We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Bigman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started a Divorce Coaching & Consulting firm in 2014. After 5 years, I was increasingly unhappy and struggling to create the success I had hoped for. At the beginning of 2020, I decided to dig a little deeper – Was it me? Was I a lousy Entrepreneur? Did I pick the wrong field? Am I a failure? And so went the struggle in my head. When the pandemic hit, faced with quarantine and so much uncertainty about life, I realized that it was time to figure it out.
I hired a Life Coach, did a thorough business analysis and then I sat still. After a few weeks of introspection and lots of nature walks listening to stories of other entrepreneurs, I finally became clear. I was right and I was wrong. It was me but I wasn’t a failure! I realized that working in divorce was no longer fueling me. While it felt really good to be able to help people when they were at one of the lowest points in their lives, it wasn’t a business that I wanted to pursue anymore.
I thought about what I learned and what I liked about the business I had been running. What I learned was that I loved being an Entrepreneur, I was just in the wrong business. I love planning and strategizing, I love technology, I love creating and brainstorming. I’m super resourceful and a great connector. Once I was clear on what I like, I decided to start a business doing that and I haven’t looked back since!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Being a Solopreneur is one of the hardest paths to entrepreneurship. Every decision, task, and outcome is directly a result of your actions. I learned this in my last business and I even experience it now. My goal is to offer affordable support to business people like me who are at an inflection point in their business. Whether they’re repositioning or bracing for exponential growth, I’m their Right-Hand Woman!
There are a lot of consulting business consultants around. Most of them aren’t interested in the true ‘small business.’ The Small Business Administration actually considers 250 employees a small business! What sets me apart is my interest in being a part of the initial growth of a business. My clients have businesses in the low 6-figures. They are willing to pay for someone qualified who really understands the ‘business of their business.’ That frees them up to work on what they love and why they started their business in the first place.
I also charge differently than most consultants. My model is based on a monthly retainer plus a percentage of sales. This way, I’m just as invested in their success as they are. I take a holistic look at their business from strategy to finances to marketing to position them best for the future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite places to go are south of the city. My happy place is Laguna Beach. There’s hiking, surfing, eating! All without having to go too far. I never get sick of the views and the energy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Life Coach, Cindy Gardner, gave me the space to say what I was thinking without judgement. Having trained under Cindy for my own Coach certification, I knew she would be a wonderful guide.
Since starting my business, I’m amazed at how much my friends and colleagues want to help. My first clients were some of my colleagues from the divorce world, coaches, and lawyers. They opened up their businesses to me so I could figure out the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of my business in a real-world scenario. One of my first clients – Wendy Sterling – has continued working with me and is now my biggest client. Despite some growing pains, she has stuck by me and I’m supporting her as she grows her business.
Having it All by John Assaraf was the pivotal book that lead me to my final decision to close my divorce business and start my Business Consulting company. I continue to read (actually I find listening to books a much better way to absorb information) as much as I can. The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and The Company of One by Paul Jarvis are among my favorites. Some classics like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’m also a huge fan of anything by Seth Godin.