About

CK_Costello_March2014-6-XL   Marianne Costello is the brains behind The VA Collaborative and it is the brains that make the difference here.

The humble beginnings… At the tender age of 10, Marianne is listening to her parents argue about a kitchen drawer for the umpteenth time…  It’s broken.  Mom just wants Dad to fix it.   Dad keeps saying he will get to it later….tired of listening to Mom’s frustration, Marianne finds a screwdriver and teaches herself how to fix the drawer.

Marianne was gifted with an incredible brain, an insatiable curiosity and an inherent calm knowledge that every problem is just a puzzle to be solved.  Marianne has always had an uncanny ability to stay calm, assess the problem and see only the path to the solution.  She can’t seem to turn it off! There has never been a problem that she can’t solve….

After graduating high school, 10th in her class, class president, manager of the school store and captain of varsity sports, she went to Bryant College in Smithfield RI… She quickly felt bored and not in the right place for her… She hardly opened the books and quit after one semester with a 4.0.  She did the math and didn’t feel it was right for her to spend that much money on that type of education.  She figured out how to get a college education for free.. It’s fascinating… ASK her for her formula!

At the tender age of “19”, she once again, did the math and it made no sense to pay rent, when she could own the home, so Marianne invested in a 3 family rental property.  Within a short amount of time, she figured out the formula on how to make rental units a profitable enterprise and within a few short years she had almost 20 units of profitable real estate and was living debt free on a monthly basis.  Teaching herself the basics of home renovation, she was able, one by one, to increase the rent and the resale value of the multiple units she owned—by a substantial amount. And make no mistake, self-taught with an eye for efficiency does not equal cutting corners—her work was top notch; so much so that her friends started hiring her and referring her to other customers!  Before long she had a booming home renovation business.  She named it “Interior Motives”, but after working it for some time, she had secretly wished she named it “The Finished Edge”.  The attention to detail is what sets her apart.

That “eyes-on-the-prize” ability to see the path to an end result led Marianne to bringing in professionals; experts in all the disciplines she’d been doing herself. It had become clear that it was neither efficient nor cost-effective for her to lay tile and hang wallpaper. Before long, she had established a team of not just home renovation contractors, but “female” contractors. Her customers were delighted to work with women and Marianne with her old school, grandfather’s work ethic.  Her customers experienced such an unparalleled sense of trust and ease when these women came into their homes.   They were delighted to see a business where women were empowered to succeed in a typically male-dominated field.  This was win/win, which Marianne is just weak for!

Marianne is just doing what she’s been doing since she was 10-years old.  Equipped with the knowledge that what doesn’t work very well can absolutely work beautifully, she figures out how something works, then finds the right tools—assembles the best people—to get the job done; To get the job done really, really well.

With a booming real estate and home renovation business, Marianne had learned to master bookkeeping and technology systems needed for a successful business.  Then tragedy struck!  She got audited by the IRS!  Three years in a row!  (She was actually so organized by the last audit, that she got IRS Immunity!.. her accountant loved that one!) Frustrated by the intimidating tactics of the IRS, and her passionate desire to always look out for her people, she realized so many business owners were really suffering in these same areas.  She founded Bookworks Bookkeeping Systems.  Things were going smashingly well again and yup another setback!  She suffered a life changing whiplash accident.  Total game changer.. She affectionately calls this “Terminal illness” because she had such a hard time sitting behind the computer terminal for long periods of time.  Her ethics had her settle with the insurance company quickly and try to get back to work as soon as possible.. Huge mistake.. Ask her why you should never do this! She had to step back, take inventory and figure out what to do next… She realized she can hire people to do the things that she can’t, and she has one unstoppable skill.  From early report cards in grade school, the comments always read… “excellent student but talks too much!”  Well, she set herself on a journey to take out the manuals and is self-taught on an incredibly wide breadth of knowledge… She set out to master her fear of public speaking (ask her how… it’s easy! ) and hung out her shingle as a corporate trainer and moved her business to not only bookkeeping but consulting and training.  Over thirty years she has taught countless people from 4th, 5th and 6th graders, 80 year olds, all the way to the likes of corporations like HP, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, EMC, NetApp on various technologies from basic Microsoft all the way to virtualization and cloud computing.. Her real estate acumen allowed her to capitalize on the last horrific real estate recession and now lives in a penthouse, oceanfront condo in Myrtle Beach!  With a thriving bookkeeping, consulting and corporate training practice, Marianne has been watching fellow business owners struggle, struggle yet again, to get the support they need to grow, and to become wildly profitable.

Marianne set herself on the path to the solution.  The VA Collaborative is that solution.

Marianne Costello is smart, sharp and misses no detail.  First she figures out how something works, then she makes it more efficient and ultimately more profitable.  Her keen eye and easy-going personality, brings a sense of calm to what others might experience as frustrating, intimidating and unmanageable.  Bringing order to chaos in a way that makes you tons of money and has you feeling fantastic about your business; that’s her mission.

Simple, right?

When you hire The VA Collaborative, you hire a professionally trained, genius matchmaker;  Marianne gives you the right person, for the right price, to do the job right. Every time.

Call today for a friendly conversation to see how we can share the gifts and set you up correctly for the success you deserve while you delight in sharing your gifts with the world on a much greater scale.

Hire a VA today!