Come join me in Pittsburgh on April 27th from 8:30-10 am for the Spotlight Consulting Interactive: Business Consulting in Action session of the 2017 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference.

How would you like to be a fly on the wall during a business consulting session? This interactive learning opportunity will feature role plays of a business consultant and client in action. Learn the process of business consulting, including gathering information, active listening skills, asking probing questions, reframing, evaluating, problem solving, and offering customized solutions. Discover your peer’s business challenges while also gaining business consulting process skills to use with your clients in the future.


  1. Learn about business challenges that other attendees are facing that are selected for role plays during the session.
  2. Watch several role plays of a business consulting spotlight session and learn about the various stages, skills, and steps involved.
  3. Have the opportunity to ask questions of the business consultant about the underlying subject matter of the challenges presented, as well as the business consulting process.
  4. Be given the opportunity to practice business consulting skills with a partner or with the presenter.
  5. Gain confidence in your business based on the challenges presented and solutions offered, as well as confidence in business consulting skills to use with clients in the future.

Looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh! 

Learn more about the NAPO 2017 Conference and register to attend here.

calendarA few weeks ago, I presented at the National Association of Professional Organizers San Francisco Bay Area Regional Conference. My topic was Make Time for This: Effective Time Management. As I was putting the finishes touches on my slides and handout prior to the conference, I started thinking about the many different systems, tools and strategies people use to manage their time. Specifically, I started thinking about how far we have come with regard to digital/electronic systems compared to years ago. Yet, every time I speak to an audience about time management and survey the participants, it amazes me how many people are still using paper-based systems (paper, pen, notebooks, post-it notes, folders, etc.) compared to digital (software, apps, tablets, smart phones, etc.). And yes, even in a room full of professional organizers and productivity consultants, there were more than a handful that admitted to still using a paper-based system.

So which is better? That’s not an easy question to answer, even for a productivity expert because the winner is in the eyes of the user.

checkmarkA paper-based system has a certain solidness to it. You get to touch your system and hold it in your hands. For people that are very tactile focused, this concreteness can make all the difference. Being able to write with your own hand, feel the pen move across the paper, turn the page, tab it, shuffle paper, put a post-it note on it, etc. can make all the difference. The act of being able to physically manipulate the system is what helps the paper-based user to stay in control of the system and perhaps even enjoy using it. The disadvantages to this “ol d fashioned” type system include a limited/finite amount of space/storage, inconvenient size if the system is too large to fit into a small purse or pocket for example, and the fear that your system can be easily lost or destroyed with no back up.

People that are digital focused tend to do better with an electronic system. There are many advantages, including the ability to set reminders and alarms, an amazing amount of storage (especially if your digital system is in the cloud), portability and often a small size if you use your system on a handheld device, and the ability to share and synchronize with other’s calendars in workplace. Some disadvantages are that you can’t always see the full month view (a real pet peeve for those that are strong visual learners), and it’s not satisfying for tactile individuals who love the feel of pen to paper.

I used a Filofax day planner for years when I was still practicing law. I absolutely loved it! The smell o f the leather, the feel of the paper, the way my pen filled up the pages with appointments, and the fact that it was always with me ready to serve me at a moment’s notice. I was very careful about the way I handled it, and was adamant about not losing it. Some lawyers were so fearful that they may lose their daily planner that they offered a hefty financial reward to anyone that found it and returned it to them! I knew someone that left his planner on a plane and got it back and did indeed send a large check to the finder.

I fought the digital revolution tooth and nail for a long time, as I loved my Filofax and it served me well in the sense that I used it religiously and had great time management skills. But when the Palm Pilot was created (yes, I am dating myself!), I thought I had died and gone to Heaven, which is surprising for such a tactile person (I love to write by hand… even to this day!). I think it was the fact that it looked like a Filofax (leather bound, small size with the device inside) and you could “write” with a stylus. So it was a great transition piece as it mimicked many of the attributes of a paper system, but was the beginning of the digital overthrow — at least for me!

asanaThe Palm was the first in line of many digital time management systems. I am now fully digital using Asana as my digital task/project management system (if you haven’t checked it out, go to — it is free and pretty amazing!), and iCal as my digital calendar system on all of my Mac devices (iPhone, iPad and iMac). BUT I still often make a daily to-do list on good old fashioned paper, and sometimes I even do a Brain Dump on paper when I have a lot of mental clutter in my head and need to get it out. There is still something so satisfying to me about running th at pen across the paper and watching the words appear. And there is nothing like the feeling of physically crossing an item off your to-do list!

If you are still struggling with whether to go fully-digital or continue using your tried-and-true-but-outdated paper system, realize that you can use both. Just be careful not to duplicate your efforts (by using two systems for the exact same purpose) or create systems that conflict and compete with each other.

In the end, there is no “perfect” system. The ultimate goal of any productivity or time management system should be to capture and complete the tasks and responsibilities that make up your personal and professional life, not necessarily HOW that is accomplished. The system doesn’t have to be pretty or stylish (unless aesthetics are important to you), or the latest and greatest digital marvel (unless being a techie is fun for you and you love being an early adopter). The system just has to do its job, which is to help you manage your time and tasks better. Free yourself from the mindset that one is better than the other, and ask yourself which is better for you at this particular time in your life. And if you absolutely can’t choose one or the other, feel free to create a system that incorporates both the paper and digital worlds. Heck, you never know… it just may become the next big thing!

Want to learn how to be a great public speaker? Look no further! Learn how to conduct engaging, informative, and interactive presentations to audiences large and small. Discover tips to improve your oral and nonverbal communication styles, inspire and motivate participants, and exude confidence and enthusiasm, while establishing credibility. Whether conducting formal speaking engagements, trainings, meetings, or one-on-one discussions, this interactive workshop will teach you how to overcome your fear of public speaking and connect with your audience/listener.

Lisa’s background as a teacher, lawyer, and performer has provided her with years of experience and expertise in speaking before live audiences. Lisa is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the premiere organization for professional speakers, and was voted number 1 speaker by participants at the 2008 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference. Lisa’s presentations are informative, as well as interactive and entertaining. So get ready to have fun while learning how to be a dynamic speaker!

I care a great deal about the organizations and the people with whom I have the pleasure of working. I have a deep sense of mission about the importance of my message and the difference it can make in both organizations and people’s lives, so I would be thrilled to be able to help you keep the momentum alive after a speaking engagement. Please let me know any way I can be of service to your organization, and thank you again for the privilege of spending time with you and your very special people. The best part of my work is receiving the positive feedback from people that have heard me speak telling me how my message has impacted their lives and work. Thank you for this wonderful gift! It means the world to me.

Make the most of your upcoming speaking engagement! Lisa offers additional options to drive home the message and help apply it in your organization.

Speaking Plus Reinforcement is a way to reinforce the content and customize it for your organization by offering any of the following additional opportunities:

Pre-Speaking Engagement Options

Teleclass or Webinar – A teleclass or webinar can be arranged before the speaking engagement to introduce the material and start the creative juices flowing, to allow participants to get to know Lisa a little better, and to gather feedback from attendees to get an idea of their biggest challenges in order for Lisa to further customize her presentation.

Feedback Gathering/Focus Groups or Train the Facilitator – Having Lisa conduct interviews with select members of your organization prior to a speaking engagement is a productive way for her to gather information and get feedback that directly pertains to the topic of her presentation. This allows for an even deeper customization of the material. Focus groups allow participants across all levels of the organization to express both their concerns and their ideas to make the organization an even better place to work. They are very positively focused, build morale, and amazing ideas have come from them. Lisa can also do a “Train the Facilitator” session to teach several of your employees to run these groups themselves on a regular basis.

Big Event wavingPost-Speaking Engagement

Teleclass or Webinar – A teleclass or webinar can be arranged after Lisa’s presentation providing attendees further opportunity to ask questions after they have had a chance to incorporate the ideas of her presentation, as well as to give upward feedback of any continuing challenges.

Consulting or Coaching – Many corporate and organizational clients benefit from a combination of speaking plus consulting or coaching. Usually, this involves a presentation followed by consulting or coaching with individual managers/employees/team members in person or by Skype or phone to apply the content at an individual, department or division level. Because attendees participated in the presentation, they are ready to work at a deeper level to tackle the challenges and apply the content learned. Some of Lisa’s clients have utilized her on a retainer basis where she spends  1-3 days per month in some part of their organization, encouraging, advising, and training.

Team Building Exercises – After the initial excitement of a speaking event, it is essential to find ways to encourage others not only to find commonalities but also to honor and value differences. Team building exercise are designed to create a new spirit of “We’re all in this together, so let’s enjoy one another and make it the best experience possible for everyone.”

Articles for Your Organization’s Newsletter or Website – Lisa has a ton of great written content in the areas of work-life balance, professional and personal development, leadership, time management, productivity, business and entrepreneurship. Visit the Article Library. You may use any of these articles in your newsletters or on your website by simply including Lisa’s Reprint Box and copyright, notifying us for permission, and sending us a hard copy or providing a link to our website. Lisa is also always willing to write a new article for your organization if you allow her to retain the copyright and you request it with enough lead time.

Reinforcement Package – Many clients choose to purchase Lisa’s written and multi-media materials for participants to reinforce what they learned during her presentation, apply it to their work and lives, and continue the experience of improving personal and professional development. These materials may include books, workbooks,  e-books, home study courses, MP3 audio programs, CDs, and videos. And don’t forget about the free e-zine, Create Your Purpose, Live Your Passion. Many clients choose to give a subscription to attendees as an added bonus after one of Lisa’s speaking engagements. It’s a great way to keep the message reinforced long after the speech is over. Ask Lisa for assistance in putting together a Reinforcement Package that best meets the needs of your event and your group.

Contact Lisa today to make the most of your event.

Welcome! Here you will find information on planning your event with Lisa Montanaro.

If you are a meeting planner or decision maker for an upcoming event, call 530-302-5306 or email to reserve your date, and request a complimentary copy of one of her e-books or audio programs matched to the theme of your program.

Download Pre-Program Questionnaire

Lisa is the right speaker for your upcoming meeting, conference or event if:

  • Your group consists of business owners or career professionals;
  • You want attendees to feel inspired and motivated;
  • You want to increase productivity and change their mindset;
  • You want attendees to feel passionate about their work and life;
  • You want attendees to feel more focused on a daily basis;
  • You want a powerful, uplifting presentation that will empower and move your audience to action.

Speaker Materials

View Speaker Bio Online
Download Speaker Bio
Download Lisa’s Speaker Kit
Download Photos of Lisa
Download Master List of Speaking Programs
Representative Client List
Client Raves and Results

A Pint Sized Powerhouse

Photo: © Diana Miller Photography

The stage presence of a performer, the brains of a lawyer, and the heart of a teacher of the deaf ~ all wrapped up into one to deliver a productive, purposeful and passionate presentation!

Looking for a Dynamic Speaker? Look no further!
Lisa Montanaro is The Real Deal!

Lisa is what happens when brains, charisma, and heart collide! Lisa will captivate your audience with rich content, solid strategies, powerful stories, and interactive exercises, blended with humor and warmth that ties it all together. Hailing originally from NY, Lisa offers “straight talk” in a down-to-earth style so that participants leave her presentations feeling like they had a powerful and directed conversation with a whip-smart and funny friend. Lisa instills in audience members that “I can do this” attitude so they walk away uplifted and ready to get started. Participants will have a clear road map that provides clarity and structure in all aspects of their lives.

It is a great thrill and honor to use the public speaking platform as a way to change people’s lives, impact their work, and to ultimately contribute to the transformation of society and this world. Exploring new places and engaging with new people is one of my favorite things to do.

I find people and places fascinating and am a lifelong learner that tries to see the world as an amazing school that can constantly fill me up with knowledge and insight. Traveling around the U.S. – and hopefully soon, the world, as one of my goals is to speak globally – to share what I’ve gleaned from my background as a performer, educator, mediator, lawyer, entrepreneur, coach, consultant and writer is an absolute joy and privilege.

I love to connect with audiences that are hungry for something new – something that just might positively shift their thinking, their business/career, and their lives.

Lisa is the right speaker for your upcoming meeting, conference or event if:

  • Your group consists of business owners or career professionals;
  • You want attendees to feel inspired and motivated;
  • You want to increase productivity and change their mindset;
  • You want attendees to feel passionate about their work and life;
  • You want attendees to feel more focused on a daily basis;
  • You want a powerful, uplifting presentation that will empower and move your audience to action.

Speaker Materials

View Speaker Bio Online
Download Speaker Bio
Download Lisa’s Speaker Kit
Download Photos of Lisa
Download Master List of Speaking Programs
Representative Client List
Client Raves and Results

What Makes Lisa Different From Other Speakers?
How to Make the Most of Your Event With Pre & Post Speaking Engagement Options
Let’s Get Creative with Entertainment Supplement
Don’t Hesitate! Book Lisa for Your Event


Deaf and Hard-of Hearing Audiences Welcome!

Lisa is proficient in American Sign Language. She has deaf cousins, worked for three years as an interpreter and instructor at the New York School for the Deaf, and taught sign language and Deaf culture at local community colleges and centers frequently over the last 15 years.

Sign language and the deaf community remain a great passion of Lisa’s and she welcomes deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences to book her as a speaker. She will come ready to communicate in sign language, as well as work with any interpreter that may be provided for the event. There are not many hearing speakers that would feel comfortable on stage in front of a deaf or hard-of-hearing audience, let alone be able to sign for him or herself! n>

Contact Lisa today to invite her to address your deaf or hard-of-hearing audience.

Will We Work Well Together?

Does this Describe You?

  • You need help discovering and developing your passions and want to be empowered to guide yourself to a happier, more fulfilling life.
  • You want to jump ship from your J-O-B and start your own business, but are overwhelmed with what to do and how to begin.
  • You need methods and strategies to help you succeed as an entrepreneur or small business owner.
  • You are a busy professional who wants to develop your natural leadership skills, harness your potential, and establish your own best practices to maximize career satisfaction and lead a more balanced life.
  • You are the CEO or owner of a company and want help in managing your team, motivating your employees, and being an inspired leader.
  • You are in the midst of a career transition and could use help to find and obtain your dream job.

If any of the above describes you, welcome!

The coaching process is a deep, personal journey (yes, even if it is business coaching… I like to say that being an entrepreneur has been one of the most profound personal experiences so far in my life), so it is important to make sure that we are a good match.

I tend to work best with high-performing individuals who have great ideas, but need someone to help funnel those ideas into action. My ideal client is an implementer — someone that wants results and is ready, willing, and able to work for them because he or she knows that it is worth it.

I coach and consult with individuals in one-on-one and group formats (with a special emphasis on entrepreneurs in general, and professional organizers in particular, as that was my focus in the beginning years of my business), as well as with corporations and organizations (with a special emphasis on law firms, law schools, and colleges and universities, due to my background as an attorney and higher education administrator), to help each individual and each organization find balance, success and joy at home, in business, and in life.

My Ideal Client

My Ideal Client is someone who…

  • is excited about coaching and is eager to engage in the process;
  • is a high-functioning, high-performing, and/or high-achieving individual;
  • has a vision and is committed to bringing that to life;
  • believes in his or her work;
  • approaches life with an open mind and a positive attitude;
  • shows up on time, calls on time, and does their “homework” assignments;
  • is eager to try out creative ideas, practice new techniques, explore and dig deep;
  • is willing to laugh at yourself and hear the truth.

If this is you, you’re in for an amazing ride and I can’t wait to get my hands on you!

Types of Clients That I Have Worked With

My diverse client base includes CEOs and CFOs of large corporations, self-employed entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents, junior executives and young professionals, and everything in between. I provide dynamic career, life, and business guidance to help each individual reach his or her highest goals and dreams both professionally and personally.

What binds my clients together is their willingness to change and take action, and their ability to see that they want to do so with expert help and guidance, accountability, and someone that is truly on their team. 

Lawyers & Legal Services Professionals
Professional Organizers
Interior Designers
Higher Education Administrators
Financial Services Professionals
Artists & Musicians
Virtual Assistants & Online Business Managers

Visit the Client Raves and Results page to read the satisfaction and results my clients achieve from working with me in their own words.

My Philosophy

Working with me is a personalized experience like no other you’ll find. I promise.

I am passionate about helping others be more successful. My energy is contagious. It is MY purpose to ignite a fire within you so you are able to live out YOUR life’s purpose.

Combining my rich and diverse background as a mediator, lawyer, educator, performer, and successful business-owner, I am able to provide guidance across a wide platform of topics using many different modalities. I honed the ability to get to the core of an issue during my years as a lawyer. I use an artful combination of analytical skills and intuition to help my clients focus, grow, and take action.

I offer confidential coaching and consulting services across all levels of personal and professional effectiveness and development.

Part consultant, part coach — I ask probing questions designed to help you dig deep, but also give expert advice, guiding you to the answers you seek. I am skillful at guiding clients to successful results through motivation and encouragement, but without judgment. I offer an opportunity to brainstorm AND problem-solve, in a safe and supportive environment, BUT will also give you a (gentle) kick-in-the-pants when you need it! Thus, my clients lovingly refer to me as a Kick-Butt Coach! 🙂

I take a holistic approach to coaching. We work on a combination of internal AND external. My process with clients is like a laser beam to help you blast through issues holding you back, come up with a solid plan, and give you the tools to implement, so you can experience a huge shift. Thus, you experience the mind-set shifts that are so necessary to believing in and achieving success, but also receive solid know-how to help you take real action! From “big picture” to the small details, my 360 degree approach is what sets me apart.

Confidentiality & Ethics

Any good coach knows that what happens in a coaching session stays in a coaching session. Period. As a former practicing lawyer, I am extremely familiar with the concept of confidentiality and take it very seriously. My clients share their dreams, wishes and desires with me, as well as business plans, trade secrets, employee disputes and other valuable and vulnerable information. I hold all of these confidences in trust, and consider it a privilege and honor to be confided in with such sensitive information. Confidentiality is covered in, and protected by, my Coaching Agreement, which is signed by me and all of my clients. Any testimonials or references you see on this site have been freely given, with express permission, by my clients. I only release whether an individual or organization is even a client with consent. Thus, until or unless you say otherwise, mums the word!

I also hold myself up to the highest ethical standards, and abide by the ethical codes of many associations and professions that I belong to. In fact, I speak, coach and train on how to abide by codes of ethics, and handle ethical dilemmas. I do this because I think the topic of ethics is fascinating, confusing, and very, very important for the credibility of an industry, profession or association. I also recognize that the best way to stay abreast of a topic is to not only live it on a daily basis, and conduct my required continuing education, but also to teach it. In teaching a subject, we truly can master it.

La Dolce Vita


La Dolce Vita

Sign Up Below to be Notified of the
“Do It Yourself” Version Launching in 2016


Do you long to live a life of purpose and passion,
that reflects your values AND desires?

Do you need permission to make your
well being, happiness, and self care a priority?

Is fear still holding you back from going after what you want?

Are you tired of living your best life “in your head”
and want to finally make it a reality?

Then you are in luck! Come learn how to live “The Sweet Life!”

Introducing the La Dolce Vita

6-Week Life Coaching Program
from LMG University

This isn’t just any life coaching program. It’s based on content taken from my concept of La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), and will help you bring the passion and zest back to your life.IMG_0210-300x300

The content is based on my research (and background!) of Italian culture, positive psychology and happiness, years of coaching clients holistically to integrate life-work balance, and my own personal lifestyle. My life is a work in progress, and sharing my own personal experience, and that of the hundreds of clients I have been privileged to work with, is part of the La Dolce Vita process.

Stop settling for good enough because you are worried if you go for great that people will think you are too big for your britches. It is time to step into your power and claim the life you know you are truly meant to live!

How much longer are you willing to wait? How much time are you willing to sacrifice? When will you decide that you deserve to be really happy and live The Sweet Life?

If you are committed to making regular “deposits” in areas of your life that have been neglected and feed them what they need to grow and prosper, then join me for La Dolce Vita.

michaelsmithLisa lives up to and surpasses expectations by being a very good listener, organized, detailed and creative. Her law background is unusually unique and one of the reasons why Lisa works well in providing solutions when you it need it most.

Michael A. Smith, President, New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inc., New Paltz, NY

What’s YOUR Version of The Sweet Life?

The La Dolce Vita lifestyle is about following your dream, deciding not to play small anymore, living your life to the fullest, and allowing the real you to shine through!

IMG_0206Maybe for you this means:

  • Saying no to a toxic relationship that doesn’t serve you.
  • Cultivating a hobby or passion that you have always wanted to try.
  • Adding a little romance (or a lot!) into your life.
  • Taking better care of your body or spirit.
  • Going to bed at night feeling peaceful and waking up looking forward to the day.
  • Changing careers.
  • Enjoying quality time with your family and friends.
  • Writing a book (it’s been on your bucket list for years).
  • Running a marathon or some other type of active pursuit.
  • Traveling – finally giving in to that wanderlust!
  • Saying ‘No’ more often.
  • Saying ‘Yes’ more fully.

Whatever that larger vision for your life is… that’s what La Dolce Vita is all about.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

~ Erma Bombeck

Why Take a Life Coaching Program With Me as the Facilitator?

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 become an entrepreneur, and that allows me to live a La Dolce Vita kind of life!

I grew up on stage as a “triple threat” — singer, actress and dancer

theaterlisaAs a young adult, I had to make the difficult decision whether I wanted to devote my career to performing (read: starving actress waiting tables in NYC…) or to make performing a hobby and pursue a different career. This was a significant choice and is the core of some of my coaching/teaching about being a “shadow artist,” choosing a path for a career, and incorporating your passions into your life. I never gave up performing but, rather, turned it into a wonderful hobby that continues to this day

I am a lawyer, who “defected” from the practice of law after becoming disillusioned with the negative side of how it is practiced and the constant fighting involved in the profession.

Upon 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.

The more I practiced law, the more I realized that the nature of the practice did not suit my personality or my career goals. 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.

While I highly value my legal education and experience, the practice of law was simply not for me.

I made a conscious decision to use my experience as a trusted advisor and a counselor to help people in a productive and collaborative way. That’s how I found coaching, consulting, speaking, and writing, and it is exactly what I love to do and what I was meant to do. I use my legal analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, and counseling skills in a positive manner now to help people on a daily basis.

SheilaDelsonLisa, working with you these past months has s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d me beyond what I knew into a realm of possibility because the journey allowed me to break out of my own self-imposed shackles. It was hard work; I did a lot of kicking and screaming! Yet you were always there to support my every challenge with the comfort of your knowledge and expertise. You helped me to do what I needed to so that ‘my work’ could continue and grow. There is a lot more to do, but I now have a road map so I know how to get there. Fabulous! Thank you!

Sheila Delson, CPO-CD, FREEDomain Concepts, LLC

I was an instructor and interpreter at the NY School for the Deaf and am proficient in American Sign Language.

My cousin and his wife are deaf and I grew up obsessed with Helen Keller and the Miracle Worker. In order to fulfill my dream of teaching the deaf, I worked as an instructor and interpreter at the NY School for the Deaf for 3 years while attending law school in the evening. It was one of the best experiences of my life and helped solidify that the teacher archetype is strong within me. To this day, I feel that no matter what I am doing, it involves, at its core, some aspect of teaching. Sign language and deaf culture remain a great passion of mine, and I am constantly figuring out ways to incorporate them into my business and life.

I studied abroad in The Netherlands focusing on government, culture and art, with an emphasis on international law.

This was a significant experience and started my life-long love affair with Europe. It is one of my dreams and intentions to live in Europe at some point in the future with my husband, specifically in Italy! For now, I enjoy traveling to Europe on vacation and am hoping to book a speaking engagement there soon, and hold my first Women Entrepreneurs and Leaders Retreat in Tuscany in the next few years. To prepare, I am taking Italian language classes. Fantastico!

I have been coupled with my husband, Sean, since I was a freshman in college!IMG_5546

We met when I was a swim team coach and instructor, and he was a lifeguard, at the town pool where Sean grew up. I still consider him my soul mate, best friend, and partner in life and love.

I am child free by choice.

I love children, am a former special education teacher, and have many nieces, nephews and God children, but chose to focus my maternal instincts on animals (I have two awesome dogs and am married to a veterinarian), other people’s children, my clients, my business, and the Earth. I think being a parent is a calling and have a profound respect for those that choose to have children. But I also truly feel it is a choice that not all of us make. (And yes, I had/have a wonderful relationship with my own parents!)

I am an avid active enthusiast.

I love to mix it up and move my body with dancing, kickboxing, running, walking, hiking, bike riding, rock climbing, and many other active pursuits.

I have completed a marathon, a half triathlon, hiked the Grand Canyon, and biked through Provence. Exercise and outdoor activities are so important to me that I make an appointment with myself on my calendar to get my exercise and outdoor activity on my schedule, and then treat those appointments with as much respect as the ones I make with others, meaning… I keep them!

SusanChitwood2Lisa is top notch! She is inspiring, encouraging and cuts to the heart of the issue to offer right on solutions. And she’s entertaining (and organized) to boot!

Susan Chitwood, Maypop Design

I lost my beloved Mom in 2010 to pancreatic cancer when she was only 63 years old.

Losing my Mom was the hardest thing I have ever had to bear. We were best friends in addition to being mother-daughter. This tragic loss has made me even more determined to live life to the fullest.

The view out of my office at my last law job was of the Twin Towers, and I lived in Manhattan at the time.

The terrorist attacks of 9-11 affected me personally and served as a catalyst for jumping ship from my law career and becoming an entrepreneur. They also serve as a reminder that we only get one dance so it is important to seize the day and live your best life on a daily basis!

MaryStephaniePasqualettoI have Lisa now as a mentor and coach for a women entrepreneur mastermind program that I am doing…And it is truly the best experience I have ever had.

Mary Stephanie Pasqualetto

I incorporate my passions into my business.

A defining moment in my journey as an entrepreneur came in 2008 when I was voted Number 1 Speaker of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in Reno, NV, and won the talent show for doing the number “All That Jazz” from the Broadway show, Chicago.IMG_0208

Here I was in fishnet stockings singing and dancing on a Wednesday night at the casino, and then wearing business attire and presenting business and legal issues to entrepreneurs on Friday morning. Talk about your worlds colliding!

It made me realize that in order to love my business and life, I needed to stop compartmentalizing everything and just be my authentic self.

What a difference it has made in my business and life!

My clients respect and admire that I am able to live a life of passion and creativity, while running a thriving professional and successful business. They tease me that I am like an explosion of right brain and left brain… and I take that as a compliment. So I call 2008 the year I fully embraced my Renaissance spirit and allowed it to infiltrate my business in surprising and refreshing ways!

Now my business is a wonderful combination of assisting clients with being more productive, successful, profitable and improving personal and professional development and effectiveness.

Lisa is the most inspirational, influential, and motivating coach to experience. I have had her coach me as a mastermind mentor for the WED/PEP Program, and now for her own La Dolce Vita Program from LMG University. She is the only one that I trust as a mentor, and have found that as an entrepreneur my ideas for all of my passionate pursuits became both clear and organized after attending her lectures. Lisa uses real hands on approach to work within so that you will empower yourself, and also will be able to dig deep within in order to pursue your true passion and turn it into a future filled with profitable benefits. Being that I am also now presently a law student trying to get through my law degree, and also being affiliated within entertainment and coaching women artist in this industry, I feel 100% confident with her coaching since she herself also has knowledge within these three areas. In conclusion, I would highly recommend Lisa, and give this testimonial as a true fact that upon completion in one of her sessions, you will then become aware that anything that you may have previously found to be out of your reach or you may have thought to be “impossible” will now and always become “possible.”

~M.S. Butler

I relocated 3,000 miles across country in 2012 and started a whole new life on the West Coast.

I am always one to live life to the fullest, so when given the opportunity to move clear across the country from New York to California in July 2012 for my husband to advance his career as a veterinarian by doing a 3 year residency in veterinary internal medicine, I said, “Let’s go for it!”

The move allowed me to expand personally and professionally on so many levels: geographically, yes, but much deeper than that. We sold our house, left behind family and friends (whom we, of course, miss!) downsized, and embraced a new life out here on the West Coast. It prompted me to rebrand and expand my business, make new friends, cultivate new hobbies (and reconnect with old ones too!), and prioritize and simplify in many ways while I support my husband through his demanding 3 year residency.

“He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of everyday…
needs to reorganize his life.”

~ George Matthew Adams

I Live a La Dolce Vita Lifestyle

IMG_1047I am Italian-American and grew up in NY in a large Italian-American area. My family is made up of opera singers, poets, chefs, tailors, artists, and more. I guess you can say that I come from a long line of passionate Italians!

In 2005, my husband and I visited Italy. Ah, Bella Italia! There is nothing like it in the world. The people, food, culture, art, architecture, language, and attitude of Italy is special. I felt like I had literally come home. We realized a life long dream of visiting Italy this past summer 2015 for an entire month and loved every minute of it! And I have been taking Italian language classes to finally learn how to speak the language of my ancestors.

But in the meantime, what I do on a daily basis is bring the best of Italy to me by living a La Dolce Vita kind of life. I make time to enjoy my passions and hobbies, cultivate my relationships, maintain a positive attitude, break through my fears, and practice self care in all of its forms. I try to bring the passion and spirit of Italy to me!

And that’s what I want to share with you… how to live a La Dolce Vita kind of life no matter where you live geographically. La Dolce Vita is more of a mindset, attitude and lifestyle than a place.

Christine-SinclairWhat a fantastic class last night! I always get so much from your classes, but this last class blew my socks off. Everyone was changed last night. We all stayed after you left and talked about what happened for quite a while afterwards. I’m so sorry to see the classes coming to a close. Thanks so much for everything.

Christine Sinclair,
participant in 6-month Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) Mastermind Group

Isn’t it time you fell in love with your life again???

CIMG0173You might think that it’s selfish to invest in yourself… (we will nip that in the bud with the No Negative Self Talk Rule!)

But your happiness depends on YOU…and you deserve it.

Join me for this amazing 6 session program that will help you:

    • Evaluate what’s working and not working in your life, and identify areas for transformation.
    • Develop realistic and fun techniques to help you grow.
    • Use productivity in a proactive and positive way to set boundaries and better master your use of time and resources.
    • Overcome Cinderella’s Ugly Step Sisters: The 3 Blocks to Success (The Perfection Trap, The Comparison Trap and the Impostor Syndrome)
    • Get real about things you’ve said you really wanted to do and have in your life but never give yourself permission to implement.
    • Adopt a positive mindset and learn about cutting edge research on the power of happiness.
    • Learn effective tools for dealing with difficult, toxic or negative people (including you!).
    • Stop giving away your power to the Negative Nellies and Neds.
    • Recognize and exploit your own greatest assets.
    • Get comfortable with who you are vs. keeping up with the Joneses.
    • Learn to live within your means while still maintaining an abundant mindset.
    • Balance preparing for the future with living well today in terms of financial wellness.
    • Get your house in order – literally and figuratively!
    • Learn the power of commitment and consistency.
    • Tap into your passions, figure out what they are, and how to enjoy and manage them.

Lisa is an amazing Renaissance Woman of many talents. She is passionate about her work. She makes her work FUN. Lisa is the ultimate problem solver. I love listening to Lisa during our group coaching sessions where she skillfully listens and then offers her suggestions, ALWAYS with respect, kindness and CLARITY.

The first time I spoke with her on a one-to-one basis, I already started to feel more organized. Being a part of her online group has helped me in so many ways to make even the smallest changes to make my life more efficient.

In Lisa’s online group coaching program, she acknowledges each person’s concerns. She points out the positive things that they do and helps problem solve how they can do something different. There is no criticism. Lisa is warm, caring and passionate about helping others do and be the best that they can. It is helpful to hear others tell their stories of paperwork pile ups, stresses with family and business/work, etc. as it makes you feel that you are not alone. Also, to receive encouragement from others is helpful — we are all in this together.

I am so pleased to have been a part of her group coaching program and look forward to joining one of her programs again in the future.

Mena Messina Genetti, Warwick, NY

Schedule & Description of Sessions

Session 1

Crazy Busy Is Not a Badge of Honor: Positive and Proactive Productivity

  • Productivity Tips and Strategies
  • Prioritizing Self Care: Let Go, Say No, and Make You a Priority

IMG_6055Session 2

Become a Passionista!

  • How to Tap Into Your Passions & Manage Them
  • Hobbies & Interests
  • Volunteerism/Philanthropic Endeavors/Legacy
  • Don’t Be a See-Saw Anymore: Go Beyond Balance and Engage in Life-Work Integration

Session 3

Mind, Body & Soul

  • Health & Fitness
  • Personal Spirituality
  • C’Mon Get Happy: The Power of Positivity

Session 4

Get Your “House” in Order – Literally & Figuratively

  • Home Projects
  • Financial Wellness
    Preparing for the Future, While Still Living Well Today
    Living Within Your Means but With an Abundant Mindset
  • Rethink Your Definition of Retirement
  • Your Exit Strategy: It’s Not Morbid to Prepare for — It’s Smart!

Session 5

Connection & Relationships

  • Family & Friends
  • Passion & Romance
  • Dealing with Difficult People
  • Say No to Toxic Relationships and Negative Nellies & Neds

Session 6

Putting it all Together: Living Your La Dolce Vita Life!

  • Tools for Ongoing Support
  • Consistency & Commitment
  • “Believing Eyes”

“There are two things to aim at in life:
first, to get what you want,
and after that, to enjoy it.”

~ Logan Pearsall Smith


kathythrasherI first met Lisa at the Interior Redesign Industry Specialists (IRIS) annual conference in Denver, CO where she presented a seminar on how to add Organizing to your Redesign Business offerings. I was truly impressed with Lisa’s knowledge, professionalism and energy. I then participated in Lisa’s six-week DECIDE to be Organized on-line group coaching program.

My goal was two-fold in that I was looking for tips for my own personal organizing challenges as well as looking to gain more expertise to pass on to my clients. I found the six-week program to be very beneficial on both fronts. Sharing stories and challenges with others on the call helped to inspire me to tackle the things I had been putting off. In turn, being able to offer encouragement and understanding to others on the call was rewarding as well.

As I go through my old boxes of ‘stuff’ or work with others going through the same process, I continually ask myself Lisa’s three key questions – “Do I Love it? Do I Use it? Do I need it?” If not – then out it goes! Thank you Lisa for your inspiration and for offering this on-line coaching program. It has been an eye-opening and rewarding journey!

Kathy Thrasher, Alameda, CA

MelanieSerraI just want you to know how happy I am to be working with you on business and life coaching. I feel like I have a new lease on life! I wish I had worked with you years ago. You are awesome, and the perfect fit for me. We accomplish so much in our coaching sessions. Thanks again.

Melanie Serra,

This program will force you to take a cold hard look at your life, dissect it, and put it back together in La Dolce Vita style so that you can fall back in love with your life (or maybe fall in love with it for the first time ever!)!

If you want results and are ready to live The Sweet Life, then join us!

Lisa is wonderful! Her tutelage, calming influence, and goal-directed persona have allowed me to achieve optimal performance. I highly recommend her to anyone, especially those interested in taking their organizational work and home space, as well as pursuits of goals, to the next level. Great person, easy-going personality, and inspirational support.

S.L., Major, United States Military Academy,
West Point, NY

MichelleOSullivanTaking the “DECIDE to be Organized” 6-week coaching program with Lisa Montanaro was a business and personal decision that has been so motivating and empowering! It has changed me in so many positive ways.

I am also a Professional Organizer and help others all the time with their organizing dilemmas. I took the DECIDE program to help myself, and learn from Lisa both personally and professionally.

Over the six weeks, I had a sense of direction and was able to focus more on the areas that needed help, as I felt accountable. The weekly calls were a time to share and get feedback from the other participants, and for Lisa to share her knowledge and expertise. Lisa was so understanding and encouraging, and had a way of inspiring each of us to be better.

I learned so much from this program and would recommend it to anyone who knows they want to make changes, and just needs some help to get there!

Michelle O’Sullivan, Saving Spaces, Burlington, Ontario, Canada

La Dolce Vita

Sign Up Below to be Notified of the
“Do It Yourself” Version Launching in 2016

If you have any questions, email

BrittNewmanHere’s the difference between you and others:

You give CONTENT. I could end the call and be sooooo much better off than when I started and have true ideas and pieces that I can use.
Many others are teases – it’s all about marketing for the next venture, and nothing to walk away with.

I have always known that there is more to you than just finding the next client. Thank you for really sharing things that can be implemented.
I really believe your passion is about helping people and businesses to become their best, not just about promoting your own business and finding new clients.
Thank you for truly sharing from your wealth of knowledge.

You are a whirlwind of energy, innovation, and authenticity. Thank you for sharing and thank you for caring.


Britt Newman, Britt Newman Design Concepts

napo2014I’m excited to share that I have been selected by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), to present at the 2014 Conference!

My session will be “Strategic Expansion: Smart Options to Grow Your Business!”, to be presented as a Pre-Conference Workshop at NAPO’s 26th Annual Conference & Organizing Expo.

The conference will be held May 28-31, 2014 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Phoenix-Scottsdale, Arizona.

It’s always an honor to present to my colleagues and I look forward to helping them build their businesses. To find out more about this conference, visit

I recently had the pleasure of co-presenting “Speak Up: Crafting and Delivering Killer Presentations” at the 2013 National Association of Professional Organizers Conference in New Orleans. My co-presenter was Monica Ricci, and we presented this as a half-day pre-conference workshop.

speaking-LisaWhy present a workshop on speaking? Glad you asked!

There are so many reasons to become a dynamic public speaker. If you own your own business, the reasons are plentiful. Many business owners want to be good presenters these days as they want to speak to add an income stream. Yes, you can get paid to conduct presentations. Organizations need great speakers who have superb content to share and teach. But speaking can also be an effective marketing tactic. Every time you speak, you are setting yourself up as an expert, someone that has information to share. People take notice. Your credibility increases. Your sales may too.

What if you don’t own a business? No excuse! If you work for an organization, you may conduct presentations of all different types, ranging from sales pitches, staff meetings, client meetings, Board meetings, etc. Even in a volunteer position, you are often required to speak and give presentations.

Learning how to be a good speaker is not only useful for official presentations. It will help you be a better communicator in many other ways. When you are at a networking event and engage in a conversation with someone, you are speaking. When you are outlining the benefits of working with you or your organization, you are speaking. When you are delivering a teleclass or webinar, you are speaking. That welcome video on your site? Yup. Speaking. You get the picture.

To me, being a good speaker is part of an overall plan to be an effective communicator. Most people think of speaking as on ly what comes out of your mouth. However, your oral communication is just one part of your speaking. Speaking also encompasses your non-verbal communication, which includes posture, hand gestures, eye contact, and much much more.
public_speakerIn fact, research shows that what comes out of your mouth is a very small percentage of what the audience pays attention to. Most speakers focus a great deal on content. And that is appropriate You should have solid content. That is a foundation of a stellar presentation. But the full package requires that you also pay attention to delivery. A lot goes into a great presentation: What you say, how you say it, what you are doing with your hands, body and eyes as you say it, and more.

Speaking should be a vital part of any professional person’s bag of tricks. It should be something you focus on, practice often, and improve upon. I have coac hed speakers that are professional organizers, nurses, politicians, rabbis… even a farmer! Effective communication is a fantastic skill for anyone that wants to get his or her point across clearly, concisely, enthusiastically, and persuasively.

So, get out there and speak! The world needs to hear you.