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The How Always Follows The Want - A Professional Organizer's Story About Decisions and Certainty

Quote by Pearl S. Buck, "Once the "what" is decided, the "how" always follows.  We must not make the "how" an excuse for not facing and accepting the "what"" over a pastel blue mountain background with IJS It's Just Stuff Logo

Last month I traveled to Salt Lake City for a meeting with several local home organizers and move management specialists. It was somewhat of a reconnaissance mission as I am preparing to expand It's Just Stuff's services to that region. One of our team members is relocating to Ogden Valley and expressed an interest in running a branch of IJS there. I also know someone else who already lives there. We originally met in Colorado when she was commuting back and forth as a partner in a company based in Denver. She has been back in Utah on a full-time basis since before the pandemic after deciding she wanted to be bought out of her partnership and it appears is ready to take on a new challenge with IJS.

This is an extremely exciting opportunity but at the same time very scary.

So sitting at the monthly Utah Professional Organizer's chapter meeting several weeks ago and hearing author, motivational speaker and business coach Mark LeBlanc talk about why we are often faced with these exciting yet scary opportunities. It's because we know what we may want, but we don't always know how to get it. And his message, of course, was that it is ok.

People at a meeting with AV equipment and virtual guest. Utah Professional Organizers meeting with Marc LeBlanc
Utah Professional Organizers meeting with Marc LeBlanc

Sure, putting together a business plan helps with the "how" but it doesn't take away any of the uncertainty I may feel about the risk involved in what I want.

When I returned from that trip, I started to put a lot more of the wheels in motion. I dug deep about whether or not I really could afford the time and energy, not to mention the monetary risk. And then a week later I was at my version of Sunday church, my favorite yoga class, and my favorite yoga instructor who delivered, as usual, a very on-point message that was also incredibly timely as is often the case. It's as if he is reading my mind. Or maybe he read my social media posts that may have expressed a little anxiety about this particular decision??? I doubt it but I do believe that if you put something out there wherever "there" is someone can feel that energy whether they actually read a post or not. Maybe that's a little too "woo woo" but I live in Boulder so I guess it goes with the territory. 😉

Anyway, his message was about how we agonize over the decisions we make wanting to be 100% certain before pulling the proverbial trigger but there are no guarantees in life except taxes and death right? Getting to 51% should always be the goal in decision-making because that leaves room for you to either go back and pivot directions or move forward and continue on the path you've set forth.

The best business plans in the world didn't necessarily protect countless businesses that folded during the pandemic because they couldn't survive that extreme set of circumstances. They may have wanted to remain solvent but the "how" was, in most cases impossible. And while I certainly hope we never have to go through another experience again like we did during that unprecedented time in our lives, I cannot be certain that something monumental won't happen again.

So what does any of this really have to do with being a professional organizer?

Well, our clients often know what they want in terms of less chaos swirling around them but they don't necessarily know how to get to a sense of calm on their own. And even once they do pull the trigger and reach out for help, that decision comes with a lot of uncertainty for them.

Will they embrace the process?

Will they be able to let go of stuff?

Will they feel a sense of loss or relief?

Will they be able to maintain the organizing systems we set up for them?

Will they get discouraged and self-sabotage the work?

It's never a guarantee when we enter a home that we will ultimately leave it significantly less cluttered and more organized. We can only try to do the job we were hired to do. But if a client simply cannot handle what we know to be necessary changes that's their decision and they control whether or not they want to continue.

My decision to "want" to expand to a new market was always part of my business plan. I set out during the pandemic to create a team of amazing people to help grow IJS to the point that I could justify generating leads in other places that I normally travel so I could see family and friends and also work to help defray costs. And while I accomplished that goal to some degree over the past few years working in other states like CA, AZ, FL and NY, I was never able to create those work opportunities consistently when I did have plans to travel to those locations. The logistics are challenging, especially being able to time the travel plans when there were actual leads in those exact locations.

Having feet on the ground full-time, though, in Salt Lake changes everything. I don't have to be there every day or even every week. I may not really need to be there at all but it's a place that I am at least willing to spend time as needed. This is part of my "downhill" strategy as I move through my 60's and have to think about not just wanting to retire but "how" I will retire. Chances are I will always remain involved in this business because I want to spend more time advocating on behalf of many clients but the fact that I don't know exactly "how" it's going to happen 100%? I need to just continue to have faith in my drive to succeed and believe it will all work out in the end.

Bottom line, the most important thing to remember when in decision-making mode is to always focus on what you want more than how you'll actually get it. Your passion will carry you forward and ultimately be what helps to uncover how you'll achieve your goals. And when you feel stuck, never hesitate to reach out to an expert for guidance.

Every lead we get the story is more or less the same. The potential client "wants" to feel more organized and have less clutter but doesn't know "how" to create sustainable systems. That is our job and if I do say so myself I think we do it very well. If you are at least 51% certain you want our help do not hesitate to reach out. We'll make sure you are 100% satisfied with the results. ✌️

By the way...spring is almost here and I was recently cited in a Thumbtack article about spring cleaning. I hope you will read it and take in some of the tips and tricks offered to help you begin your journey from chaos to calm but, again, if you need our guidance, let's start with a FREE 30-minute virtual consult. And for all jobs booked before March 31st and will be completed by April 30th we will offer a 10% discount.

IJS It's Just Stuff Logo on a floral spring background.  Spring Cleaning Special: Book before March 31, 2024 and get 10% off! Must use appointment by April 30, 2024.

Be well and, always, be kind,


Decisions and Certainty

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