15 Jan I’ve Found My Niche!
In my former career in the Fine Arts Industry, I specialized in fine art photography from its invention to the modern era. Contemporary Photography belonged to another department, quite literally, which was ok with me; I preferred the older stuff anyway. Sadly, I found the art world very cutthroat and cold. There wasn’t much support and it was a real uphill battle to move forward on my chosen career path. My passion was squashed with each lay-off, and by each female manager who felt threatened that I was planning to take over her job (which I wasn’t). I found it the same no matter where I went: New York to London and back, and then onto Los Angeles.
When I left the art world behind and started work for a San Francisco-based tech company in 2013, I was shocked at how supportive and encouraging the environment was; a total 180-degree change from the previous decade. My time in that industry was brief (just a year), but long enough to give me the courage to finally start my own professional organizing business in the spring of 2014.
From the beginning, colleagues and fellow NAPO* members wanted to know what area I wanted to specialize in. Five and a half years in the question still remains, and I’ve been very content in saying “I’m a generalist” because I didn’t want to find myself pigeon-holed once more. Plus, I enjoyed all types of organizing and didn’t want to commit just to one area. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, and I enjoyed doing something different every day.
But as last year came to a close, I started to see a focus rise to the surface. In 2016, I was inspired by several real-life interactions with my niece to write a few children’s books on organizing. In 2017, I finally began and wrote three manuscripts, and about a dozen other working titles for a series. I then “got busy” with work and let them sit, on the back burner. They would pop up from time to time to remind me they were still there. Since I was having a hard time finding the time to write in between working with clients (which is what actually paid the bills), I hired a book coach and writing accountability partner. I paid her – just like my clients paid me – to hold me accountable and get my butt in that chair every two weeks for two hours and write. It was one of the best investments I’ve made.
During those hours, I’ve written many of my blogs and another four children’s books. I’ve even come up with about 20 titles in total for the series. They all focus on getting kids (and adults alike) excited about organizing by showing them the FUN in the fundamentals of organizing. And all of the sudden I realized: this is my niche.
I love working with busy moms and dads who are overwhelmed by running a modern household. I help them implement systems that will work for their whole family and advise them on how to teach their kids. I also love working with the kids themselves, when the opportunity allows (often I work with the adults while the kids are at school). It’s equally as enjoyable to teach adults and children that organizing can be fun. That’s why I’m writing a children’s book series on organizing – to reach both at once!
With that in mind, the LMOI blog this year will have a focus on early childhood organizing for at least one post per month. Some of the material will come from the kid’s books directly and others will come from the parental guide I’ve written to accompany each book. It will be repurposed and blog friendly, and I hope that if you are a parent you will enjoy the content.
I also welcome any suggestions or am open to hearing if you have a specific focus or question for me with regards to getting your children or family organized. I also would love to engage and work with teachers on a curriculum for public schools around organizing – so if you are a teacher reading this please reach out.
I look forward to this new journey into my new niche, but not to worry, I will still do all sorts of organizing – including residential, business, time/project management, and paperless/digital organizing – just to keep things interesting!
*National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals
Lisa MalonePosted at 01:10h, 11 May
I am thrilled to read you found your niche! I am a NAPO member in Baltimore and attended a session on identifying your niche and the value I can bring to the market when I am specialized but also the revenue it can generate in return. You have inspired me not only to specialize but to also create the content needed to support it. Thank you for sharing and for all these blog posts! 🙂
Lauren MangPosted at 19:59h, 11 May
Yay! So glad you found the panel helpful. We really enjoyed putting that presentation on and were so thrilled to see several people walk away with an idea of their niche! Woo hoo! Thanks for letting me know — and best of luck with your new niche! I’m sure it’ll be very profitable.