Barriers to Entry Part 1

I attended my 5th business school reunion last weekend.  What wasn’t a surprise was how fun it was to catch up with everyone and regress a little to b-school life.  (Shout out to UCLA Anderson Class of 2010 and congrats on our attendance record!)  What was a surprise was how great it was to talk career progression, learn from fascinating speakers (the highlight was definitely the CEO of Virgin Atlantic), and feel refreshed about approaching my business from new perspectives.

With classmates Tommy and Elif at the reunion conference - photo courtesy UCLA Anderson

On the spot during a panel on crafting a compelling career narrative - photo courtesy UCLA Anderson

I talked to A LOT of people about LMW Edits, and got some truly insightful feedback on defining my product, marketing myself, and relating to potential clients.  My business school classmates represent a demographic that needs personal organization services like I offer: they’re extremely busy and overscheduled, and at the same time they profoundly appreciate the efficiency and peace of mind that organization can bring. So, their opinions are pretty important to me!

At the 5th reunion party with classmates Cara and Scottie - photo courtesy UCLA Anderson

At brunch with classmate Christina, our husbands, and her darling baby

Through all my conversations last weekend, two major hurdles to hiring a professional organizer like me emerged.  I thought I’d share them, and my response to each, with you to help you solidify your decision to hire a professional organizer, and specifically to work with me.

1)   My place is a disaster, it would scare you away!

This sounds hokey, but it’s totally true: the first thing I see when a client shows me a space they want help organizing is potential.  Every space I work on has the potential to be something useful and attractive for my client, and I can start to visualize it right away.  It’s actually kind of a rush, and one of the best parts of my job! 

On the other hand, the first thing I hear is apologies!  Clients are always sure that I’ll be horrified by their so-called mess and tell them they’re beyond help.  This is absolutely not true.  My clients are so busy contributing meaningfully to their jobs, communities, families, and friends that they just don’t have the bandwidth to get organized.  With my help, they’ll be able to do all that more quickly and efficiently, and enjoy the time they spend in their organized, more peaceful space.

Moreover, I understand the fundamental intimacy of letting me see your disorganized space.  It’s a major leap of faith for a client to trust me and let me guide them through the organizing process. I consider this trust a gift, and honor it by being careful to keep pace with a client’s ability to make change.  As we go through their belongings, I get to know my clients and their life stories, and use the relationship we build to do better work for them.  My clients are accomplished, fascinating people, and getting to know them is another highlight of my job!

In that vein: many professional organizers will do their work while you’re away.  You’ll return to a tidy home with everything neatly put away in boxes, bins, and drawers.  This will definitely bring you peace of mind – until you try to find something and realize you have no idea where the organizer put it!  My process is different.  Although it is more time consuming, the effort I put into working with you, getting to know you, and understanding your needs means that the finished product is custom tailored and built to last.

Stay tuned for my take on the other major objection to hiring a professional organizer!