River City Six – Lallenia Birge
Meet Lallenia Birge, co-owner of Big Birge Plumbing (www.bigbirgeplumbing.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
Big Birge Plumbing is a locally owned and operated plumbing company. We perform service calls and specialize in any plumbing-related aspects of new construction and remodeling projects for residential and commercial clients. It’s a family business run by my husband Brad Birge and I.
How did you get started in the business?
My husband has a true passion for plumbing and wanted to create something different than the companies he had worked for previously. At the time, I was a personal trainer and he had gotten laid off. My clients started using him as their plumber. We both working two jobs for a while in the beginning, but found that our plumbing business was a full-time job! It was time to take the plunge! I learned how to run a business from the back end, while he tested to get his master plumbing license. Before we knew it, we were business owners and Big Birge Plumbing was up and running!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Learning to let go and delegate so I can focus all my effort on what I am good at and enjoy doing, marketing and culture.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Surrounding myself with other business owners who want to grow themselves. It seems like an “odd” achievement, however, I feel as though many small business owners isolate themselves and get into a funk. By putting myself out there and being open to learning and growing, while surrounding myself with like-minded people, I’m constantly motivated to better myself, my family, and our business.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have a super sweet, smart, yet cool 8-year-old son, Wyatt, who is our miracle boy and Brad’s twin. We also have a 2 ½-year-old daughter, Brielle, our “gift.” She’s the funniest, most driven and independent little mini-me. Then there’s our crazy Goldendoodle puppy, two cats, and two Leopard geckos.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Moving to Omaha. Had I not moved here, I wouldn’t have my husband, my kids, the people I’ve met, or our business in my life.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love to be active and outdoors.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I am the only one in the U.S. with the name Lallenia, so that’s kind of cool.
What are you the most proud of?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” I feel as if many people let “what others might think” get in the way of their goals and dreams. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Currently I’m re-reading Traction, which has helped us tremendously with growing and scaling our business.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Dwayne Johnson, and not just because of his muscles! He is passionate about life, setting his mind to something and doing it no matter what—win or lose. I love that!
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