How To Expand Your Business When You Don’t Want To Give Up Control

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Janice Russell presenting at MARCPO 2013

Earlier this year, we enjoyed a series of guest posts about the NAPO 2013 Conference. It was so well-received that I put some feelers out to see who might be willing to do something similar for the MARCPO and POC conferences this fall. Today I’m happy to welcome Janet Schiesl, who starts off this new series with an overview of a session presented last weekend by Janice Russell.


On October 19th, 2013 I attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for Professional Organizers (also known at MARCPO) in Bethesda Maryland. This is a one day event for new and experienced organizers hosted by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). This year, in the lineup, was a workshop that was a must-not-miss for me, How To Expand Your Business When You Don’t Want To Give Up Control. The presenter was Janice Russell, CPO-CD, COC. She is a Productivity Strategist and owner of Minding Your Matters®.

I am interested in this topic because I have already expanded my business to include employees, but since I have little prior management experience, I am always looking for tips and information on ways I can better my business for myself and my team members.

Janice began her workshop by laying out the objectives for the session and then she jumped right into what I think stops most organizers from growing their business with employees – Growth Gridlock! Everyone feels some fear of failure when it’s time to step out of the box, whether it’s in the form of loss of control or taking on added responsibilities. There is of course the added issue of money and the lack of business models to follow as well.

Several decision points were explored in the workshop. Should you use independent contractors or hire employees? How will you compensate employees and how will you charge for their service? How will you handle money collection? Janice then moved on to the more administrative issues such as human resource considerations, training of new staff and the intricacies of running a larger organizing business day-to-day.

Also covered were the basics of delegating tasks (something a lot of us type-As struggle with). What tasks can you delegate to someone else? What skills does each staff member have? Who carries the authority and accepts the responsibility? What tasks can be delegated to others: maintaining the bookkeeping, creating newsletters and answering phones? Janice also suggested that you can learn from reviewing situations to learn what worked and what didn’t work.

The workshop ended on a personal note with “Things I Wish I’d Known in Advance”. It was great to hear of some of Janice’s “learning moments”, since we all have them and can maybe avoid similar situations by learning from her. She spoke of the gray areas and generational differences that she had encountered. One point I appreciated was when Janice gave us an assignment. She asked everyone to write down 1 to 3 tasks you need to complete to expand your business. This was right up my alley. I am a planner, but also somewhat of a procrastinator and I could easily write down 3 things that have been on my desk waiting to be completed. I think all will bring me more business, but I have been unable to move forward on any of them. By writing them down I feel more committed to moving forward. Finally, we were left with a list of resources to support us in leadership learning.

After this workshop, I am eager to read Janice’s soon-to-be released book Moving Beyond Me: How To Expand Your Business When You Don’t Want To Give Up Control.

Janice Russell is the developer of the Flexible Method™ and she and her team at Minding Your Matters help clients achieve “flow”. Janice is a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and a Certified Organizer Coach, also a Golden Circle Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and Program Mentor Coach for the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). She is the author of Get Organized This Year!, 20 Time-Tested Travel Tips and How to Pack to Avoid Luggage Fees. You can find her at Minding Your Matters.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet Schiesl, CPO© is the owner of Basic Organization. She has grown from a solo-practitioner to a team of organizers who specialize in big jobs with a tight time frame. She is the Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and a member of the NAPO Board of Directors. Janet has been honored by her colleagues in receiving the Professional Organizer of the Year award and the Volunteer of the Year award from the Washington DC chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

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  1. Avatar Margarita Ibbott ~ on October 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is never easy to take that leap to be BIGGER, BETTER, more successful. Jane had some good points to ponder!

  2. Avatar Josh Trenser on November 4, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Janet, thanks for sharing your experience with us!!!

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