Interview with Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer and President of Best Results Organizing.

Tell us about your business.
As a Certified Professional Organizer®, I work with overwhelmed residential, home-office and small business clients to help them turn the chaos in their homes, offices, schedules and lives into serenity by introducing new organizing skills and systems.

Although I delight in working with all aspects of organizing and time management, I really LOVE helping clients organize their paper and time. It gives me a thrill to help people find their joy by finding their desks, and teaching them to maintain their new, more organized environments. The most important thing to know about my professional style is that I am all about reducing the stress and guilt related to disorganization. That means my clutter-battling arsenal is filled with empathy, silly analogies and hope.

In addition to working one-on-one with clients, I also write articles, give seminars and appear on Chattanooga-area television, offering organizational advice.

For readers at a distance who are unable to work with me personally, but who find themselves drowning in paper, missing deadlines and finding their tasks are falling through the cracks, I dry their tears and say “Tickle Yourself Organized” with my special report, available at:

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

For twelve years prior to becoming a professional organizer, I was a television program director in the fast-paced, hectic world of local broadcast TV.  Working in television on 9/11 brought home to me, on dozens of satellite monitors side by side, the fragility of life and the profound need to have as much joy as possible, and spend as little time as possible apologizing for and acquiescing to someone else’s standards.

Being a business owner means setting and living up to my own (high) standards, and never again having to cringe or compromise my ethics or my ideals.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My greatest influence in life, and therefore in business, has been my mother, who has told me, from early childhood, “I’m proud of you before you even get out of bed in the morning.”  This unconditional support and belief in me has given me wings to take chances and soft landing ground to regroup. My college and graduate school professors, colleagues in television and professional organizing, and all of my friends provide a sea of positive expectations, but my mother’s exuberance of supportive spirit is the wind in my sails.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
A client contacted me regarding an onslaught of paper clutter, including a decade-long problem with her spouse’s tax filings. When we began, the family had thousands of pages of papers in various rooms, completely unsorted and unsystematized, and each month brought mounting bills from the Internal Revenue Service.  As a result of our work together, over time, we reviewed, purged, sorted and organized every  bank and brokerage statement, W2, 1099 and charitable giving receipt for a decade, making it possible for a CPA to quickly and easily handle their filings, and helping them trade a high six-digit tax bill for a comfortable refund.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
You may be able to do it all, but not all at the same time.  Focus on your strengths and apply them to your priorities, and learn to delegate, whether that means outsourcing or letting a loved one set the table the “wrong” way. Know that being “busy” merely reflects unbridled activity, but being focused (which may appear to others as if you’re doing nothing) is the key to accomplishing your goals.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I’ve learned that it’s my business, so if I’m not happy with a procedure, a client, a vendor or even myself, there’s nobody better suited to making the hard decisions and the positive changes than I am.  I’ve learned that if I do nothing differently, I’ll get nothing different.  As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed? 

As a professional organizer, the National Association of Professional Organizers < > is invaluable to me for providing continuing education and support, but I’d also like to recommend The National Association of Women Business Owners as a source of social, educational and economic guidance for  women business owners.

I’ve found Biana Babinsky’s Marketing Salad <> to be an indispensable source of advice on modern marketing techniques and sound business advice.

From a productivity standpoint, one of the best tools I can recommend is a tickler file < >, often labeled in office supply departments as “EveryDay® Letter Size File & Sorter, 1-31 & Jan-Dec”. I think tickler files are so intrinsic to productivity that I wrote my first best-selling ebook, Tickle Yourself Organized, on how to use one effectively.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I want to share my expertise with a larger section of my target audience by increasing my offerings of ebooks and starting a series of teleclasses to help overwhelmed individuals attain a greater sense of control over their surroundings, their schedules and their lives.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Clarity of thought is a main benefit of clarity in your surroundings.  If you are surrounded by clutter in your space or schedule, the sense of overwhelm acts like plaque, clogging the arteries of your momentum.  If you are struggling with disorganization, even if it’s been a lifelong struggle, working with member of the National Association of Professional Organizers < >, can help you achieve the clarity you seek.
How can our readers find you online? for my blog, Paper Doll to sign up for my monthly newsletter, Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World, and get a BONUS GIFT, Organize Your Way With A Pretend Career Day !

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