Desire for Flexibility Drove Entrepreneur to Start Her Own Errand Business

If you ever wanted to clone yourself to get more done, a woman in Ramsey is the next best thing.

Brooke Hopkins Tateossian started The Suburban Concierge to help people run errands, wrap presents, purge closets and more.Brooke Hopkins Tateossian of Ramsey is a professional errand-runner.

“It’s easier to explain what I don’t do than what I do,” the mother of three said of the home-based business she started six months ago.

“I will not drive and I will not clean.”

“I tell my clients they can do anything but not everything.”

She always tells her clients that everyone needs help and no one should feel bad about asking for it.

“I tell my clients they can do anything but not everything.”

People today juggle multiple community roles in addition to a job, spouse and children and they don’t want to give anything up, she said.

“I love making their everything happen for them.”

She has clients on monthly retainers that have their Amazon presents shipped directly to her home.

“I wrap the gifts, buy cards and drop them off,” she said.

She also tries to anticipate her clients’ needs.

“I’m a good listener.”

She works on a monthly retainer or by the job and also offers packages on her website.

Learn how to start an errand business at Concierge101.com.

“I try to be flexible. Clients are surprised by what I’ll do.”

It was a desire for flexibility that drove Tateossian to start her own business.

With three children 8-14, she was ready to leave her recruitment career and wanted more control over her daily life.

Her in-laws were the inspiration behind starting a business offering concierge services.

“They drop off dinner twice a week, babysit. People were always jealous. It made me realize how much easier my life is because of them,” she said.

Her clients are busy moms and executives. Lately, people have said they’re planning to buy her services as a gift for people who are elderly or sick.

“I love it and I get excited about it every morning when I get up. This is the best thing that’s happened to me career-wise in a long time,” she said.

To learn more about The Suburban Concierge, see its website , call 201-410-4183 or email brooke@thescnj.com.

Source:  The Lyndhurst Daily Voice

Cindy Capitani

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Posted in baby boomers, business, corporate concierge services, employee concierge, entrepreneur, home business, human resources, income, lifestyle, luxury concierge business, marketing, millenials, niche, personal concierge service, SEO, small biz, small business, start up, startup, Uncategorized, work from home | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A new concierge company says it will cater to luxury travelers’ every business need

A personalized concierge service dedicated to high-end travelers promises to take the stress out of conducting business overseas.

Learn how to start a concierge business at Concierge101.com.

Bleisure Malta will cater to luxury individual and group travelers who need to have business facilities within reach even when they are on holiday.

“Trends show that today’s high-end travelers can’t quite disconnect from the office while on holiday in the way they used to,” says Bleisure founder and director Stephen Place. “This means that they may need to cancel something last minute to work on an urgent piece of work, to hire a boardroom at short notice for a conference call, or to organise their sight-seeing around existing commitments or networking.”

Bleisure Malta's Stephen Pace.

The company promises to help clients book flights and accommodation, organise transport and private tours, source meetings assistance, organise entertainment and hosting and craft business or networking opportunities.

Beyond that, the Bleisure Malta team also offers relocation services to people hoping to set up a new life or business in Malta, including work permit paperwork, VIP health packages, film location scouting and even advice on schools, education and the local lifestyle.

“Our aim really is to help luxury visitors enjoy Malta on their terms and in the most exclusive way possible,” Mr Pace said.

 

Source: High-end travellers get a top-level concierge service – timesofmalta.com

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Forbes Lists the Top Luxury Concierge Websites For The Super-Rich

Best Concierge Services in the World

R.L. Adams at Forbes.com

Learn how to start a concierge business today at Concierge101.com

 

Welcome to a world laced with stunning opulence, replete with unrivaled service, unforgettable one-of-a-kind outlandish experiences and simply unimaginable excess for those with the good fortune that’s afforded by these all-access-pass concierge sites.

However, don’t get me wrong, concierge services aren’t merely meant solely for travel. In fact, all of the best concierge companies in the world not only help their members book travel, but also aid them in managing and maintaining their celebrity-esque lifestyles, while providing a refined level of digital personal assistance for an unfettered ease of comfort, convenience and accessibility to their lives.

Who has the time to manage their second or third home, help book that superstar singer for their wedding in the Mediterranean, or remember an employee’s birthday and send a personalized gift? Imagine being able to send a WhatsApp message to your luxury concierge, telling them what you need, and a short time later, it’s done.

This type of hands-free virtual service and attention to detail is possible in today’s marketplace thanks to the proliferation of technology and the extensive personal and business networks developed by some of the world’s most in-the-know concierges. Yet, don’t expect your personal concierge to come cheap. Depending on the level of attention you’re seeking, annual fees can easily range in the low-to-mid five-figures. And that’s just to be a member.

However, if you’re looking for an unparalleled red-carpet experience, look no further than these select few concierges that not only deliver on service, but also a technological footprint that provides convenience and accessibility to the world’s upper-middle class and elite jet-setters. These companies are the cream of the crop, the best of the best when it comes to white-glove service and an anything-goes-get-it-done attitude.

What Are The World’s Best Concierge Companies

Today’s complex and intricately-woven digital world is filled with companies that are vying for the attention of consumers in an increasingly-crowded space. While most businesses have their work cut out for them, the luxury segment and one-percenters are becoming harder and harder to reach and win over.

Like other industries, building a solid brand presence in the luxury concierge space is a monumental undertaking at best. Couple that with the necessity to deliver true value to consumers that are used to getting what they want and when they want it, and it almost spells out a recipe for disaster.

For that particular reason, becoming a go-to name in the luxury concierge-services space is filled with strife and ripe with challenges. Yet, to the victors go the spoils because some of the world’s best concierges are reaping the benefits and enjoying the sweat equity that involves demanding and expecting more from yourself each day than you expected the day before. That’s most certainly how champions are created.

Quintessentially Group

Originally launched in 2000, in the heart of the United Kingdom in London, the Quintessentially Group is one of the world’s foremost luxury concierge services with offices in 63 cities from around the world, and 33 sister companies that provide an intricate network of access to the world’s most exclusive brands and experiences.

The brain child of co-founders, Aaron Simpson, Ben Elliot and Paul Drummond, the Quintessentially Group’s well-to-do and in-the-know global fixers provide an all-access pass to the elite looking for preferential treatment and white-glove service in every aspect of entertainment, travel and commerce.

The winner of some of the world’s most prestigious travel and concierge awards such as Conde Nast’s Best Concierge Company, the Leading Hotels of the World’s Top Producing Agent and World Travel Awards’ Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Club, Quintessentially is no stranger to the so-called cream of the crop.

The company’s client list is vast and filled with celebrities and notable individuals across numerous fields, yet they remain tight-lipped about specific names citing the importance their clients hold for privacy and discretion. With an average net worth of $5 million dollars and up, the company is accustomed to dealing with those that demand and expect the very best of the best.

Quintessentially’s technology and on-demand services platform also give it a cutting-edge advantage in a marketplace filled with upmarket suppliers. From restaurant reservations, to VIP access at events and nightclubs, luxury travel, day-to-day errands, unique lifestyle experiences, relocation services and even home management options, the company offers a wide range of options in three unique tiers of membership that range anywhere from $5,500 per year for a standard membership, to $45,000 per year for the elite level.

Its vast contacts and partnerships with companies like eliteLYFE, one of the world’s most highly-acclaimed leading luxury villa rental providers, luxury car rental businesses such as GoRentals, private jet charter companies, superyacht charterers, leading hotels and resorts from around the world such as the St. Regis and Four Seasons, amongst many others, make Quintessentially Group one of the best providers for concierge services on the planet.

Its utter commitment to delivering true value to its clients is a hallmark of the service that’s allowed the company to expand its global footprint immensely in the past decade or so. While average spends from clients per request hover around the $1500 mark, many of their members have been known to spends hundreds of thousands of dollars, to upwards of a million dollars and more, on a single request.

Some of the most outlandish requests that the company has filled has been:

  • Closing the Sydney Harbor Bridge to allow a member to propose to his fiancee
  • Arranging for dinner on an iceberg
  • Flying a member’s dog in comfort on a private jet
  • Organizing a complete James Bond experience that included a kidnapping on the streets of London

Knightsbridge Circle

Claire Kennedy started her journey in the luxury travel industry in 2002 while working for American Express Centurion in the United Kingdom, the purveyors of the so-called Black Card. Working her way up the ranks, she became Centurion’s Senior Relationship Manager, dealing with their highest-value clientele.

However, it wasn’t purely a business relationship that she had formed with the company’s card members; many of them had become her highest-esteemed friends. This became evident to Kennedy when she took maternity leave from her job in 2012, at the same time that two of her colleagues had decided to start their own venture called, Knightsbridge Circle, which attracted some of the highest-net-worth individuals on the planet.

In 2013, Kennedy joined Knightsbridge Circle, a team highly-devoted to providing the best travel services and experiences that money could buy, bringing with her the strong relationships she had developed from over a decade of service to some of the most elite clients from around the world. But it wasn’t until 3 years later that she bought in as 50% partner, Today, she is the co-owner with its original founder, Stuart McNeill, in what is arguable the most exclusive concierge company on the planet.

Today, Knightsbridge Circle caters only to a select group of clients that have an eye-watering average net worth of $800 million dollars, with an annual membership fee of approximately $25,000. However, don’t expect to easily join this closely-knit circle. This exclusive, invitation-only concierge service has a long and illustrious waiting list.

Yet, for those that do manage to join the fray and become part of the most ultra-exclusive concierge company in the world, they can expect to reap the benefits of such a highly-esteemed team of travel enthusiasts and anything-goes specialists. Some of the most outlandish types of requests ever filled by the Knightsbridge Circle team include the following:

  • Renewal of wedding vows by the Pope himself
  • Private viewing of the U.K.’s Crown Jewels in Tower Bridge
  • Arranging a private dinner for guests before Leonardo DaVinci’s ‘The Last Supper,’ at the Dominican Convent
  • Playing a round of golf and enjoying a private dinner with a former champion at Augusta’s National during the Masters
  • Private ritual conducted by Monks at the Grand Temple in Bangkok for a member
  • An ultimate weekend in a Beverly Hills sprawling estate that included dinner prepared by the acclaimed chef, Daniel Boulud with entertainment by Jennifer Lopez and a late-night DJ session performed by none other than the superstar, Avicii.

John Paul Group

Founded in 2008 by David Amsellem, the John Paul Group has become one of the pioneering leaders in concierge services to a global group of well-to-do clientele and corporations. At the outset, much like many other of the world’s most successful concierges, the basis was a deep-rooted passion for service and hospitality, with a vision to enhance the lives of members by delivering the most trusted service on earth.

With an average net worth of its members of approximately $1 million, and an acquisition in July of 2016 from Accor Hotels along with a prior merger with Les Concierges back in late 2015, John Paul Group has expanded its footprint to over 1,000 concierges based out of 12 separate hubs, while operating on 5 different continents.

The focus for the company has largely been on its proprietary behavioral-profiling technology that gives its representatives an accurate snapshot of its members and their preferences based on exhaustive algorithms that look into their likes, dislikes, and travel patterns. At any given moment, John Paul Group’s well-devoted concierges can tailor a specific request based on this significant technology.

What’s most intriguing about this technology is that it provides an analytical data-layer atop phone calls, emails, SMS and other client communications to analyze and extract information about the member’s preferences. The company has wrapped this proprietary system into a white-labeled program that they also use with some of the world’s biggest corporations.

When it comes to putting through a request, John Paul Group’s members have numerous options. Similar to other concierge services, members can use WhatsApp, SMS, WeChat, mobile apps and other technology to place their request and subsequently track their requests directly with their assigned personal concierge. During every point of contact, the system analyzes requests, helping to further evolve the member’s profile.

This focus on the underlying technology has created the foundation for a business that has grown tremendously over the past decade, allowing it to tailor every specific request to the needs of its members while being extremely proactive in the process. It’s also enabled the company to deliver highly-targeted email blasts, resulting in astronomical open rates and sales conversions.

When it comes to some of the more outlandish requests filled, the company has done the following:

  • Delivered 30 live penguins to a “Black and White party” organized for one of its British members
  • Welcomed a stuffed zebra at Charles de Gaulle airport on behalf of one of its U.S. members, which was purchased during a Safari trip in Botswana, but was being shipped to one of his homes in Paris

Pure Entertainment Group

Founded in 2008 by Steve Edo, Pure Entertainment Group is a luxury lifestyle and concierge company based out of Montreal, Canada, catering to high-net-worth individuals. The company focuses on bespoke travel packages, luxurious-lifestyle experiences and personalized concierge services for both private clients and corporations from around the world.

The foundational mission at Pure has always been one that’s focused on both value and quality in their delivery, over quantity. They know that their clients are expecting the best of the best, and it’s their job to go out of their way to not only ensure those demands are met, but also that they far exceed the expectations of even the most discerning clients.

With members hailing from all points of the earth, they also believe in discretion and privacy, keeping their roster of clients close to the chest. And for those that are looking to join this elite-membership group, expect to pay anywhere from $12,000 per year to upwards of $35,000 per year just for a membership. But that membership can certainly afford some privileges.

Like other top concierge companies, Edo’s Pure Entertainment Group has spent years and years developing close personal and business relationships, and vetting companies and brands from around the world to ensure that they deliver the utmost value to their astute membership base.

With an average net worth of $5 million dollars, and a typical spend per request of upwards of $30,000, over the years, Pure Entertainment Group has fielded some outlandish requests such as the following:

  • Arranged a Caribbean getaway at a luxurious beachfront villa for 12 guests featuring a Michelin-starred private chef, personal butler and 20-minute private beachfront firework displays
  • Wedding congratulations video from an A-list celebrity, personally congratulating the newly-wed couple by name, stunning the crowd in attendance at the 1,000-person event
  • Private after-hours viewing tour of a well-known gallery and museum in Venice, Italy that included a candlelit romantic dinner by an Italian Michelin-starred chef, which also included a personalized-guided tour of the 20th-century masterpieces on display in the museum
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Corporate Concierge Services Increasing Popularity – More Opportunities for Concierge Business

As reported by Corporate Property Executive (CPE), properties that offer an onsite  concierge service are building an advantage over those properties that do not. 

cpexecutive.com

Property Management: Striving for Satisfaction

At a time when the U.S. Secret Service is being touted as a hot new amenity at Trump Tower by agency Douglas Elliman, it could be an easy assumption that multifamily developers and owners are going overboard with their emphasis on amenities. A doorman and on-site laundry just aren’t enough to draw in today’s renter, especially in the luxury sector, where there are no shortage of choices. It’s not uncommon to see multifamily communities offering unconventional benefits like glass-bottomed pools, spin cycle studios, dog parks and leasing centers that look more like country clubs than business centers.

However, there is evidence to suggest that a specific amenity class may have staying power among the Bluetooth-enabled fitness machines and saunas of the apartment world. According to statistics from J Turner Research, Millennials and Baby Boomers ranked 24-hour security and service guarantees as the most important community services. It seems that in an increasingly digital and impersonal world, today’s renters crave personal attention and service above most other building perks.

Enter the multifamily concierge, an upgraded version of the traditional hotel concierge who knows your name and preferences and can help with everything from receiving packages to booking dinner or theater reservations.

Learn how to start a concierge business at Concierge101.com.

According to Nick Alicastro, vice president of business development at Western National Property Management, “These partnerships create an additional level of convenience for residents and add to the overall appeal of a multifamily community. This increased appeal will ultimately drive traffic to a community, as well as provide opportunities for premium rents.”

Going the extra mile

The multifamily concierge wears many hats, but overall, they are responsible for fulfilling the requests of all residents and anticipating their every need. “If they need for us to research local companies for them, like moving services or pet sitting services, we do that. In general, we provide information, and we provide this service six days a week, (including) Saturdays for those who can’t get to us on weekdays,” said Neil Trifunovski, general manager of Waterton’s Presidential Towers in Chicago. Waterton employs a third-party vendor called Corporate Concierge Services to plan, advertise and execute special events onsite; provide food on the community’s weekly “No Cook Wednesday”; secure discounted tickets to local attractions like the Willis Tower observation deck, the aquarium, museums or Big Bus Tours; and offer other services.

Premiere Concierge, another third-party service, is a similar company that takes an all-inclusive approach to integrating itself into the apartment community. The company, which is intimately familiar with the multifamily industry through its ownership of 18 communities, creates a custom-branded “virtual concierge” for each client, according to Business Development Specialist Aron Freeman. The virtual hub, accessible online and via a mobile app, allows residents to request maintenance service, reserve parking and allow others to enter their unit, among other features. Using the community’s branding for the digital assets draws a subtle connection for residents between  the benefits of the concierge service and their choice to live in the community, according to Freeman.

“At the time of renewal … it’s the service and the personalized attention and the personal catering to their needs that’s unique.”

Haley Rafferty, general manager at Related’s 500 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, said the building’s concierge acts as a “gatekeeper,” with responsibilities varying greatly depending on the individual resident and time of day. “It’s always going to be something different. During the day, they might be providing access with the resident’s permission for their housekeeper to come, or for the dog walker to come—taking care of the resident’s needs even when the resident isn’t here,” she said. “The resident can set preferences, (like) ‘My housekeeper comes every Tuesday, and they have permission to enter my apartment,’ (which) all is logged in Yardi, our software system, so they can see what that resident’s preferences are—if they have permission to check the key out or if the resident prefers to be called and grant permission.”

At 500 Lake Shore Drive, no request is unimportant. The concierge staff can deliver packages inside the resident’s unit, and if preferred, can even unpack and recycle the boxes. For residents who enjoy the convenience of online grocery shopping with services like Blue Apron, the concierge will unpack the food and put it in the fridge and freezer so it’s ready to go when the resident returns home. There is essentially no limit to the services offered—no matter the request, “our staff will deliver,” Rafferty said.

The concierge desk at Presidential Towers in Chicago takes center stage in the lobby. Image by Darris Lee Harris

The concierge desk at Presidential Towers in Chicago takes center stage in the lobby.

Best practices

It takes a specific breed of multifamily community to run a concierge service smoothly. First, the nature of the service is more tailored to larger, luxury communities where the rent costs can justify the expense of extra hires. At 500 Lake Shore, operating a concierge service means having two people on a shift rather than just the doorman.

“Some of the smaller companies are perhaps not equipped to handle this type of a service, or perhaps they’re too small to handle something of this nature or their model is just not set up that way,” said Trifunovski. With more than 2,000 units, “I think our sheer size at Presidential Towers helps us provide that service.”

One of the motivations for adding a designated concierge office at Presidential Towers six years ago was the foot traffic coming into the leasing center with non-leasing-related inquiries. It was overwhelming, and keeping leasing agents from their work. “This way, we have a department that specializes and spends time on doing research into what’s happening in the city, where people are going, what the prices are, what the discounts are, planning events and doing different things,” Trifunovski explained.

500 Lake Shore Drive opened its doors in 2013, when concierge services were more of a priority for a new community than they were when Presidential Towers was built in 1986. “(The concierge service) started before the building opened, so all of our staff underwent a proprietary training program, learning how to anticipate residents’ needs and understand their preferences,” Rafferty said.

During this training period, employees were educated on the 24/7 aspect of service, a component that Rafferty said is integral to ensuring resident satisfaction. “If you’re going to say you have this service, you have to be able to execute it, and it has to be done consistently,” she said. “It has to be consistent across all 24 hours of the day and all seven days of the week. …If you’re going to promise this to your resident, you have to live up to that promise.”

The bottom line

For many, investing in a concierge service program may not seem feasible or worthwhile, but for luxury properties, especially in metropolitan areas with lots of competition, it can provide a much-needed edge. As more of the renter pool consists of renters by choice, luxury communities must provide more equity than home ownership would, and having a dedicated staff to attend to errands, entertainment and appointments can ensure satisfaction and loyalty. According to those who employ concierges, the payoff in resident satisfaction is evident when it comes time to renew their lease.

That return on investment is “hard to quantify,” put in Freeman. However, he added, “for every dollar you spend on a concierge service program, you see about a $3.80 return on your investment, and you see that a couple of ways. You see that through resident retention, new resident procurement … and then also in removing the burden of non-leasing issues off the shoulders of the management team.”

“(The concierge) is an integral part of developing relationships with our residents so that their stay here is happy and satisfactory, and we try to go beyond expectations anytime we possibly can,” said Trifunovski. “I think it shows when renewal time comes. Folks feel that they’re part of the community. We have folks here that have lived here for years and they keep renewing.”

Noted Rafferty: “We do resident satisfaction surveys, and consistently, they give a special shout-out to a certain individual who goes above and beyond.” At 500 Lake Shore Drive, according to Rafferty, the personal relationships that residents develop with concierge staff prove to be one of the most appreciated benefits of living in the luxury high-rise. “At the time of renewal … it’s the service and the personalized attention and the personal catering to their needs that’s unique,” she said. “Our staff has established trust with the resident, and they feel good about that. … They aren’t going to get that somewhere else, or they’d have to start at square one somewhere else.”

While a Nest thermostat or keyless entry may be forgettable, personalized service isn’t. “You’re getting someone who knows your name, who greets you the way you want to be greeted, who treats you the way you want to be treated,” Rafferty summarized.

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Austin Texas Concierge Like No Other

With the recent influx of people relocating to the Austin area, now more than ever, on-the-go Austinites have found an immediate need for support.  Club One Concierge provides a high-touch service, so that its clients don’t have to lift a finger. Anything the concierge can’t do themselves, they project manage through the company’s trusted Preferred Provider Network comprised of more than 200 vendors. They’ve managed everything from interior design projects, chicken farms, travel, establishing small businesses to transporting patients to and from surgery.

A woman-owned boutique company founded by native Texan, Shan Davis, Club One Concierge is rapidly expanding to meet the growing needs of some of the city’s most influential individuals and businesses – and no task is too big or too small when it comes to helping busy Austinites.

Learn how to start your own concierge business or errand service today at http://www.Concierge101.com!

Anything the concierge can’t do themselves, they project manage through the company’s trusted Preferred Provider Network comprised of more than 200 vendors. They’ve managed everything from interior design projects, chicken farms, travel, establishing small businesses to transporting patients to and from surgery.

The services don’t stop with busy individuals, however. Club One also offers the same kind of white-glove services to businesses in the Austin area by rolling into corporations’ benefits packages as an added perk, similar to a gym membership or other benefits corporations may offer to incentivize employees.

Club One Concierge offers a host of services such as:

• Property Management

• Relocation Coordination

• Vendor & Staff Management

• Event Planning

• Virtual Services

“I think the most important reason clients engage Club One Concierge is trust. It’s not multiple people with your keys or passwords, it’s one person who’s totally committed to you. With that level of trust we become an integral part of our client’s family,” says Davis.

“Resourcefulness, confidentiality, and always thinking a few steps ahead is what helps clients have peace of mind, which enables them to thrive personally and professionally. We truly are the one trusted resource for our clients’ busy lives.”

Clients hiring Club One Concierge have the option of purchasing blocks of time from 10-40 hours a month or based on an as-needed basis.

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Business Newsmaker Micah Bennett, Hudson Valley Concierge Service ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network

Micah Bennett, Ceo & Founder Of Hudson Valley Concierge, is the focus of this installment of our weekly series, Business Newsmakers.

Source: Business Newsmaker Micah Bennett, Hudson Valley Concierge Service ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network

Posted in baby boomers, business, corporate concierge services, employee concierge, entrepreneur, home business, human resources, income, lifestyle, luxury concierge business, marketing, millenials, niche, personal concierge service, SEO, small biz, small business, start up, startup, work from home

Life circumstances drove entrepreneur to startup what is now a global corporate concierge company

Cathy Leibow, Senior Vice President of Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company, is planning to expand her concierge business into Mexico soon.  In this article featured in the Huffington Post, she reflects on how she got to where she is today and gives advice to fellow entrepreneurs in the work/life management industry…

As we celebrate National Work and Family Month, I cannot help but reflect on how dramatically our ideas of ‘ideal workers’ and ‘ideal families’ have shifted since I began my career as a working parent in the early 1980s. Yes, we had shoulder-padded power suits, sneakers with panty hose, and movies like Working Girl and Baby Boom to inspire women to push for equality and respect in the workplace; but in many ways, we were (and still are today) challenging the “ideal worker model” of the early 20th century. This ideal worker model presumes that “the good worker is someone that is there full time, in an uninterrupted way, over the course of their careers, and that they will put work first” as described by Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University. Having pioneered one of the first work-life companies in the 1980s, and now working with tech powerhouses and Fortune 500 companies on building great places to work, I am proud to say that this non-inclusive ‘ideal worker model’ is becoming obsolete. I see leaders today more interested in building a diverse, engaged, passionate, thriving workforce where there is no one-size-fits-all ‘ideal worker.’ And I definitely see a major emphasis on finding solutions for healthier work-life integration.

As a business leader and mother, I have seen, experienced and learned a lot over the past 30 years. While I do not presume to have all the answers, here are a few things I know for sure about work, life, and what’s really important.

Life will throw you curveballs. I went to school to be a teacher, and then ended up as an executive at Intel. When my son Jason was born with Down Syndrome, I started researching specialized child care providers and the idea for my work-life referral business was born. This idea has now blossomed into Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company, and I am grateful that life led me down a path bigger than my dreams could have imagined.

Follow your passion. I am passionate about helping other women succeed and making work and life easier for families. I’m lucky that what I do every day is fulfilling personally and professionally. But doing something that you’re passionate about might not always come with a big paycheck. Women still need to make a living and take care of themselves financially. If you can’t do what you love at your job, supplement work with something that gives your life meaning and purpose, whether its volunteering for a cause, mentoring other women, or giving back in some other way.

Keys to Starting & Operating a Concierge Business

How to Start a Concierge Business

Take risks. I took a huge leap of faith by changing career fields and starting my own business. But I truly believed in what I was doing, and I had a strong support structure made up of my family and friends. If big changes aren’t realistic, what small steps can you take to move in the direction you want to go?
Work-life “balance” isn’t real. We’re often told that women can do it all. But honestly, you really can’t – at least not all at the same time. Looking back, I know there were times I sacrificed my personal life for my career, and I should have said “no” to work more often, and “yes” to my family and kids. Figure out what works for you, and don’t hold yourself to anyone’s standards except your own.

Stay curious. I’m at the age where I’m wondering, what’s next? I love working, so the idea of a traditional “retirement” is not going to work for me. Life stages are different now, and I have so much more to look forward to. My husband and I recently bought a home in Mexico, and we’re learning Spanish again. I want to travel more, meet new people, connect with nature, and volunteer. I’m considering starting a concierge business in Mexico with a focus on helping expats acclimate to their new surroundings. Why the hell not? It’s easy to be complacent, but continue challenging yourself and pushing your own boundaries. You’ll surprise yourself what you’re capable of.

Lead by example. Exceptional leaders are good listeners. They care. They communicate. They build trust and respect. As an entrepreneur and CEO, I couldn’t always pay people as much as I wanted to, but people stayed with me for years because I treated them fairly. I understood what they were going through in raising families and dealing with life outside of the office. My business was an example of what I’m trying to teach other employers about creating better workplaces. It’s all about integrity. If I’m selling the idea of being a best place to work, I better be modelling it.

Take care of yourself. I’ve discovered that having a well-rounded approach to life is the key to well-being and happiness. I love to hike, do yoga and be active. I read novels for pleasure, and business and leadership books for self-improvement. I spend time connecting with family and friends, as well as time alone connecting with myself. Be your own person, acknowledge your individual needs, and do what you need to do to stay healthy. If you can accept yourself for who you are, that is the ultimate measure of success. You’ve won.

Cathy Leibow is Senior Vice President of Leverage Concierge, a global corporate concierge company.  For more than 30 years, Leverage Concierge has provided innovative, robust and highly customizable corporate concierge benefits to help customers drive employee engagement, boost productivity, and enhance company culture. Leverage Concierge offers 24/7 convenient access to unlimited concierge services through the myLeverageOnline website and mobile app. With an average 95% customer service rating and 98% client retention rate, Leverage Concierge proactively partners with each client to assure the program perfectly aligns with internal goals, initiatives, and culture and can seamlessly integrate with existing benefit programs. Leverage Concierge is affiliated with ACI Specialty Benefits—a Top-Ten provider of employee assistance programs (EAP), corporate wellness, student assistance, concierge and work-life services to corporations worldwide.  Learn more at https://leverageconcierge.com/.

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