Do you ever think to yourself, I wish I had an extra pair of hands to run an errand for me or to help me organize my garage? Are you a small business owner who needs sensitive documents dropped off to a client across town, but can’t do it personally? How about a busy mompreneur who needs assistance setting up for an event, but doesn’t have the resources of a part-time staff?
Michelle McCloskey of Run Around Betties has found a creative solution for those who need extra help on a temporary basis or as a one time deal. You can hire one of her personal assistants for 1-2 hours (or more) to help you make your life more manageable. It’s an interesting concept, one that I’m very familiar with, plus the name is unforgettable! It makes me think of Mad Men. I wouldn’t mind having a Betty help me organize my home office!
Michelle’s company intrigued me & I thought it would be fascinating to learn how she got started. Michelle does not have children, but her business is like her baby – so in my mind, she qualifies for a Real Mom of the SFV spotlight. 🙂
Please meet Valley business owner, Michelle McCloskey!
How/why did you begin your business?
Michelle: When I founded Run Around Betties in 2011, my vision was to provide high-quality support to overscheduled professionals, busy families, and small business owners on a part-time, as needed basis. I had years of experience working as a personal/executive assistant, and launching Run Around Betties was the result of my professional experience and my desire to find a fun, cost-effective, and dynamic way to help time-strapped people. I had a vision and a catchy name and went from there.
What is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Michelle: It’s OK not to know everything about everything and don’t be scared to ask questions – I still have to remind myself that I don’t need to be all knowing on every topic involved in my business. Of course, I know my product and my clients inside out, but I’m not an attorney, an accountant, or an encyclopedia of business terms and lingo. When I first started out, I used to stay quiet and not ask any questions in meetings or on calls and frequently felt intimidated by the experts or advice-givers I was consulting. Then I realized that it’s my company under discussion, and while they have their areas of expertise, they don’t know my business the way I do. I’ve finally figured out that if I have the question or am not getting something, the odds are really good that someone else in the room feels the same way.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Michelle: We have a lot of clients who live in the Valley who use Betties on a regular basis. They are more often than not working moms or dads or moms starting their own businesses and tend to need a different type of support than our clients on the west side or downtown. Their Betties frequently provide family/household support, pet care and administrative services. Speaking personally I have lived in Sherman Oaks for six years and absolutely love the area and supporting local businesses in my area. Sweet Butter Bakery on Ventura is my go-to spot for cookies for meetings or client gifts, and M Café on Moorpark is always a great spot to work remotely when I need to get out of the office.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Michelle: Don’t Take Things Personally – When it comes to my business, this has been a tough one. I’ve put my heart and soul into my business which makes it very hard not to think that if someone doesn’t like it, he or she must not like me! Because my business is very personal and I really connect with my clients, I think it’s made it a bit harder to break out of that mindset. However, as my business has grown and more people have come on board, it’s become easier to see and really understand that it really is just business.
I wish I had understood in my earlier years that things that people say generally reflect more about themselves than the subject matter and that when someone is unhappy, critical, or negative about my business, I’m totally missing an opportunity if I make it personal to me. If I can take a step back (and stop the blood from rushing to my ears!) and listen. By not taking the situation personally, it gives me the chance to hear what’s not being said – an unspoken client need that he or she doesn’t even realize, assumptions that stand in the way of potential clients, and information that helps me target my marketing messages. Plus it definitely makes life much more pleasant!
I like Michelle’s motto of not taking things personally. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but as a business owner you just have to learn to separate yourself from the noise…take the criticism, chalk it up as a life lesson & then move on.
For readers of my blog, Run Around Betties is having a special NEW CLIENT promotion! You can hire your own personal assistant for 3 hours at the price of 2. All you have to do is reference promo code “RealMomSFV” when you email or call in your order.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.