Do Watching People Make Changes Motivate Us?
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 7:56AM
Linda Samuels in Getting Motivated, Motivation, action, challenges, change, clients, comfort zone, emotional attachment, goals, habits, opportunities, simplicity, success

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!

Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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