually administrative support that can be social media marketing, I mean, you name it, if it's something you have to do in your business, you can probably find somebody a Virtual Assistant that can help with that.

And so as I started learning more by googling it, working with a couple of clients, then I started finding all these other entrepreneurs that they just had too much work to do themselves. They didn't need or couldn't afford employees. And so a Virtual Assistant was the perfect solution. And that's why I eventually quit my job because I'm like, Yeah, and I set my own rates. I'm my own boss, I can make more money. And it only made sense that I pursue that and then it just, as I learned, it kind of continued to grow.

Gresham Harkless 4:42

Yeah, absolutely. And it kind of sounds like you mentioned your son as well, too. So being able to have that flexibility to kind of work in different hours. Because, as entrepreneurs and business owners, a lot of people that start businesses, they're usually passionate about something and then when you start a business, you realize there are 30 Other things that you have to do, which elements that we want to do what they need So it's good to have somebody like yourself, it sounds like they help out with it.

Sara Lingenfelter 5:03

Yeah, definitely. And there were times in the beginning when I might work on the weekends, or I might work a little bit in the evening, because like you said, there are those things that have to be done. So in my business, I needed to get things taken care of, but then as well as for clients, I had that flexibility, where I would prioritize, okay, if there's a daytime task to get done, I'll make sure I get those done when they need to be and then the other stuff can be done at another time. So it was definitely a lot of learning in those first few minutes.

Gresham Harkless 5:28

Yeah, that makes sense. But isn't everything a learning process? That never ends. So now, I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this is kind of like, what do you feel distinguishes you or sets you apart?

Sara Lingenfelter 5:42

It's so interesting, I feel like my secret sauce, it has no fancy name. But it's that I really do a certain set of things, but customize it to each of my clients. So I feel like we get this idea in business, that you have to do these certain things. And if you don't do these certain things, then you're not going to be successful. And so when I look at, the processes and systems and the strategy and the team management that I do, and focus on the certain areas in each business, but I tailor it to what works for that client because I mean, I have some clients that they have brick and mortar, as well as online businesses, others are all online, some are totally remote and have no one location and their location is independent.

And so the structures for all of those differences, and, how I customize what I do. And I've actually seen, when people don't do that, that'd be the mistake that they make, as they tried to do the one size fits all approach for business. And I just don't think that works. I don't think it's the solution. And so I like to look at what makes a business unique, and how my expertise can help them but customize it so that it's building what they ultimately want.

Gresham Harkless 6:51

Interesting, I like that, and it sounds like correct me if I'm wrong, but you still have processes and systems in place.

Sara Lingenfelter 6:56

Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 6:56

But you're able to make sure that they are benefiting the client that you're working with in the best way. So you're kind of finding their secret sauce as well and see how you could fit in

Sara Lingenfelter 7:04

Yeah, because we all have different reasons for starting our business, we all have different lifestyles, and we want to live, it's everybody, everything is different. And so it doesn't make sense to do the same thing for every single business. And so I really dig in, especially when I initially work with someone to have an audit, I take them through. And it's able to gather all those details and the information so that I can then look and say, Okay, this is what we need to start with. And this is how we're going to kind of start changing it. And then of course, as I learn more about them, then continue to tailor those solutions for them.

Gresham Harkless 7:37

Yeah, and that's huge. And it probably makes all the difference. Because a lot of times I know a lot of business owners even myself, I can say that sometimes you don't realize all the things that you're doing. So sometimes you need somebody to say okay, pulls you out of the doer and more, I guess the CEO, so to speak, were you able to kind of see all those things. But then you're also able to say, Okay, this is what I need you to help me out with because these are all the things that I don't even realize that I'm doing and that need to get.

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Sara Lingenfelter 8:01

Yeah, well an interesting example is that since I often help my clients with their team members, most people would think, Oh, you're helping hire VA as well. I had a client whose business is very different. And he needed an instructor's assistant. And he teaches Linux skills like computer stuff that I don't even understand.

And so, and I don't need to understand it to help him. And I've been working with him about this about a year and a half an hour. And he wanted to hire this instructor's assistant, and I was able to help him do so. And he said, You know what, I never thought I'd find someone that loves Linux as much as he did that would just love answering students' questions and want to work remotely. And so I really had never hired somebody like that, that hiring is something I help with a lot. And I look okay, what do they need? And then let's find that person. And it was fun.

Gresham Harkless 8:47

Yeah, it definitely sounds like an, and I love it. Because you kind of just being able to, I think it's definitely a gift to be able to distill down like what a person is looking forward because like, sometimes we get caught in Oh, you needed to know how to, speak Linux or talk about Linux or speak to Linux, but in reality, there's certain skills and you're able to kind of see that and make that matchmaking happen.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:04

Exactly. Yeah. So I love doing that.

Gresham Harkless 9:08

Yeah, definitely sounds like you're really, really good at it. So I appreciate you for helping out these entrepreneurs and business owners. And what I wanted to do is switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:22

Oh, when I got to thinking about this, like there are so many things, but to pick one, it would be the book Essentialism. Have you heard of it?

Gresham Harkless 9:30

Oh, yes, I have. I swear by that book. I think that is one of my favorite books.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:36

I am like all my clients need it. And if anybody hasn't read it, they will learn that it really tells you to put all your energy into a single thing and how far you can go as opposed to putting all of that same amount of energy into 100 different things. And I liked the diagram he gives in the book when I actually got to hear him speak live once and meet him and I was just like your book is the best thing ever. Everybody needs to read it. Yeah, yeah, it's a hard lesson to learn, I think for a lot of us, but it's needed.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, it's funny, I chant that mantra often, less is more. And then it talks about, defining what those essential things are, but also how important play is all those things and incorporating it into your life. And I read that book, I want to say probably about six or six or seven months ago, and I was like, yeah, having actually only had the audiobook. So I haven't even a diagram. So now I have to go get the book.

Sara Lingenfelter 10:28

Yeah, I have mine on my bookshelf, it's all highlighted and drawn on. Yes, definitely the top thing I would recommend.

Gresham Harkless 10:37
Nice. I love it. I love it. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you could happen to be a time machine. What would you tell your younger business?

Sara Lingenfelter 10:48

Oh, goodness. There are so many lessons. But I think what I would say is stop trying to do what everybody else has done. Meaning if you see somebody successful, and they say I did these five things, that doesn't mean that's what you need to do to grow your business. Usually, deep down, you will know what your next step is, you will know what feels right to you. And so many times, I did what I thought I should do because somebody else did it. And I've now learned that lesson like listening to myself. And if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. But that's the nugget that I would give is like stop trying to do exactly what somebody else did. Because it's not, it's not going to be your secret to success, you'll have to figure out what works for you.

Gresham Harkless 11:34

Absolutely. Yeah, I agree with that. And it comes down to sometimes being able to trust yourself because a lot of times you have that special feeling or that that kind of nagging feeling that's telling you what to do, but because maybe nobody else is doing it or so and so said do X, Y, and Z, you're like, Okay, well, maybe that's the wrong answer. But a lot of times when you go back and look at it, you're like, oh, I should do XY and Z.

Sara Lingenfelter 11:54

Yeah, exactly. And I think mentors and people like that are great. I'm not saying don't learn from someone, but I just think sometimes we can think, Oh, if I buy this, it's gonna give me these 10 steps. And then my business is going to hit six figures. And when you're getting maybe telling you to wait, no, there's something you should be doing different or this, new idea. And just trust yourself. And it'll, it'll take some time to get to that place for those people that are maybe listening to this and kind of starting out like, this kind of something by you learn by experience.

Gresham Harkless 12:20

Yeah, definitely agree with that. I still have to make sure I listen to myself to it. So it's one of those nine non-stopping, I guess, things that you have to pay attention to.

Sara Lingenfelter 12:29

Yeah, I agree.

Gresham Harkless 12:31

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Sara, I wanted to ask you what has been CEO means to you.

Sara Lingenfelter 12:42

Yeah, I love this. So to me, being a CEO is being somebody who, you know, does own a business and is making the decisions, but has that freedom to make those ultimate decisions that control what your day what your life, what your business looks like, so you are the boss, you are in charge, you're not I think sometimes we get a stereotype of what a CEO is. And we think we have to be doing these certain things. And at the end of the day, you should be happy with what you're doing. And being a CEO, to me means making those decisions that create happiness in your life and your business, despite what anybody else might say.

Gresham Harkless 13:25

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's all in alignment with what you talked about. And how you're able to run your business, how you want to run your business, like just like how you mentioned your clients do and being able to make those decisions you have your coaches have your consultants that you pay attention to, but ultimately, you make that decision yourself. So you kind of take ownership of those decisions in that action in order to do that.

Sara Lingenfelter 13:43

Yeah, definitely. Because there's, what works for me and may not work for somebody else. And they need to make those decisions that, make them happy and shape their business and what they want it to look like, regardless of all the other things, all the other ways out there. They could build a business it needs to be what makes them happy at the end of the day.

Gresham Harkless 14:02

Exactly, exactly. There's more than one way to skin a cat. So I always tell myself. Well, awesome was there, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out what I wanted to do is pass you the mic, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, of course, how best they can get a hold of you.

Sara Lingenfelter 14:17

As far as anything additional, I would just say, if you have an idea, or you have kids, you kind of said that if there's something sometimes you get an idea, you want to do something, but it's like, oh, what were people going to think or worrying so much about what people think I used to care way too much about what people think. And my business looks so different now. And I'm so happy I started making decisions about what works for me. And so that's what I would just tell people to quit worrying about what everybody thinks, find people you respect to learn from, but at the end of the day, do what feels right to you, and you'll make some mistakes, but you'll figure it out too.

Gresham Harkless 14:50

Absolutely.

Sara Lingenfelter 14:51

And if they want to find me online, they can go to virtualbizpartner.com That's my main website and I'm on Facebook as a Virtual Biz Partner I'm on LinkedIn, and they can find me Sara Lingenfelter, as well as Instagram. So I'd love to connect with any of them that might have questions and help inspire them to get where they want to be in their business.

Gresham Harkless 15:10

Absolutely. And I truly appreciate you for all that you're doing. You're helping out so many entrepreneurs and business owners and you know, virtual assistants are awesome. So thank you for all the support that you're giving. I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Sara Lingenfelter 15:23

Thanks, you too.

Outro 15:24

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

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I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today as Sara Lingenfelter of Virtual Biz Partners, Sara, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Sara Lingenfelter 0:36

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

Awesome to have you on and super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Sara so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sara is founder and owner of Virtual Biz Partner, a close team that provides business management for online business entrepreneurs and owners worldwide. She has a proven track record of managing and growing businesses while simplifying strategies, systems and technology. Sara is also dedicated to providing work from home opportunities to women through an accessible online educational course that teaches them how to get started as a Virtual Assistant. When she's not supporting online entrepreneurs, you can find her spending time with their son watching movies, enjoying the outdoors and probably eating some chocolate or other tasty food. Sara, Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEOCommunity?

Sara Lingenfelter 1:22

I am so ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And who doesn't love chocolate and tasty foods, so I can definitely go with you. But what I wanted to do, which is hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, what led you to start your business?

Sara Lingenfelter 1:35

Yeah, definitely. It's so interesting, because if you would have asked me several years ago, I would have never said this was my plan. I never thought I would have my own business. It just wasn't something I'd ever considered. And I had been to college and I was going to be a probation and parole officer. So I had this plan knew what I was going to do always loved criminal justice and legal field. And to make a long story short, I got married and moved to a rural community. And there just wasn't very many jobs. And I was working from home for a job I've had for a while. But it was never supposed to be like a long term job. I was doing bookkeeping, so nothing close to probation and parole. And I as I started looking for opportunities with my degree, there weren't very many. And what I did find it was going to be a lot of commuting a lot of time away from home. And I just wasn't willing to do that with my son being so young, no family near and that's when I started thinking, okay, there's gotta be something else I can do. There's got to be other opportunities for that, like one thing led to another I learned about a Virtual Assistant, I kind of started dabbling in it, because I still didn't really understand the online world and all of the opportunities. And then after about six months is when I started to look at like, Okay, wait a minute, I think I've found something. And that's how I started in a nutshell. And then it just just continued to grow. I loved it, I quit my job in let's see, it was January of 2013. I quit my job to do my business full time. And I've never looked back.

Gresham Harkless 3:08

That sounds completely awesome. And like so many people like who does what they go to school for anymore? Seems like exactly. I myself was an English major. And I thought I was gonna go to law school, actually, when I find my podcast interview, so there we go.

Sara Lingenfelter 3:23

Yeah, well, I learned stuff. It was an expensive learning lesson.

Gresham Harkless 3:27

Yes, yes. Yes. Though. We also I know you touched a little bit upon it. I know, you mentioned that when you first started, you didn't really understand exactly what Virtual Assistant was. So I guess could you break that down for us a little bit more as entrepreneurs and business owners on what a Virtual Assistant does? And what would you do to kind of support your clients?

Sara Lingenfelter 3:44

Yeah, definitely. Well, at that time, I still was a lot of employee jobs. And so when I learned with a Virtual Assistant, and this independent contractor that can work from home for other online businesses, they just didn't really grasp it. And so what I found out is that there are all these online businesses that need usually administrative support that can be social media marketing, I mean, you name it, if it's something you have to do in your business, you can probably find somebody a Virtual Assistant that can help with that. And so as I started learning more googling it, working with a couple of clients, then I started finding all these other entrepreneurs that they just had too much work to do themselves. They didn't need or couldn't afford employees. And so a Virtual Assistant was the perfect solution. And that's why I eventually quit my job because I'm like, Yeah, and I set my own rates. I'm my own boss, I can make more money. And it only made sense that I pursue that and then it just, as I learned, it kind of continued to grow.

Gresham Harkless 4:42

Yeah, absolutely. And it kind of sounds like you mentioned your son as well, too. So being able to have that flexibility to kind of work in different hours. Because, as entrepreneurs and business owners, a lot of people that start businesses, they're usually passionate about something and then when you start a business, you realize there's 30 Other things that you have to do, which elements that we want to do what they need So it's good to have somebody like yourself, it sounds like they helps out with it.

Sara Lingenfelter 5:03

Yeah, definitely. And there was times in the beginning where I might work on the weekends, or I might work a little bit in the evening, because like you said, there are those things that have to be done. So in my business, I needed to get things taken care of, but then as well as for clients, I had that flexibility, where I would prioritize, okay, if there's a daytime tasks to get done, I'll make sure I get those done when they need to be and then the other stuff can be done at another time. So it was definitely a lot of learning in those first few minutes.

Gresham Harkless 5:28

Yeah, that makes sense. But isn't everything a learning process? That never ends. So now, I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this is kind of like, what do you feel distinguishes you or sets you apart?

Sara Lingenfelter 5:42

It's so interesting, I feel like my secret sauce, it has no fancy name. But it's that I really do a certain set of things, but customize it to each of my clients. So I feel like we get this idea in business, that you have to do these certain things. And if you don't do these certain things, then you're not going to be successful. And so when I look at, the processes and systems and the strategy and the team management that I do, and focus on the certain areas in each business, but I tailor it to what works for that client, because I mean, I have some clients that they have brick and mortar, as well as online businesses, others are all online, some are totally remote and have no like one location and their, you know, their location independent. And so the structures for all of those differently, and, how I customize what I do. And I've actually seen, when people don't do that, that'd be the mistake that they make, as they tried to do the one size fits all approach for business. And I just just don't think that works. I don't think it's the solution. And so I like to look at what makes a business as unique, and how my expertise can help them but customize it so that it's building what they ultimately want.

Gresham Harkless 6:51

Interesting, I like that, and it sounds like correct me if I'm wrong, you still have like processes and systems in place.

Sara Lingenfelter 6:56

yeah.

Gresham Harkless 6:56

But you're able to make sure that they are benefiting the client that you're working with in the best way. So you're kind of finding their secret sauce as well and see how you could fit in

Sara Lingenfelter 7:04

Yeah,because we all have different reasons for starting our business, we all have a different lifestyle, we want to live, it's everybody, everything is different. And so it doesn't make sense to do the same thing for every single business. And so I really dig in, especially when I initially work with someone to have like an audit, I take them through. And it's able to gather all those details and the information so that I can then look and say, Okay, this is what we need to start with. And this is how we're going to kind of start changing it. And then of course, as I learn more about them, then continue to tailor those solutions for them.

Gresham Harkless 7:37

Yeah, and that's huge. And it probably makes all the difference. Because a lot of times I know a lot of business owners even myself, I can say that sometimes you don't realize all the things that you're doing. So sometimes you need somebody to say okay, pulls you out of the doer and more, I guess the CEO, so to speak, were you able to kind of see all those things. But then you're also able to say, Okay, this is what I need you to help me out with, because these are all the things that I don't even realize that I'm doing and that need to get.

Sara Lingenfelter 8:01

Yeah, well in an interesting example is that since I often help my clients with their team members, most people would think, Oh, you're helping hire VA as well. I had a client who his business is very different. And he needed like an instructor's assistant. And he teaches like Linux skills like computer stuff, like I don't even understand. And so, and I don't need to understand it to help him. And I've been working with him about this about a year and a half an hour. And he wanted to hire this instructors assistant, and I was able to help him do so. And he said, You know what, I never thought I'd find someone that loves Linux as much as he did that would just love answering students questions want to work remotely. And so I reallyhad never hired somebody like that, that hiring is something I help with a lot. And I look okay, what do they need? And then let's find that person. And it was fun.

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Gresham Harkless 8:47

Yeah, it definitely sounds like an and I love it. Because you kind of just are able to, I think it's definitely a gift to be able to distill down like what a person is looking forward because like, sometimes we get caught in Oh, you needed to know how to, speak Linux or talk about Linux or speak to Linux, but in reality, there's certain skills and you're able to kind of see that and make that matchmaking happen.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:04

Exactly. Yeah. So I love doing that.

Gresham Harkless 9:08

Yeah,definitely sounds like you're really, really good at it. So I appreciate you for helping out these entrepreneurs and business owners. And what I wanted to do is switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app, a book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:22

Oh, when I got to thinking about this, like there's so many things, but to pick one, it would be the book essentialism. Have you heard of it?

Gresham Harkless 9:30

Oh, yes, I have. I swear by that book.I think that is one of my favorite books.

Sara Lingenfelter 9:36

I am like all my clients need it. And if anybody hasn't read it, they will learn that it really tells you to put all your energy into a single thing and how far you can go as opposed to putting all of that that same amount of energy into 100 different things. And I liked the diagram he gives in the book when I actually got to hear him speak live once and meet him and I was just like your book is the best thing ever. Everybody needs to read it. Yeah, yeah, it's a hard lesson to learn, I think for a lot of us, but it's needed.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, it's funny, I chant that mantra, often less is more. And then it talks about, defining like what that essential things, those essential things are, but also how important rest how important play is all those things and incorporate it into your life. And I read that book, I want to say probably about six or six or seven months ago, I was like, yeah, having actually only had the audiobook. So I haven't even diagram. So now I have to go get the book.

Sara Lingenfelter 10:28

Yeah, I have mine on my bookshelf, it's all highlighted and drawn on? Yes, definitely the top thing I would recommend my hat.

Gresham Harkless 10:37

Nice. I love it. I love it. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you could happen to a time machine. What would you tell your younger business?

Sara Lingenfelter 10:48

Oh,goodness. There's so many lessons. But I think what I would say is stop trying to do what everybody else has done. Meaning if you see somebody successful, and they say I did these five things, that doesn't mean that's what you need to do to grow your business. Usually deep down, you will know what your next step is, you will know what feels right to you. And so many times, I did what I thought I should do because somebody else did it. And I've now learned that lesson like to listen to myself. And if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. But that's the nugget that I would give is like stop trying to do exactly what somebody else did. Because it's not, it's not going to be your secret to success, you'll have to figure out what works for you.

Gresham Harkless 11:34

Absolutely. Yeah, I agree with that. And it comes down to sometimes being able to trust yourself, because a lot of times you have that special feeling or that that kind of nagging feeling that's telling you what to do, but because maybe nobody else is doing it or so and so said do X, Y and Z, you're like, Okay, well, maybe that's the wrong answer. But a lot of times when you go back and look at it, you're like, oh, I should did XY and Z.

Sara Lingenfelter 11:54

Yeah, exactly. And I think mentors and people like that are great. I'm not saying don't learn from someone, but I just think sometimes we can think, Oh, if I buy this, it's gonna give me these 10 steps. And then my business is going to hit six figures. And when you're getting maybe telling you wait, no, there's something you should be doing different or this, new idea. And just trust yourself. And it'll, it'll take some time to get to that place for those people that are maybe listening to this and kind of starting out like, this kind of something by you learn by experience.

Gresham Harkless 12:20

Yeah, definitely agree with that. I still have to make sure I listen to myself to it. So it's one of those nine non stopping, I guess, things that you have to pay attention.

Sara Lingenfelter 12:29

Yeah, I agree.

Gresham Harkless 12:31

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Sara, I wanted to ask you what has been CEO mean to you?

Sara Lingenfelter 12:42

Yeah, I love this. So to me, being a CEO, is being somebody who, you know, does own a business is making the decisions, but has that freedom to make those ultimate decisions that control what your day what your life, what your business looks like, so you are the boss, you are in charge, you're not I think sometimes we get a stereotype of what a CEO is. And we think we have to be doing thesecertain things. And at the end of the day, you should be happy with what you're doing. And being a CEO, to me means making those decisions that create your happiness in your life and your business, despite what anybody else might say.

Gresham Harkless 13:25

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's all in alignment with what you talked about. And how you're able to run your business, how you want to run your business, like just like how you mentioned your clients do and being able to make those decisions you have your coaches have your consultants that you pay attention to, but ultimately, you make that decision yourself. So you kind of take ownership of those decisions in that action in order to do that.

Sara Lingenfelter 13:43

Yeah, definitely. Because there's, what works for me and may not work for somebody else. And they need to make those decisions that,make them happy and shapes their business and what they want it to look like, regardless of all the other things, all the other ways out there. They could build a business it needs to be what makes them happy at the end of the day.

Gresham Harkless 14:02

Exactly, exactly. There's more than one way to skin a cat. So I always tell myself. Well, awesome was there, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out what I wanted to do is pass you the mic, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Sara Lingenfelter 14:17

As far as anything additional, I would just say, if you have an idea, or you have kids, you kind of said that if there's something sometimes you get an idea, you want to do something, but it's like, oh, what were people going to think or worrying so much about what people think I used to care way too much about what people think. And my business looks so different now. And I'm so happy I started making decisions about what works for me. And so that's what I would just tell people quit worrying about what everybody thinks, find people you respect to learn from, but at the end of the day, do what feels right to you, and you'll make some mistakes, but you'll figure it out too.

Gresham Harkless 14:50

Absolutely.

Sara Lingenfelter 14:51

And if they want to find me online, they can go to virtualbizpartner.com That's my main website and I'm on Facebook on as Virtual Biz Partner And I'm on LinkedIn, they can find me Sara Lingenfelter, as well as Instagram. So I'd love to connect with any of them that might have questions and help inspire them to get where they want to be in their business.

Gresham Harkless 15:10

Absolutely. And I truly appreciate you for all that you're doing. You're helping out so many entrepreneurs and business owners and you know, virtual assistants are awesome. So thank you for all the support that you're giving. I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Sara Lingenfelter 15:23

Thanks, you too.

Outro 15:24

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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