Life After Organizing: An Interview with Hellen Buttigieg

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A photo of Hellen Buttigieg holding a crystal for hypnosis

I recently interviewed Carrie Cooper, a Professional Life & Grief Coach with roots in the organizing industry. This week I’m happy to feature Hellen Buttigieg, another long-term client who has made a major change in her business.

Hellen, can you tell my readers a bit about your time as a professional organizer?

I began my career as a Professional Organizer in 2001. It was only meant as a short-term job to pay for my Life Coach training in the US. But I found I really enjoyed it, so I did both organizing and coaching for just over a year. Then I was chosen to host Neat, the first television show in Canada to feature professional organizing. It ran for three seasons and aired globally. I continued to run my organizing business until 2023.

What was the most surprising thing you discovered while running your organizing business?

I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I was able to use the coaching techniques I learned to help my clients with their organizing.

You’ve now transitioned from professional organizing to hypnotherapy and mindset coaching. Why did you decide to make this change?

I was already doing mindset coaching under the umbrella of life coaching; however, hypnotherapy found me synchronistically. When I discovered how quickly and almost effortlessly my clients could get amazing results with hypnosis, there was no turning back. I went from decluttering homes to decluttering minds. And the funny thing is that by decluttering the mind, decluttering the home becomes so much easier. Decisions can be made almost effortlessly and obstacles just dissolve.

How did your training and experience as an organizer prepare you to become a Clinical Hypnotist and Mindset Coach?

My training and experience as an organizer helped prepare me to become a Clinical Hypnotist and Mindset Coach because I honed my communication skills and I’m able to quickly establish rapport with people from all walks of life. It also gave me the confidence required to be an effective hypnotist.

What type of services do you offer now?

I specialize in using hypnotherapy to empower individuals struggling with anxiety and low self-esteem, fostering increased confidence and self-worth.

Do you work with clients virtually or in person?

Mostly I work with clients virtually, but I will take a limited number of in-person clients (in Oakville, Ontario, Canada) by appointment.

Is your target audience the same or different than it was before?

My target audience is the same – mostly professional women who want to take control of their lives and find inner peace.

Did you run into any obstacles while you were rebranding?

Honestly, the toughest part of rebranding was letting go of a business that felt like my baby. But after over 20 years, I had to accept that my baby was all grown up and I had to let it go. I knew it was time well before that, but it wasn’t until I found a new passion that I was finally ready to cut the cord.

What is the biggest challenge you currently face in your business?

The biggest challenge I currently face in my business is educating the public and dispelling myths about hypnosis. It was the same when I began my organizing and coaching business. People just didn’t get it. Until they did. And then it really took off.

I expect the same will happen with hypnotherapy. I’m already seeing the tides turn. People are looking for alternative healing methods because what they’ve been doing just isn’t working.

Are there any specific tips or advice you would offer to others considering a change in their business model?

The best advice I can offer to others considering a change in their business model is go with your gut. If you feel it’s time to let go and move on, you need to listen to your intuition. It can feel scary to jump from the comfortable to the uncertain, but the regret you’ll feel by staying stuck is way more painful.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I love to read, create YouTube videos (because it doesn’t feel like work) and spend time playing with my grandchildren.

What else should we know about you?

When I did my hypnosis training, I met a group of amazing women and we’ve since joined forces to facilitate women’s restorative retreats. This was always a dream of mine and it just happened organically.

What was it like working with me on your new website?

Working with you on my new website was a given. You have been my virtual assistant for over two decades and I can’t imagine going to anyone else because I trust you and I know you have always been reliable and professional.

More About Hellen’s Rebrand

As Hellen mentioned, we began working together over 20 years ago, when we were POC members, and it’s been exciting for me to see her transition.

Before starting the project, she sent me links to websites that she liked, as well as color palette and font ideas to give me a sense of what she was looking for. She also provided the text content for her new site, along with her new logo, professional photographs, and selected stock photos. Having everything I needed up front, coupled with quick feedback along the way, allowed me to create this beautiful website on a timely basis.

A screenshot of Hellen Buttigieg's homepage

If you’d like to talk to me about your website, schedule a free Get to Know You Session.

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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11 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on April 4, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    Wow, what a neat new path Helen is on. I haven’t had any experience with hypnotherapy, but her results sound very encouraging. I think it is wonderful to be open to all new paths, both as professionals and as people seeking help ourselves. So fun to read about Helen’s journey here!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 4, 2024 at 1:57 pm

      It sounds like quite a change, yet a natural progression based on her experience and passions. It’s been exciting for me to watch Hellen’s journey, as I knew her before she was a TV star! 🙂

  2. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 8, 2024 at 11:08 am

    How inspiring to read about the trajectory of Hellen’s business! I love how she combined different areas of expertise and interest to move forward into this next phase. She’s still in the helping people business but is now more focused on internal than external stuff. It’s always fun reading about our colleagues and their unique stories. Thank you for sharing Hellen’s.

    And her new website looks great!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 8, 2024 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, Linda! I love learning about the different ways people combine their passions and skills to come up with exciting business ideas.

    • Avatar Hellen Buttigieg on April 8, 2024 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Linda! I really like how you put it and I agree ?, I’m still helping people but from the inside out. So fulfilling.

  3. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on April 8, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    How exciting! Clinical Hypnotist sounds interesting. Have you noticed that doing hypnotherapy to help people declutter has other benefits, like losing weight?

    • Avatar Hellen Buttigieg on April 8, 2024 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Sabrina

      Janet asked me to jump on here and answer your question. Yes, hypnosis can absolutely help people remove any subconscious blocks to decluttering. I have found that my clients can make the keep/toss decisions with more clarity…because we have removed the mental clutter first. As for weight loss, I have had success in this area with hypnosis as well, especially cravings. If you want to chat more about this, just contact me through my website.

  4. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on April 8, 2024 at 6:04 pm

    I’m so delighted to get to know more about Hellen’s new path. I’ve known Hellen for eons, though I don’t think we’ve gotten to hang out since the 2010 conference. (Janet, I think Hellen was the first to understand just how deeply my passion for Canada’s world-famous Coffee Crisp candy bar really is.)

    Before I got too far into the interview, I was already thinking, “I bet she has to do the same kind of education about hypnotherapy and life coaching as she (and we all) did back in the earlier years of professional organizing,” and there it was on the screen! And I can absolutely see how the skill sets for both coaching/hypnotherapy and organizing mesh and cross over!

    I’m fascinated by hypnotherapy and am headed over to Hellen’s site to learn more about how she uses it in coaching her clients. Anxiety and low self-esteem have tendrils reaching into all areas of life, from how people present themselves professionally to interpersonal relationships to organizing, so this definitely seems like a complementary field. The more we organizers can learn about Hellen’s efforts, the better able we would be to see how these practices might benefit our clients.

    Janet, thank you for sharing this update on our “Neat” friend and colleague, Hellen!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 10, 2024 at 3:26 pm

      I’ve published many interviews, but never with someone I’ve known as long as I’ve known Hellen, so it was a real pleasure.

  5. Avatar Julie Stobbe on April 9, 2024 at 12:03 pm

    It was very big news in the Canadian Professional Organizing industry when she did the Neat show. It helped to get the industry better known to the public. I have enjoyed reading her blogs and articles over the years and learned a lot from her. I am seeing a trend where people move from a job to become a Professional Organizer and then move on to their passion. I wonder what they learn as an organizer that teaches them skills that help them to find their passions.

    Congratulations Hellen on the new career. Thanks for inspiring many Professional Organizers

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 10, 2024 at 3:28 pm

      I’ve also enjoyed reading Hellen’s blog, and thinking back, she has often addressed some of the same issues she’s helping people with now. I love seeing how it all came together.

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