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  • Writer's pictureMichelle McGarvey

Collaboration for the Success of Small Businesses: My Journey with Bayside Admin & Bookkeeping

Lauren Micale

Independence and Interdependence

I'm Lauren Micale, the proud founder of Bayside Admin & Bookkeeping. Our mission is centred around "helping people who help people." Through our bookkeeping, business management and administration services, we strive to support small business owners, empowering them to shine in their respective fields and create a better world. Today, I'd like to continue my story of collaboration, small business goals, and the joy of helping one another. I want to talk about my experience of wanting to be independent, and realising that it doesn’t have to mean doing it alone.


Independence

‘wanting or being able to do things for yourself and make your own decisions, without help or influence from other people.’

I love running my own business. So much so, that I in fact have another two businesses plus a co-op, that I am either co-owner or co-director of!



Flexibility is such a huge part of the reason why I love to run my own business. The journey I’ve been on and the learning I’ve had along the way, have been enormous. Things didn’t always go to plan, and for a while it even made sense for me to work for someone else, although eventually I recognised how much I love to be independent and choose my own path.


I am passionate about spending time doing things I love outside of work, especially with my family. My girls are still young, and I love knowing that I have set up a way to be available if they need or want my time and attention. Sometimes I work from home instead of my office during school holidays, and they know when I need to get my head down and focus. And as they get older, I even get the occasional cup of tea and a biccie delivered – no complaints here!☕


Being responsible for a business is so empowering, but often can be scary too. Especially once you have staff and feel the responsibility of keeping things running smoothly for everyone – clients, staff and family! With independence comes great responsibility – and the love of independence won out over the comfort of stability in my world. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me!


Interdependence:

‘if there is an interdependence between two or more things, they depend on each other’

When I started out running my own business, I recognised the importance of attending networking events – to meet potential clients of course, but also just making good connections locally, spending time with others who understand what you might be dealing with, especially if things get tough. And often, the laughs over coffee, because let’s be honest - as much as they drive us crazy sometimes - we can have lots of fun with our coworkers!

For anyone who knows me well, my regular attendance at these events came as a bit of a surprise, as I am a self-confessed, hard-core Introvert. I’ll be talking more about that in another article, but thankfully I met some other amazing business owners (including a few fellow introverts!) at these events. I came to realise that as difficult it was to pluck up the courage to walk in those doors and sometimes not know a single person at the other side of them, I do not regret those knocking knees and shaky elevator pitches. I met many of my business besties at these events, and now run a co-operative venture with 4 of them, as well as another business with someone I met during my kids pre-school years.


Running a business can be lonely. But it doesn’t have to be.

Over the years I’ve been connected to many other amazing business owners, I’ve come to realise that these networking events are often where you build trust. Trust that is needed in order to confidently do business with people. This includes suppliers and contractors, as well as business partners and co-directors. I have a very long list of people where I’ve either

  • worked for them,

  • used their services,

  • recommended their services to others,

  • bought their products for myself, or as gifts.


The fear of those networking events subsides every time I remember that long list, and how I probably wouldn’t have it at all if I didn’t go outside of my comfort zone and walk through those doors.


Collaborating with others I’ve met during my journey has helped me exponentially grow my business. I no longer have to do everything in my business. I didn’t even write this article 🤭 – I sat down with one of my Sage Room colleagues, talked about how much I love to collaborate, told some stories, and here we are! I have people helping me in various parts of my business, so I can do the bits

  • I’m qualified for and have years of experience

  • I enjoy doing

  • That help me to help others

 

Sage Room Co-op was created in 2022 to grow the impact that the 5 of our businesses could have in all our worlds. We have lots of similar values including flexibility and well-being. With our extensive range of different skills allowing us to work on bigger projects together, we have all seen the impact of collaboration. Together we challenge traditional ways of working, and support other small businesses by collaborating with them where they have skills we need to fulfil those bigger projects. And through this, we show others what is possible with collaboration.

 

Our interdependence does not decrease our independence, it enhances it.

Respecting and utilising each other’s strengths and differences, we learn better communication skills if we mess up or misunderstand each other. We are brave enough to take on bigger projects, knowing there are people behind us who have our back. And we hold each other accountable, towards our individual goals as well as our shared ones.  Together, we learn, grow, and share our knowledge and experience to help others achieve their business goals and live their best lives!





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