I started my professional organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions, in my early 40’s, after I began attending church. I didn’t just attend though, I got super involved in church. Because I thrive on helping people, I immediately jumped in and started serving in the area to which I am naturally drawn – organizing. Before long, I had become the main person in the church that created, organized, staffed and ran the church events – and I loved every second of it!
Little did I know that as I was doing what felt natural to me, people were watching. Eventually they began to approach me, asking me to help them organize and run their weddings and other events. Then they began asking for my help in organizing their basements and other areas of their homes – and not as a volunteer. They wanted to pay me for my work! For someone like me who absolutely loves to organize, the truth is that I enjoy organizing so much that I would probably pay people just for the chance to organize their stuff. The concept of doing what I loved to do AND being paid for it absolutely floored me!
I quickly learned that I liked organizing stuff more than I liked organizing events, because of the emotions and feelings associated with people and their stuff. In addition to being a good listener and a very compassionate person, I’ve always loved psychology (at one point in my life I had even considered becoming a counselor). Plus, “stuff” had never held the same value for me as it seemed to for the rest of the world. So helping people sort through their stuff and all of the feelings associated with that stuff was a perfect fit for me.
I’m certain it was no coincidence that at the time all of this was happening, my church was working through the book Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. He describes his book as an “anti-self-help book”. The first sentence of the book reads, “It’s not about you,” and the remainder of the chapter goes on to explain how the quest for personal fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning can only be found in understanding and doing what God placed you on Earth to do. This book was teaching us about something that was happening in my life even as we read through the pages together! (I’ve probably bought this book for over 100 people since then because it was so life changing! If you’ve never read it, please consider doing so.)
I was having so much fun helping others get organized, and I was feeling so fulfilled, that I decided to start my own professional organizing business even though I already had a full time job. Simplified Living Solutions launched in February 2007. My motivation for starting the business was to help people. I thrive on helping people. I never did it because I wanted to make more money. I could care less about the money. The driving force and my mindset behind starting the business was the thought that if I could help even one person a month, how cool would that be? Little did I know that God had much bigger plans for my business (and my life) than I could have ever imagined. My business phone began ringing right away and it has never stopped.
In another “coincidence”, the day I returned home from seeing an attorney to incorporate my business, the minute I turned on the TV, Oprah Winfrey said the most amazing thing that I know was a message to me (see below). I still have her quote hanging in my office because it captured exactly how I was feeling and it promised me that there were huge blessings and success coming – and more importantly, that I was heading in the right direction.