Episode 38: Empowering Women of Color Entrepreneurs: A Journey to Success with Karrington Warfield

In this episode of the Virtual Antics Podcast, your host Natalie Guzman engages in a powerful conversation with the remarkable Karrington Warfield, a seasoned entrepreneur and advocate for women of color in business. Tune in as Natalie delves deep into Karrington's journey, discussing her insights on building a personal brand, overcoming unique challenges faced by women of color, and the crucial steps to secure business funding as a new entrepreneur.

In this episode we will talk about:

  • Event planning and strategy in the dynamic business world.

  • Valuable insights on effective leadership, creating standard operating procedures.

  • Maintaining a positive team dynamic for successful event execution.





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Meet Karrington!

Karrington is a multi-talented individual with expertise in entrepreneurship, authorship, speaking engagements, and corporate event planning. She is a certified meeting and event strategist and a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Her experience in corporate event planning includes organizing executive-level leadership retreats, corporate golf outings, briefings, launches, and employee morale events. In addition, she completed her Masters in Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management from Grand Canyon University in May 2021.

Empowering Women of Color Entrepreneurs: A Journey to Success

Natalie Guzman: Welcome to the Virtual Antics, your go to podcast for digital entrepreneurs powered by Nadora.Org and NG Virtual Assistant. We're here to guide you through every aspect of business from networking to lead generation and so much more. Get ready to thrive in the virtual world with expert insights and our all in one solution, Nadora, where creating a digital business becomes a breeze.Let's dive in and revolutionize your business journey together. Welcome back to the Virtual Antics Podcast. I'm your host, Natalie Guzman. And today I have an amazing guest with me. I'm so excited to hear from her. Her name is Karrington. She is a multi talented individual with expertise in entrepreneurship, authorship, speaking engagements, and corporate event planning.Hey, Karrington, how are you doing today? 

Karrington Warfield:
Hey, Natalie. I'm awesome. Thank you for asking. Most importantly, thank you for having me. I'm really, really excited about chatting with you today.

Natalie Guzman: I'm so excited you're here. And when I was reading your biography, I was like, Oh man, she sounds like me. She wears a lot of hats.And so he told me a little bit about those hats and how you got started.  

Karrington Warfield:  Yeah, so as you said, my name is Karrington or Coach K, Coach's Planner. I am an event planner. I did, I have over 20 years of corporate event planning, but I now, I still plan, but I've now moved into the event strategy piece. A lot of people don't really understand what event strategy is, so I'll explain a little bit about that.

So the event planning piece is the logistical side, right? Booking the speakers, booking the space, catering, things of that nature, right? But the event strategy piece is what's going to help you strategies that we customize based on the type of event that you're hosting and the audience that you have, your target audience, based on, you know, aligning your goals and objectives, right?So we want to align strategy with your goals and objectives, like whatever it is that you're wanting to do at that event, that's what we're going to do. I also. I'm an entrepreneur, so I have a business. I work with coaches and entrepreneurs, teaching them event strategies, right? Things to be thinking about, not just the logistics piece, but the strategy side of it.I do some professional speaking, so I've done like a couple of where I've been the keynote, but I've also most of the time have done things like on a panel. Right. So I've done some of those things and then I've written a book with, co authored a book. I had a business that was called Virtual Visions in the past, a couple of years ago with my best friend and we were doing Zoom events.

Remember the pandemic, everybody kind of moved to Zoom. And so we were doing that and we just kind of wrote a book about how to actually host and how you can actually strategize, right. And get engagement in doing. Online events. So that's a little bit about me. 

Natalie Guzman:  So that's so cool. You know, I started out as a virtual assistant and one of the things I actually ended up doing was event virtual assistants.And so I got to kind of help the coordinators or whoever was running the event and kind of, I did a little bit of everything. So they would just give me a random task and I'll make it my own and complete it. It was really cool. So, but I learned there's so much that goes into event planning. You have. Oh, my gosh.And it's ever changing. Like one person doesn't show it could throw off the whole thing.

Karrington Warfield:  Oh, my gosh. So many pieces and so many hats that you wear as an event planner. And so in the corporate world, um, which is my niche, that's my baby. I love the corporate piece or corporate side of it. But again, like you said, there's so many pieces to it.
It can be. Easy. I'm a very organized person. That's just kind of how my brain works. And everything has to be in order for me, right? But everyone that doesn't think like that, or everyone's brains aren't organized that way. And so I think that it helps when people have a checklist or a timeline, something they can kind of go by and say, Hey, you know, 60 days, I need to have this done.30 days, I need to have this done. 90 days, you know, all of that. So you're right. It can be very, very complex. 

Natalie Guzman: Yeah, one of my favorite stories when I was working in an event was that we had a speaker. He was like the main speaker, the head speaker. Everyone was so excited about him. They lost his luggage.Yeah, the airport lost his luggage. He was freaking out, but luckily he's one of those guys that wears a suit everywhere. So he was wearing a suit to the airport. So that was the good part, that he had a suit on, but he was freaking out. He's like, I smell my hair. So, and we were in a very remote town. And so there were really no stores for like, so, so long.And he had just, his plane was also late. So he's literally speaking like within an hour. So, yeah, he was, he was so frazzled. So because everyone had their own job to do, but I was kind of hired to be that kind of running man. They sent me off to the gift shop to go get him some stuff and the relief on his face when he saw like the shaving cream and the toothbrush and the mints.I got him some water and some little snacks because you figure you're probably hungry, right? Right. Yeah, it was like. Those are all my favorite story at all, all time from event host, event planning and such was just like, you know, when things do go wrong and you make it right, it's like a beautiful thing.

Karrington Warfield: So especially serving of people right because that's what was like serving him so it made his life easier. Right. So I'm sure you felt good about that. 

Natalie Guzman: Oh, I did. I felt like a hero and everyone was calling me hero. It was really cool. So, um, it was a really cool moment, but I've also learned like, you know, when things like that happen in the event world, you have to be really calm.
You can't freak out. You have to create solutions. So you must be amazing at creating solutions. 

Karrington Warfield: You know what? It actually comes with time, right? When you're new in that field, it can be, I'll say this, I don't know anybody that doesn't stress out. Events stress me out because you just kind of want everything to go perfectly, right?You've planned, you've overplanned, planned again, checklist, timelines, all of that good stuff. But I think it comes with time. It comes with maturity and development of your skill. Right? And then as the host, everyone comes to you and is looking to you for guidance, right? So you've got to keep a level head because if you freak out, those that are working with you or for you are going to freak out as well.Your staff is going to freak out, right? You're the leader. And so that's what you have to set yourself up as the leader, right? You can't freak out. You know, you've got to be able to think on your feet, think very quickly, come up with different solutions, and then also allow your team to provide recommendations as well, because sometimes you can't think of everything right.And so I think also having a good team in place is really good. 

Natalie Guzman:  Yeah, so true. So how do you have any tips for working with a team and how you kind of keep that energy up? Because everyone on the train team I know from experience is stressing out and sometimes emotions get high. So how do you kind of handle that?

Karrington Warfield: I say working with the team is that always try to stay super positive, right? Meet regularly, right? As you're doing the event, say that the event is six months out, I think it's important to meet a couple times a month, right? Maybe bi weekly. Share documents too, right? That as you're doing updates and things.

In those bi weekly meetings, you should be providing updates for each person that is assigned to something and then also assigning people to things that they are strong at, right? Don't give something that to someone that's not really doesn't do really do well in that area, right? And so play on people's strengths, not their weaknesses.I feel like staying positive. Right? There's always going to be things to come up, but you've got to be able to react or be proactive, right? You can only plan so much. There's always going to be things that are going to happen, but if you keep a level head, always remain positive, meet regularly, and always make sure that you communicate with the team and vice versa.I think that is what helps you have a really good staff. And And like I said, play on strings, if they're not good at it, don't give them that particular responsibility, right? Give them what they're good at because it's going to thrive in it, right? And they're going to be more confident in that area. 

Natalie Guzman: So that's amazing.And you know what, it's not just for event planning, that's in business all around. I think that is so important. I, you know, really a team that grew really, really fast. I had never been a manager when I had hired never been a supervisor and I had to hire like two people within 30 days and I was like, what is this?And so that's one of the things we learned was like exactly what you said, like you have to communicate, you have to meet with them. Also making sure they understand what we want to accomplish, right? Our goals and the outcomes that we want, because I feel like you can plan every little piece. of the to do's, but the outcome is what really matters.

So as long as you're focusing on the outcome, when those mishaps happen, as long as you can still create that outcome is where you can get really creative and do some amazing things. 

Karrington Warfield: Absolutely. And that's where the strategy comes in too, right? People think that strategy. They try to overcomplicate it.Strategy is not overcomplicating it, right? It's how to, not necessarily everything being effective, right? But how to execute, right? You want to know how to execute well. Because when you execute well, again, like you said, as much planning as you do, there's always going to be something to come up. I know one of the biggest things that usually comes up is AV.Right. You have tested, tested, tested it as much as you can. And then something happens. And then the presentation, you know, something dies or the light bulb or something goes out. It just it's, it's inevitable. Right. But you've just got to stay ahead of the game as much as you can, you know, be as proactive as you can.And there are going to be opportunities or things that are Going to come up where you have to be reactive as well. But you've got to keep a level head so that you can be able to do that. But again, like I said, that goes back to the execution piece. You want to execute well, right? And that comes with the planning, the communication, making sure that the team, everyone knows what they're responsible for.And everyone, if they stay in their lane. That's how things are executed well. 

Natalie Guzman: So true. And I mean, I've seen amazing things happen with really good leadership. So I think I've been talking lately in the podcast that a lot of entrepreneurs, we forget, like we research everything and we forget about leadership and we forget, you know, we have to work on ourselves as leaders.And we are not a lot of times when. You know, as a virtual assistant, I've seen clients come time and again, and they're like, it never works out with a virtual assistant. I've had over 10 virtual assistants. It never works out. So I'm like, okay, how are you communicating with them? How are you presenting the work?How are you, right? It's like, yeah, if you see a mistake happening, same way over and over again. The only common variable is you. And so that's when you have to, you have to be like, what am I doing?

Karrington Warfield: Yeah. It's all about accountability because as the leader, you can't become a good leader until you become a good follower.Right? You have to be able to be led by other people. So in the process, you learn from other leaders and mentors and things of that nature, but you've also got to learn how to communicate well. And if you're not communicating what needs to happen, like, Hey, these are the things I need you to do on my calendar.These are the most important, right? This is what needs to happen today. And I think meeting regularly also helps, right? That's that comes in with the communication you've got to meet regularly because schedule changes like crazy, like right now. I'm going crazy because I don't have the budget right now for a virtual assistant, right?And so I'm doing everything on my own. And so I'm like checking things and rechecking them. And I've been an administrative assistant before, so I'm good at it, but it's hard when you're doing it for yourself and then you're working full time and all of that good stuff too. So it's a lot, it's a lot. 

Natalie Guzman: Oh, it really is.And there's just so many parts, so many things that goes into it. How often do you meet with your team? I'm curious. 

Karrington Warfield: I'll say this. I don't have a team right now, but when I did have a team, we would meet depending on the size of the event and the type of event we would usually try to meet biweekly at first.And the closer we got to the event, we'd start to meet weekly. Right? And then I just let the team know, Hey, if you have questions, if there's something that you're not, you don't feel comfortable with or something about making decisions, just reach out to me. That's important, but as you get closer, I think you should be meeting weekly, right?And then even a couple of days a week as you get a couple of weeks out, especially if it's a large event, because things are going to change and you're going to, there's still going to be things that need to be done up until the day of, right? And even day of. So. Yeah. 

Natalie Guzman: And I think it's another really big part of that is creating an SOP, right?Standard operating procedure. It's how you're going to do the event. Cause if you're doing multiple events, so like we're planning events for a bike shop and they have them, they have events almost every week. And so we have an SOP where we're like, okay, we create the emails, the landing pages, the automations we have to do, um, put it on social media, put on an event, right.And there's all these tests we do every single time, no matter what it looks like. Like we have a girl's night and we have a guy's night. We're doing stuff the same steps, just in a little bit different way. You know, one's more feminine, one more is masculine. The copy is different and the colors and fonts and images are different, but the core back end is the same every time.And I think it's really important when you're doing these events to really, you know, or any type of event in your business. Um, it can even be like a team zoom meeting. What are you talking about? What are the top three and things like that? I think that's really important. Do you have any tips? for maybe creating event SOPs or keeping track of all the little to dos.

Karrington Warfield: Absolutely. I'm big on timelines. I've pushed timelines are so important, especially for people that aren't used to doing events, right? Event planners, I think, have this gift of just thinking your brain just works differently, right? And there are a lot of people, coaches and entrepreneurs that are new to Planning events, right?Because that's how a lot of people are being able to get new clients, right? Keep their clients, right? And then get new clients. And so I think the timeline is extremely important. Again, the timeline is going to keep you on on point, right? If it's something that's a year out, you know. The larger the event, the longer you have or need to plan.

Right. And so the timeline is extremely important. I love how you mentioned the SOP, the standard operating procedures. Those are extremely important. We use those a lot at our job and I've written those before and have those as well in my own business. Because if you're out and you've got a point person, right, they need to be able to know exactly what it is that needs to happen.Step one, step two, step three, real simple. It doesn't have to be overcomplicated. I think sometimes we overcomplicate the standard operating procedures. You want to make it as clear as possible for someone that may need to be reading it, right? You know how, like when people create things and they think, Oh, because they know how to do it.It's easy to them the way they've written it up, but the steps or the S. O. P. should be really, really, really standard and basic. So anyone could actually figure it out. I also think again, the communication. Hey, read, read over this, right? Do you have any questions about. The standard operating procedures.

Let's talk about it. Let's meet and talk about those things. And then even like I said, the timeline, let's go through the timeline. Make sure you understand. And I think that once you create the timeline, it's a lot to it, especially, like I said, the larger the event, there's a lot to the timeline, but it is really a checklist of things that can help you out tremendously.And it's going to help you execute well. That's amazing. 

Natalie Guzman: So what are you? You kind of talked a lot about, you know, the, all the different things you've done. What are you currently focusing on now? And what direction are you heading in?

Karrington Warfield: What I'm currently focused on right now is my brand. Um, I'm a really new business, right?I've been doing this for years, the event planning, but my business is really new about maybe a little over a year old. And so I'm building my brand right now. So, you know, I'm doing a lot of podcasts right now. I'm also an executive contributor for Brains Magazine. And so I write for Brains Magazine. So I signed like a membership for them for a year.

So that's actually helping me to build my brand. And so I'm reaching a much broader audience with the podcast as well as that. Um, I've got a workshop that I'm working on. I'm doing some free workshops. So working on that now. So I'm looking to host a free workshop in November. We talking about some event strategies, and that's going to kind of help me to again, broaden my audience, be on different platforms and just kind of build my brand.

So that's mostly what I'm working on right now. I'd like to do a VIP day at some point, probably maybe Q2. So I'll keep you guys updated on that, but those are some things that I'm working on right now. It's just my brand and image and kind of increasing the knowledge of, you know, increasing my brand so that people kind of know.Who I am, what it is that I do and how I can actually serve them. So I love that. 

Natalie Guzman: So where can we find you and learn more about your services and what you offer? 

Karrington Warfield: Okay. So I am on LinkedIn at Carrington Warfield. You can find me on Facebook at Carrington Warfield, and then LinkedIn is Carrington War, W A R.
So that's how you can find me. I've got some YouTube. Um, I'm going to be updating that I haven't been utilizing YouTube very much, but I'm going to start moving some of my videos to YouTube and start recording on YouTube again, again, but doing some of my more recent things. So that's how you can find me.So 

Natalie Guzman: I'll make sure I put that in the show notes as well, but it's been a pleasure having you. Thank you so much for coming. 

Karrington Warfield: Thank you so much, Natalie, for having me. This has been an amazing chat. I thank you again. Like I said, thank you for having me for trusting me to come out and be on your platform. So I look forward to the airing and I'm sure we'll be in contact soon.

Natalie Guzman: Of course. All right. Well, thank you so much guys for listening. Virtual Apex podcast, and we'll talk to you next time.

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HEY FRIEND! I'M Natalie.

Host of the Virtual Antics Podcast


I became a virtual assistant in 2015 trying to bring in extra money as a stay at home mom. A few years later I decided to turn my side hustle into a virtual assistant agency and hit 6 figures in four months.

I realized I had a passion for business, and soon opened a marketing agency. Know I travel the world teaching women how to become virtual assistants, and help entreprenuers build their businesses from their living rooms.




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