When I first started out as an organiser, back in 2005, I was good at organising things. I knew about the latest storage solutions. I had great strategies for making everyday life simpler and easier. I was excited to share my knowledge and skills with anyone who would pay me, and plenty of people who didn’t (friends, family, special promotions etc.).
I’m still good at organising things. But as time went by and my business grew, I realised that being good at organising, knowing the latest storage solutions and time managements strategies was not enough. Don’t get me wrong. Those things are very useful, essential even, in being an organiser. But there is so much more to it.
I’m grateful for the lessons I learned along the way. It would have been handy to know them from the start! Here are 3 things I wish I’d known when I first started out as a professional organiser.
I wish I’d known the range of skills you need to be a really good organiser go far beyond the sorting, organising, storing and managing time that come naturally to me. Active listening, effectively transferring skills, managing people and expectations are just as important. In fact, people skills can have a bigger impact on the success of a client session than organising skills. I am grateful to all the clients who trust me to use my people skills as well as my organising skills.
I wish I’d known there are so many ways to be a good organiser. From archiving government records to filing school memorabilia, from organising photos to organising hats, from creating systems for meal planning to tracking inventory, the scope for an organiser to help – and specialise – is infinite. Thank goodness for the wonderful gift of customising. Just as we customise a system for our clients, we get to customise an organising service that energises us every day to help our clients. I am grateful for all the hours I spent organising someone’s home office. I learnt so much and it got my business on its feet. But I’m grateful now to be able to pass those enquiries on to someone else.
I wish I’d known that running a business would be so much fun. Seriously, one of the reasons I didn’t start my business sooner is that I did not look forward to the admin, the marketing, the bookkeeping and all the other things that go along with running a successful business. Mind you, I still don’t enjoy the bookkeeping. It was the first thing I outsourced. But the rest? I love it. I’m so surprised. When I first started out I really just wanted to help people get organised. I wanted it enough to try the icky business stuff. Over the years I’ve learned strategies, like outsourcing, that make business life easier and helped my business grow. I’m grateful I took a chance on me and it paid off.
Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? I’m curious…
- If you’re working as an organiser, what do you wish you’d known when you started?
- If you haven’t started yet, but you’d like to, what do you want to know now?