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Interview with Professional Organizer and Author Kate Martin

Kate Martin

The spotlight today is on Kate Martin, owner of Organized Joy and creator of the Joyful Business Planner. A Professional Organizers Blog Carnival Star Blogger, Kate specializes in helping families, small businesses, and especially families who run small businesses, in the Austin, TX area as well as virtually worldwide.

Kate, how did you come up with your business name?

I brainstormed a huge list of names that seemed pretty generic. Then I focused on how I wanted my clients to feel and hit upon “Organized Joy” after that. Even if I change the direction of my business in the future, I will always want them to feel joyful.

How has your business changed since you first started out?

I worked for another Professional Organizer for two years, then started my business with a partner for 1 1/2 years, and now I’ve been running everything on my own for almost three years. It’s changed a lot!

I’ve also gone from strictly residential clients to both residential and business. Plus I’ve written three books and created physical products for my clients after I realized that what they needed didn’t exist.

Other than hands-on organizing, what services or products do you offer?

The Joyful Business Planner

I teach workshops, host organizing parties, and speak at events, conferences, meetings and businesses. I also sell books I’ve written for disorganized entrepreneurs as well as filing kits for families and business owners.

Do you offer any products or services for other organizers?

I sell books I’ve written and file kits I’ve created for families and small business owners. I’ve had other organizers buy them for their clients and to use in their own business.

At what moment did you consider yourself successful?

The same week that I published my first book, I was selected to be a speaker at the NAPO 2017 Conference. Both events coinciding made me feel like the expert that I always knew I could be. So many opportunities happened because of that week and they are still rippling out into my business today.

What would you do differently if you were starting your business today?

I would “go for it” much more. I tend to get stuck in analysis paralysis and overthink blogs, website updates, and many business decisions way too much. In the beginning I worried about being professional and perfect so much so that I hid my own personality.

'If I had to do it over, I would be fun and fearless from the start.' ~ Kate MartinClick To Tweet

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about running an organizing business?

I am always surprised at what resonates with my clients and social media followers. Sometimes I write a blog, repost an article or speak at a meeting about something (I think) is life changing. People will comment or tell me later on that they didn’t hear that part at all. But the tiny, unplanned, throwaway remark I made or wrote was the spark that made them finally understand how to get organized. It’s changed how I deliver my deep thoughts – I use a lot of humor, repeat myself often in several different ways, and try to listen to their questions from every possible angle.

The Undated Joyful Business Planner

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

I have trouble delegating responsibility to others when it comes to my business, even though I promote doing just that to my clients (shh, don’t tell anyone). I’m in a position currently where I need to either be happy to stay the same size or scale up by getting help. Just this week I hired a company to help market my books so my fingers are crossed that I’m on the right path.

What’s your favorite organizing product? Why?

Without a doubt, my favorite organizing product is my label maker. I have several in fact, but my beat up, old and trusty, Brother P-Touch label maker is my favorite. I have been labeling since before I knew what a Professional Organizer was and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Don’t be surprised to see all my light switches labeled in my home – my addiction is that serious.

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

I have young children (two boys) and I run another business on the side with my husband, who also works full time. So after soccer practice, homework, grocery shopping, and networking meetings, I like to turn my computer off, shut down my phone and sleep. Oh and eat – I like doing that, too.

In about five years I hope to find time for movies and crafting and long walks again.

What professional associations or other organizations do you belong to?

I belong to NAPO and I’m an active member of NAPO Austin where I’ve been the Secretary for several years. I’m also a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Art Teacher.

Thank you so much for sharing all this great information, Kate!

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Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

15 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on October 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    So fun to get to peek behind the curtain of a fellow organizer’s story. I’m very impressed by all she’s accomplished professionally, while also rearing her children. I don’t blame her wanting to sleep! I understand her issue with delegating. That can be tough, especially for entrepreneurs who are used to having control over everything. Even when we know it is wise, it can still be hard to do.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      I agree, delegating can be hard, but once you start, you’ll be looking for more tasks you can delegate!

    • Avatar Kate Martin on October 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks Seana! Control is my #1 issue, both personally and professionally. I know it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe more sleep will help, eventually!

  2. Avatar Linda Samuels on October 30, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Kate has such great energy and love of organizing and the industry. Kudos to Kate for all of your accomplishments in such a short time. What I love most is that you are taking the best of who you are and sharing your skills and insights to help others. Bravo! I also love your sense of humor.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on October 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks Linda! I should use my energy now while I’ve still got it, right? Hopefully the humor will always be there. As a mom of little boys, I’ve got to laugh instead of crying. But at least it gives me great answers for when my clients are going through the same issues. Like creating a rock wall collection for boy bedrooms instead of lamenting all of the rocks in their pockets. At least they’re not bugs!

  3. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on October 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Great interview, Janet. Working with several small business owners, I find it common that the business owners have issues delegating. I am continuously reminding them that I can help with different services. It’s important to remember that we can’t do it all and to make sure we have a supportive group to rely on. You are not alone, Kate. Best of luck to you and your business.

    • Avatar Kate Martin on October 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks for your support Sabrina! I very, very much need to delegate more of, well, everything. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one. Maybe my next step is to find a networking group of fellow control freaks who can help each other out. Our motto could be, “We know we need more help, but we don’t want it. Come network with us. We’re fun, we promise.”

      • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        That may not be such a bad idea, Kate!

        • Avatar Kate Martin on October 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm

          It actually doesn’t sound bad, right? There will always be a robust set of volunteers to help out because everyone would want to do everything themselves!

  4. Liana George Liana George on November 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the interview Janet and Kate! It was great getting to know Kate better after having the pleasure of meeting her at the POC Conference earlier this month. She is an inspiration to us and proof that you can evolve and be successful with grit, determination and joy!

    • Avatar Kate Martin on November 13, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Thanks so much for the kind words Liana! POC Conference was a lot of fun and it was so nice to see the other blogging organizers in Janet’s group there. Liana, I can’t wait to see you again at the NAPO Houston Regional Conference. Maybe we can get some of the Canadians to attend?

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on November 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      It’s so exciting that two NAPO members met at a POC Conference – so sorry I wasn’t there.

      The NAPO Houston Regional Conference sounds interesting. I hope you’ll post the details in the Blogging Organizers group – or maybe even write a guest post for Your Organizing Business to help spread the word!

      • Avatar Kate Martin on November 14, 2017 at 9:19 am

        I nominate Liana to either write or find someone on the Houston board to write a blog about it. That sounds great! I’m excited to attend something that doesn’t require a plane trip. Although the POC Conference was wonderful, it was a hike from Texas!

        More info about the Conference here: https://napohouston.com/napo-regional-conference-2018/

        • Avatar Janet Barclay on November 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

          Thanks for the link, Kate!

          What do you say, Liana? 😉

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