Last chance to join the DECIDE to be Organized Group Coaching Program. It starts this Tuesday, October 5th so don’t delay!

Many people say they want to get better organized, but in order to act upon that wish, you must deeply examine your motives for wanting to do so. Your motives must be strong enough to sustain you through the change process. DECIDE is an empowering process that leads to change. It will assist you in achieving results at home, at work, and in life in general. While the process guides a person in making decisions that lead to a more organized state, it is itself a decision; a decision to take control. How do you do that?

The DECIDE to Be Organized Online Group Coaching Program

  • Dates: Tuesday evenings, October 5 to November 9, 2010
  • Time: 7:30-9:00 pm EST
  • Investment: $249
  • Bonuses: Includes MP3 recordings, the DECIDE to be Organized 58 page e-book, email access to me, and more!
  • Click here for Details and to Register

If you are ready to change and need help with any of your organizing or time management projects, then join me for the DECIDE to Be Organized Online Group Coaching Program, a 6-week teleclass program that allows participants to be guided through the entire DECIDE process in a group coaching environment.

During these teleclasses, I will offer guidance, support, and expertise as you embark on this empowering process for change. Through DECIDE, you will learn the tools needed to get better organized, take control, and make positive changes.

Listen to my message about this exciting program AND a free 10 minute audio about the DECIDE process.

If you are interested in having your very own organizing coach, but aren’t able to invest the money to work on a one-on-one basis with an organizing expert, this affordable program is the answer!

Take a look at the program details and “decide” for yourself!

Organizers Take Note: If you are a professional organizer looking for organizing education, the DECIDE group coaching program is perfect for you too! You can take the program to learn a great new organizing process that you can use with your clients. I will issue a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the program that you can use to support 9 hours of continuing educationcredits. In the past, organizers have have taken the program along with non-organizers as a way to further their organizing skills and add a new process to their repertoire. You can too!

Referral Program: If you are a NAPO member and bring in a participant, you will either receive 15% off of your own registration if you take the program, or a 15% referral fee if you are not enrolled yourself! Just let me know the registrant’s name(s), or have them tell me they were referred by you.

3 Steps to Next Level Business Success: Ready, Set, Go!

A Professional Development Seminar – Hosted by National Association of Professional Organizers, New England Chapter (NAPO-NE).

Presented by: Lisa Montanaro
Certified Professional Organizer®, Business & Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

  • DATE: Saturday, September 11, 2010
  • TIME: 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • LOCATION: Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham
    550 Winter Street Waltham, MA 02451

Unsure if you are getting the most out of your business? Unclear as to whether your business is going in the right direction? Feeling like you could use a business plan revamp? Then get ready to take your business to the Next Level!

In this presentation, Lisa Montanaro, will help you create a plan designed to implement business growth by focusing on three phases: Ready (assess), Set (strategize and plan), Go (take action). Regardless of the level your business is ready to move to this workshop will help you get there.

By the end of this 3-hour workshop, you will:

  • Learn active business planning strategies
  • Be able to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses in your own business
  • Receive examples of best practices for business owners
  • Learn the benefits of blueprinting your business operations so that you can create balance in your work life & a clear exit strategy

Click here for more information and to register.

I just had the pleasure of attending the 2010 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in Columbus, Ohio from April 21-25. What an experience! This was my 7th consecutive NAPO Conference, and it was the best one so far!

Many people don’t like conferences. I can understand that. They are tiring. You are often on your feet for much of the day, or sitting in a chair paying attention to a presentation and taking notes. The food is usually sub-par. The air is “fake” as you are indoors all day. so you lack fresh air. The hotel beds are not the most comfortable.

But let’s look at all of the great advantages of attending a professional development conference. Networking, collaboration, knowledge, brainstorming, energy, motivation, inspiration, etc. The list goes on! This year, I noticed that conference attendees seemed to connect on a deeper level — not just business as usual. People were showing their authentic selves, personally and professionally, which elevated the entire conference experience to a higher level.

I am lucky to be a member of such a dynamic, forward-thinking, collaborative and successful industry. I attended keynote and workshop sessions on making connections, using social media, creating a power office, being resilient, using technology via online and smart phone “apps” to stay organized, and using coaching techniques with organizing clients. Wow – what amazing stuff! 

I had the distinct privilege of being one of the panelists on the Ask the Organizer Panel. Attendees ask questions of panelists and the entire session is expertly moderated by a colleague, Monica Ricci, who has been serving as the moderator for years. The questions were insightful and intelligent. I was so impressed!

I also had the honor of presenting “Don’t Go It Alone: It Takes a Village to Run a Successful Organizing Business” during which I shared ideas and information about outsourcing, delegating, setting up a Board of Advisors, using Master Mind groups, creating an Operations Manual, etc.  The attendees shared great information, which made the session interactive. I love when attendees learn from each other and not just from me as the presenter.

I am now home, catching up, connecting with peers on social media that I met at the conference, adding those that subscribed to my ezine lists, and generally basking in the conference after glow! I have renewed energy for my business, and can’t wait to implement all of the fantastic ideas that I gathered. My business year runs from April to April, as that is when the NAPO Conference takes place. I work my action plan between conferences. Next year’s conference is in San Diego, which means we have the added bonus of great weather! You can be sure that I will take breaks at that conference to get outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air. Therefore, my conference after glow may be mixed with an actual tan. Not bad, huh? 🙂

Getting Organized Has Never Been Easier! I am teaming up with Calahan Solutions, Inc. and other professional organizers and virtual assistants to make the most of National Get Organized Month, which is January 2010. Announcing “Get Organized Month January 2010 – The Great Organizing Giveaway!”

Starting January 25, 2010, seekers of organization and productivity wisdom can go to www.AskTheOrganizingExperts.com and sign up free resources such as ebooks, tip sheets, audio programs and more, as well as enter into drawings for amazing prizes.  Information will be categorized into three main categories: your office, your time, and your home.  Business professionals, parents and students will all find expert material that fits their personal productivity and organization needs.

I decided to participate in the Great Organizing Giveaway by providing an MP3 recording of a teleclass called “Conquering Paper Clutter” to everyone that participates.  “Conquering Paper Clutter” offers tips and advice on how to conquer the paper in your home, office, and life once and for all! It is also entertaining as it is in the style of an interview and features real questions by participants on how to deal with paper clutter, my trademarked approach to organizing, DECIDE, and many other useful tips and advice about how to get and stay organized. 

My fantastic colleagues in the professional organizing and virtual assistant industry have contributed tons of great information and resources, so be sure to check out the page. And get ready to be “wowed” with all of the great content!

To your success – Lisa

Having trouble sticking to those New Year’s resolutions to become better organized? You are not alone. Although just about everyone seems to understand the benefits of being organized, it’s not always easy to figure out just where to start.

Thankfully, there’s Get Organized Month – a national event sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) each January that is designed to highlight the benefits of the association and working with NAPO’s professional organizers.

Many people use the start of a new year to think of ways in which they can improve their lives, and becoming more organized can help save time and money, increase productivity, enhance one’s quality of life, and reduce stress. In fact, in its most recent survey, NAPO found that 96 percent of respondents felt that they could save at least some time each day if they were more organized at home and that 91 percent felt they could be more efficient at work if they were better organized. Overall, 71 percent indicated their quality of life would improve with more organization.

To highlight ways in which people can become more organized at home, work, and even school, NAPO members and chapters throughout the country will be hosting events for Get Organized Month.  Check with your local NAPO chapter to see if there are any Get Organized Month events planned in your area.

Get Organized Month is also a time for NAPO members and chapters to give back to their local communities. Schools, local businesses, and community agencies have all benefited from NAPO members’ help to get organized, streamline processes, and reduce clutter. Every year since I became a NAPO member, I’ve chosen a non-profit organization as the recipient of my Get Organized Month pro bono project. One of my favorite Go Month projects was donating organizing services to my local humane society! 🙂

This year, I have chosen the Junior League of Orange County, Inc. as the recipient of my Get Organized Month pro bono project. The Junior League of Orange County, NY, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Membership is open to all women over the age of 21. 

I will be volunteering my time and expertise by participating as a speaker in the Junior League’s Winter Leadership Workshop, to take place on January 23rd from 10am-2pm at the Carl P. Onken Conference Center at the BOCES campus, 53 Gibson Road Goshen, NY 10924.  The workshop includes 3 one-hour sessions with a choice of 3 topics per session and a networking lunch.  I will be presenting three sessions: DECIDETM to Be Organized!  An Empowering Process for Change, Goal Setting for Your Career & Your Life, and Stand and Deliver: Dynamic Presentations.

Tickets for the Winter Leadership Workshop are $35 in advance (received by January 20th) and $40 at the door.  The workshop will be a great opportunity to network with other Orange County leaders while strengthening and developing leadership skills. 

If interested in registering for the Winter Leadership Workshop, please contact Krista at kristaburket@yahoo.com, leave a message on the League Line at 845.344.8554, or visit their website at www.jlocny.com.

To locate one of NAPO’s professional organizers in your area, you can use NAPO’s free, online automated directory, searchable by zip code, country, and organizing service at www.napo.net. The site also has a lot of great information about Get Organized Month, so be sure to visit!

“We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

By now, you have probably heard the term “Coopetition.” Coopetition is a contraction of the words cooperation and competition, meaning essentially cooperative competition. In the business world, coopetition means collaborating or partnering with your competitors in an innovative way so that both parties benefit. The most successful entrepreneurs realize early on that the old military adage, “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy … Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” applies just as well to the business world. Of course, we all know that your competitors are not truly your enemies (at least I hope they aren’t!), but the idea of keeping them close is the point. A creative collaboration with your biggest competitor in the same industry may be the best opportunity for boosting your business.

Many of you are already familiar with the idea of collaborating with your competitors through membership in an industry specific professional association. For example, I am a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the premiere association for my industry. I attend the annual conference every year as a participant or presenter, belong to a local organizers’ neighborhood (an informal chapter), frequently engage in discussion on the organizers’ email list, and serve as a mentor and business coach to new organizers and organizers-to-be. I have partnered with other organizers in various ways, as well as share referrals back and forth. This coopetition with other organizers has enriched my business in ways that are immeasurable. I’ve benefited greatly from these relationships and from keeping an open mind in my approach to dealing with my competitors.

It is smart business to capitalize on the positive aspects of a competitive situation. However, for coopetition to work effectively, both parties need to clearly define their roles, making sure not to overstep boundaries. The goal is to find a way to partner with your competitor (read: colleague!) so that both parties can substantially benefit from the collaboration. Look around at your competition, and identify competitors that share the same zest for business and success that you do. You want to make sure that you align yourself with a competitor that you respect and admire, and that exudes the same sense of professionalism and level of expertise.

What are some ways that you can engage in coopetition that will boost your business? Here are some examples of strategic alliances between competitors that are innovative, creative, and effective: 

  • Develop a joint venture project together. Some of the best business ideas are born out of competitors joining together. For example, in my industry, organizers are collaborating together to offer certification prep courses, train new organizers, design organizing products, etc.
  • Share a booth at an expo, tradeshow or business showcase. Not only will this help each party keep costs down, but as we all know, two minds are often better than one. You may come up with great new ideas to market your industry and businesses, offer more products, and gain more attention from participants and the media.
  • Co-present with a competitor. Co-presenting is a wonderful tool when done well. I have had the opportunity to present with colleagues to offer workshops that I may not have been able to do on my own. The participants benefit from hearing two different presenters, which helps keep the workshop fresh and interesting. Each presenter only has to do half the work, which makes your job easier overall.
  • Advertise with a competitor. Advertising is expensive. Sharing that expense with a colleague or competitor to promote types of service, your industry, or an event you are doing together is a great way to maximize advertising costs. 
  • Refer leads to each other. This is probably the most common form of coopetition. But don’t lose sight of how powerful it is! What you give out almost always comes back. If you cannot service a prospective client, find a colleague or competitor that can. The potential client will view you as a true professional and resource-provider, and the competitor will be grateful and will usually reciprocate in the future.
  • Co-author an article or book together. Writing does not come easy to many people. Consider sharing writing responsibility by co-authoring an article or book with a competitor. This may be the most effective way to get published in your industry. For example, if you teamed up with 9 competitors in your industry and all wrote one chapter, voila, a 10-chapter book is born!
  • Offer a teleclass or webinar together. You’ve probably seen this many times where two business experts team up to offer a teleclass or webinar together. Many times they are in complementary industries, such as an interior designer (or life coach, or wardrobe consultant, etc.) and professional organizer, or a financial planner and accountant. Again, two minds are better than one, work is shared among the presenters, and the participants get to hear from two experts. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.

Think broadly, keep an open mind, and seek out collaborative opportunities to boost your business with coopetition. Used wisely, it is a fantastic tool to add to your business.

Next Thursday and Friday, September 24 & 25, I will have the pleasure of presenting at the Interior Redesign and Industry Specialists Conference (IRIS) in Denver, CO. This will be my second year presenting at the IRIS Conference, and I am very much looking forward to sharing my expertise with such a great group of entrepreneurs.

I will be conducting two workshops – Branch Out: Grow and Expand Your Interior Redesign & Home Staging Business by Adding Organizing Services to the Mix, and 3 Steps to Next Level Business Success for Entrepreneurs. Full details of both presentations can be found on the IRIS Conference site.

If you are an interior redesigner, home stager, or professional organizer, or are thinking of starting a business encompassing any of those services, this conference would be a great fit for you! My “Branch Out” presentation is a good match for anyone interested in adding organizing services to his or her existing menu of services, whether an IRIS or NAPO member. My “Next Level Business Success” presentation covers how to juggle all of the hats of being a business owner, how to leverage your services, and many other tools and tips to help you take your business to the next level.

So, meet me in Denver! I look forward to seeing you there.

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