Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Gold Leaf member of Professional Organizers in Canada. She has a Level I Certificate in Chronic Disorganization from Institute of Challenging Disorganization and coach training from Coach Approach for Organizers. She started Mind over Clutter Professional Organizing & Coaching Services in 2006. She helps residential and office clients, on-site or virtually, become more productive and less stressed by reducing distracting clutter, managing time, streamlining systems and coaching them to live free from emotional clutter.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I have a number of life experiences that have impacted my abilities to be a Professional Organizer. As a student I worked in an office do filing, answering phones, computer programing, accounting and may other tasks. It provided me with great learning experiences which I bring to the many facets of office organizing. I have a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. My studies in education led me to become an elementary school teacher, gymnastics coach and a sessional instructor at Brock University. I love speaking and teaching about organizing skills and concepts. I am a mother of 3 young adults. Raising children, balancing busy activity schedules, running a household, preparing them for university and moving them many times has given me skills to draw upon to help clients with time management, residential organizing, downsizing and relocations. In 2006 I started Mind over Clutter Professional Organizing and Coaching Services.
What inspired you to start your business?
Inspired might not be the best word for why I started my business. I was a sessional teacher at Brock University and my contact was not renewed after 6 years of working in the Faculty of Education. So, I needed a new career. I am a naturally organized person. I had known about Professional Organizing for approximately 25 years so with the motivation of, needing a new career, I was inspired to see what was happening in the Professional Organizing industry and I found Professional Organizers in Canada. It was the right time in my life to become a business owner and not an employee.
Where is your business based?
Part of my business in based in the Niagara Region of Ontario where I go into homes and offices and remove distracting clutter, streamline systems and routines and help clients manage their time. I work globally in my lifestyle organizing coaching and virtual organizing using technology to support my clients.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
The first step I took in starting my business, Mind over Clutter, in 2006 was to do a google search of the Professional Organizing industry. When I found there was a thriving industry, I looked at websites of Professional Organizers to see what type of education they had taken to become an organizer. At this point I found Professional Organizers in Canada and located the closest chapter to me and attended a meeting. As Professional Organizing is an unregulated industry, I could immediately call myself a Professional Organizer and I started in business. While I learned how to market my business and get a website, I took courses to increase my knowledge, worked as a sub-contractor for other organizers to get practical experience and continued to attend my association’s local chapter meetings to be mentored by experienced organizers.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
A good website is a must for people to become aware of your business. It gives you credibility. In addition to that, it is necessary that clients can put a face to the name of my business because I am going into their homes or offices and going through their possessions. Networking and speaking give people an opportunity to meet me and become aware of the Professional Organizing industry as well as my business, Mind over Clutter.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for my business when I started in 2006 was the public’s lack of knowledge about the Professional Organizing industry. It was important for me to network so as many people as possible could learn about the benefits of working with an organizer. With a variety of television shows being produced more people understand the industry and marketing is easier. Another challenge for me was becoming a risk taker. I like to think things over and be confident in my decisions. I think that made my business grow slowly. I once heard,” even falling on your face is moving forward”. After I embraced that idea, taking risks became easier and I tried new approaches to marketing.
How do you stay focused?
It is easy for me to stay focused because as an organizer, I naturally plan everything. That is not always good but it does help me to stay on task, complete goals, schedule my day, week, and month. The other reason it is easy to stay focused is I love being an organizer, I enjoy the challenges of running a business and meeting people. I enjoy focusing on my business.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
I differentiate my business by approaching organizing as a customized service working with clients to find organizing solutions that suit their personality and lifestyle. It is not a one process fits everyone approach. I enjoy figuring out how my clients think and feel about their stuff so I can help them let go and reach their goals. I help people, get their mind in the right place so they can put their things in the best space.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
My most effective marketing strategy in the past 2 years has been using my blog effectively. I developed a system to ensure each of my blogs will be posted on 10 different social media sites over a 2-week period. I will usually be posting 4 different blog posts or events each day on 4 different sites. People will see my company name attached to 4 different pieces of information each day. This approach has allowed me to consistently give a variety of good information, helping to market me as an expert and have my company name in front of businesses, referral partners and potential clients regularly.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
My best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to get your finances in order before you begin. If you have a full-time job take out a line of credit and increase the spending limit on your credit card before you quit your job. If you try to do it after you start your business you may not have enough collateral to get these loans in place. Having these funds available, will give you time to work on the business and make better decisions. If you have no financing available you can put yourself in a position of not charging enough or making quick decisions that cause your business to grow more slowly than you had anticipated
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
For starting a professional organizing business, my favourite books is by Dawn Noble how to start a home-based Professional Organizing business. This book tells you everything you need to know. It gives scripts for intake telephone conversations, many ways of pricing, how to estimate a job, set up a business, market etc. how to start a home-based….. is a business series of books. Check and see if there is a book written for the type of business you want to start. For $15- $20 or, checking it out of the library for free, you can get everything you need to know to get started on the right foot. Learning the basics allows you to plan how to move forward and decide in what areas you will need to get additional support through education or hiring services.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
My favourite business tool is a paper agenda. I like writing things down. It helps me to remember my schedule better. I have everything in one place. Client appointments, tasks I need to completed that day, personal events etc. I can see a week all at one time and a month at time. I don’t need internet or data when I am booking an appointment with a client. It is much faster then getting out a phone, going to the correct app, connecting to the wifi/data to check out information. I do have an electronic back up should I lose my agenda and I have a paper agenda should my electronic system fail me.
Who is your business role model? Why?
I think my Dad is my business role model. Having grown up in a family of a business owner you learn how dedicated you need to be to make a business survive. It is not for everyone and learning how to balance the commitment to running a business and to family can be challenging. He bought a business just after World War ll and met many challenges, developed new and better products for the environment, patents, learned and embraced technology and treated employees as people attempting to use their talents in the best way possible. Running a business is not for the faint of heart and having a role model who met challenges head on, innovated and made his industry a better industry is a good example to follow.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
For the next six months I am working with a startup business focusing on kitchen organizing. It is a new experience to come in on the ground level of a new business and learn how they operate, how I can help them and they can help me. This venture is important for my business to help increase my virtual organizing and lifestyle coaching services.
How can our readers connect with you?
Please feel free to send me an email to email@example.com and ask me a question.
Check out my website www.mindoverclutter.ca
Follow me on
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/mindoverclutter
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.ca/juliestobbe/
Google my business - https://business.google.com/edit/l/16613622548077080738
Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space