We were lucky to catch up with Carolyn Rogers recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Carolyn thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What did your parents do right and how has that impacted you in your life and career?
I may be a little biased but my parents are two of the most amazing people in the world. It’s hard to pick just one thing that they did right. But since I have to settle on one thing I’ll say that they taught me that I can take care of myself and still be fair and kind to others. Part of that was learning the difference between wants and needs and learning to prioritize the needs over that wants. Sometimes the world is competitive and it’s easy to fall into the habit of only thinking of ourselves and focusing on accumulating things for self. But they taught me that people and how I treat them is important. We don’t have to crush others to succeed and we can be kind and generous with our excess. I am the last of 9 children and my mother was a homemaker while my father worked as a mechanic. Needless to say, we didn’t have a lot. We scraped by on very little, but that never stopped my parents from lending a helping hand to others. There is one thing that I saw them do that has stuck with me for years. When I was about 6 or 7 yrs old, a man knocked on our door and asked to speak to my father. I don’t remember the details of his situation but the gist of it was that he had been off of work for a time and he didn’t have any food for his family and asked if we could spare some. He promised to pay it back when he started work. I don’t remember my father saying much but I do remember that he and my mother gave him what looked like enough food to last a small family quite a few days. They didn’t know this man. He may have heard about my dad from someone else, but he was a stranger to my parents and they did what they could to help. It didn’t hurt us. I don’t ever remember missing a meal. They were always able to provide everything that we needed, some of what we wanted, and still help people with their time, talent, and resources. I carry those lessons with me everyday. I try to make sure that I’m covered and I enjoy helping those around me.
Carolyn, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I am a professional organizer and I got into this industry when I learned about it while helping a friend unpack after a move. She casually stated “you know they pay people to do stuff like that” and a month later Neat Nerd Solutions was born. I grew up with a large family in a very small house I naturally developed a lot of organizing skills so being able to used those skills to build a business and help others is perfect. I offer a variety of professional organizing services for both home and office. I work closely with clients to determine goals and develop custom solutions that fit their lifestyles and needs. I help my clients de-clutter their space and implement organizing solutions that are simple and easy to maintain so that they can reclaim ownership of their space and find peace of mind. I am most proud of helping my clients reduce stress, find comfort in their space, and free their time so they can do the things that they want to do.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The best source of new clients for me has been referrals. Professional organizing is a very person business. I always tell people to select an organizer that they are comfortable with because we are going to dig into all of your stuff. Because of that, it’s hard not to develop a connection to our clients. If a client has a good experience they want to share it with others. And in turn, if I get a referral from a client I make sure to deliver the same level of care so that they look like geniuses for recommending me.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I spent most of my first year in business organizing all of my friends and family. I am blessed to have extremely supportive people around me. But in my second year, I had maybe one paid client. I felt like I was saying that I’m an organizer but I wasn’t actually doing any organizing. By the end of that year I felt like a poser, had not idea of how to get clients, and had thoughts of quitting. But I’ve worked side gigs and freelanced most of my career and organizing was the first one that truly enjoyed and felt like it could be “real..” So I changed my strategy. I decided that I need to connect more with my peers. I needed to be around like minded people and draw on their energy and encouragement. Organizers often hire each other for big projects so I opened myself up to being available for those teams instead of focusing solely on getting my own projects. That helped me to gain not only experience but confidence in my skills. I think that confidence helped me to draw my own clients.