“How committed are you?” This is the question I asked the participants of Speak Up: Crafting and Delivering Killer Presentations that I co-presented with my colleague and friend, Monica Ricci, as a pre-conference session at the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) 2013 Conference held in New Orleans from April 17-20. We were entering the 4th hour of our half-day workshop, and I was introducing the last module of our program, called Expect the Unexpected. But to fully grasp the meaning behind my question, I must back up and fill you in on what I am now calling my Planes, Trains and Automobiles experience (okay, sans the trains if we are being technical!).


All of the materials for my Expo table were in my carry on bag.

I set out to travel to the NAPO conference early morning on April 16th to ensure that I would arrive the day before my workshop, which was to start at 8:00 am on April 17th. Ah… the best laid plans. I packed a large suitcase as I was to be on business traveling for 10 days in the Southeast, first to New Orleans to speak at the NAPO Conference, and then to Tampa to speak at a law placement conference. I dutifully paid my $25 checked baggage fee on American Airlines and was on my way. Usually, I would put my presentation outfit in my carry on bag, but that was filled with materials for the table I purchased as an Exhibitor at the NAPO Expo & Marketplace. (This was my first lesson learned… always pack your presentation outfit in your carry on no matter what!)

At first, things seemed great. I sat next to two very friendly and interesting people for the first leg from Sacramento to Dallas, where I was to connect to a flight to New Orleans, putting me in the Big Easy by late afternoon. But when we landed in Dallas, the pilot announced that we could not “park” the plane as American Airlines’ computer system had gone down and they had no directions as to how to proceed. We then sat on the tarmac for an hour waiting further direction. Eventually, we found out that it was system wide, and not just in Dallas. Apparently, there is no back up plan for when the computers go down, except to wait for them to come back up. As a productivity expert, this incensed me as I started going through in my mind the procedure that should have been in place for this type of scenario. After an hour, they started taking people off the 7 planes stuck out on the tarmac and brought us to the terminal via buses.

As soon as I arrived in the terminal and saw what a mess it was, in terms of how many people were stuck there and how many flights were delayed and canceled, my first reaction was to rent a car to get to New Orleans. I checked Google Maps on my iPhone and learned that it was an 8.5 hour drive. Ouch! I had woken really early to get to the airport so was a bit sleep deprived and worried about making that drive alone. It was now about 2:00 pm on Tuesday, April 16th and I calculated that I wouldn’t arrive in New Orleans until 11:00 pm at the earliest, as there was no way I could drive that long without stopping.

Twiiter-travelSo, I waited. And waited. And waited. And I tweeted on Twitter, and posted on Facebook to keep my friends, family, clients and followers apprised of the situation. A reporter from NBC News emailed me and asked if she could interview me about the situation. She had seen one of my tweets. I complied and the next thing I knew, I was on the phone filling her in. Her story went to print a few hours later, unfortunately before the “real” story unfolded. When her story went to print, it ended with me getting ready to board a 7:00 pm flight to New Orleans. Ah, timing is everything. That’s not what happened. No indeed!

At 7:00 pm, we were advised that our crew had gone “illegal,” which we found out meant they had left the airport. Okay… so when will the next crew arrive, we asked. Not until tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. What? Excuse me? It is only 7:00 pm, we have been here for 6 hours waiting, almost all other flights have taken off or been rescheduled, but for New Orleans, there were no flights going out that evening. That was the harsh reality. In that split second, I had to make a choice. I went up to the desk and very clearly and loudly, but politely asked if they would re-route us onto other airlines. The American Airlines agent said that it was not their responsibility to do that and the next flight was the one the next morning. That was our only choice. I mentioned that I had to present at 8:00 am the next day, so that was unacceptable. I was told to go out to the customer care desk and wait on line with others. I saw the writing on the wall. There was no hope with getting a flight that night. So I turned around, looked at my fellow passengers and said “Who wants to drive with me to New Orleans? I have to be there in time to present at 8:00 am?” A woman stepped forward, and we started planning out the trip. Then two more women (a couple that had just been married in the state of Washington after being together for 25 years — this was the first day of their honeymoon!), and a man.

View of sun rising over Mississippi River from my hotel room in New Orleans after my "all nighter."

View of sun rising over Mississippi River from my hotel room in New Orleans after my “all nighter.”

The 5 of us quickly rallied. We rented a car, decided who would drive the first leg, navigated out of the airport (it felt so good to be out of that airport after 6+ hours!), stopped for provisions for the long drive and to charge cell phones quickly, and introduced ourselves and shared why we were heading to New Orleans. All of them were from the Seattle area, and two of them even had a mutual acquaintance back home. Yes, they were total strangers and I was taking a big chance, but they seemed pretty normal, and “stranger antenna” wasn’t beeping, so I had a suspicion it would be okay. I sent a text to my husband, who was of course, nervous and asked me if the man seemed normal (I realized later he never went to sleep until I was at the hotel in New Orleans to make sure I arrived safely and to call and text me every few hours to stay in touch!). Winds up that he and I spent the most time driving and talking in the front seat, and he spends his life helping people that need organ transplants. Talk about a nice guy. (Please refrain from jokes about how he was planning to kill us and steal our organs — I’ve heard it many times already since I told this story!)

The ride was long, but thankfully flat and with perfect weather conditions. It was dark and desolate, but that also meant hardly any traffic. After my turn at the wheel, I was forced to sit on the hump in the middle of the back seat because I was the smallest. Between that uncomfortable position, and the fact that one of the drivers was, let’s say, not the smoothest of drivers (she had many cans of Red Bull to keep herself awake, but that also made her a bit jumpy!), sleep was out of the question. Not a wink. I wound up being in charge of the music, which we accessed from my iPad because every station between Texas and Louisiana is either religious or honky-tonk country, and none of us had a taste for either. Pandora’s Motown station fit the bill, kept us awake, had something all of us knew and could bee-bop along to, and seemed appropriate as this was sort of a Big Chill experience in some ways.

Lisa_and_Monica3We drove by Baton Rouge, which I had visited last year with my husband when he interviewed for a veterinary residency position at Louisiana State University (we wound up in Davis, CA, a lovely town, but I digress). I had never been so happy to see a familiar place!  A little after 4:30 am, we arrived in New Orleans. I was dropped off first based on my hotel location and the fact that I was presenting in a few hours. Bless their hearts! (This, I learned, is a pretty typical Southern phrase, and one that you say in earnest, but often times, out of sarcasm too!).

By the time I checked in and got upstairs to my hotel room, it was just about 5:00 am. I was to be standing in front of a room full of people that paid to attend the pre-conference workshop I was co-presenting in 3 hours. I had no luggage (it arrived at 7:30 am the next day), which meant no clothes or toiletries. Thankfully, my amazing colleagues came through for me, and I was brought a dress and shoes to wear, which fit perfectly I might add (I posted my clothes and shoe sizes on Facebook, with a plea for clothes back at the airport hours earlier when I saw the writing on the wall!). The hotel gave me a toothbrush and I borrowed other toiletries from my very understanding roommate that I woke up when I arrived. What about my undergarments you ask? Nothing is open at 5:00 am, and even if they were, I was not about to roam the streets of New Orleans looking for underwear. So, after I showered, I not only dried my hair with the blow dryer, I also dried my underwear! (I kid you not.)


Ready to present in my borrowed dress and shoes with Monica Ricci.

My co-presenter had a plate of breakfast food waiting for me in the room when I came down to present, which I gobbled up, along with a mug of hot tea. Then it was 8:00 am and time to begin. Despite having left my home in California more than 24 hours before, having no sleep, and dealing with the stressful travel events that unfolded, the show had to go on. Adrenaline kicked in, and I was ready to go. I stood before the group in someone else’s dress, another person’s shoes, my own (now clean and almost fully dry!) underwear, and thankfully, my own jewelry that I wore on the plane and happened to match my new outfit perfectly. I had my notes for the presentation in my carry on (and in my head as we had prepared for this for months), and my co-presenter had the slides ready to go on her Mac already hooked up to the projector.

We decided not to share my ordeal with the audience up front as we didn’t want it to pull focus. We thought it would have much more impact if we brought it up during the last section, Expect the Unexpected. Which brings me full circle to the question I asked the participants: “How committed are you?”

I did not intend to ask that question. But, as I stood in front of them, all of a sudden it seemed quite clear that this was the crux of the matter. Whether it is making a speaking engagement, or anything else in life that matters, the issue becomes how committed are we. There are many challenges we face, some bigger than others. We are constantly forced to make decisions. We often think of giving up. I certainly thought of it many times during my harried travel experience. I could have stayed overnight in Dallas and taken that flight the next morning, and told NAPO, my co-presenter, and the participants that I just couldn’t make it. Luckily, my co-presenter could have presented the entire workshop without me. But I did not want to let her down. I also did not want to let NAPO down who had chosen me for this role. I definitely did not want to let the participants down who had paid good money, and taken time out of their busy schedules to attend this workshop and expected it to have not one, but two, presenters. And I also did not want to let myself down. I was looking forward to this, and had the power to make it work. I was committed in every sense of the word.

Monica and I a few days later when I moderated the Ask the Organizer Panel - in my own clothes and shoes!

Monica and I a few days later when I moderated the Ask the Organizer Panel – in my own clothes and shoes!

And in the long run, that commitment not only affected me, but so many people around me. They rose to the occasion, helping me arrive safely, dressing me, feeding me, supporting me, and letting me know that I could do it, and they were there to help. That meant a lot to me and proved that when we are committed, it not only helps us, but has an amazing domino effect too. Word spread about what I went through to get there and how many people helped me in so many ways. It became bigger than just one person experiencing a Planes, Trains and Automobiles ordeal, and overcoming it. We felt like we were all in it together. And the participants of the workshop felt that they were important and mattered.

In the end, that may have been the most important lesson for all of us. Commitment is contagious.  It is much bigger than just the one experience or person. It creates a commitment wave that spreads wide and goes deep. And for that, I am grateful. I will gladly learn that lesson again, even if it means no sleep, driving overnight with strangers… and yes, blow drying my underwear!

For years, I have been contacted by professional organizers looking to purchase solid Done-For-You Business Foundations Templates. Well, here they are! And at special Introductory Rates that I am offering at the NAPO 2013 Conference in New Orleans and online on my website until May 31st.

These business templates are what every organizer in business needs. They provide the foundation of a well-protected business legally and financially. They make it easier to operate your business, and to sell it someday as the business is “blueprinted” through the use of these templates over time. Designed by a professional organizer, attorney, and business coach/consultant/strategist, they are field tested and will save you from having to reinvent the wheel, copy something from the internet that is not applicable and will, therefore, not hold up in court, or spend tons of money on an expensive attorney that doesn’t understand the organizing industry.

business_contractThe full package includes a Client Agreement Template, Independent Contractor Agreement Template, and Operations Manual Template, along with detailed instructions, bonus articles on key issues, two audio programs for you to go deeper into learning and customizing, and a Business Expenses Excel Spreadsheet! All templates are delivered to you digitally in PDF to preserve the formatting, and Word so you can make them your own and customize.

In addition, I am offering a special upgrade at the time of purchase only: Add on a Strategy Session with me to customize any of the templates or ask questions for only an extra $150 (that’s $50 off the regular rate of $200!).

For those going to Conference:

  • Please stop by my Marketplace Table in the Expo Hall to say hello and purchase the Business Foundations Template Package. It will be delivered to you digitally by email, so you don’t need to worry about carrying anything home with you!
  • If you think this product is a valuable contribution to our industry, please consider reflecting that by voting for it in the Organizer’s Choice Awards (ballots are due by the end of the day Thursday, April 18th!).
  • special_offerThe Package is being offered at special Introductory Rates at Conference, but for those that can’t join me live in New Orleans, you can get the same deal on my website until May 31st while the Introductory Rates are in effect. Visit https://www.lisamontanaro.com/store/products/businessfoundations/ to order online any time.
  • I will be raffling off a free 75-minute Strategy Session at Conference so be sure to drop your business card (or name and email address) in our collection pouch at my Marketplace Table to win a Kick-Butt Business Coaching Session with me (a $200 value).
  • I will be launching the Bold Business Moves 6-Month Mastermind Program for experienced entrepreneurs ready to take their business to the next level, and the 12-week Powerhouse Success Entrepreneur Group Coaching Program for newer entrepreneurs who want training and coaching at an affordable rate. More details will be available at my Marketplace Table and in the weeks following Conference, so be sure to stop by and check your inbox in the weeks after Conference for all of the details and registration, so you don’t miss out!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in person in New Orleans!

I was recently invited by my colleague and fabulous blogger, Janet Barclay, to comment on a post about naming your business, and thought many could benefit from my response. So I am sharing it here. If you want to read Janet’s original post that it relates to, and other great comments, click here.

As you know, I rebranded last year (by choice). I kept the name of my professional organizing division which I founded in 2002 as LM Organizing Solutions, but now have a new parent company name, Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises. I chose that name for several reasons: 1) I am going global, playing in a bigger sandbox, and wanted to share that intention through the name, 2) I am running a personal brand, and 3) I mostly use my real name online and that is what I noticed people would search for. To be honest, I use the business name less and less now, and focus more on my “brands” and “slogans” to market myself, always connecting them to my real name. My corporate name does not show up in many places. This was a very strategic decision.

business buildingAs a business coach and legal consultant for organizers and other entrepreneurs, I have seen the ugly side of business naming. Many clients have had to rename their businesses due to trademark disputes. I have filed trademarks for my clients, negotiated consent agreements for them to use the same name as another business owner, and advised them to rebrand altogether when the trademark issue was not on their side or too expensive to pursue.

But this can often be avoided up front, as you suggested. I use a 4-part test with my clients when choosing a business name:

  1. Domain Name Search – Check to make sure you can get the domain name that you want to represent your proposed business name.
  2. USPTO search – You can conduct a free search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site at USPTO.gov or use a paid service to research trademarks nationwide.
  3. State Corporations Database Search – You can do a quick search on the Secretary of State web page to see whether your name is available. If the name is available, you may want to reserve the name through the Secretary of State, but you are not required to do so before forming your business entity.
  4. NAPO Member Directory Search – If you are a professional organizer, you should check to see if the proposed name is already being used by a NAPO member. Remember, it is not NAPO’s responsibility to police names as a professional association. It is the business owners!

Want to learn how to give a killer presentation from two professional speakers with years of experience and expertise? Well, here’s your chance!

I am thrilled to be presenting a pre-conference session with my colleague, Monica Ricci, who was the moderator of the Ask the Organizer Panel for 10 years running! She is a dynamic, funny, intelligent speaker and I am so excited that she will join me for “Speak Up! Secrets of Crafting and Delivering Killer Presentations” on Wednesday, April 17th in New Orleans at the 2013 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Annual Conference.

We plan to put the “dynamic” into dynamic duo for sure! Check out our little diddy of a video that we put together from different sides of the country to promote the event.

So join us for what is sure to be a high-content, informative, jam-packed, interactive, and entertaining session that can set you up to present “killer” presentations as part of your business. Hope to see you there! See the conference details here.

Lisa Montanaro will move and manage Warwick firm from West Coast, thanks to technology

WARWICK — When Warwick resident Lisa Montanaro, a productivity consultant, success coach, business strategist, speaker and author, moves to California, she will not only continue to manage the business she established here, she will expand it.

In 2002, Montanaro founded LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, which offered a variety of services including organizing, business and life coaching and motivational speaking. The company prospered as it drew on her skills as a lawyer, educator, mediator and performer. Today that Warwick company is the organizing division of Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises.

Montanaro is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the National Speakers Association (NSA). She has presented professionally to audiences throughout the United States and has been interviewed by many television and radio hosts. And her written content has been widely published online and in print. She is the author of “The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life,” published by Peter Pauper Press.

For the past decade Montanaro has lived in Warwick with her husband, Sean, a veterinarian.

This July, the couple and their two dogs, Dublin and Jerry, will move to Northern California. The relocation was prompted when her husband secured a prestigious three-year residency in veterinary internal medicine at the University of California at Davis.

But with modern communications technology, Montanaro, who was already traveling and serving clients throughout the nation and beyond, can simply expand her client base while continuing to conduct business as usual for those back East.

Headed in this direction
In the past few years, Montanaro has achieved success with expanding her business model and services, publishing a book and doing national speaking engagements. This path has allowed her to realize that she can live anywhere while her husband pursues his specialization in the field of veterinary internal medicine.


“I have been moving in the direction of a more global/virtual business model for years with coaching, consulting, speaking and online programs, and this has surely forced me to really change over,” she said. “But I am keeping the business open here and making my business bi-coastal. I plan to come back to this area every few months to do speaking engagements and book time servicing my clients in the New York area.”

Montanaro has a residential organizing associate, Camille O’Connor, and other team members that assist her as needed so even if she is not physically here, people who want to get organized can still do so under her business umbrella. And for those who want to work with Montanaro one-on-one, they can get on a wait list for the next time she returns or they can work with her virtually by phone, Skype and e-mail. For coaching, consulting and speaking, distance and geography are no longer a factor.

“Many of my clients and I have never met in person,” she explained, “and yet we have successfully co-created their business ventures, career transitions and life changes together. And I already travel for national speaking engagements, so the only thing that will change is the airport I use.”

As much as she is excited about this new venture, Montanaro admits she will miss Warwick.

“It will always hold a special place in my heart,” she said. “I have lived here for 10 years, and it has been an awesome decade that I will cherish. I chose to live here for the beauty and open space, but now realize that it’s true beauty is the people.”

Essential information
Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises can be contacted by calling 845-988-0183 in New York or 530-302-5306 in California. Visit www.LisaMontanaro.com.

By Roger Gavan

If you are a business owner, you probably have experienced the dreaded question that people ask at networking events, cocktail parties and the like, many many times: “So, what do you do?”.  And if you found yourself stumbling over your words to deliver the answer, you are not alone! Talking about your business is one of those areas that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with. Many business owners suffer from performance anxiety each time someone asks them what they do for a living.

Recently, I presented my Kick Butt Business Bootcamp for a group of entrepreneurs in Baltimore (if you are interested in having me present it in your area or to your group, let’s chat!). I started them off with an “elevator pitch” ice breaker exercise. They had to choose someone in the room that they did not know well, introduce themselves to each other, and then share their 30-second elevator pitch. The catch? They were not allowed to use their formal job title in their pitch!

Why? Because your title doesn’t tell people what you do, the benefits you provide, or the results clients get from working with you. Also, the title may also conjure up images in the person’s mind that are far from what you actually do. Let’s face it, not every “web designer,” “lawyer,” “professional organizer,” and “business coach” is the same. You have to paint the picture of what you provide, and what the experience of working with you is like.

A few years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a workshop presented by Brian Walter at the annual National Speakers Association (NSA) Convention in NYC. Brian demonstrated a technique for creating a clever and catchy elevator pitch that I absolutely love. He calls it the “How, Now, Wow” Technique. (Side note: Ideas can’t be copyrighted, only words in fixed form, so sharing Brian’s ideas with proper credit is not only okay, but the highest form of flattery!).

The “How” elevator pitch is your ‘core’ or ‘home’ elevator pitch that you use in formal situations, or when you are unsure if the person you are speaking with can handle anything more clever or creative. It is the basic formula of what you do without mentioning your title. For example, a productivity consultant may say for his or her How message: “I help busy professionals and business owners be more productive so that they can focus on the things they enjoy more in life.” The focus is on what you do, who you do it for, and the benefits provided or results received.

Next, you move onto the “Now” stage. Use this when the person seems genuinely interested ( in other words, their eyes are not glazed over!) and/or asks for more information. This is your opportunity to provide him or her with examples of your work, the benefits you have provided, and the results that you have brought to clients. You should have about 4 examples at your disposal at any one time, so that you are prepared. “Now, for example, I just finished a time management project with a client that has not been able to attend his son’s soccer game in the last 2 seasons. Due to our intense work together to revamp his thinking and habits around time management, he has been able to attend 75% of his son’s soccer games this season.” You should try to tailor your Now examples to the person you are speaking with or the situation, so that they are relevant. If you are speaking to a busy CEO who is time-starved, this would be a perfect example. But maybe not the best example for someone that is a business owner and wants to become more productive in order to impact her bottom line and make more money.

The last stage is the “Wow” one. This is the one you pull out only for people you think can handle it, for those you really want to impress with your creativity and cleverness. Don’t waste it on someone that seems bored, is interrupting in order to tell you what he or she does, or you can tell is giving you their attention in a perfunctory manner. (For that person, let them talk, listen, ask a few questions to engage him or her, and then if all else fails, politely excuse yourself and walk away!) The Wow line is that extra factor that sets you apart. It makes people interested because it makes you look cool, is memorable, and maybe a little punchy. Brevity is key in the Wow line. If it is too lengthy, you will lose the person’s attention.

Some ways to deliver a Wow elevator pitch:

  • Think of similes when people ask what you do. For example, “I’m like a personal trainer for the disorganized brain.”
  • Describe what you do like a movie trailer with the client as the star. Tell a short interesting snippet of the work, and then end with the results.
  • Compare yourself to someone recognizable in popular culture, or even a cross between two people. For example, one I’ve used is: “I am like a cross between Rachael Ray and Sandra Day O’Connor.” Rachael Ray is warm, funny and sassy, and Sandra Day O’Connor is an extremely intelligent woman, having served as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Yes, I am trying to convey that as a coach, consultant and speaker, I have spunk and smarts!

Coaching Challenge: Craft an elevator pitch using the How, Now, Wow technique. Pick an elevator pitch buddy and practice together. Record yourself using audio or video. Then, start practicing at real events and see what type of response you get. Remember, no using your job title! Be creative and clever and you will get people’s attention.

Recently, I attended the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), held in Baltimore, MD. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing and hearing the closing keynote speaker, Dan Thurmon. I first encountered Dan at the National Speakers Association (NSA) annual conference in Anaheim in July 2011, during which he was inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame. Dan is a performance artist and professional speaker who juggles, throws knives, and rides a unicycle on stage, all of which is very entertaining and exciting. Yet, his message is equally powerful. In fact, I was even more impressed with his ability to weave high-level content into his performance elements, which is not an easy accomplishment to pull off.

Dan’s keynote content was drawn from his latest book, Off Balance on Purpose. Two important meanings are intend ed. First, that we are most effective, productive and happy when embracing the “off balance” reality of life. And secondly, that we should intentionally choose to take action and initiate meaningful changes. While I have not read his book yet, I did love his message and the way he presented it to a group of productivity experts.

To be “productive” literally means to produce. Therefore, many of us tend to translate being productive to mean that we need to keep doing and going and producing, and all at the same time. However, this can cause a ton of stress in our lives and make the quality of what we are producing decrease. I am just as guilty of that as others. So it takes a brave person to realize that you can have it all, but just not at the same time!

As Dan was juggling, he explained to us that you must release one item in order to catch the ot her item. He is never actually holding more than one item that he is juggling at once! This was so powerful. It sometimes takes a visual exercise like this to snap us into realization.

In our own lives, we tend to want to do it all and right now. Yet, we then sacrifice the quality of our work, relationships, and life overall if we take on too much. We wind up doing a bunch of things at less than 100%, and then berate ourselves for not being able to keep up.

It takes a brave person to stop and say, “I can have it all… just not at the same time!” There is a time and a season for everything. Maybe this year is the year you work on your career transition. Maybe this month is the one to focus on cultivating a new hobby. Maybe this summer is the one when you (finally!) get organized. But if you try to get organized, embark on a career transition, and cultivate a new hobby all at the same time, while still juggling all of the other responsibilities in your life, you may fail miserably at all of them, or not enjoy any of them.

I admit that I am a go-getter! I like to stay busy, thrive on change, and am a life-long learner with an adventurous spirit. But I have had to make choices. I realize I cannot do everything, and certainly not at once. My Mom used to tease me that I should have been a cat, as it will take nine lives to do everything I want to do in this one life time. And that may be true. But I have much more awareness now that I can’t have it all at the same time, and I will drop a lot of balls I am juggling if I try to.

So I like Dan Thurmon’s message and plan to adopt it as my own. Juggle one thing at a time, continuing to release and catch, as you go. It is okay to be “off balance on purpose” in order to live a more fulfilling and, ironically, balanced life in the long run. Care to join me?





Copyright 2012. Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and operate productive and profitable businesses.  Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE® to be Organized” e-zine for success-minded individuals, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at www.LMOrganizingSolutions.com. Lisa is the author of  The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life” published by Peter Pauper Press. Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can h elp take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at Lisa@LMOrganizingSolutions.com.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to
decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

~ Jane Goodall

Many people believe that they have one true vocational calling. That may be true. But for some of us, we have multiple areas of expertise and talents and a thirst to share them all with the world. It is this sense of adventure and drive for reinvention that ultimately led me to create
LM Organizing Solutions, LLC (LMOS).

My first calling was as a performer. I spent my childhood singing, acting and dancing, and wanted to go professional. But as I matured, I started to fall in love with the law, and switched gears as a young adult, pursuing a pre-law course of study. I never gave up performing but, rather, turned it into a wonderful hobby that continues to this day.

Another great passion of mine was to work with the deaf. My cousins are deaf–a lovely married couple that was a generation older than me. When I visited and saw them signing with each other, and with their two hearing children, I was enthralled and vowed to learn this beautiful, expressive language. Thus, when I graduated from college and was admitted to law school, I deferred admission for one year to teach at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, NY.

I was hooked! I loved teaching deaf students, and developed proficiency for American Sign Language. A year later, I decided to continue teaching and attend law school in the evening.

Upon my graduation from law school, I practiced employment, labor, education and disability law for 9 ½ years. Although I had a profound respect for the law, I did not appreciate the way it was practiced in our society. It became too negative in the hands of those that wanted to use it to fight. I started to become restless and knew that there were other ways I could share my talents and expertise with people and organizations to improve the world. I did a lot of soul searching and arrived at the conclusion that I needed to leave the traditional practice of law and become an entrepreneur in order to truly make a difference.

During that time of career transition, I realized that I had been organizing people’s lives on an “amateur” level my whole life, and that my organizing and coaching skills transcended my work as a lawyer, teacher, mediator, writer, speaker, and performer.

In 2002, I launched LMOS, which serves as the umbrella for my areas of expertise, and provides a platform to offer a variety of services to clients.  Through LMOS, I am able to offer organizing, business and life coaching, and motivational speaking to individuals and organizations.  These three main focus areas allow me to combine my lifelong passion for creating order with my skills gained as a lawyer, educator, and performer.  LMOS gives me the ability to enact positive, proactive change.  My clients rely on me for leadership, guidance, support, encouragement, and coaching.

I now consider myself a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I took a leap of faith and created a business that allows me to meld together many different, but related, “callings” at the same time, while helping people live better lives and run better companies and organizations. The result has been both successful and rewarding.

Warm regards,


Copyright 2009 © Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC.

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Copyright 2009. Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and operate productive and profitable businesses. Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE® to be Organized” e-zine for success-minded individuals, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at www.LMOrganizingSolutions.com. Lisa is the author of The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, published by Peter Pauper Press. Lisa also publishes the DECIDE® to be Organized blog at www.DecideToBeOrganized.com. Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at Lisa@LMOrganizingSolutions.com.