Pop Quiz, Monday with Jen Obermeier
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Professional organizers work with people on a never-ending array of projects — organizing playrooms, filing paperwork, cleaning out garages, and color-coding closets barely scratch the surface of what we can be enlisted to do.
Being a professional home organizer is like being a part personal trainer, part therapist, part interior decorator, and part life coach. You get to be creative, be analytical, burn calories, and make great money. It’s an ideal lifestyle business!
I am a business coach for professional home organizers – my favorite organizing clients were always business owners, so you could say I’ve found my ultimate niche in organizing other organizers.
Tell us about your company?
I take pride in being a “rule-breaker” as a professional organizer. I am obsessed with all the possibilities of this business that no one was talking about online when I got into it.
I started Pro Organizer Studio in 2016 as a way to share my out-of-the-box business ideas with the professional organizing community. It quickly turned into the best decision I ever made. Having gained a modest, but enthusiastic following of over 5,000 savvy business women, 300 of which have taken my online business course, I’ve realized my true passion of helping women make their dream business a reality.
What do you love most about your job?
When you have natural talent like organizing, it is extraordinarily difficult to understand why other people would pay you for it, and how to package it and sell it.
This is 100% my gift – helping talented women see the market value of their skill, learn relationship-based sales, and build businesses that they are super proud of. I NEVER get tired of talking business strategy and helping people bring their vision to life.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I have a very big “why.” I think the professional organizing industry is on the brink of a massive breakthrough – not just because of celebrity organizers like Marie Kondo and The Home Edit. I heard it from the mouths of my own clients – decluttering and organizing is cheaper than therapy, and more effective (and these are people living in luxury homes who can afford to buy anything they want.)
There is also a massive aging population in the U.S. and someone will need to deal with all their stuff – it takes time, it’s tiring, and they are going to need smart people to help. It’s a service needed physically, emotionally, spiritually – this is an industry that gets to work on every level. I am here to teach and inspire the organizers who are going to be needed in huge numbers over the next few decades.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
They see the value in my strengths and do everything they can to help me become the best coach and influencer I can be.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Despite the craziness of different clients and the variety the work brings, being a pro organizer can be a really lonely job. You’re often working alone, and due to client confidentiality and the fact that people don’t know what professional organizing is all about, there are few people to talk to who truly get it.
As part of my online course, we have a private Facebook community. It’s a challenge to be real with people and build work relationships online, but we have provided a safe place for my students to share the good and bad, and HILARIOUS moments in this industry. We have seen everything — and yes, your secrets are safe with us.
I think there’s a little bit of a stereotype that we are all super uptight – not so.
Last year I made some sassy shirts for organizers – I personally bought one of each and wear them ALL the time because it’s like an inside joke with my girls out there. Like one said “Just Donate It” because that’s what we are all really thinking about our clients’ stuff. One says “Organized AF” – that was my favorite one, and you’ll never believe this, but I actually LOST it. No clue where it is. I thought I’d have to turn in my professional organizer badge the day I admitted that to our group. They thought that was hilarious….
What are some of the challenges of your job?
The challenge of being an organizer is that people crave improvement, but getting there can be tricky because people don’t like change. Plus it’s tough to get clients to tell all their friends about you because there is a stigma to needing and paying for help just to manage their “stuff.” I coach my students on meeting clients on their level and being okay with the pace they need to go. A lot of us organizers are perfectionists, which makes being in a business way more difficult than it has to be. My challenge is to bridge the gap for them and teach them how to run their business “just good enough” so that they can keep moving forward and learning.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
The day one of my clients chastised me for moving too fast in sorting through her closet was the day that I realized I was bringing my own anxiety about pleasing people and proving my value on the job, and it was actually harming our work together. As a business coach I still see myself doing the same things — I have so many ideas for my students, and I see them being successful, but I’ll forget that they still need repetition and stability in the early stages. For sure, I’m learning to slow down so that I can speed up my growth. I’m WAY less anxious and nervous than I used to be.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
If you want to be a professional organizer, you’re probably someone who likes systems and rules. But in this industry, there aren’t really many rules. Every organizer can follow a different philosophy when it comes to the best method of running a home. You don’t have to wait to find the perfect way – a willingness to be of service and to respond flexibly to the needs of each client is all that’s required.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: