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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« Are You Motivated to Let Go? | What Motivates You to Do Anything? »

Do Watching People Make Changes Motivate Us?

As organizers and coaches, the work we do with our clients is change-focused. We’re present as our clients navigate the joys and challenges of pursuing their goals. Change doesn’t happen without motivation. I’ve experienced the positive influences of being around motivated clients. I was curious if others had similar experiences. To understand more I reached out to this wonderful group of organizing and coaching colleagues – Margo Brown, Seana Turner, Stephanie Deakin, Ellen Delap, Andrea Sharb, Janet Barclay, Rachel Seavey, Helena Alkhas, Yota Schneider, Diane Quintana. I asked them, “How has your client work personally motivated you to take action?” I know you’ll love their inspiring, thoughtful responses as much as I do. My gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their personal stories about how their clients motivated them. Are you wondering how to get motivated? Keep reading to discover some wonderful surprises.


How has your client work personally motivated you to take action? . . .


Motivated to Face Fear

“My clients have motivated me to say ‘yes’ to challenges. They bring to light the fear they face as they step out of their comfort zone. Often, they take on life’s challenges with a willingness to move forward and openness to learning. In the past, I would have declined the opportunity to guest blog or said 'no' to a speaking engagement. Instead, I reflect on their courage and their ability to say ‘yes’ in the face of fear. In doing so, I too have said ‘yes’ to many wonderful opportunities that I would normally shy away from.”

Margo Brown – Productivity Coach & Author


Motivated to Start

“Ready, Set, ACTION. It sounds so easy! Yet the reason I get called in to work with clients is largely because it can be quite difficult indeed. Helping clients has reminded me that change is all about getting started. My husband and I had wanted to redo our front walkway – for a couple of years. After a client session I came home and thought, ‘I just need to take the first step...what would that be?’ I made one call and after that simply kept answering the next question until it was done. I’m so glad I started.”

Seana Turner – Professional Organizer, Blogger & Life Coach


Motivated to Change Habits

“So many of my clients struggle with guilt and shame, and are unable to make sustainable change. I believe that this is in large part because people don't understand their relationship to their possessions. So I set out to learn about our emotional attachments to our stuff. Why is it so hard for some people to let go? What happens inside them when they have to part with their things? What I learned surprised me, and motivated me to examine my own attachments in a new light and make some positive changes in my own habits and attitudes.”

Stephanie Deakin – Professional Organizer, Speaker & Trainer


Motivated to Simplify

“Working with my clients reinforces my focus on simplicity. Our work together requires energy, and keeping my personal life simple helps me keep energized for our sessions.  My clients help me verbalize my commitment to simplicity in sharing what works for me and how they can gain new perspectives on simplifying as well. Paper management is one specific area that I especially simplify at my home and office, shredding and recycling daily. My favorite mantra is Keep It Simple Sweetie!”

Ellen Delap, CPO® – Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Family Manager Coach, Productivity Consultant & Blogger


Motivated to Meditate

“As a coach, I’m honored to serve as witness to my clients’ progress. In doing so, I can’t help but be motivated by their successes to take action of my own, especially if the changes they’re focusing on are similar to changes I’m also focusing on in my life. Just yesterday I shared with a client who is experiencing success with making morning meditation a priority, what an inspiration she’s been to me in bringing regular meditation back into my morning routine.  It's hard to not be motivated as a coach.”

Andrea Sharb, CPO-CD®, ACC®, COC®, CPO® – Professional Organizer & Productivity/ADHD Coach


Motivated to Enhance

“One of the disadvantages of my line of work is ‘shoemaker’s children syndrome’ – updating and enhancing my own website usually takes a back seat to my client projects. However, when clients request certain features on their sites, it often helps me to consider exciting new possibilities for my own, propelling me to move forward with work that might not have felt terribly appealing otherwise.”

Janet Barclay – MVA, WordPress Designer, Blogger & Virtual Assistant


Motivated to Re-Purpose

“I’m constantly inspired by the dedication and hard work of my clients. But it’s their resourcefulness that motivates me to make changes in my own life. Though I’ve always been an avid “recycler,” my clients have inspired me to reuse more and waste less — especially with paper and plastic. Now I re-purpose items that otherwise would have gone in the trash. I’ve also realized possessions don’t make you happy, people do. I prioritize the things money can’t buy, like time spent with loved ones. And I appreciate the simple parts of life, like a walk on a beautiful day.”

Rachel Seavey – Professional Organizer, Extreme Cleaner & Recording Artist


Motivated to Exercise

“I have been working more and more with seniors and they all have one thing in common that made me pause and review how I want to reach that stage of my life: they're all healthy and very active. Our appointments are always scheduled for ‘after’ their classes. They're committed to it. I am known for disliking to exercise but working with these couples has been an eye opening experience to me and made me incorporate walks and breaks in my daily life.”

Helena Alkhas – Professional Organizer


Motivated to Get Unstuck

“Recently, I watched a client of mine take the leap and make a dramatic change in her life. It was long due and her self-respect depended on it. Watching her take off and claim her identity, inspired me to evaluate a situation I’d been stuck in for a while and make some changes myself. When I work with a client who is struggling to navigate through a life change and is plagued by self-doubt, I try to look at myself and evaluate where I stand. I want to make sure that, what I’m sharing or encouraging my client to consider or do, come from a place of integrity and authenticity.”

Yota Schneider – Life Coach & Mentor, Blogger & Retreats Facilitator


Motivated to Clarify Goals

“Being involved with my clients as they endeavor to make tough changes in their lives by tweaking their organizational systems (sometimes creating organizational systems from scratch), reworking habits, and daily routines continually motivates me to be clear about my goals – both work and personal. They inspire me to continually do my best to honor and work toward my stated goals. When I’m tempted to procrastinate working on a project or defer making a decision I think to myself what would I say to my client in this situation. Often that’s just the push I need to move myself forward.”

Diane Quintana, CPO®, CPO-CD® Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, ADD & Hoarding Specialist


My hope is that after reading these stories, you’ll catch some motivation mojo too. I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts, stories and ideas about motivation? How have other motivated you? I invite you to join the conversation!

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Reader Comments (12)

Love seeing all these powerful changes that my peers are experiencing! Thanks for sharing!

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- I was blown away by these stories. "Powerful" is a great word to describe what can happen when we witness others making changes. Motivation is catching, as evident the stories. Thank YOU for sharing!

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a great collection of professionals and what a fantastic experiences shared with us the readers. If we keep eyes, ears and hearts open, we'll find motivation on others actions to develop changes in our lives.
Gratitude to you Linda and your Oh So Fabulous Guests

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Reading this is motivating me to consider even more change. Love that we have this chance to share our experiences, Linda. Thanks for pulling us all together!

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Linda, like Seana I appreciate you bringing our stories together. It always amazes me how there can be so many answers / so many perspectives to one prompt. I look forward to your readers sharing how they've been motivated by their clients. As always, thanks for the opportunity to play in your sandbox!

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

I think working with clients always motivates me to do better and rethink my processes with them. My husband always jokes that when I have a challenging client and I have motivated them to change, I come home and rework some things for us as well. Never a dull moment in our house. :) Seana is right sometimes you just have to "take the next step"

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Linda, I am honored to be included in this impressive line-up. Thank you for inspiring me to give thought to this interesting topic.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Love the party going on here. Great to hear from all of you.

@Nacho- Beautiful imagery of keeping our "eyes, ears, and hearts open." Just lovely!

@Seana- Wonderful that these stories are motivating you even further. Fantastic! Feel very lucky to know all of you and have a place to come together and share.

@Andrea- Love having you in the sandbox with us! Like you, I also was fascinated by the breadth of perspectives.

@Jill- Motivation comes from the most interesting places, doesn't it? How great that your clients provide you with a source for "reworking" your own things.

@Janet- It's always great having you with us. Thank your for taking the time to think on this one and add your "motivation" story to the collection.

July 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Such a thought provoking post!

Yes, watching people make changes does inspire me to change my own behavior as does watching people who refuse to make changes.

Technology is one area where I notice this. Some refuse to adapt and as a result, miss opportunities to stay connected and socially active. Those who continue learning "new tricks" (as one of my clients says) communicate with their grandchildren and great grandchildren much more often.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeralin Thomas

Geralin- Thank you for bringing "the other side" of the perspective to this conversation…that inspiration comes from observation of others- their doing and NOT doing. Or as you said, embracing change or refusing to change.

It's an interesting point you make about adapting to technology and staying connected. As someone who works with many elders, some "adapt" to tech easily, embracing it, and some have cognitive challenges (memory loss, processing issues) that make it extremely challenging to use or adapt to new tools. However, for those that do embrace technology, I agree that it can increase social engagement and connection. I have several elders with hearing loss. The phone is no longer the best option to communicate, but email and the internet works beautifully.

July 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Sorry to be late to our block party. Thank you Linda for bringing us all together. I love how Andrea puts it . . . "It's hard not to be motivated as a coach."

There is a reason we're doing what we're doing and I would think that our clients are here to teach us as well.

Over the years I've noticed the type of clients I attract evolve. This must have something to do with my own evolvement. We're all connected.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

Yota- There's no late when it comes to joining us. You can jump in any time! Sounds like the "Laws of Attraction" are at work for you. What we put "out there" comes back to us, right? You're emanating the "evolving" vibe and back it comes to you. Just beautiful.

July 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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