“What would your life look like if you had extra time and energy for your family?”
This is what Beth Adams, owner and founder of B at Your Service Concierge, asks each of her clients. She challenges them to think about how they can carve out essential time spent on household duties to better devote themselves to their families. Her company strives to help families, seniors, and small businesses plan, organize, schedule, and facilitate their daily lives.
As the mom of four children, Beth is just the person to tackle this. Seven years ago, she co-founded My Girl Friday, a business that sought to help clients run errands and better manage their busy lives.
Beth’s youngest child had just started kindergarten and she was considering returning to work. She had worked as a manager in the MRI and CAT-Scan departments at Sinai Hospital leading a team who helped shepherd people through their radiology process. She had loved her job but when she began the process of looking into opportunities in the health care industry, she realized the trade-off.
“You suddenly realize that when your kids are little, the days are so long, but as they grow older, the years fly by,” she says.
Faced with four school-aged kids, she did not want to miss a moment of those years.
“I needed a wife to go back to work…and if I needed a wife, so did everyone else,” she realized
With this idea in mind, she started My Girl Friday, and now B at Your Service Concierge. In the beginning, Beth assumed most of her job would be helping clients organize and de-clutter their homes, run time-consuming errands, do bulk shopping, and schedule inconvenient appointments and repairs. After seven years working with so many different kinds of clients, Beth explains, “It’s so much more than I ever thought it would be.”
Beth traces this back to her experience in health care. For her, the connection she felt with her patients was so important and so meaningful. She drilled this into her staff, reminding them that the time they spent with these patients would make a difference in their patients’ lives. They were tasked with helping them through an uncertain and often scary time. Reflecting on this, Beth realized this was her strength and what would ultimately set her apart in her new business.
Because of this, B at Your Service Concierge is a very personalized business. Beth meets with each client to determine his or her unique needs. She explains that many times, client are so overwhelmed, they do not even know what they need.
“Sometimes life is bigger than a messy house.”
The seemingly overwhelming task of dealing with that mess, however, can clear the way for other resolutions as well.
Over the years, Beth has been a part of every significant life milestone from births to deaths, saving marriages to facilitating rehab. She calls herself the “keeper of all secrets,” but takes great pride in the strides she has seen her clients take and the amazing transformations they have undergone.
“It’s like the peeling of an onion.”
She knows that beyond the day-to-day tasks she facilitates, Beth is indirectly helping clients handle adversity, clear away the cobwebs, and embrace life to the fullest.
Beth surrounds herself with a team of five women who “give their 110% all the time.” She carefully matches her clients and staff to ensure the success and guarantee the personalization of her business. She also keeps a Rolodex of trusted small business owners and tradesman whom she knows she can call in a pinch.
Beth seems like the answer to any over-scheduled person’s prayers. So how does she, a business owner, wife and mother of four, maintain her own sanity?
She credits her own organizational ability as well as the importance of personal time.
“After 20 plus years of marriage and kids, I have systems that work.”
Systems that include structuring her workday to allow for necessary catch-up and “me” time as well as systems that help her household run smoothly. Beth reasons that if everything has its place and everyone is aware of that, things run better.
Still, Beth cautions, “With six people in the house, it’s not perfect.”
In fact, she laughs, her twelve year old daughter recently condemned her for “over organization.” When her children were young, she had a constantly revolving door of bags into the house and bags out. Inevitably, her kids would discover some beloved toy in the “out” bag and beg to retrieve it. While her kids have long outgrown toys, the “out” bag still sometimes incites some unrest.
To that end, Beth’s advice is to take advantage of these winter months while you are hunkered down in your house. Take one hour, once a week, even if it’s at night, to tackle that spot that causes your stomach to drop every time you pass it. Just dealing with that one area can change the whole vibe of your house. She suggests setting a timer, waiting for your family to fall asleep, but, whatever the tactic, deal with it.
As she transitions into her new business, Beth’s focus remains on family. She acknowledges how much harder people are working and how much crazier schedules are today. Her hope is that particularly families with two working parents will recognize the value of gaining back two hours a week in their lives, just by outsourcing the errands, the car repairs, or the service appointments to someone else. She hopes that small businesses see that B at Your Service Concierge services can do admin work for significantly less than a full-time employee. Down the road, Beth hopes to incentivize companies to provide their managerial staff with the extra set of hands (and hours) her staff can give.
In the end, Beth reasons, “Life is short. We should enjoy each day.” Her best clients seem to embrace this.
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