FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/01/16
Entrepreneur and Local Resident Strengthens Local Economy in Surf City, USA
Bringing vital services to business owners that have made a difference!
Huntington Beach, CA: It’s a cold winter morning, and with me here at the beautiful Hilton Hotel overlooking the grand Pacific Ocean, is a resident of Huntington Beach that is making a difference in our local economy. We are sipping our hot cup of coffee, near the fireplace here in the hotel. Entrepreneur, Charlene Rakhshani, is dressed casually, in blue jeans and a red designer sweater for warmth, and black leather jacket. She is no stranger to locals, as she has been part of the Huntington Beach environs since a young girl of 5 years old, when homes were purchased for less than $20,000! Charlene is a 1975 graduate of Edison High School. Many residents are familiar with the Rakhshani name, having some notable athletes from this family. Charlene’s brother, Vic Rakhshani, played tight end at USC under John Robinson, winning two national championships. Her nephew, Rhett Rakhshani, is a professional hockey player and currently is playing for a team in Sweden. It’s a little known fact, that Charlene was an outstanding athlete as well, having earned recognition as Athlete of the Year in 8th grade. She played Varsity sports at Edison when they arrived on the scene her sophomore year, playing basketball, field hockey and volleyball. She has enjoyed watching her children compete in sports throughout the years. But, it is not her sports prowess that has made her a notable person in our city, it is what Charlene has done and continues to do for small business owners, and families here in her own home town.
Just three short years ago, life was different for Charlene, as she struggled like most have struggled in this terrible economy over the past 10 years. How was she able to become a successful entrepreneur, helping others with their business and personal challenges? Let’s find out together!
LJ: How did all this begin?
Charlene: First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me and allow me to share with you and local residents a little bit about my journey. Trust me, it was a journey! I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, looking for ways to bring solutions to the challenges of our times. For many years, I’ve had a side income, but not enough to support my large family. I wanted to have a flexible schedule, so I could be able to attend my children’s activities, and I knew that would be difficult to do in a 9-5 job. My values directed my decisions. It was challenging, because each decision in life, brings a different outcome. For many years, we did without a lot of the extras as a result. I held true to my values, even when others didn’t support my decision and some even discouraged me. I had to hang tight to what was important to me, because in the end, it is up to me to live my life and pay my bills, just like the next person.
In 2013, I had the privilege of joining a life-changing mastermind group. The outcome, has been the amazing things that have been accomplished in my life and in the lives of others, since that time.
LJ: What were some of the things you gained from this mastermind group?
Charlene: One of the big ideas I learned is that when people want to change things in their life, so they have a different outcome, most people will change something in their external world which only changes effects. The most significant way to change something is to change ourselves from within. I clarified what really ‘makes me tick’ which is ‘helping others’ and having the freedom to spend my time and money as I wish. This may not be what someone else wants, but this is what makes life exciting for me.
LJ: That’s great. How did that translate into creating success professionally?
Charlene: That’s a great question! Again, success is an inside job and we created new habits and employed enduring principles that make a difference in our lives.
LJ: What exactly do you bring to the HB marketplace?
Charlene: First, I’d like to say, that everything I offer others, are services that made a big difference in my own life! I felt compelled to bring these valuable services to my HB neighbors, so they would benefit also.
The first service began six years ago, I had some legal issues and couldn’t afford the $350/hour price tag for legal advise. My mother called me one day to tell me she had learned about a company that has been serving about 1.5 million households and business owners with legal plans, since 1972. They are to legal services what medical and hospital bills are to health insurance. For a very low monthly fee, I was able to get unlimited legal advice and have an attorney look over my contacts before I sign, and much more. This made sense to me and I could afford paying 53 cents a day for this service! Why wouldn’t I have it? Combine this value proposition and the need for legal services with my entrepreneurial spirit and the rest is history.
LJ: We’ve all heard that you have made a big impact in healthcare services as well. Please tell us more about this service.
Charlene: Absolutely! In 2012, half of the health insurance professionals were leaving the industry, because of the impact of the ACA. Premiums were rising. Hospitals were shutting down. The impact was awful. Most people were aware of the problems, but few were bringing solutions. Well, there is a solution and I’m thrilled to be of service to my community in bringing vital solutions that give everyone 24/7 access to healthcare services for a very low monthly fee! Now everyone can call the doctor for their common, non-emergent healthcare needs which accounts for 78% of their healthcare needs! This service also gives access to discounted prescriptions, lab, vision dental, acupuncture and much more. This service has saved our local families and businesses a lot of money, which of course strengthens our community!
One other service, that I added in 2013, helps fund the legal and healthcare services for those who can’t afford it. Everyone has a cell phone bill and most overpay for the service so the carrier can buy advertising. I was able to eliminate my $95/month payment entirely, within months. I show people how they can eliminate their bill, and be able to get the legal and healthcare services with the savings on their cell phone budget.
LJ: Well, we have heard from so many HB residents, that credit you with helping them protect and grow their business through these valuable services you have brought to their business and family. I know that life has not always been as good as it is now. How has your life changed as a result?
Charlene: Everyone has a unique outlook on life that is personal, and each person has unique desires. For me, I have gone from wondering how I was going to pay my rent, to moving into my own beautiful home with a grand kitchen, not too far from the beach. I love to host parties and have my family and friends over, since they are very important to me. It’s the way I express my love for them, over a wonderful meal and time together.
Another memory which fulfilled a big dream in my life, was being able to enjoy a trip to Maui with my children and create lifelong memories. We had never taken a trip like that together, and it meant a lot to me and to my children. I will cherish those memories forever!
LJ: I understand you’re involved in a local church and have made an impact there as well. Please tell us about what you’ve done in your church.
Charlene: Thanks for asking. Yes, sometimes we are uniquely equipped and also have experiences that qualify us for particular task. Sometimes we have a ‘story’ or life experience we would rather not have. In my case, because of what I experienced and because of the need for the resources, I’ve written a curriculum and put together a support group at my church, for victims of domestic violence. Each Sunday, there are people in churches everywhere, primarily but not exclusively, women and their children who don’t have a voice and are suffering the effects of domestic violence. I believe there is a great need in the church, to support these families. The church should be the first place a person calls, in this type of situation. In many churches, there is no support. That needed to change, and I’m grateful to be able to bring some changes in this area of need.
I’m ecstatic that we were able to launch this program this past September, to over 50 churches in the So California region. It is very fulfilling to know that families suffering the effects of domestic violence now have support from their local church.
LJ: Did you ever imagine all that has happened in the past three years?
Charlene: As a matter of fact, yes, I did imagine it….that’s where it all started!
LJ: Thanks, Charlene for your time and what you’re doing for Huntington Beach small business owners and residents. It’s been a pleasure to spend this time with you, and I hope to be able to meet again in the future.
Charlene: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for allowing me a few moments to share this time with you, as well.
LJ: Local Journalist
Huntington Beach, CA