by Laura Kavinski of Timely Transitions, LLC
So, here we are in my favorite season! It’s summer and what does that mean? Cookouts and pool parties, right? It could also be a great time to get your feet wet in Professional Organizing. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about a career as a PO, and that’s what brought you to the NAPO Baltimore website. So here goes it, let’s get you into the water of Professional Organizing!
1. The Toe: Your first NAPO Baltimore meeting. Check out our schedule of events and attend as a Guest! NAPO Baltimore is a great group of professionals working together to learn and grow our industry. It’s a space to meet and learn with a positive goal; we consider ourselves "colleagues, not competitors." Every organizer's career path was different, but we all have a similar basis in wanting to use our skills to help people.
2. The Ankle: You’re in, so start moving your arms around and read everything you can get your hands on! There are so many great books available. The two that I got started with were: How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing Business by Dawn Noble, and Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition by Julie Morgenstern.
3. The Knees: Now that you’re assured you’re on the right path, where are your passions? If you’re currently working in another field, where do the two skillsets overlap or complement each other? When I was a child, timeout wasn’t a punishment because I’d just spend the time re-arranging my room. I’d figure out a new design and re-work it with the same items. Having earned the nickname “Miss Allied,” I probably should have anticipated my career path. I’m sure many of you have had similar stories from organizing your kindergarten classroom’s toys and art supplies to that giddy feeling helping friends map out their class schedules in college (ahh, time management!). What are your transferable skills? Try this Transferable Skills Worksheet.
4. The Waist: Create your Action plan. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Hopefully it will include some of the skills you enjoy using, which you identified using the transferable skills worksheet above. From there, work backwards. Where do you need to be at year 4 to get you there? How about at year 3, 2, and 1? My advice is be specific in the 5th and 1st year plans as the years in between will be up for revision. Who knows, you may surpass your 1st year goals in 6 months!
5. The Shoulders: Now it’s time for all the legal legwork. For most people this will be the least fun, but it is by far the most important. It’s the foundation on which you will build your business and your future. Don’t short change this step. Here’s a website that is helpful: Maryland: Checklist for New Businesses.
6. The Dunk! The best part! You did it, you’re there and all you need to do is start swimming. Create your website, create your marketing plan and start looking for the clients that fit your skillset.
Above all, have fun! Each day, each month, each year is like one lap in the pool. Each lap is a new chance to move ahead, and each stroke is a chance to gain distance in a positive direction. Happy swimming!
© 2012 Laura Kavinski. All Rights Reserved.
Laura Kavinski is in her second year as a member of NAPO and her second year with Timely Transitions®, LLC. Laura has been organizing pretty much her entire life. Her expertise includes all aspects of residential organizing as well as small business acumen.