hello from sunny California!
I’ve just wrapped up at Biz Chix Live, the conference in Southern California that I haven’t missed for each of the last 3 years it’s been a thing.
The people here are amazing - I’d come for the relationships alone. And the hotel… Hotel Irvine has been the site of choice each time and I always end up on the 12th floor club balcony to do some of my best strategic planning. And snacking.
I’m up here now, soaking in the sun rays, thinking about you and wondering what’s new and good with you?
During this trip, I connected with a few people who have given me insight into how to get where I want to go in business.
Do you ever, like me, feel like you have ideas for big things you want to do, like writing a book or delivering an important message to an audience, but you’re not sure how to go about it?
Whether mental or physical, there's this ..... clutter..... in the way of your dreams. Like me, you wonder...
Where do I even start?
I relate to you. On the one hand, I’m really happy to have discovered work that I love and have been able to employ others doing. On the other hand, I know there's more than just what I see and do now. It's not something to replace it, but to add to and augment what I'm already doing.
There are those moments when my purpose and passion really show up and shine through the work.
Other times, my teams are in and out without much substantial conversation. We prepare employees for their corporate relocations by decluttering before their cross-country moves and send them on their way.
Then there are those dear gems of clients who resonate with my story in deeper ways and throughout the course of working together, they feel like they gain so much more than just a decluttered house or clarity in their business goals.
They gain a fresh perspective, a new way of looking at things.
This week, I connected with a brand strategist named Rebeca. Like many, she wondered how I ended up in Michigan after years of living in Texas. When people hear my southern drawl, they know right away I’m not originally from where I’m living right now in Ann Arbor. My voice gives me away!
Among other elements to the story, I shared with Rebeca about coming to Ann Arbor in August of 2016 and finding a postcard on the ground the first day I arrived. I had already been considering a new home and launching pad for my home organizing business, and was visiting Ann Arbor in order to try it on for size… to see if it’s a place I could thrive both personally and professionally.
You can imagine the sense of awe when, on that first day on the way to a client's house, I picked up this postcard and it read, handwritten in pencil, "To whoever finds this postcard, you are home." I turned it over and found a hand-drawn picture of a house.
I continued on to share how I moved to Ann Arbor during a time when things were pretty low, but I had this hope inside that they would get better. A new geographic place doesn’t inherently make things better, but it does lend the way to new opportunities and relationships.
Rebeca said, "Listening to your story I keep thinking about how much you must feel cared for. It’s like things were lined up for you." From finding this postcard, to connecting with others in the area who both cared for me personally and professionally, I fell in love with Ann Arbor.
You can make all the strategic plans and organize your life in such a way that you are stuck when life comes to a transition point, because now something so unexpected came up and it totally throws you off your grid. Or, you can make the plans and still stay open, and you might be surprised by what you find when you hold things loosely.
You might be thrilled when you discover that the thing that’s now possible because of difficult circumstances is what you wanted all along, but didn’t know how to make happen on your own.
So I ask again, do you ever have ideas for big things you want to happen, but aren’t sure how to go about it on your own? You feel stuck when you look around and see the physical clutter surrounding you or the mental clutter in your mind.
I wonder if you give new eyes to the difficult circumstances and see what gift might be waiting in the middle of it for you. It might be the gift of making that thing happen that you’ve wanted for so long but haven’t been sure how to start.
One of my clients is experiencing such a thing. After a difficult job loss, she and her husband are now able to pursue new things in a beautiful part of the country that they weren't as free to pursue before.
I'm so proud of her for starting the decluttering process in the Spring, because now that it is winter, she's in a whole new headspace for her new season because the clutter is behind her and she's facing the future with hope.
Her starting place was unexpected. When she contacted me in January, she said that they were either going to renovate or move, but either way, decluttering was the first step.
Once our team finished with the decluttering, they made plans to renovate. And I can't forget the irony that as I was driving around town with Tina the Trailer dropping off the patio furniture she donated, since the old patio wasn't going to be part of the new renovation plans, that's when the news came of the job loss. I came back to her house and we had a little moment to hug and chat about the change in trajectory.
It was shocking and unexpected, and they called the renovation off, deciding to move instead. It's amazing to me how she was already set up for that change of course in action because the decluttering had already been done. It would have been so much more overwhelming to lose a job and decide to move and THEN have to deal with all the emotional process of going through and paring stuff down. It is already emotional enough as it is.
I wonder what you might be wanting that's on the other side. What do you think is your starting place? Comment below, I'd love to hear what's on your mind.
Have a wonderful week,