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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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« Top 5 Enlisting Help Quotes | Linda's Top 10 Motivators »

What Inspires Us to Help?

Organizers and coaches are in helping profession industries. Our clients reach out for our help in a variety of ways from navigating challenges to organizing space, thoughts, and time to discovering new perspectives. We are passionate about helping our clients succeed and grow. I was curious about what early influences encouraged my colleagues to enter their profession. To understand more I reached out to this generous, compassionate group of organizers and coaches – Andrea Sharb, Aby Garvey, Ellen Delap, Yota Schneider, and Seana Turner. I asked them, “What childhood influences led you to enter a helping profession?” Their responses are inspiring. My deepest gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their personal stories with us.

I asked my colleagues . . .

What childhood influences led you to enter a helping profession? . . .


Watching Others

“My parents were definitely the biggest influence.  As a child my mom volunteered in my school and for various non-profits.  As I grew, I watched both mom & dad volunteer at church and for organizations like the United Way.  Now in their seventies, they still value volunteering and still give countless hours in support of organizations and causes important to them.  I watched and learned.  When I left my previous career to become a full-time mom I began a regular practice of volunteering myself and the volunteering provided for a very natural progression into a helping profession eight years ago.”

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


Cultivating Interests

“I don't recall any particular person or outside influence that led me to enter a helping profession. Instead, I remember being innately interested in two particular helping careers, teaching and nursing. As I child I also loved organizing my closet and rearranging my room. Today I have combined two of those early interests, teaching and organizing, into a career that allows me to help people learn new skills and make meaningful changes in their lives.” 

Aby Garvey – Professional Organizer, Author & Online Class Instructor 


Modeling Values

“From as early as I can remember, serving and helping others has been a focus of my family.  As a child and teen, my parents always suggested ways for us to be involved, including Girl Scouts and Candy Stripers.  In college there were many ways to ‘give back’ including Gold Key Guides giving tours to perspective students.  My parents were committed community members, modeling involvement.  Giving back and philanthropy are a family trait.”

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


Overcoming Adversity

Where do I begin? Maybe with the heartache of growing up with a twin sister who was handicapped. I spent my childhood trying to somehow set things right for everyone. That turned out to be quite an impossible goal and a heavy burden that I had to contend with my entire life. Eventually, and after many years of inner work, I realized that helping isn't about setting things right for others. Instead I could use my skills, creativity, and personal experience to help my clients own who they are and blossom.”

Yota Schneider – Life Coach, & Mentor & Blogger


Practicing Joy

“I was lucky enough to have adults in my young life who gave me the opportunity to bless others: by bringing a meal, holding a door open, sharing clothes, or simply visiting a homebound person. What I observed is that few things lift our spirits like getting our focus off of ourselves and onto someone else! Discovering that the very thing I LOVE doing brings pleasure and relief to others is frosting on the cake.  It is the unwritten law of the universe – in doing what we do best, and sharing it, we find our deepest joy.”

Seana Turner – Professional Organizer, Blogger & Life Coach


It’s fascinating how deep the desire to help runs and the obvious joy we derive from helping others. What have your experiences been? Are you more comfortable giving or receiving help? Are you equally comfortable in both roles? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!

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Reader Comments (12)

These are wonderful comments to read. Thanks, Linda! I came to professional organizing after many years teaching and then volunteering in my children's school. I love being able to combine my teaching skills and my love for helping others. I love and agree with the comment that Seanna Turner made about the law of the universe "in doing what we do best, and sharing it, we find our deepest joy".

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Love learning these valuable models for us all! From big ideas to small baby steps, each of us benefits immensely from giving back.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Great post, Yota's phrase "helping isn't about setting things right for others" is powerful because we are not saviors we are just people with strengths and weaknesses in need to differentiate when is time to help and when is time get some help. Thank you Linda and thank you all the kind ladies who collaborate with their wisdom.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

I'd like to thank Andrea, Aby, Ellen, Seana and Yota for sharing their stories, and you, Linda, for bringing them together. It's so interesting to learn how people ended up where they are.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

As always, I learn from the contributions of my peers. Thanks to you all for sharing. We have different backgrounds but a common passion:)

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

I totally agree Seana, that is how I feel.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

It's wonderful to hear all your voices. Thank you for enriching the conversation by adding your thoughts.

@Diane- It's wonderful to experience such joy from sharing our gifts! I'm with you and love what Seana said too.

@Ellen- Giving back happens in more ways than one, doesn't it?

@Nacho- Ah yes… the distinction between giving or receiving help. There's a time in our lives for both.

@Janet- So happy that they chose to share their stories. What a group!

@Seana- I love your choice of words, "a common passion." Lovely!

@Jill- Am with you on this too. Learning from our peers and sharing a "common passion."

August 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you, Linda, for the opportunity to participate in this post! So fun to see everyone's responses and influences.

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAby Garvey

Thank you for asking the question, Linda. Isn't it amazing that for most of us the answer goes back to childhood? Our family, the environment, how people behave around us have such a big impact on our life choices. I loved reading everyone's answers. There are no coincidences, are there?

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

@Aby- You're welcome. Thank YOU for participating in the post. Like you, I'm also enjoying the responses and influences. Great insights into how we've become who we now are, right?

@Yota- It's interesting how the question garnered these responses. Originally I had a different thought in mind, but tweaked how I phrased the question to work with this month's theme. For a future post, I may take this in a slightly different direction. It's fascinating to see our early influences. And yes! Agree with you 100%, "no coincidences." I'm a believer in connection. We may not always understand how the pieces fit or why we are on a particular path, but when you take a longer view, you can usually see how the various pieces intertwine.

August 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I don't think of myself as being in a helping profession, at least not in the same way as coaches and organizers, because my help tends to be more behind the scenes. However, my dad ran his own appliance service business from the time I was very small, and from him I learned many strategies around scheduling and customer service that have influenced me a lot.

August 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- That's so interesting how you don't consider yourself in the helping profession. From my perspective, I see you in a service business where you provide the support help for solopreneurs. However you view it, how lucky that you were able to learn so much from your dad and his business.

August 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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