Recently we were able to sit down with Yardie, Karen Simmons, and learn a little more about her experience as a business owner, especially how she is currently evolving in light of the recently declared pandemic.
A Fractional CFO and Serial Business Owner.
Karen Simmons owns CFO Consulting Services, Inc., where she serves as a fractional CFO consultant, as well as an online educator through the Mastery Network.
After spending 25 years as a CPA for KCS, P.C. Karen realized that she loved the business of business much more than the tax aspect, which is what led her to rebranding as Karen Simmons CFO. Not only that, but Karen also currently owns Flexible Benefits Inc., which is a Flexible Spending Account third party administrator, she co-owns Payroll Vault with her daughter, Cadie Gaut, as well as, Marine Exhaust Systems of Alabama, Inc., with her brother Mark Coulson.
Podcast Queen and Lover of Wine.
Even before Karen was a full-time member at Container Yard, she and her daughter, Cadie, worked weekly with Yardie Johnny Gwin on their podcast Cheers to Business. Since Cadie and Karen make a habit of working through business problems and situations both for their own businesses and for their clients, Karen says it just made sense to educate other business owners on the things they had learned. Plus, each show as Karen and Cadie hash out these issues they indulge in their favorite wines. Karen admits this is typical of their informal business meetings that usually happen on the weekends.
Finding a Home Among the Creative and Inspiring.
A little over six months ago Karen joined Container Yard as a full-time member. After selling her accounting business and focusing more on becoming a consultant, Karen found herself in need of an office space. Since her husband is retired and home most of the day, she was unsure if they could co-exist all day every day and she knew none of her co-owners wanted her constantly in the office either, so she joined Container Yard.
Although Container Yard fulfills Karen’s needs for an office space perfectly, the true reason she loves being a Yardie is the people. Although she (like most people) cannot wait to get out of the house after this recently declared pandemic, she is more excited to see the people she has met at Container Yard, all of which she finds to be creative and inspiring.
Celebrating in Collaboration.
Aside from the camaraderie and water-cooler talk that Karen receives while working from the Yard, she also celebrates the business connections she makes with other Yardies. Karen knows the importance of networking and since all of the different talents at Container Yard compliment each other, she is confident that when she cannot complete a task (or maybe something isn’t her strong suit), someone at the Yard will step up to help, just as she does.
Like a Roomba on the Floor.
Like many businesses, there are many daily routines that look different for Karen as working from home and practicing proper social distancing has become the new normal. Many individuals are finding a new found love for Zoom, as it allows for meetings to be done virtually, as well as, it gives clients the ability to continue seeking guidance.
What Karen truly believes about the impact on COVID-19 concerning business owners is that this is a time of opportunity like no other! She believes that never in history have we had more time to learn and the resources to do it. As we watch businesses evolve and conduct business in a different way Karen sees them as a “Roomba on the Floor.”
“This Virus has created a wall that your business keeps running into. You are not going to go through that wall, therefore the necessity to evolve is more apparent now than ever. Turn a little to the right or turn a little to the left - either way pivot a little and look around you to see how you can evolve to keep your business going.” Ultimately Karen continues to act as a resource for clients and friends so that when the normal begins to return we can all celebrate together by supporting businesses who persevere and pivot during difficult and unprecedented times.
Business as a Passion.
It's clear from spending time with Karen Simmons that she is passionate about business and eager to help other business owners and leaders. However, like any successful business owner she knows the importance of taking time to recharge when Karen recharges you will most-likely find her crocheting, spending time with her grandkids, riding waves on her jet ski or traveling!
We love having such a great leader and genuine business enthusiast around at Container Yard. Learn more about what Karen does here and check out her podcast, Cheers to Business, and CFO consulting service, CFO CSI.