It’s never a bad thing to remind folks about what I do as a clutter coach, but I forget to do it because it’s too obvious (to me, anyway). Naomi Dunford reminded me on Friday what a good idea it is and I’m happy to take her advice.
I help people get back in control of their lives when circumstances have made their old systems stop working. Say you had a baby and your elegant, finely tuned organizing methods have been annihilated. Say you started a business at home and you’re realizing how much productive structure you left behind at your crappy old job. Say you want to do some major downsizing and what you thought would be a few boxes to go through turns out to be a tidal wave of mysterious stuff.
When people call me it’s because something big went wrong. Or something went right but it caused a bunch of unexpected changes. Occasionally something went wrong a long time ago and they’ve finally decided they can’t take it anymore.
When circumstances change, the way you deal with them needs to change too. Often, this can be really simple change, but it’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of it. Also, it’s hard to pay attention to making those little changes when it seems like everything is out of control. So I do both those things:
identify the simple changes and
keep your focus on them till they make things better.
Why do you do it? Do you love it, or do you just have one of those creepy knacks?
I don’t have a creepy knack for organizing. What I do have is a keen interest in why people do what they do and an ardent curiosity about how things could be different. I am my own guinea pig. What I noticed years ago is that I felt distracted and burdened by a lot of the stuff in my life. I had to pare it down, or drown. And then I had to be attentive to make sure it didn’t all come back. I learned how to be a nosy observer my own life.
And I love it because I know how incredibly satisfying and powerful it is to be able to impartially explore your own behavior and make changes that will make you happy. More than happy; changes that give you sovereignty* over your own life. I do have a knack for asking really basic questions to help that process along, ones that people overlook because they’re too simple.
Who are your customers? What kind of people would need or want what you offer?
I work with people like me, who run their own businesses and also want to have a life. I also work with individuals who had a life but then things got busy and complicated somehow and it’s not fun anymore.
What’s your marketing USP? Why should I buy from you instead of the other losers?
I don’t believe you would necessarily be happier with less stuff. How would I know that? I won’t make you to get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in two years. I’m not going to tell you to use an iPhone calendar because it’s better than paper. I don’t care what you do, as long as it works for you and makes you happy.
I like quick and dirty solutions. I like outside the box ideas. I want to know the reason behind something before I do it. That means I won’t make you buy a set of fancy desk trays if you’ve already got some other container we can repurpose (but if you think a fancy desk tray would make you happy and more productive, go for it).
The techniques I come up with for my clients are the shortest distance between two points. Not the one from Martha Stuart Living. Not the one from that best selling organizing book. You have an objective and you need a solution and you need it now because things are out of control. I can do that.
What’s next for you? What’s the big plan?
I want to create products (Hi, Amy!). I have an ebook and two info products (one is 99% done but not out yet because I can’t figure out what to call it. Ouch!). I want to reach more people than I can with one-on-one coaching (although I love doing that). I’m considering a phone group coaching group too.
* A concept borrowed from coach Hiro Boga.
Question mark from Stefan Baudy’s photostream.