Hello NAPO peeps,

If you are attending the national NAPO Conference in May 2014 in Phoenix, consider coming a day early and attending my pre-conference session: “Strategic Business Expansion: Smart Options to Grow Your Business” on Wednesday, May 28th from 1-5 before the Expo kicks off.

Here is a sneak peek video… Would love to see you there!

Below is a description of what I will be covering…

“Strategic Business Expansion: Smart Business Growth!”
Many organizers run businesses that are a one-trick pony, trading hours for dollars, and working really hard without a major income to show for it. For organizers ready to expand offerings, help many people at the same time, and leverage their content, there is a better way! This pre-conference session will help you strategically expand your business and think bigger.

  • This interactive workshop will cover topics such as using independent contractors or hiring employees, expanding to another state, offering virtual services and digital content, licensing portions of your business, and joint venturing with other businesses.
  • Learn how to expand, pitfalls to watch out for, and steps to take.
  • Walk away with a plan for implementing the options that are the best match for your business!

See the conference details here.

Lisa_and_Monica-NAPO-3I just got back from co-presenting a pre-conference session at the 2013 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in New Orleans. My fabulous co-presenter was Monica Ricci. We had a blast presenting the workshop, “Speak Up! Crafting and Delivering Killer Presentations.” There were about 36 attendees, and the workshop was 4 hours long. And the workshop was a real hit, thankfully, but that’s not the main point here. What is the main point is the story behind the workshop and how it came about.

Monica served as Moderator of the popular Ask the Organizer Panel at the NAPO Conference for years. 10 years to be exact. In 2010, I had the distinct honor of serving as a panelist under Monica’s moderation. I was smitten. Okay, that may sound strange, but when I meet someone who is a great presenter, a smarty pants, has a killer sense of humor, and a great sense of style, I take notice. So, we became buddies. Little did we know what the future would hold.

The following year in 2011, I was selected to be the Moderator of the first-ever Golden Circle Ask the Organizer Panel, which was made up of organizers that were Golden Circle members, but would be presented in front of all conference attendees. Monica stayed in her role as Moderator of the traditional Ask the Organizer Panel. And so we worked side by side, taking photos together, sharing ideas and notes about our respective panels, and enjoying our roles.

Lisa_and_MonicaIn 2012, we both served as Moderators again, but this time both panels would have pre-submitted questions, which was never the case in the past for Monica’s panels. So we worked even more closely together as my Golden Circle Panel functioned by having pre-submitted questions only. Apparently, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks when the “old dog” (you know what I mean… not talking age here folks!) is a pro. Monica knocked the panel out of the park even with pre-submitted questions and was able to go out with a bang as that was her last year serving as moderator. I had one more year left to my 3-year term as Moderator.

My good friend and colleague, Andrea Bowser, was hanging out with Monica and I in 2012 and commented to me afterwards how it was too bad we would no longer both be serving as Moderators. She suggested how cool it would be if Monica and I teamed up to co-present something together at the conference in the future. Lightning struck! I contacted Monica and the rest, as they say, is history.

We submitted a pre-conference session on speaking, which seemed only natural as we are both professional speakers and have served in that role at the NAPO Conference for years. We prepared for months via Skype and phone, and really enjoyed the process. We created all content together, organized the presentation, and timed it out. We then split up the sub-topics, each taking ones to present, so that we weren’t talking over each other too much (we are both talkers so were concerned about it getting too chatty!). We wanted it to be interactive, so added in exercises, stories, and role playing.

Monica shared that she had never co-presented before. This was news to me!! I felt honored that she trusted me enough to team up together, and was hoping it would go really well.

And it did. It was an absolute blast for us to present, and our attendees, thankfully loved it. We are humbled by the rave reviews, and are thrilled that the attendees are all pumped up to get out there and speak more, and speak better.

Lisa_and_Monica-NAPO-2The moral of this story is that you have to go for it! Set your sights on something and make it happen. I could have dismissed Andrea’s comment and not approached Monica. Monica could have said no, especially given that she had never co-presented with someone before. NAPO could have rejected the proposal to present. But the stars aligned. In some ways, it goes even farther back than that. Monica could have held a grudge that she had to share her Moderator role with an interloper (that would be me!) when I was selected to take over the Golden Circle Panel. But she didn’t. She embraced the change, welcomed me to the inner sanctum, and became my ally. That decision and attitude led to the two of us becoming partners in crime… a dynamic duo. And I for one am not only grateful for it, but look forward to what the future holds. Look out world, here we come…

“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!

Quite a few things are happening to me and LM Organizing Solutions right now. This is definitely a time of personal and professional change, for sure!

On a personal note, I just finished a 3,600 mile, 13-state cross-country road trip with my husband and our 2 dogs. What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience! Some highlights were visiting family in the Midwest, hitting the big city of Chicago (picture to the left), crossing the majestic Mississippi River, seeing the patriotic masterpiece Mt. Rushmore, getting up close and personal with buffalo, bear and coyote in the amazing Yellowstone National Park, hiking a ski mountain in Jackson Hole, and enjoying summer fun on Lake Tahoe!

Right now, we are staying with colleagues about a half hour away from our new town in their lovely home overlooking vineyards and fruit orchards, complete with 2 reside nt goats. Yes, the adventure continues!

As of August 11th, we will be settling down in this cute California ranch in the town of Davis, CA. We will be there for 3 years as my husband, Sean, does a residency in veterinary internal medicine. To be honest, I can’t wait! I am looking forward to living on the West Coast, and in Davis in particular, which is known for its stellar university, amazing farmer’s market (great for Sean and I who are vegetarians), and bike-friendly roads and lifestyle (there are approximately 60,000 bikes in town — 1 per person — and they are used as a means of transportation, not just for leisure or exercise). Sounds like a recipe for a healthy, balanced lifestyle if I ever heard one!

And thanks to the relocation, I have already been booked for a few speaking engagements in California. I start with attending the NAPO-LA Organizing Awards on October 20th (something I’ve always wanted to do!), and then presenting Bold Business Moves for NAPO-LA chapter members on October 22nd and making myself available for private coaching sessions while I am in LA on October 23rd. I plan to see my Dad while there, as he lives in Long Beach in the LA area, and it is his birthday that week! It will be such a treat to be closer to him the next few years and get to see him more often!

Then, drum roll please… I will be presenting the closing keynote for the NAPO-SFBA Regional Conference in Sonoma, CA on November 3rd. But wait, it gets better — I’ll be sharing the spotlight with none other than Julie Morgenstern, who is doing t he opening keynote. Now that’s coming full circle! I heard Julie speak at the little old 92nd Street Y near my apartment in NYC back in 2001, and went up to chat and tell her I was planning to leave my law career and become a professional organizer. She was super-supportive, and we chatted about our shared background in theater. Over the years, she has popped in to hear me speak at the NAPO Conference and always graciously said hello. Little did I know that I’d be sharing the same stage with her someday keynoting for my esteemed peers! What an honor!

The other really exciting thing happening is the rebrand of my business. LM Organizing Solutions will become a division of my new larger umbrella company, Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises (LMGE). I will run LMGE from the California headquarters that you see above in the photo, and LM Organizing Solutions will remain a thriving residential organizing business in the NY area, tended to lovingly by my hand-picked associates. The rebrand will finally allow me to “catch up” to the more holistic work that my clients rely on me for: coaching, consulting, speaking, training and writing to help people live successful and passionate lives, and enjoy productive and profitable businesses and careers. I am over-the-top excited to launch the upcoming new website, blog, and ezine very, very soon. So stay tuned!

I appreciate you sticking with me as I go down this path of personal and professional change. Hopefully, it will motivate or inspire you to make a change that you have been dreaming of. Let me ask you…. What would you love to do if you had more courage? What seems really exciting? If something gives you some fear and a lot of excitement, that’s the thing to follow! It will make all the difference in your business and life. Check out my blog post all about how to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

If you want to s hare any of your dreams or plans with me, I’d love to hear about them. Just send me an email and fill me in. 🙂

I am over-the-top excited to announce that I will be presenting the closing keynote for the NAPO-SFBA Regional Conference in Sonoma, CA on November 3, 2012. But wait, it gets better — I’ll be sharing the spotlight with none other than Julie Morgenstern, who is doing the opening keynote. Now that’s coming full circle!

I heard Julie speak at the little old 92nd Street Y near my apartment in NYC back in 2001, and went up to chat and tell her I was planning to leave my law career and become a professional organizer too. She was super-supportive, and we chatted about our shared background in theater. Over the years, she has popped in to hear me speak at the NAPO Conference and always graciously said hello. Little did I know that I’d be sharing the same stage with her someday keynoting for my esteemed peers! What an honor.

I am relocating to Northern California this summer, so when the Conference rolls around on November 3rd, it will be in my new backyard. How thrilling! I am so looking forward to seeing colleagues and friends, old and new, and enjoying the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country.

If you are a professional organizer or productivity consultant, come join me! Registration will be open soon. Click here for more details.

Is the Threat of a Lawsuit a Real Fear?

As a small business owner, you may be one of the 48% concerned about frivolous or unfair lawsuits.  According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, actual lawsuits and the fear of lawsuits cost U.S. small businesses $98 million in 2005.  That figure may seem large because it includes money spent on damage awards, settlements, legal costs, liability insurance premiums, and costs incurred by insurance companies on behalf of policyholders.  Is the fear of lawsuits a real fear?  Unfortunately, yes.  Anybody can sue anybody over anything at any time.  In reality, 46% of small business owners have been threatened with a lawsuit, 34% have been sued in the past 10 years, and 62% have made business decisions to avoid lawsuits.  Indeed, small businesses bear 69% of the total cost of the tort system to all U.S. businesses.

What is the Best Course of Action?

What’s a small business owner to do?  For starters, realize that the best defense is a great offense.  While most small business owners fear the law, it is much wiser to use the law as a protective shield.  There are many business and legal components that contribute to creating the strongest shield possible – business entities (the type of structure that governs your business), insurance, and intellectual property (copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets) to name a few.

As a former full-time practicing attorney and now a small business owner, I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to the legal issues a business owner may face.  It is imperative that organizers understand the basics of the legal side of running an organizing business, and how to use the law as a shield to protect yourself and your business.

Creating a Shield Through Business Structure

The first item an organizing business owner should consider is the structure of the business.  There are 4 basic types of business entities: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company.  A common misconception of small business owners is that the business entity itself always creates a legal shield.  In some instances (a corporation, or limited liability company, for example), this is generally true.  However, if you are a sole proprietor (and, if so, you are not alone, as 78% of all small businesses in the U.S. are sole proprietorships), then you essentially have no shield.  As a sole proprietor, you are personally liable for all business debts and other obligations.  Fortunately, the law is not the only means to create a shield to protect your business.  If the business entity itself does not provide a shield, then you can create one by acquiring appropriate and adequate insurance coverage.  Thus, a sole proprietorship that is adequately protected by insurance may have an effective shield.

In the case of partnerships, another misconception is that the partnership is a distinct legal entity that provides a shield.  A partnership is essentially a sole proprietorship run by two or more individuals.  Thus, the structure itself provides no shield.  Again, insurance can be used to fill in the gap, and/or a different business entity can be chosen.  For example, did you know that you can create a corporation and the same two people that would have created a partnership will now be shareholders?  What about a limited liability company with more than one member?  There are many ways for two or more individuals to own a business together.  Carefully consider which makes the most sense, not only from an operations and decision-making standpoint, but to garner the most legal protection for the owners involved.

Even with corporations and limited liability companies, there are limits to the force of the shield.  Simply creating a business entity is not enough.  The business must be operated as a distinct legal entity, including refraining from co-mingling of personal and business funds, keeping personal guarantees on behalf of the company to a minimum, maintaining corporate/business records, and paying business-related taxes.  If the business entity is a sham or the owner does not follow the rules in terms of keeping the business shield up, the legal doctrine of “piercing the corporate veil” may be applied by a court if the business is sued.  Piercing the corporate veil allows a litigant to pierce the business structure and reach the owner personally.  Granted, piercing the corporate veil is only applied in very limited situations, but it should be used as a reminder to keep that shield up at all times when it comes to operating your organizing business as a distinct legal entity.

Creating a Shield Through a Written Client Agreement

As an organizer, when you agree to perform services for a client, and the client agrees to pay you for such services, you and your client have entered into a legal contract.  The terms of the contract, however, are difficult to recall and prove unless in writing.  A written contract is pivotal as it puts clients on notice of business policies and terms, sets a professional tone, promotes consistency of policies, and is legally enforceable in court (the decision whether to sue a client to enforce a contract is, of course, a business decision, as well as a legal one, and should be carefully considered).  The contract, thus, helps to prevent misunderstandings and clearly defines the expectations of the parties.

Some organizers choose not to use contracts for fear that a written agreement may be too formal or legal in nature and, thus, may scare a client away.  Again, this is a business decision that should be given consideration, and you should determine if this is a real or imagined fear by communicating with your clients to test the waters.  You can also use a “letter agreement,” which may be less intimidating for residential clients.  In the corporate organizing arena, a written contract is generally expected.  Another disadvantage of using a written contract is the cost of creating and advising if you use an attorney.  While there are standardized contract forms available online and in books, be careful not to accept such standardized forms carte blanche.  I often see small business owners fail to adapt contracts appropriately, which causes embarrassing typos, inappropriate clauses, and general confusion.  Not only does this look unprofessional, but in extreme cases it can also result in unenforceability of the contract in court.  Therefore, it is a good idea to have a business lawyer review the agreement to make sure it adequately protects you, contains the relevant terms, and fulfills the goals you want to accomplish.  It is an expense worth paying for to secure adequate protection in the long term.

A word of caution: stay away from “legalese.”  Use plain English so that the agreement is easy to understand and helps, rather than hinders, the understanding between you and your clients.  If you do use a client agreement, here is a list of sample clauses you should consider including:

  • Definition of the parties (define your status as an independent contractor if the contract is for corporate organizing);
  • Services to be performed;
  • Code of ethics;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Pricing and payment policies (pricing structure, retainer guidelines, travel time or expense, shopping charges, cancellation policy, when payment is due, fee for bounced check, credit card acceptance, payment of expenses, etc.);
  • Provision of materials, equipment, and office space;
  • Assurance of insurance coverage;
  • State law governance;
  • Permission to take and use photos;
  • Term of agreement/termination of relationship.

Now, go forth with shields raised!

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered.  For a comprehensive overview of legal issues involved in running an organizing business, refer to the CD “Navigating the Legal Landmines of an Organizing Business”  from the 2008 NAPO Conference in Reno, NV. 

Contact Lisa Montanaro by visiting www.LMOrganizingSolutions.com, by email at Lisa@LMOrganizingSolutions.com, or by phone at
(845) 988-0183.

This article originally appeared in NAPO News, Volume 23, Number 4, September 2008
Copyright © 2008 Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC.

Want to Use This Article in Your E-zine or Website?

You can, as long as you use this complete statement:

Copyright 2008. 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.

Lisa will be serving as Moderator of the Golden Circle Ask the Organizer Panel at the 2012 NAPO Conference in Baltimore, MD on March 22-24, 2012. She will also be presenting “Don’t Be Afraid of the Big Bad Law: Using the Law as a Protective Shield for Your Organizing Business.”

Here’s a sneak peek:

Lisa’s article, How Do You Define Business Success? was featured in the December, 2011 edition of the San Diego Statement, a newsletter from the National Association of Professional Organizers, San Diego Chapter. See the article here.

Lisa presented a workshop entitled “Navigating the Ethical Dilemmas of an Organizing Business”, and served as Moderator of the first Golden Circle Ask the Organizer Panel, at the 2011 NAPO Conference in San Diego, CA

Lisa Montanaro has been chosen, for the second year in a row, as the moderator of the Golden Circle Ask the Organizer Panel for the 2012 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference to be held in Baltimore, MD on March 23rd & 24th. Ms. Montanaro is the owner of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC out of Warwick NY, and is a Certified Professional Organizer, Business & Life Coach, Speaker & Author of the book, The Ultimate Life Organizer.

Golden Circle is the crème de la crème of the organizing industry of NAPO members that have been in business for 5 years or more. The Ask the Organizer Panel is made up of select leaders in the industry and questions are asked by any organizer regardless of level or years of expertise. The Golden Circle panel is made up only of Golden Circle members, and questions will only be permitted by other Golden Circle members, making it truly a panel of, and for, experienced professional organizers.

Ms. Montanaro, who was an Ask the Organizer panel member at the 2010 NAPO Conference is delighted to be back again as the moderator. “Moderating the panel at the 2011 NAPO Conference was an amazing experience,” says Ms. Montanaro. “I am delighted and honored to be selected again for what I consider to be one of the most important roles of the organizing industry.”

LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, established in 2002, is a professional services firm offering productivity consulting, business and life coaching, and motivational speaking to individuals, organizations, and corporations. Owner, Lisa Montanaro, is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer®. She is the author of The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life by Peter Pauper Press. For more information, contact Ms. Montanaro at (845) 988-0813 or by email at Lisa@LMOrganizingSolutions.com.

I’m excited to share that I’ve been selected to present “Don’t Be Afraid of the Big Bad Law: Using the Law to Protect You & Your Organizing Business” at the 2012 NAPO Conference in Baltimore, MD on March 23rd & 24th. I’ve been presenting at the NAPO Conference since 2008 and it’s an honor to be able to share my expertise from my past career as an attorney to assist my colleagues.

If you’re an organizer, join me!  In my presentation, I’ll be discussing the different business entities, client agreements and what you should include in them, all about copyright and trademarks and the differences between independent contractors and employees. This will be an empowering session for you in building your business.

Here’s a video to fill you in more. http://tinyurl.com/3s55m35