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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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« Easy Success Tips to Boost Your Creativity and Learning | What Does Genuine Success Feel Like to You? »

7 Valuable Essentials for a Successful Experience

Have you ever been disappointed by an experience you’ve had? If so, you’re not alone. Would you like to learn some ways to turn an unsuccessful experience into a successful one? One small change can make an enormous difference. I was curious about my colleagues’ ideas, so I reached out to this fabulous international group – Seana Turner, Nacho Eguiarte, Jill Robson, Diane Quintana, Ellen Delap, Janet Barclay, and Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton.

I asked them, “What is one essential ingredient needed to have a successful experience?”  Their responses are unique and inspiring. My deepest gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their wisdom with us.


What is one essential ingredient needed to have a successful experience? . . .



Life is rarely 100% predictable, so I believe the key to having a positive experience is flexibility. This doesn’t mean failing to make plans. Quite the opposite! Having a scaffold of structure in place allows me to nimbly respond to the unforeseen, to keep going when I hit a roadblock, and to enjoy (rather than dread) surprises. So often we are discouraged or disheartened by unexpected developments, but some of the best times I’ve ever had were when I showed up prepared, but also open to whatever the next step might be.”

Seana Turner – Professional Organizer, Blogger & Public Speaker



“No matter what recipe you’re making for dinner you’ll always need some salt. That would be a key ingredient. So the “salt" in having a successful experience for me is attitude. With a good attitude you can overcome every possible bad situation, and with a good attitude you can upgrade a good situation into a fabulous experience. No matter what, attitude is a must.” 

Nacho Equiarte – Professional Organizer, Architect, Grieving Counselor & Blogger



“How has the experience made you feel? Did you feel heard? I think most of us have a successful experience when we feel we have been listened to. How often do we need help or advice and we feel that the person is not really listening, just giving a stock answer? I know in my occupation, I have spoken with other organizers on how we communicate with our clients, and it is our listening skills that are just as important as our organizing skills.”

Jill Robson – Professional Organizer & Blogger



“One of the most important ingredients to having a successful experience is your attitude. Think about it this way, you’ve set your goal, you know the steps to take to achieve your goal, and you’ve decided that it’s going to be difficult to achieve. Your attitude is such that from the outset you’re predicting failure. So, your journey towards your goal will probably be beset with bumps in the road, which turn into mountains because you’ve doomed yourself from the start. However, if you switch the channel deciding that this goal is worthwhile and that you’re going to achieve it your attitude is positive. There may be bumps in the road but you will overcome them and the journey itself will be a positive learning experience.”

Diane Quintana, CPO®, CPO-CD® – Certified Professional Organizer, Author & Speaker



“A successful experience begins with a readiness for new perspectives. When a client begins our work together ready for change, it makes change happen. They are alert and aware of possibilities and reflect actively on this as well as during our session and after we conclude.  Success comes in baby steps with small changes they make as a result.”

Ellen Delap, CPO® – Professional Organizer & Productivity Consultant 



“To achieve success, I have to believe in myself and my ability to accomplish that which I’m trying to do. Reminding myself of similar challenges I’ve overcome in the past can be very helpful, so I file complimentary messages I receive in a special folder in my email program and re-read them whenever I need to boost my self-confidence.”

Janet Barclay, MVA – Web Designer, Blogger & Virtual Marketing Assistant



“I think any successful experience starts with a willingness to make a change and experience something new. I personally, never like to go through any change.  I am very resistant to doing things differently. It is part of my personality. However, I have learned over the years, that my personal growth and success can be directly attributed to making life transitions and embracing change. Now, I just acknowledge to myself that I don’t like to change, but I also acknowledge that there is a possibility that it will be good for me. I give it a try, and most of the time I embrace it, and it becomes habit. I recommend my clients to try small changes, one little one at the time.”

Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton, CPO®, CPO-CD® – Professional Organizer & Blogger 


Having a successful experience can feel illusive. With the wonderful concepts that my colleagues shared, you now have some new ways to approach your experiences. Whether you choose to adjust your attitude, be more flexible, or embrace the changes, a successful outcome is possible for you. For me, one ingredient that colors all others is my attitude. If I go forth with optimism and positivity, it flavors my experiences with exactly that. So even if the outcome differs from the plan, I can view it as a learning experience instead of a failure.

Which ideas resonate with you? What is one essential ingredient you need to have a successful experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (17)

Love these powerful and different ways to experience a successful experience. It creates a new awareness to me of how my clients and I all value our work in many different ways too.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Hi Ellen! I find it fascinating how small the difference can be between perceived failure and success. It's often in our attitude or how we choose to handle a situation. A tiny adjustment can change everything. I so appreciate the concept you shared about be readiness for change as a success-booster. Just wonderful!

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this group of people! Terrific insights on the many aspects of a successful experience. Thanks for bringing us together on this question, Linda.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this terrific collaborative post. I love reading the different posts from my colleagues! I think everyone can take something away from these ideas in order to make their experiences more successful!

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Thanks so much for including my answer in your post, Linda!

Seana's quote really resonates with me. Setting out without a plan often leads to disappointment when nothing actually happens. On the other hand, holding too fast to a plan can also lead to disappointment, because there are so many factors beyond our control.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

What a wonderful group of contributors! If I had anything to add it would be GRATITUDE. It's easy to focus on what went wrong. But if you make a special point of noticing the things that went right, you'll automatically feel better about the experience. Because there are probably more things that went right than went wrong. It's like the Wayne Dyer quote: "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHazel Thornton

Thank you for including my in the line up Linda.

I loved all the responses, but the one that resonated with me was Seana's "flexibility", something I have struggled with and have had to learn. It can make all the difference in your own view of the experience.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

It's wonderful being among these fantastic and smart ladies. I love them all. But I must say this time the essential ingredient for this successful post was you Linda, because you inspire us to bring the best to the table. Thank you I appreciate you having me over your blog.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

My heart is full reading all of your responses. What an incredible group! So giving and inspiring. Thank you for participating in all the ways you do from contributing to the post, to joining the evolving conversation, to sharing with others. Amazing. I'm so grateful.

@Seana- Your idea of flexibility has resonated with many here, as it did with me. Like Hazel, I too work on that one. It's essential because things never go exactly as planned and life is always filled with "surprises."

@Diane- I'm with you. It's wonderful reading all the various perspectives. As each person emailed me their response, I loved reading the variety and angles that people chose to take. It's what makes these types of conversations so rich because of each of you.

@Janet- Ah. You're so right. And that's where Seana's word, "flexible" comes in. It's the grease that holds all that together. It allows us to shift and move based on what's needed at that moment when things don't happen as expected. Flexibility allows success to happen because it frees us from rigidity and the idea of "supposed to."

@Hazel- So great to have you with us. I just LOVE your "gratitude" offering and the Wayne Dyer quote. Shifting our focus to what's going right, changes everything. And not just shifting the focus, but actually pausing to acknowledge it. Wonderful!

@Jill- I'm with you. Flexibility is one of my challenges too. I work really hard at it. I think especially because I'm a planner, it's more challenging. But what I've learned is that the planning helps me feel prepared. It's not a guarantee that things will unfold "exactly" as planned. But it puts me in the right frame of mind so when the unexpected happens, I'm in a better position to adjust with the changes that are needed. I understand this intellectually. But there are still times when I have to remind myself to let go and be more flexible.

@Nacho- Thank you for your generous, kind words. The group wouldn't be the same without you. You are always a welcome addition to all of our conversations. You bring your experience and wisdom to the table every time.

Grateful for all of you.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Wonderful topic, and terrific contributions that I will share with my clients. These are the keys to maximizing an experience and even benefitting from the 'other side of failure.' I suggest posting these words in a visible spot as a reminder to focus on and intensify the positive value of any experience.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Lasky

Susan- So great to have you join the conversation. I love your suggestion about posting the "words" in a key spot to help enhance and put a positive bent on all of our experiences. And you're so right that these are the ways to turn the feeling of "failure" into a completely different experience.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I love how intertwined all of those words are to each other, and once you can overcome one, the others may come easier. Attitude is one of my favorite item on this list! Thanks for gathering such a fun list, Linda!


September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCris Sgrott-Wheedleton

Cris- Love your word choice of "intertwined." There is a wonderful connection with all the words and concepts. Attitude (a positive one) seems like a great place to start from, then the other ideas can be layered on.

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

I can't choose one idea as each one resonates with me. Wonderful topic and excellent words of wisdom by each contributor. Thank you.

September 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKathy McEwan

Kathy- Yes! Lots of wonderful ideas shared by this group. I'm glad you found the concepts useful. Thanks so much for joining us.

September 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

As solopreneurs we sometimes forget these ideas. We get so caught up in our work that we forget what we need to always strive for. They all resonate with me. All great women. I truly love all the points in the post. This continues to inspire me. Thanks Linda for bringing this topic up and sharing it.

September 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia Braun,CPO

Cynthia- So great to "hear" your voice. As you said, it's all too easy to lose site of some of these concepts. We can get so caught up in doing that we forget to check our attitude, remain flexible, or express gratitude. You're had many successful experiences. Have you found a common thread?

September 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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