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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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How to Foster Possibilities

Marie Potter and Linda SamuelsHave you ever wondered how to foster possibilities? Is it about the things we do? Is it about the things we hear? Is it about the relationships we cultivate, the people we interact with, or the experiences we are open to? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!

I just returned from attending my first POC (Professional Organizers in Canada) conference in Calgary. It was wonderful! The POC members are such a warm, welcoming group who enjoy learning and having a great time together. A special shout out and thanks to Kelly Hipkin, Georgina Forrest, and Stephanie Deakin for the many ways you made me feel welcome.


Mayumi Takahara, Linda Samuels, Mary Dkystra-Novess, Alexandra Ross, Stephanie Deakin, Valentina Sgro, Junko Bradley












It was also wonderful to spend time with leaders from IFPOA (International Federation of Professional Organizing Associations) to discuss the challenges and successes other organizing associations have. Represented were colleagues from Canada, Japan, the United States, and Australia. Heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Stephanie, Alexandra, Mayumi, Mary, Val, and Amanda for bringing your best to the table.


April Miller, Linda Samuels, Laurene Livesey ParkWhile I enjoyed learning about many topics including marketing, goal setting, accountability, disorganization, social media, and technology, what I most loved was meeting new people and strengthening relationships with existing ICD, NAPO, and POC friends and colleagues.

Fostering possibilities is the same as nurturing relationships. They both involve being open and curious, and investing time and energy. As was underscored while in Calgary, the bonds we form with others happen casually and purposefully over coffee, sharing meals, while learning together, listening, observing, while discussing kids, travel, and organizing, while driving from place to place, during elevator rides, waiting in airports, while hanging out after hours, while laughing, dancing, or taking photos. Relationships get nurtured and formed as possibilities are being fostered.


Kelly Hipkin and Linda Samuels

There are many photos from my time in Calgary; some I’ve shared here with you. One of my favorite images is by Mary Dkystra-Novess, NAPO President. She captured a joyful moment of fun when Marie Potter and myself were hugging and posing (feather boas intertwined) at the photo booth during the Awards Dinner. I met Marie last month in Nashville at the ICD conference and we became fast friends. We saw each other again this past week at the POC conference. To me this photo captures the essence of what can happen when you foster possibilities.

Georgina Forrest and Linda Samuels





I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation. How do you foster possibilities?





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Reader Comments (24)

Oh, it looks you had a wonderful time. Don't we have the best group of people in this profession? For me, fostering possibility is simply believing it will happen. People often share all of the reasons why they worry something can't happen, but I say "why not?" Anything can- and does- happen.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Seana- Yes! It WAS wonderful and we DO have the best people in our profession. I love your simple and powerful question of "why not?" around fostering possibilities. With it, you bring things into the positive realm and it sets the stage for amazing things to happen. Fabulous!

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I agree with Seana. So many people look at all the reasons why they should not do something. They see the glass half empty. I prefer to see the glass half full and explore the ways I can follow through to make something happen.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Diane- I'm with you, my friend, in the "glass half full" brigade. I was just talking about this yesterday with my Mom when we were talking about my Dad. He was the eternal optimist and always saw the good in people and all situations. He believed in saying "yes" to opportunities and going forward even in the face of fear. He had a huge influence on me…hence the "glass half full" club. Glad to know another member!

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Without a doubt, any new acquaintance is a potential friend if we take care of that relationship and nurture it. With any new friend, we open doors and windows to different possibilities is just matter of having an open mind.
Thank you for sharing your experience in POC conference.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Nacho- I love that idea of a "potential friend." It's really true that you never know which relationships might blossom in that way. I love that the possibilities exist when we're open and curious.

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Inspiring post and delightful pictures! I do feel that nearly anything is possible, if we are open to it.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- Thank you. I'm sorry that you weren't able to be at this conference. I know you've gone in the past. I hope to be at POC next year in Toronto. Fingers crossed that you'll be there too. I loved seeing you at the NAPO conference in Phoenix. And yes…being open makes possibilities, possible. It's when we close the thinking doors that movement stops.

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

wow! sounds wonderful. Need to put this conference on my bucket list for next year! sounds perfect linda. so well deserved.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Josel

Leslie- You will LOVE it! The content is good. The people are spectacular! See you later…for the Smead party! Can't wait to hangout with you and Geralin. So fun!!!

For anyone that's interested in joining us, Leslie, Geralin and I are being hosted by John Hunt from Smead for at free online Q&A about getting and staying organized. It's today at 2pm eastern. Here's the link to sign-up:

See you later, Leslie!

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

The way I foster possibilities, is to plan for it. I like to make future plans and set a time frame in which to do them. Like in February this year I attended my first business conference. It had been on my list of things to do this year. One possibility down, now to plan the next one.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Jill- I like how foster possibilities by making a plan and being open to what happens next. What was the business conference you attended? What was your favorite takeaway?

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a lovely post and I'm honoured to be featured in none other than the lovely Linda Samuels font of wisdom blog, along side some of the most fantastic folks in and out of town!

Linda you are one of the brightest stars I know!

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarie potter

Marie- I'm so happy to feature you (and our boa moment)…but more than that, I'm happy to know you. We are very lucky in this industry because it's full of wonderful people. Having the time to learn, converse and play together is the icing on the cake. So thanks for being open to possibilities and for playing in the sandbox with me. Here's to you and more fun ahead!

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, I went to the Mompreneur Conference in Toronto. My favourite take away was, that you are the captain of your ship, effort in, results out.

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Jill- Sounds like a fabulous conference. I bet it was interesting to see all the different types of businesses the group had. I like your takeaway…that you get to steer the ship and determine the speed with which it gets there. Nice.

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

LOVE IT Linda! What a beautiful tribute to the POC Conference weekend! I had a blast and when it comes to the glass empty/full debate, here is my take on it... "while the pessimist and optimist were arguing about whether the glass was half full or half empty, I drank it!" Let's adventure together again real soon. Big hug!

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Hipkin

Kelly- You're a treasure! There was so much to say about the POC Conference. As the big fan and cheerleader that you are of POC, Calgary, and your organizing peeps, I'm glad you thought this post did the experience justice. Love your pessimist/optimist share. So the moral of the story is …. no arguing, just jump right in and drink the water?

I'm happy to "adventure" with you anytime (airports, cars, trains, comedy clubs!) You name it, I'll be there.

October 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a great post-conference post Linda! I'm honored to be mentioned in your blog post. It was pure joy meeting and playing with you at conference. I'm sooooo happy that we met.

How I foster possibilities is I remain open to whatever shows up ... when it shows up. You never know when something magical can happen. It can be something as little as inviting someone to join you for a meal and then it expands into an experience that leaves its mark forever on you in such a positive and pleasant way that it lingers long afterwards.

Linda, you are such an amazing powerhouse of positivity and fun!!! Thank you for coming to Calgary and playing with us. If you ever find your way back up this way, Kelly and I will be sure to take care of you, the 'Calgary hospitality' way.

October 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgina Forrest

Georgina- Joy is a great way to express how I felt during and after conference. And you were a big part of why I felt that way. If I'm ever in Calgary, I will surely let you and Kelly know. And of course when you're in New York, please let me know. No white cowboy hats and stampedes here, but I'm sure we can drum up some fun together.

I love your "open" attitude. When we shared a meal together that first day, I remember thinking how incredibly flexible you were. Something I greatly admire.

Looking forward to our next meet!

October 30, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Your warm Calgary welcome - makes me proud of my Canadian roots!
Can't think of a better international ambassador for championing the cause for CD education. Love what you and ICD are doing to advance thinking and shift mindsets from ignorance and insensitivity to acceptance and compassion.

November 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCameron Gott

Cam- Loved learning about your Canadian roots. The Calgarians (is that correct?) sure know how to make us feel welcome. It's a gift.

Thank you for your words of support and encouragement about ICD and the work we're doing. I am passionate about the association, the mission, and helping those challenged by CD (both directly and by educating those that help the CD population.)

November 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, thanks for getting my name exactly right! I love that you put "Valentina" in the caption of the formal-meeting photo and "Val" in the conversational paragraph. And, yes, the POC Conference was great, and I'm still mulling over the many possibilities.

November 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterValentina Sgro

Val- It just seemed fitting to mix the formal and informal. And I'm so glad that we do both. It was so much fun experiencing the POC conference with you. You're a veteran POC conference-goer and I appreciated all your help in showing me the ropes. What a fun group! Know just what you mean about "still mulling over the many possibilities." Still have quite a few from my list to mull and then do.

November 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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