Professional life hacker
Name of business: Organised & Simple
Creator: Patty Cruz-Fouchard
Years in business: 3
Specialty: Productivity & Organisation Expert
Key to success: Love the challenge, you’ll find a solution
Biggest challenge for businesses: Getting overwhelmed by the clutter of objects, information and activities
Greatest asset: “Me and my positive outlook in life!”
A professional organiser is not a title that is intuitively understood this side of the big pond.
However, the problem these experts solve – is.
Time dripping between the fingers because there are too many emails to sort through to get to the important ones? Striving to maximise every opportunity and double booking yourself? Aiming to leave in good time,
but spending additional five minutes looking for car keys and cutting it very close – again. These are the symptoms of dysfunctionality in our lives. That is what a professional organiser deals with.
Patty Cruz-Fouchard is a pioneer of this discipline.
Method in the madness
There is a National Association of Professional Organisers and in the UK and it has only 150 members – so far at least. It’s unfortunate for those of us who could do with a few tips on how to act more effectively.
However, it’s good for Patty, as she finds herself carrying the banner about the subject, combining education and practice.
Need → solution
As it’s such a niche profession, Patty did not just wake up one morning with a thought of becoming
a professional organiser. It’s not even the passion for efficient proficiency, but the appreciation for the quality of time that led her to this concept.
She had a corporate career focused on liaising between finance departments and managers. Already, understanding project objectives and efficiency were crucial for her to be successful. Then a new factor appeared in her life – a growing family. Now her problem solving, analytical skills really came into play.
“If I want to really continue doing this and be good at it I need to send least possible amount of time in the office, but still do a good, really good job and not waste time; and also when I’m at home with my kids, which is very little I need it to be quality time. So I can’t be putting things away all the time. I need to find ways to make my life easier.” says Patty.
She describes herself as being obsessed with finding ways of making things better and not wasting time.
And that is hacking!
Shine, without burning out
Worry not, she’s not a robot. Patty just wanted to make time to spend time with family, run marathons, social meetups. She just wasn’t willing to give up anything she really wanted to do. And she wanted to protect herself from the risk of burning out. So she found a way.
Initially, Patty did not intend to become a professional organiser. After leaving corporate world she worked with a coach and it was during her research on the original idea of creating a relocation business when she came across the professional organising industry. As she knew she wanted to work with people, this turned out to be the perfect outlet for her skills.
She trained, she qualified and now she practices. The training in this area is US-based and the industry has been recognised there since the 1980. Patty, in the true spirit of innovation, is personalising it to the UK market.
She works in three areas: space, time and information. It’s not about cleaning and making things look pretty, that’s just a part of the process. The goal of the exercise is to improve functionality of the three areas by introducing SYSTEMS and ROUTINES. Patty gives her clients tools to make their lives organised and simple.
She gives them the ability to retake control over time.
Ready, set, go
However, to make it work – you have to be read to make the change. She recognises that people need to feel the need themselves. That is why there are no gift vouchers on her website. Others can’t make you want to change, that would be wasting time and that’s something she does not do.
Personal approach is key to success of this venture – both in the approach to the client and in development of the business. Patty understands it very well and the first thing she asks is ‘What is your vision? Why did you hire me?’ Then she introduces bespoke strategies that lead to fulfilling this vision.
When it comes to growing her business, she’s an active networker, workshop leader and a speaker. This combination works well as she’s really a genuinely nice person who is approachable and has this bubbly enthusiasm. I really hope that one day we’ll see her in a tv show a la ’60 minute makeover’. For now, if you want to work with her, you have to approach her directly.
Why Organised & Simple is my brand hero
I am impressed by Patty’s understanding of the market. Modern society breeds generations of overachieves, who are told to rely on themselves and perform. Hence, we accumulate tasks. White noise of information
is ubiquitous and we do not want to miss out. Hence, we accumulate data. She brought my attention to the historical context as well. Europe is scarred with wars and conflicts and our grandparents were taught to collect and keep useful items. Then items became cheap and widely available, yet the habit prevailed. Hence, we accumulate stuff.
She knows that each of us have different reasons for behaving the way we do. She makes a point
of discovering our stories and giving us tools to make the following chapters even more impressive.
Making pens and paper easy to find when we need them may also be a part of the process!
That is why Patty is my brand hero.
My lessons from this conversation:
- your business is about people
- client needs to be ready to take action to make the most of the solution
- choose your priorities and find an expert to help you with everything else
Further reading from Patty:
- Kim Kiyosaki, for the approach to women’s financial education
Elements of a strong brand:
space to grow
& making a difference to people’s lives
Don’t limit yourself, anything is possible
Find out more about Organised & Simple:
- Visit the website organisedandsimple.com
- Follow them on Twitter @OrganisedPatty
- Watch them on YouTube: OrganisedandSimple
- Find Patty on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/pattycruzfouchard
- Discover them on Facebook facebook.com/OrganisedSimple
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My name is Klem de Sternberg Stojalowska and Inc Element is my creation. I am a brand communication specialist. I learned my craft working on the creative side of advertising agencies.
I loved being a copywriter, as it included not only writing headlines and paragraphs of text, but also cooperating with designers and generating ideas for promotional campaigns. I also worked with strategists on launching new products and developing new brands.
Working in a team was always key. That includes cooperation with the client. Clarity on the requirements is crucial to meeting expectations and solutions that work. Whether it’s creating a headline or digging into the personality of a business to uncover its strongest selling point – it always is about serving a purpose of strengthening business’ position on the market.
The biggest lesson I learned from the big corporate clients is for communication to be effective. All efforts have to be aligned with brand’s values and the messages need to be consistent.
But being coherent does not mean repeating the same words and images all the time. It means designing messages in line with business’ spirit and goals – they need to be engaging and fit the chosen media platforms.
That is why my team and I begin with analysing brands first and designing solutions second. Understanding the starting point for the client’s brand is what makes or breaks any idea. That’s the
foundation of a successful strategy, one that we build on. It’s imperative to get it right. But that’s not all – getting the right image of the target market is equally important. It influences the type of language we are going to use to reach your audience.
This is what I know.
This is what I love.
This is what I do best.
My background helps with just that. I have a master’s degree in sociology, which puts me in a great position to analyse audiences and develop messages that resonate with them.
For me branding is all about clarity of messages, aligning communication with business’ values and using language (both visual and verbal) that audiences respond to – finding your next ideal client.