Disclaimer~ This article is not intended to be read by any of my former supervisors, managers, directors, or my mother. You’ve been warned.

My journey from 9-5 to entrepreneurship began…

In a building that can be best described as a windowless concrete slab. I worked for a local government agency that had policy manuals that fit inside 6-inch binders. While I was in training, I was required to READ the contents of my binder & take notes. (This literally makes me laugh out loud now.) You know what those binders were really good for? Hiding small notebooks. I mean how many notes about bureaucratic policies and procedures can one human being jot down?! All I could think about was that there was NO way I was going to spend my life in those cubicles.

I’ve always used brainstorming & writing things down to figure out solutions to problems. So, that’s what I used my little notebooks for. My problem was how to find a better job. I began scribbling notes about planning my escape from people who said things like, “Look up policy 9.21.456.32”.

The reality was, I still needed to provide financially for my family but I wanted to find more purpose for my life.

I began to notice a trend in my little notebooks about starting or owning my own business. This didn’t sit well with the people in my life who were startled by the idea that I’d ever consider leaving a “good job” with “good pay” and “good benefits”.

I wanted more than “good”.

I finally began taking the idea of starting a business seriously but had no idea what type of business or where to start.

The next step was to simply make lists of things that I was good at and things I liked to do. Again, I paid attention to the trends in those brainstorming notes: the desire to help others, managing my time really well, creating systems in my own home, and the willingness to work really hard.

It literally struck me one day while on vacation with my family in the summer of 2012. I stopped dead in my tracks, looked at my husband, and said, “I’m going to start an organizing business!” His reply was…less enthusiastic.

When we returned home from vacation I was a woman on a mission.

I started by:
o Coming up with a name that would stand out.
o Reading every website & book available on the subject.
o Telling all of my family & friends that I was available to hire for any project.
o Started a blog.
o Created business social media accounts.
o Said, “YES” to every job that came my way.
o Worked my regular job during the day AND scheduled clients in the evenings/weekends for FIFTEEN months!!

Here’s a caption from one of the old notebooks I kept.

I finally made the leap.

As a wife and mother, I owed it to my family to ensure that I was making the right decision to leave my “good job”. I am the person who does our family budget so I had to show my husband the numbers and that we could actually live on his salary & half of mine. For several months I put half of my paychecks into our savings account to prove it to him and to give us a cushion once I left my job.

I also showed him that I was able to make more money with my business by working fewer hours. Which is the greatest gift in entrepreneurship…. FLEXIBILITY. Reality check, this doesn’t mean I was able to sit on a beach in Mexico and work from my laptop. Owning your own business is a tremendous amount of work and requires one to wear many hats. I am the worker bee, the CEO, the accountant, the marketing agency, customer support, human resources, the on-call person, and the janitor.

That leap was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done. It felt like I was teaching myself how to skydive, packed my own parachute, and jumped out of a plane. I was scared beyond belief and overcame the fear by repeating the lyrics of Eminem: “Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not.”

I still repeat those words to this day when faced with a tough business situation.

It was also important for me to ignore the critics. If you don’t want to be criticized then say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. Right??

Friends from my previous job stopped talking to me, I was told by a dear friend that she read some article about how one person can’t organize for another, and while meeting another friend for coffee she told me that her boyfriend thought I was an idiot.

Ouch.

I had to realize that letting friendships go just meant my path was being cleared for more positive people, that my friend was just disguising her own fear in advice, and that a cruel comment may touch on a nerve but the source of that comment isn’t a person I value anyway.

Making that transition from employee to entrepreneur was far more difficult than I had ever anticipated.

Here is what I did to ensure that the leap was a success and that my parachute opened:
o Prepared financially.
o Learned every aspect of my business and industry.
o Worked seven days a week….not necessarily 8 hours a day. Again, the beauty of entrepreneurship is creating my own schedule. So, most workdays range from 2-6 hours depending on the current project. Yes, there are some 10-12 hour days but those don’t last forever.
o Woke up at 5:30 am even on weekends. (I still do this.)
o Created solutions to every challenge I faced because failure was NOT an option.
o Formed a support system with other entrepreneurs who understood the constant demands, loneliness, long hours, and how to handle the insensitive comments of others.

Supporting other entrepreneurs

It’s almost seven years to the day that One Organized Mama was born. Over the years my team and I have served nearly 500 clients throughout the Las Vegas valley!! Our clientele has spanned the spectrum from A-list celebrities, professional athletes, teachers, military service members, first responders, fellow entrepreneurs, and other amazing clients.

Although I pinch myself and think, “Wow. It really worked!” it’s not a surprise. The road to creating a business MUST be intentional and the ability to rebound is mandatory. There are always obstacles and it’s up to YOU to decide if you succeed or fail.

The next few chapters in my journey are about teaching clients time management and organization techniques through coaching.

I’ve also launched a program called, P.O.I.S.E. (Professional Organization Industry Standard of Excellence). This is a training, mentoring, and networking program for people starting their own professional organizing business.

I’ve taken my processes, techniques, achievements, failures, and lessons to offer much-needed support to fellow entrepreneurs in this industry.

POISE offers professional organizers:
o One-on-one mentorship.
o Live training.
o A network of other professional organizers to connect with.
o Affordable and vetted client leads.
o A support system to vent frustrations, share stories, ask for advice, and laugh with when there’s nothing else to do.
o Remind you that the journey is worth it and to keep going.

As proud as I am about creating One Organized Mama, I’m incredibly proud of my POISE team. They are incredibly talented, creative, hardworking, and super fun to work with. I’m excited to hand over clients to them and help them build their own dream businesses.

To my fellow entrepreneurs in all industries, when it gets tough, remember that you have the tools to create your solution, and that failure is not an option.

For more information about the POISE program or to hire a POISE organizer in the Las Vegas valley contact me at 702-817-1997 or email organizewithpoise@gmail.com

-Janel
One Organized Mama
Est. 2012