The People Behind the Plans: An Interview with Carla Vaughn
A Denver Tech Center Business Born By Accident
“I didn’t mean to start my business; it kinda. . . happened,” Carla answered, when asked why she had started her company. “I really was not planning to be an entrepreneur,” she continued, “But what happened when I moved to Colorado was. . . I kind of was thrown into it. I had been working for a company that turned around and got me laid off. . . so I wound up taking a rinky-dink job at [a tax company]. Well what started happening was people were coming in that were business owners and saying ‘Is this a deduction? Is that a deduction?’ and, ‘I’ve got a problem with my taxes,’ you know.”
“I was amazed,” she continued, “at how many people in the office couldn’t answer some basic questions without going to a huge manual. So because I had already had experience doing taxes, and I knew a lot, and I had had a CPA back in Michigan, I still was pretty familiar with a lot of things on the business side. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, I started having business owners ask for my services, so some of it just fell into my lap. So it wasn’t like a wonderful master plan I had; it was simply an, ‘Oh my goodness, people need me, and I didn’t even know they needed me.’ And next thing I know, I’m like, ‘Why don’t I just develop this a little bit more? I’ve got all this wonderful time, being laid off. I wound up with some business associates I had met over the last few years, and it’s been a good thing.”
“So you just kind of fell into it?”
“I did, and I always say that when you fall into things it’s because God wanted you to provide a service, or comfort, or whatever it is that you’re there to provide for people. And I look at it as, it’s allowed me to discover a lot of hidden talents that I didn’t know I had and to find a way to help people.”
Carla is just one of many Virtual Office clients at the Denver Tech Center Office Evolution location, with the all-important “Why” behind what she does every day. Many of the clients she helps are business owners or other Colorado locals with various disabilities – those people whose needs she fell naturally into meeting. Her business was born because, during a difficult season of her life (being laid off), she was able to perceive what she had to offer to those around her and used her excess time intentionally, propelling herself toward utilizing the skills she’d discovered. The story of her business resounds with both accident and purpose, as is a common tale of the entrepreneurs at Office Evolution.
Like the other entrepreneurs at the Denver Tech Center, Carla often rents the Day Office in the Denver Tech Center office to meet with her clients, booking it for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time, which helps keep her overhead very low, while still presenting an incredible professional image to her clients that boosts their confidence in her work. She, more than most, takes full advantage of the Office Evolution meeting space by coming in 10 minutes before her appointment to add her personal touches to the room – a picture of her daughter, business cards, and a name plate – transforming the rentable Day Office into her personal zone within minutes.
“I’m very picky when it comes to this type of office setting,” she commented, “Because it’s important to me that management and I not just get along, but that they understand my needs. I got that feeling that you were the right support people.”