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The Value of a Good Network

The Value of a Good Network

Andrea Arean

Andrea Arena is the President and CEO of TimeSquared Concierge, mentor, and coach to entrepreneurs and busy mom to a beautiful daughter. Her free time (really?!)  is spent caring for the animals on their farm and creating crafted-organic products for the Arena Farms Etsy shop. Andrea is a driven, self-starter, and a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a vast level of experience and we’re happy she’s sharing with us!

Q: What was the best advice you were given when starting out as an entrepreneur?

A: People help people who help themselves. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to others as long as you have done your homework and you are giving 110%.

Q: Name a lesson you’ve learned in running a business?

A: You don’t have to know everything, but you have to put together a team of advisors/cheerleaders/champions/advocates who possess the knowledge in the areas that you lack and that truly believe in your business and in YOU.

Q: What tool helps you the most in your workday?

A: My laptop, especially during a pandemic. However, the way I use it varies daily.  Anything from sourcing products and pricing for a new business idea, scouring social media for content, creating extensive spreadsheets to analyze data, etc.
Since our business is very labor intensive, I used to get in my car and complete various client requests whenever I was trying to think through a complex situation. The routine, methodical nature of the task and the alone time in the car seemed to clear my mind…and it also served as a warning to the employees to get ready, because I was about to launch something new!

Q: What do you do when you are struggling with motivation or creativity?

A: I think about my 11 yr old daughter. I think about the example I want to set for her, the lessons I am teaching through my actions or inaction and what I aspire to show her through hard work, perseverance, and ingenuity. 

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment/a win or what you have in the works so that we can celebrate with you!

A: Having my company on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies was a goal that we reached twice. My mom used to tease me that most daughters wanted to in Vogue, but I wanted to be on the Inc. 500 list and Business Week. 

Q: How do you stay current or connected as an entrepreneur?

A: Having been an entrepreneur for so long, I have a good network for like-minded people. I strongly suggest joining a group like The Entrepreneur Organization. About my entrepreneur friends, I say, “They are the only folks who can tell me that I’m full of shit and I’d actually listen to them, because they’ve walked in my Manolo Blahniks.” 

Also, I have found that mentoring and public speaking have been great ways to stay current. It is good to get out of your own bubble. Audiences and younger people ask questions that completely alter the way you see things.

Q: If you weren’t doing this job, what could you see yourself doing?

A: My daughter would like me to be a teacher, but I know I don’t have the patience for that. Great teachers are a special gift from God! I am somewhat of a serial Entrepreneur. I’ve got a couple of additional business ideas up my sleeve.

Q: We are all multi-passionate and multifaceted people, what are your other passions?

A: We have recently traded in the city life for a life in the country and I am all in! I am gardening, raising miniature goats, chickens and horses. Before I had my daughter in my 40’s, I loved the adventure of travel and was more athletic. Even after ankle surgeries and with a pre-teen in tow, I hope to return to my adventurous ways.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or motto?

A: “If I can’t find a way, I will make one.” – Hannibal

Q: Where do you go or what do you do to clear your head and find inspiration?

A: Watching the waves on the beach. The rhythm is calming and I relate to the relentlessness of the waves.

Q: Where we work and how we work has had to shift for so many people, tell us in what ways you’ve shifted. Have you had to change how you do things? What have you embraced that’s new for you?

A: All employees are working remotely and following safety protocol.  However, the biggest changes have been in service offerings. TimeSquared Concierge runs the personal errands of the valued employees as an employee benefit. We recently launched an equipment retrieval system where we go to the homes of terminated employees to gather all of the company assets. This is saving companies tens of thousands in lost equipment and security breaches. We are also curating, creating and shipping employee appreciation gifts to the homes of remote workers.  Afterall, companies will have to come up with a way to celebrate their teams other than a lavish holiday party this year!

Q: What is one ritual that you do daily that’s just for you?

A: Since I am working remotely, I step away from my desk to go outside and spend a moment with our farm animals. There is nothing like a barn kitten to put life into perspective.

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