weTHRIVE – Danielle Buchen

Founder and Owner of Danielle Marie Business Solutions

Danielle M. Buchen has over 15 years of administrative and management experience- 6 of those years being virtually based. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Marketing from Hood College and am a Certified Bookkeeper with Quickbooks. I am treasurer/secretary of the BNI Downtown Connectors Chapter, as well as the volunteer Coordinator for both Glade Elementary and Walkersville Middle School.

Danielle Marie Business Solutions provides support to business owners, so they can focus on growing their business. Our services include, but are not limited to, business consulting, general virtual assistance, online business management, online project management, transaction coordinator, social media management, copy editing, data entry, email marketing, bookkeeping, scheduling and more. We pride ourselves on developing relationships with their clients and understanding their “voice” and goals.

Danielle Marie Business Solutions is a productive and detail-oriented addition to any start-up, small
business or entrepreneur.

I collaborate with business owners who want to:

  • Spend more time serving their customers.
  • Have a better work-life balance. No more 80 hour weeks trying to do it all!
  • Increase their revenue and scale their business, whilst not burning out.

Learn More About Danielle Marie Business Solutions

weTHRIVE Episode 9 Transcript

Casey Clark (00:00):

Hi everyone. And thank you so much for joining us on the, weTHRIVE Podcast, where we share stories from entrepreneurs around the world about how they’re helping people and creating an impactful legacy. So my name is Casey Clark and I’m the host of the show. I’m also the founder and chief growth officer of C Clark Consulting. So today I will be interviewing Danielle Buchen. Danielle, thank you for being a guest.

Danielle Buchen

Thank you so much for having me!

Casey Clark

Absolutely. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Danielle Buchen

All right. So my name is Danielle Buchan and I am Danielle Marie business solutions. We are a team of virtual assistants, project managers. I’m a certified bookkeeper with QuickBooks, so we kind of take care of all of your behind the scenes needs. Administrative wise for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, small businesses, large businesses, kind of anyone who needs a helping hand with administrative tasks that they either don’t have the means to employ someone in office or they’re just overwhelmed. And they need someone to kind of take things off of their plate. We do things from social media to anything, administrative emailing schedules invoicing marketing a little bit, nothing like what you do, but simple things. And then just really kind of helping people stay on track with onboarding and managing their clients. Awesome. Sounds like you’re busy.

Danielle Buchen (01:32):

We do a little bit of everything, except my like little taglines, not graphic design, unless you want stick people. I suggest you go elsewhere. The only thing we don’t do with graphic design, but the else I’m super OCD. So keeping people online and I’m making sure that things don’t fall through the cracks for businesses, because that’s where we can. Awesome. Awesome. So did you grow up in the Maryland area? Yep. So I was born in New York and then we moved to Maryland started in Rockville and then I’ve been in Frederick since I was five years old. I guess I went to school here, my whole life graduated from college, went to st. John’s Catholic prep. And so yeah, my family is all within the trans Tristate area for the most part. And my kids go to school here now. My brother business here in Frederick for awhile now. So we’re all kind of local, which is nice. It’s nice to see how things are changing. It’s nice to see familiar faces with networking and things like that. Yeah, definitely. Frederick has definitely changed a lot in the past 20 years or so there’s not so many cows on the side of the road. Like I used to say, that’s a plus.

Casey Clark (03:02):

So as you know, the name of our podcast is called we thrive. So when you hear the word thrive, what comes to mind for you?

Danielle Buchen

Oh, I was thinking about this a lot last night and I actually Googled it just to see like the layman’s term definition, you know, because I feel like it can be interpreted in so many ways. And I’m sure as doing your podcast, people have many interpretations. So if you know what it means to thrive, I’m sure people use it as a scale of measurement in terms of maybe how successful they are with a certain number of clients or with how much money they about their relationships. A lot of my clients have turned into some of my dear friends and our kids are friends. And, you know, that means the most to me, you know, on top of that, it would be making sure that they have seen a change in hiring our company.

Danielle Buchen (03:54):

We’re doing a great job that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do to help them succeed. That makes me feel like we’re driving in Vertex. They see, see, see, and say that they’ve seen such a positive change in the way that they run their business. That’d be awesome. I love it. So with helping others grow their business and, you know, be more efficient, what obstacles have you faced communication really? I mean, people have different forms of communicating and I’m super OCD, which is why this is perfect for what I do. Like everyone jokes that my sticky notes have sticky notes and my lists have lists and things are color coded in my calendar. But not everyone works that way. So trying to kind of dissect that and learning other people’s way of communication and what works for them and kind of coming to their level is probably our biggest struggle because people can be, I have some clients where I call homework.

Danielle Buchen (04:59):

So there’s certain things that I need from them before I can do what I need to do certain information and so on their homework. And I have people tell me straight up that bullied me, tell me what you need to do. Give me my homework, make sure you ride me to stay on track, but other people do not work that way. I’m hiring you because the time to do these things, and now you’re going to give me more things to do. And so they’re completely overwhelmed. So it’s really just kind of the handholding or that I’m talking to them, how in a way that is calm to them. And then there’s a way that makes them feel safe and not in a way that makes them feel like, Oh my gosh, why did we do this? This is just added things to my right.

Casey Clark

So have you had any personal challenges, like mindset or motivation or anything like that for myself or my clients for yourself?

Danielle Buchen (05:54):

Well, so a little fun fact, I have 4 children. So I mean of just getting my mind straight into work mode and having a separate office to not be surrounded by children. My biggest struggle in the beginning and just probably mom guilt, I guess, of balancing the time because I started this company part time while I was working another full time job and being a single mother. So just a time of making sure that I was doing what I needed to do in all aspects of my life, the hats that I was there, but here we are three and a half years later or something like that. And you know, we’ve got it figured out now. And so I have an amazing nanny that takes care of the personal side of my life. And I’ve got systems on top of systems to run my business for my time. Figuring out what works for us and what works for them. And yeah, we’ve, we’ve got it.

Casey Clark (07:01):

That’s great. I know that putting systems in place is just a challenge in itself, especially when you’re working, you know, it’s like pulling teeth, trying to get things from clients sometimes.

Danielle Buchen

So yes, for sure. And it sounds like, you know, how should we organize this? And so now over time, people are starting to see like how this, how this flows and why, you know, there was so much work in the beginning and I tell people all the time, like it’s going to be a lot in the beginning and he’s like this, and we’re trying to make it like this. I’m not in their head. And I don’t know why they have things out and I don’t know, without a daily basis or the systems that they’re doing on a daily basis. So I, I have to kind of morph into them and step into their role professionally with what exactly it is that they do.

Danielle Buchen (07:56):

And then kind of be like, okay, so this is how you start their day and this is how they end their day. What is going to be the most perfect thing for that. What’s going to be the most effective way for them to have things in a system that isn’t going to make them have to overthink it or stress them more into the person that they’re working a high concern relate.

Casey Clark

So speaking of putting systems in place, what other resources have helped you with either thriving or overcoming your obstacles?

Danielle Buchen

I think networking is a big one, especially kind of, like I said, like I grew up in this area, so I know of people, but I don’t necessarily, people don’t know this business. So it’s kind of nice to get back into the community and doing networking and just really getting to know other like-minded business people.

Casey Clark (08:54):

Networking is a big one. I would say I’m using a lot of the scheduling like tools. That’s a really good resource. I think that’s going to help us stay organized is super helpful for us. So we’re always looking for the next best thing, your next way to communicate your next way to stay on top of things and keep things in place. But definitely being in the community has really helped us. We started in a very professional way. So networking is, is a bit of a struggle for us personally, but you know, and getting our name out there, but it’s coming along.

Casey Clark (09:35):

You said you started in an unconventional way. I’m curious to know what exactly that means.

Danielle Buchen (09:43):

So don’t follow this advice who’s listening or watching and is looking to start a company because it should not have worked. But, so I was a recently difficult course and I was working a full time job, but I have always done work. I’ve always done bookkeeping jobs. I’ve always got other businesses. I’ve always had something else on the side. So I was already doing social media for certain science. And I was like for just like one or two people, I was like, I wonder if I could, you know, make some more money on the side now that I was divorced and just adjusting to my new life as a solo income. So I would call, I called it cold DM because back in the day it was cold calling. But I would send out messages to probably 30 people a day on it being like, Hey, like, and they would be business cases like photographers or clothing stores or whoever or realtors be like, Hey, this is what I do was looking through your page was just wondering if you needed any help.

Danielle Buchen (10:45):

Like let me know if you’d love to have a conversation and not have worked, you know, it’s, it’s spam. How many spam DMs do you get? You know but people responded and people would call and have conversations with me. And granted, I didn’t really have a portfolio to show them. I didn’t have references to give them. I didn’t have a website. But people would talk to me and I would explain to them what I would be able to offer and what we do, what I did at the time. And they would hire me. And that is how I got my very first clients and they were in Arizona and California and Indianapolis. So they weren’t anywhere around here. They didn’t know me from Adam. If you’ve ever looked at my social media of mine, isn’t anything to go off of because mine was about my kids.

Danielle Buchen (11:35):

So why they hired me, but that is how I got my very first clients. And that’s how I really and then they would refer me to people after some time. And then I kind of got to a point where I couldn’t have a full time job and managing these clients and be a mother. And so I took a leap of faith and I quit my full time job so that I would grow my company and I doubled it in three months. So, you know, taking that leap of faith really paid off for me. And you know, I have a team of people who work with me and for me, and we’re always growing and we’re always adding to our list of services that we offer because those people will hire us for one thing and then be like, Oh, actually I need help with this.

Danielle Buchen (12:22):

Do you guys do this? And it’s like, actually we are capable of doing that. We just haven’t advertised it. So don’t follow my advice. Don’t call DM people. If you’re looking to, it’s not a good marketing plan, like it should not have worked. And like I said, some of my clients have become some of my closest friends and people that I’ve have never even met because they were across the country. But now I’m comfortable enough to be like, Hey, did you hire me? Like in the beginning, you know, just out of curiosity. And then they said it was my personality and that they felt like they could relate to me. And the way that I communicated with them and that, you know, hiring someone like me and my company, you are in constant communication with us. You talk to us a lot. So you’re going to have to like that person, because if you feel like it has an attitude or you feel like they have a chip on their shoulder or whatever it is that you don’t vibe with them, they’re not the person for you to work with no different than hiring someone in your office that you have to see eight hours a day though.

Danielle Buchen (13:24):

They said that for the reason they hired me was, yeah, I had no experience to show them, but they felt like I was someone that they could talk to a lot and that I would understand them and listen to them and work with them and was really just a good match. And, you know, your very first question of like, what does thriving mean to me? And it’s like, that, is it like that? Like making that that’s the biggest compliment I could get is someone who feels comfortable with me and feels like I’m really going to listen and do a good job without seeing any of the work that we’ve done at the highest compliment.

Casey Clark (13:57):

Definitely. So at the beginning, were you transparent with people on, like, I don’t have any references or any portfolio, but here I am?

Danielle Buchen (14:06):

Yeah. I mean, cause people would ask me to be like, can I see some of the social media accounts that you’ve done in the class? And I was like, like, and I would be like, I don’t have any to show you. But then, you know, I’m very persistent. And so, you know, if someone expresses a level of interest, I will continue to follow up because I actually know people get busy and maybe they forget, or maybe they’re just really blowing me off. I don’t really know which air, but until you tell me, Hey, I’m not interested or Hey, we found someone else checking in with you. And so again, one of my very first clients was like, I’m so glad that you did that because I needed to, I’m so busy and so overwhelmed that it would slip my mind to like respond back, slip my mind, like get that homework together for you.

Danielle Buchen (14:53):

So people nine out of 10 times, people are very grateful that you continue to reach out and kind of like that. I had someone this morning actually just send me a message that the project is, they’re getting a project that they want us to work on. I’ve taken a little bit longer for approval. And I probably sent her like three messages being like, Hey, any updates, Hey, any updates? Cause we were supposed to start two weeks ago and just this morning she was like, I promise as soon as we get this approved, like I will let you get out, but please don’t stop dodging me. So things like that, people seem to appreciate. But yeah, it was totally up front that I had nothing to show them. Yeah. Yeah. I find that like transparency is really key and that if you like, a lot of people will say, you know, fake it till you make it.

Danielle Buchen (15:39):

But sometimes it’s just best to be honest and people appreciate that. And then they understand like that you have the ability to find an answer or to get things done. And I just feel like there’s so much more respect, especially in the beginning, people will be like, are you familiar with this program or do you know how to do this? And I might’ve been like a little bit familiar, but a little bit familiar with programs or certain things, but I wouldn’t tell the Japanese, like, you know what, the beauty of this day and age that is, I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to do Google. And I know how to watch a YouTube video to do it so I can figure it out. Or I know how to contact the health center. Like we had to learn HoneyBook for photography.

Danielle Buchen (16:17):

So, you know, I know how to use the chat teacher and ask them questions. If I can’t find something in the system, I’m not gonna bother you. Be like, Hey, how do we do this? That’s not why you’re tired. Well, you hired me to figure it out or smart enough to figure. Absolutely. So resourceful, definitely resourceful. I love it. So, so let’s talk a little bit more about those resources and how they’re kind of helping you create a legacy. So first when you hear the word legacy, what comes to mind for me? It’s my children. I mean, everything we do is for them, you know, I, I chose to quit a full time job, not just because I had a heavy workload of this becoming what started out as my side business, but also because I was a stay at home mom for the most part when I was married.

Danielle Buchen (17:10):

So my kids were used to me being around all the time being on the PTA board then coming to all the class parties. And I could tell that that was affecting now that their mom wasn’t like what’s gone for nine hours a day. So for me, legacy is all about them because I was like, I have to find a way to still be present for them physically, but still provided income. So I just, you know, whole DM to make that work. So they are definitely. Yeah. And you have four of them, the legacy is there, is there anything that like you try to teach or instill in your kids that is really, really important? Like certain values that you’ve found are critical to be, you know, successful? So my kids range in ages from three and a half to 12.

Danielle Buchen (18:09):

So they are kind of all across the board. They’re every two years. I’m so I’m dealing with a middle schooler and I’m dealing with a toddler as well and seeing their personalities grow over the years, you know, I see a lot of myself, obviously, if the kid been the personality I have now versus who I was as a child is night and day ahead, no confidence as a child. I completely quiet. I let people walk all over me and I was afraid to speak up. And so when I see those characteristics in my kids compared to who I am now and like, no, like stand up for yourself or don’t be afraid to ask a question like you even, you know, everyday my job, if I don’t understand something, like I’ll ask a question, I’d rather get it done. Right. And ask questions, then go to the wrong and have that headache of fixing it or looking bad.

Danielle Buchen (19:00):

Cause like if that I couldn’t do it. So really encouraging them to step up and speak up and to find their voice of asking for help or asking a question, or if someone’s not being nice to step in and, you know, stop bullying per se. Just really encouraging them to just step up and to just really find their voice. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid what people are gonna think. You know, that’s a big thing with kids. So just, just be who you are and, you know, look how you want to look and dress how you want to dress. That’s kind of a running theme which really ties into business as well, because so many people think that in certain interests industries, they have to fit a mold or, you know, I have to do things a certain way or speak a certain way or market a certain way to then attract people.

Danielle Buchen (19:52):

And it’s like, if people want to work with you, they’re going to work for their own reasons. Not because like every other cookie cutter person.

Casey Clark

Yeah, absolutely. So outside of, kind of instilling things in your kids, how are you impacting others? Whether it’s personally or professionally.

Danielle Buchen

That’s a tough question. I feel like other people should be answering that question about us, right? Like, like I feel like you should be asking my clients that question. Oh, I impacted, I mean, I hope that, so my love language is like in care of others and be very ever, so I need to do little things for my clients who are now my friends and for the close people in my life. I do like to do little things for them. So I’m hoping that just spreading the kindness, especially with things going on in the world right now, sleeping an impact.

Danielle Buchen (20:51):

And just like people know that like, Hey, I’m here for you, whether it’s professionally or personally, or, Hey, I’m thinking about you. A lot of my friends have kids and are working mothers as well. And so especially my clients, obviously though, just knowing that like, you know, we can do the balance and if you need to vent, I’m here, you know, obviously to each other, we send each other pictures of sorry to drink at 11:00 AM sometimes because it’s the only way we’re going to get through the day. So, I mean, there’s no judgment here. So I just hope that people can see who we are as a company and who I am as a person.

Danielle Buchen (21:28):

He truly made her. And we are here, whether it’s, you know, you need to vent about things going on in your personal life or that a client’s client is driving them crazy. That smell people, people have told me that, you know, I shouldn’t have the title of virtual assistants or project managers, really more business consultants or business therapists. So many clients will call us and just be like venting. I was like, Oh, this is going wrong. This went wrong. And sometimes there’s nothing I can do about it because it involves another person. But you know, just the calming voice of like, you know, okay, if this happens, then this is what we’ll do, but let’s just wait to see what happens and just kind of being that voice of reason. So I hope that people just, I think the big thing for me would be like, knowing that we care and that we’re reliable and that we’re here. I wear my heart on my sleeve. So, you know, I’m always like showing her love dollar.

Casey Clark (22:26):

I love it. So what are some nuggets that you have for other business owners to help them thrive?

Danielle Buchen

Don’t cold DM people. Really honestly, I think it’s just be yourself and be true to our personality and why you started your company. I think a lot of people do cite as to why they started there, why they’re doing what they’re doing because they get too hung up with maybe the rankings of where they feel like they should be or, you know, meeting a certain photo with revenue and then the greedy hat takes over. So and you know, everyone needs to make money. Everyone needs to make a living, but don’t let that overcome. Don’t Jack up your rates because you know, the Johnson’s are doing it, you know, be true to who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing, what it is that you have to offer to people.

Danielle Buchen (23:26):

If people will see that people will see that genuineness people will see who you are as a person. I mean, look, people told me they hired me for my personality. I should be working for someone else. Right. but people see the genuineness or people see that you truly do care. You know, you’re just going to be a robot and just go through the motions of doing whatever it is that you do. People are going to read a writer. They’re going to be like, well, that’s all you’re going to do. And you’re not gonna put your heart to it. Then we’re going to go find someone to do it for cheaper because they want the experience. So many businesses now, and people that are looking for people to work with is about the experience. Especially in these times when we can’t be around people. And so much of it as, or tool, you know, they need the warm and fuzzy. So just really putting your heart into it, sticking to your guns of why you started and not be influenced by what other people say or the industry that you’re comparing yourself.

Casey Clark

Yeah. Very, very thorough thought provoking statements. Yeah. So are there any other last thoughts that you’d like to share with us?

Danielle Buchen (24:37):

You know, everyone’s just out there trying to do their best and that can get cloudy with comparing yourself to others because they feel like, you know, why should, if you’re questioning, if you should start a business, you know, because, Oh, well there’s already a business like mine, or, Oh, there’s already, you know, something like this out there, people are already doing that. Why would I succeed? Think about how many hair salons there are. Think about how many Boyers there are and know how many gyms they’re on yet. People still go to them because it’s about why are they different? Like why do you go to their tiles that you, like, why don’t you go to the gym? That’d be like, is it, you know, you might pay more for it, but it seems experience you get, or it might pay less for it. It’s the experience like who knows money, isn’t everything to people.

Danielle Buchen (25:20):

So don’t be afraid to take that step. Like if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, you should follow that. Cause you really don’t know where it will need it. I’m sure that so many people will support you in doing what it is that you’re passionate about. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters is having a team. Yeah. I think the same as something like do your passion and the money will follow or something like it’s money. There you go.

Casey Clark

Yeah, exactly. Well, I definitely appreciate all of the nuggets and the knowledge that you shared for our listeners today. And I’d also like to thank our sponsor, Steven Lamar Moore, who produced the music for our podcast. So thank you again, Danielle, for being a guest, it was a pleasure talking to you.

Danielle Buchen

Thank you so much, Casey.

Casey Clark

You’re welcome.

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