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the resolve podcast

Episode 99: Finding Your Platform + Intentional Mindset Shifts with Jen Kilbourne Obermeier

Feb 2

In the last two years, organizers have discovered that there are lots of ways to help clients–and sometimes, even for a business that primarily helps people inside their house, organizers have been able to move to find an audience online successfully. Today we are bringing you an interview that Jen Kilbourne Obermeier did with Carly Tizzano of The Resolve Podcast, and it is FILLED with insight for organizers about finding your audience, and important mindset shifts. 

Carly is a member of our Inspired Organizer® community and was an organizer for years when she discovered that she had a passion for helping people set and achieve their goals. Now she is a coach specifically for goals and hosts her own podcast, The Resolve Podcast, where she interviewed Jen. We are excited to offer you a replay of their conversation. 

They discuss business changes during the pandemic, where to start when you want to launch a product or business, + what to do when family + friends don’t understand what you are working on. Jen also shares about the woo-meets-science book she is reading!


Carly’s website (

The Resolve Podcast (

Information on Inspired Organizer (

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Carly Tizzano: It’s just so beautiful to see what you can do when you’re acting from that position of caring about your people and wanting to be. It’s something that I tell myself all the time, especially if I’m having a hard day or trying to get through a blog post, I really am not in the mood to write is that it’s not about me.

It’s about my people and that’s why I do it. And that always just instantly shifts my perspective and reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing. And of course, the business that I have is the business that I want. And I’m building a life that I love and that’s part of it too. But ultimately at the end of the day, I’m not doing it just for myself.

I’m doing it for my people who are out there that I want to. 

Melissa Klug: Hey pro organizers. It’s your podcast co-host Melissa. And we are bringing you a special one today. Recently, Jen sat down with a friend of ours. Carly Tizzano, Carly was professional organizer for a long time. Carly is a part of our Inspired Organizer community. But what she realized at some point in her organizing career was that she was really, really energized by teaching people about goal setting.

And she decided that this was really where her calling was. And so now she helps people as a new year’s resolution coach. Although she actually helps people all 365 days of the year, not just in January, but she helps people set goals and achieve goals. Those goals can be big goals, small goals, professional, personal no matter what you are wanting to set a goal for Carly is an awesome coach.

And it is just a great reminder that our organizing careers can take us in many different directions, but Carly and Jen are talking today about so many things that are valuable for organizers. I’m not even going to tell you anymore. I just want you to listen to their conversations.

So good. I have listened to it three times already, and I have taken different things away from it every single time. And I know that you will too. 

So let’s get started with Carly Tizzano.

Her podcast is called The Resolve Podcast. I will link it in the show notes. She has great guests. She is a great interviewer, so I highly recommend adding it to your podcast repertoire, but here is Carly’s interview with our very own Jen.

You’re listening to the Pro Organizer Studio podcast with Melissa Klug and Jen Obermeier. Thank you so much for joining in our mission is to broaden the horizons of savvy business women in the organizing industry by instilling confidence and inspiring authenticity. You’ll gain new insight into strategies designed specifically for professional organizers.

So now let’s get started.

Jen Kilbourne: So my first solo business venture was starting a professional organizing business that was back in 2014. Wow. And a couple of years later, I continued that journey by helping other professional organizers with some of the business aspects of all that goes on behind the scenes, because that part is a lot more complicated than helping people with their closet and like knowing, okay, how do I do all this like adulting stuff and how do I charge and how do I keep up with invoices and how do I.

And to do the marketing and the backend and selling clients like that. That part is really scary and overwhelming for a lot of people. So what started as just, almost like a side project, which was, if this just helps one person, then it’ll feel great, which it did. It became my new full-time business venture.

So that website and platform is called pro organizer studio. That really started as an idea of just, I wanted to help other organizers build their vision for what they wanted their business to be, because this is an interesting industry that has so many ways of being successful. I first thought, oh, I’ll just help other people do their websites, but it became much more than that.

But the word studio kind of eludes to designing what you wanted the business to be like. So, yeah. So now today in 2021 pro organizer studio, Full fledged, business and design and all kinds of resources for professional organizers. And yeah, I’m proud of that. I’m proud of how that journey has evolved. So that’s the, in a nutshell version of.

Carly Tizzano: Yeah, and you’ve done everything. You have a podcast now you started out doing Facebook lives. And I remember when I first found you watching all of the replays of those on YouTube binge watching. That’s what I watched late at night for relaxing and entertainment, and just so much education and knowledge that you had to share.

And I know cause I’m part of your inspired organizer community about the course and the membership and how you’ve gone in and now doing. Um, it’s just amazing to see how it’s all evolved and led you to where you are today. And especially in the last couple of years, I remember back at the beginning of COVID, how you really supported our community of organizers and all the amazing things you did there, but you also went on and you did all kinds of Facebook, live videos, really educating people, helping them figure out what this transition was going to look like in their business.

And I think you were really the best person to do that as your business kind of evolved. And you learned all the things you had, all the tools. Really everyone with online business at that 

Jen Kilbourne: time. Oh my gosh. Carly is an honor that you were a part of that audience. And as an honor that, you know, feel, it definitely felt like a whirlwind to me, but the fact that it was helpful, like I said, even when I was sharing about online business tips and not just for professional organizers, but for anybody who at the beginning of COVID needed to figure out, like, how do I start putting content online?

That was a goal. But now. I got that same mindset of, okay, I’m just going to, I’m going to jump on Facebook live, which is what I do best. And if this just helps one person, it will be worth it. And if they share it with somebody else. Great. Yeah. So that certainly was one way that I felt like I could be helpful at a time when that was very uncertain.

So I appreciate you watching those two. You definitely 

Carly Tizzano: were helpful to me. Uh, just hundreds of other people. So COVID was one of those events that certainly some people are coming. A lot of us did not, and it was the perfect transition point for a lot of people to either move a business that they had online, or maybe take an idea that they’d had wiggling in the back of their mind and turn it into an online business.

 How do people know that is the right next step, how do they know when it’s time to make that transition to something online or to start that online thing that they really think they might want to?

Jen Kilbourne: Yeah, I can definitely answer from my point of view, when I had the idea for creating pro organizer studio, which was. A fully online business. It was a little bit back before it was cool. I don’t know if it’s still cool. It’s still cool now. But yeah, it was definitely a huge upsurge of interest in it when everybody was working from home.

But rewind back to 20 14, 20 15, I was the person who was like, okay, this is not going to work. Like I want to be able to work from anywhere. I want to be able to travel and not have somebody tell me how many vacation days I can take per year. I do think that the whole image of like somebody literally working on a laptop at the beach, like on the beach is a little bit too glamour, but I love the concept of.

Yeah, like I can be on vacation and I can, I can take calls or I can work on people’s websites or whatever it was. I was thinking at that time, I just thought this has to be a way that would give me some more flexibility so that I could do all the things that I wanted to do. So if you’re hearing that desire in you, it probably sounds a lot, like I don’t want to be stuck to a certain place.

I want to be able to. Work with clients that are not only solely in my location. Like maybe you live in a smaller city and this town has in big enough for you. That is what it feels like to have that realization that you can have a business that is online and that you can have friends and clients and colleagues all over the world.

So does fall into that camp. 

Carly Tizzano: They are really resonating with what you’re saying, where do 

Jen Kilbourne: they start? What are the. Here’s the thing, anyone who’s thinking of starting an online business has surely. Been an audience or a client of someone who already has some type of online business, whether you have a favorite home decor blogger, or you follow like a certain coach on Instagram, like you have seen other people doing it.

So if you have seen other people do. Then you have some examples probably of the types of things that really resonate with you. And, and the thing that I think is really important and helps the whole process be less overwhelming is that you don’t have to figure out like, all right, what do I know or have that a hundred thousand followers are going to be answered?

No, don’t even start there, start with if you were in your own shoes, just like even a couple of years ago or 10 years ago, it doesn’t matter. Who is the type of person that you would have liked to come across online? What is the online course that you wish you would have had and then look around and say, okay, is someone else already doing something similar?

Because that’s a good thing that shows. There is a market for it, but also not to be immediately intimidated by the fact that there might be a lot of other people out there who have a similar idea or product, but they may have a completely different personality, a completely different journey. They look completely different.

People really resonate with a lot of different things. So I think you really have to figure out like how your own story. Is going to impact people who were just like you a few years ago before you made whatever transformation, it doesn’t even have to be like something life-changing like you lost a hundred pounds.

It can be something as simple as I learned how to set a better habit in this one area. And I’ve been so consistent with it now for so many years. That now I can see what a huge impact those small daily changes have made. Anything that, you know, for sure that when you were out there looking, or you were looking for a blog about X, Y, and Z, and you just never confined it.

Now you get the opportunity to be that person. So I think that’s the place to start is to ask yourself, who would I have needed a few years ago and how can I be that or create that committee. That’s so many 

Carly Tizzano: great intentional mindset shifts. Certainly one that I know a lot of people come up against is when they see someone else doing something they want to do throwing up their hands and saying, oh.

Someone else is already doing that. I can’t do it. And then the other one is, especially if you get into the blogs and the people. Market to help you start an online business and they sell you the courses and the programs you’ll come up with a lot of people telling you to create your business plan and to come up with your ten-year plan and what you’re saying, but really not needing to do that.

If anything, looking to your past, looking to what you already know and starting there. I think that’s, we certainly know that stuff. So it’s a much more secure place to start 

Jen Kilbourne: from. And I think if you really want to, I would say this is a little bit of a hack. If you will. If you can figure out something that you believe is important to you about why you have been able to be successful in this particular area.

And maybe that thing that you believe is like slightly controversial or it’s different than what everybody else is saying. And you’re like, I know that I’m not the only one thinking it, but I’m willing to be the one person that says it. You will find your people. Real fast, because everybody will say when they start hearing your content, whether and hearing whether that’s audio video, but your blogs that you write, whatever they’re going to be like, oh, she gets it.

This is my, that was the interesting experience that I had that I didn’t really know. I didn’t know that it was a hack. I just honestly was like, you know what? This is what I have experienced as. Truth in my business. And no one else is talking about this. And so that’s why I felt like, again, going back to what I said, I was like, this just helps one person.

Great. If everybody else hates me, not a big deal, they don’t know me right now. Anyway. So it did help propel or get the momentum going forward and got me enough positive feedback about like, thank you so much for saying this, or you really cleared up something that it has. Using for me for a long time.

Like those types of feedback, once you get that, and once you find those people and they’re like, talk more about this, or now I have this question, they’re going to feed you those content ideas automatically. So you’re not just sitting there. Okay. What do I say next? But all right, next, what do I do next?

It’s going to, it’s going to be a conversation. And so even though when you’re thinking about starting an online business, if you’re in that stage of, we haven’t even quite gotten there yet, what am I going to talk about? What am I going to ultimately sell? How am I going to help people? How am I going to transition my.

Online when nobody knows me, like I’ve already been doing something in person and nobody knows anything online, the things that you’re not going to be alone or talking to yourself for very long before, there will be people who talk back to you. Like it’s going to start to feel conversational and like a community faster than you would.

Yeah, that’s something that 

Carly Tizzano: I actually really loved going back to watch your old videos on YouTube. I don’t even know that they’re up anymore, but since you were doing live videos, as time went on and the video series progressed, and you talked about your own experiences and a lot of things that you did unique and different from everyone else in the professional organizing industry.

And you started to create these connections and relationships with people who. At the time, we’re just a little name in your chat box that you began to converse with. And some of those people still now in your community and 

Jen Kilbourne: even better. My wrist, all my real friends came from those chat box. Yeah. 

Carly Tizzano: Most of them, I have never met, never had any personal connection with, but I can still see their name in our community and say, oh yeah, I remember.

10 years ago, almost when you were chatting with Jen about X, Y, Z thing. And it’s just, it’s so much fun to see 

Jen Kilbourne: that. Thank you. Yeah, no, I do keep those old videos. The old videos are up. I transitioned after again, like I said, online business one. Cool. At that time, Facebook live was very new. And I did discover that I had a talent for talking at length that I had no idea I had before.

So it was like, okay. I had found my medium, but what really helped was launching a podcast helps to be able to play. Plan content to have guests. So it weren’t dealing with like technical glitches by trying to have interviews on Facebook live. It was challenging at the time. So moving over to the podcast, now we publish podcast audio, like on your regular podcasting platforms, but also bring that in on the YouTube channel so people can listen where they’re used to already subscribing to you.

So, yeah. And maybe that’s a question that you want to ask next about finding a medium that does work for you in order to start that conversation with people and start building those relationships. Yeah, I love that. Let’s talk about that. Yeah. Okay. So I am very passionate about this because there’s so many types of social media and online content that I do not enjoy creating or being a part of.

So like I mentioned, having Facebook live the way that I committed at the start of the online business. Not really knowing how it will develop from there, but I’ve been now that I have hindsight is 2020, like, like everything is, but I didn’t know what was going to happen if I was said, okay, I’m going to do our Facebook live every Tuesday at 9:00 PM.

But what, what began to grow out of that? Like you said, are people who are starting to talk back to you and me realizing, I don’t really know. Writing blog content. I’m a verbal processor. I did not know that before I started online business. So it’s really funny for people to assume that I have a lot of public speaking experience because that’s really not true.

And so you will learn some things about yourself along the way, in terms of what, how you best express yourself and how you enjoy doing it. Cause I think that’s like a huge part of it is if you’re not enjoying it, this is not going to be. It’s not going to be a fun way for you to, for you to continue to develop.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. 

Carly Tizzano: I guess I’ve been on in this space long enough that I know which platforms I like, which mediums I like, which, which I, most certainly don’t. So is the best way for people to pull on what they already know about themselves and then guess, and start there or just to try everything.

Jen Kilbourne: What would you say. Oh, that’s a great question. I wouldn’t say you have to try everything. I certainly tried a few different things and podcasting again, has become something that at that time was it wasn’t as big of a thing or at least I wasn’t listened very many podcasts, so I didn’t have a lot of awareness about it.

And I think it’s important when I think that most people don’t realize that. You can create a lot of different types of content without having to reinvent the wheel every time. Let’s say, for example, that you love writing, and you’re a great writer, so you can write an article or you can write a blog post, and then you can hit record and literally read what you just wrote and record that as a podcast.

And. On YouTube or publish it on your podcast platform. And if you would rather die than do something that was on live video, you don’t ever have to try that, but you can take your thoughts the best way that you get them out in the best way that you are ultimately providing value to people, because that is what it’s about.

And you can recreate that into a lot of different things. So they call that content repurposing. And that, that concept will definitely say, we’ll say short of life-changing, I’m doing the whole online. Very life-changing but realizing that I did not also have to then go and. Right from scratch. When I have all of this audio content, like literally hundreds of hours of audio content that I can get transcribed and then clean that up and turn it into like very readable blog posts.

So little tips like that have really freed me from the. You know, idea that I have to try everything or do everything. And I think too, that another thing to consider is not only what you are enjoying, creating, whether that’s writing, talking, doing a DIY video tutorial, if that’s what suits your audience is that you do have to think about what suits your audience.

So if you’re a home. Enthusiast. And that is your that’s going to be your thing then you’d have to ask, do I really need to write articles on LinkedIn? Probably not because the people who I’m trying to reach are looking for stuff on Pinterest. So investing a little bit more in the visual side of your business is going to be more important than for someone who’s got.

Business tips. So anywhere that you have video or a lot of picture content is going to be something that’s important for that audience. So I think little things like that are really helpful too, so that you’re not thinking that you have to do all nine platforms and then, but then leave room for like surprises, obviously like Tik TOK.

Five or six years ago when I was starting an online business. And even in the past year, I know that it went from being something that quote, unquote, only teenagers do to now grown women are like, these are my people. I love the humor. I love the short, funny stuff. And now you’re finding what, you have like serious business owners who take tick-tock seriously. And they create like those short kind of fun pieces of content that aren’t meant to necessarily give you the whole entire formula for success in a day. But it does help them build a connection with their audience that might not have ever considered before.

Yeah. So that’s the other thing about online businesses? The apps and the technology and the trends are always changing. So it’s fun to leave room for the unknown, I think. Yeah. I think some people 

Carly Tizzano: find that scary, but when you have an online business, it’s okay to step back and to view it as fun. Instead, it’s going to help you probably a lot in the long run to be willing to go with the flow.

And maybe your 


Jen Kilbourne: platform hasn’t even been in bed. That’s so true. Okay. I love that thought. I love that thought shared so 

Carly Tizzano: many great tips. Are there any other practical tips or mindset shifts that come to mind when you think about people who want to start an online 

Jen Kilbourne: business? Oh my gosh. I have so many that I don’t even know where to start, but like I said, I did.

My entire knowledge base about online business last year during COVID. And I did it just through a free Facebook live series. I think this is, it was like my mental outlet at that time. Right. When my kids schools shut down and I was at home and I’m like, okay, like I really want to help people. Cause a lot of people, all of a sudden were like, Oh, now I need to do something online.

And I just thought, I want to simplify this for people, because I knew that there would be a ton of people going, like in Googling for the first time, like how to create an online course. How do I create an online coaching program? How do I get serious about finally finding virtual clients?

And I was just like, if I can just add some really practical. Knowledge 

but yeah, during the initial shutdown last year, I did a Facebook live. Series that does dive deep into a lot of tips and tricks and that I’m not continuing to add to it. It’s just like my legacy COVID project. So that is still on Facebook. It’s under Jen Kilborne Obermeyer vlog cast. And I just made up the word wild cast because I was like, it’s like a video blog pod.

And it’s live so people don’t expect it to be super polished. They can have that back and forth conversation with me where they asked a lot of his questions. So all of that content is still there. And it’s really good if you guys do want to get any more tips and tricks, and really dive into like the details.

And I didn’t want anybody to feel like they had to pay me or pay anyone to say. How do I do this? Or what is it that I’m good at it? I wanted people to feel like they had a clear vision of what they wanted to do before they started paying for a course about marketing online or a course about how to create courses.

Of course, those are out there. Cause I was like, I’m never going to be that person who wants to create another business about that. But I thought, yeah, if anything from my experience can be helpful. I just wanted to share that. So I would say, yeah, like that almost is my number one tip is that you can get.

For free. The university of YouTube is a real thing. Go onto YouTube and look for videos about your question because somebody has made it. And that it’s really good information and they’re not charging for it. So start there before you feel like, oh, this is so overwhelming and I need to pay thousands of dollars for courses about how to have an online business.

I have reinvested a lot of money back into my business, but I did not. At the beginning. I did. I have money to buy a course about how to create I learned from YouTube videos and got the ball rolling with that. And then I just would say, let yourself learn more about you and your audience and how you want your vision to develop over time before you invest money to ask somebody the question of, Hey, what should my vision be?

Essentially, that’s what you’re asking when you’re like, tell me what to do. Tell me how to do this. How successful I can be. I really think you’ll get the most out of your, out of your process by figuring some of those things out by just doing it. And I know that’s really scary, but that was what my experience was.

Is it just got on Facebook live and started talking, started the conversation, see who taught. Yeah, that’s so true. 

Carly Tizzano: Those are so many great tips and they definitely should check out all of your videos if anyone’s considering starting an online business and kind of the overarching tip that I pulled out of everything you said is when you come at your business or really your life in general, from a place of service and serving your people and talking about what you’re passionate about, you really can’t go wrong because you just showed up.

So consistently giving hundreds and hundreds of hours. Free content, sharing your perspective and opinion and your insights and all that you’ve learned. And you have built such a strong community from that and reach so many people and help them build the businesses that have really changed their life.

And then in turn has helped change other people’s lives. It’s just so beautiful to see what you can do when you’re acting from that position of caring about your people and wanting to be. It’s something that I tell myself all the time, especially if I’m having a hard day or trying to get through a blog post, I really am not in the mood to write is that it’s not about me.

It’s about my people and that’s why I do it. And that always just instantly shifts my perspective and reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing. And of course, the business that I have is the business that I want. And I’m building a life that I love and that’s part of it too. But ultimately at the end of the day, I’m not doing it just for myself.

I’m doing it for my people who are out there that I want to. 

Jen Kilbourne: Absolutely. And that is really true. Pro organizer studio has been going strong for five years and it still is hard for me to wrap my head around, like people who know me that I don’t know. And for people to say, this has helped me in ways that you can’t even understand it because 

again, I started in that place of the mental mindset was I want to be the person that I wish would have existed when I was out there Googling and piecing stuff together. But I also had that mindset of, if this only helps one person, that’ll be amazing. So the fact that it has helped one person is just like, what it still is.

I didn’t go into it thinking. That this would be my full-time job or that it would even really make money. I just thought it’ll be what it is. And we’ll see how it goes. I think I’ve stayed focused on what I can do to get better or improving what I offer or improving or learning the technical skills that I needed in order to do all this technical stuff, which I know is intimidating enough for a lot of people.

So that for a while may be your journey, which is. I’m consistently able to load onto the websites and do what I need to do in order to share the content. And in order to have a professional presence online, I certainly have some of those coming into it, but that has also been a major confidence booster.

 It gives you that momentum to just keep going. And like you said, on those days, when it’s. And you don’t necessarily feel like you’re super passionate about writing the pose that was on your calendar that you scheduled for yourself. It’s like, Hey, now that I have people who actually are listening and talking back, it’s a lot easier to stay consistent with what you got.

Yeah, that’s so true. 

Carly Tizzano: So since 2014, having an online business has become much more commonplace. It’s something that it seems like everyone and their brother’s dog is doing. So maybe it doesn’t quite apply so much anymore, but I know that back in 2014, and even now as a coach, specifically, what I do, there are people, friends, and family members who will come to me and they just don’t understand.

They don’t get it. If some of them just don’t understand how Facebook ads work and other people don’t understand why you’d pay for coaching to begin with. So there are certainly those people out there who are your community, and you’re going to find them and connect with them. But what about the people who are not, and sometimes the ones who are closest to us who just don’t 

Jen Kilbourne: get.

I feel like I feel strong. Usually people aren’t like out to get you or pick you apart. It just usually will be that they just don’t have a frame of reference for it or they don’t understand it. So the good thing though, is now is that because it is more common that you can say, Hey friends, you know how we love that person on Instagram?

That is the wellness coach and she shares all these tips and anything, I didn’t want to tell you this, but I started my own thing like that and she’ll be like, oh cool. But if you can connect it with something they already know, then that’s great. I don’t think, for example, when I think back about it, that my parents, like I said, Hey, so I started this online course and more than one person signed up for it.

Like it’s actually making some money. And so I think that they were. It like impressed by that alone is, oh, you have the commitment that went into this for months and months before saying anything about it. So whatever it is you’ve got going on. Like we’re happy for it. You’re like, I don’t really feel like they ask a lot of questions.


Carly Tizzano: the same way. When I first started my blog years ago, I didn’t tell anyone. And. It’s been so funny to have friends come to me and be like, so I found that you have a blog, like what’s up with that, but I think you’re so right. They don’t have to understand most of the time. It’s just because they don’t have a frame of reference and that’s okay.

But if you can, in some way, find a frame of reference that they do have and relate it back to that in some way you can create that connection and understanding, but at the end of the day, if they don’t get it, that’s okay. If it’s what you want. And it’s what you’re committed to. 

Jen Kilbourne: Just keep going on to, I think another easy way out is just to say, especially if you are, have already been in business or had some type of career where you’ve been working directly with other people, you can just say, now I figured out a way to have a website so that I can work with people virtually, because everybody’s used to doing zoom all the time now with working from home.

And then if you say it like that, then they’re just like, oh, now she’s got clients that live half the world away. Yeah, it’s exciting. Yeah. Yeah. It’s exciting. I just want to say that there is definitely something, and I have noticed this in myself more over the years, because I’ve become much more aware of the conversations that I’m having in my head that don’t ever happen outside is that you spend a lot more time planning how to respond to people’s questions.

They’re going to ask me this and they’re going to say, why didn’t you do it this way? And then I’m sitting here, fending myself against this imaginary person. Has literally never manifested. So like why I think that we probably are too. Self-conscious about explaining the transition in our career. How do I put this on my LinkedIn resume?

Or what if it doesn’t work out, then what will I say to people? Just try for a while, not even having those conversations in your head and I guarantee you, you will feel less stressed and in all likelihood, that was never going to be somebody like interrogating you like that. Anyway. So we can do that to ourselves more than anything.

Yeah, I think that’s 

Carly Tizzano: really true. And it’s understandable that our friends and family and some strangers on the internet really aren’t going to come up in arms at us. But I think an area related where we feel like people might is other business owners or those people who we’re talking about, who are already doing what you want to do, who are maybe in your niche, or just have a similar business.

And especially for people who feel like the market is oversaturated, it can feel like there is a lot of competition, but something that I really appreciate you and how you’ve built our community, even though you have a community. Of organizers and everyone in the group is an organizer. And a lot of them are in the same area of the big cities.

So in some sense, they’re in competition, but it has never felt like that. There’s so much collaboration and working together and sharing of ideas and sometimes sharing of clients, or I need help with this project or this client is looking for this, and I know you do that best. That’s your specialty. So how do people make that mental shift between I’m competing against these people who are out there and.

They’re amazing. I want to collaborate with them or just build a 

Jen Kilbourne: community with them. That’s such a, that is a really good question. Cause this has definitely been like a personal journey for me, where again, I was much more worried about things happening than that had ever happened, but I have a really great story about my friend.

Laurie Palau is a, also a professional. Has been in the business about a million years longer than I have. She also has a podcast. She coaches other organizers for all intents and purposes. Let’s just say I knew exactly who she was when I started out. And I knew that we have totally different personalities, totally different backgrounds.

And we might be talking to totally different people, but if you’ve got a list of competitors, she’s on it and this still makes me laugh because. I do feel like I have this special talent for figuring out a way to talk to somebody, just get out, we’ll come up with a reason to approach somebody or talk to them.

But she, at one point had written back to an email that I sent out to my list and she said, can you please remove me from your marketing stuff? I just want to stay up to date with whatever you’re doing. And I was like, instead of being offended by that, because again, I see the name and I’m like, oh my gosh, I write her back.

Just start a conversation. And I can’t even remember what I said now, but we like got on the phone and now. Not only one of my best business friends, but I consider her a true inner circle friends in my life. And even though we work with the same audience of people, we approach things so differently. And even like the way that our programs are structured are so different and things that I do, she would never want to do things that she does, I would never want to do.

So like we have enough of a different perspective on it that it doesn’t feel like we’re competitors. And so. And I could probably fill a whole podcast episode on this topic. I think that starting to realize that competitors are actually your they’re your allies, even if they never know it consciously, if you can understand that for yourself, if you didn’t have competition, you’d have no frame of reference for this specific.

Area that you want to go into even being successful online. So one, thank them for that to look at what is missing from their content that you want to say, and that you can say, and not that you’re saying, oh, it’s not telling you the full truth. Let me tell you how it is. Not like you’re saying it like that, but you’re just going, oh, I just noticed that there’s not really, there’s a gap.

The DJing and maybe this will really help us help someone. So I don’t at all like study competitors, like analyzing and looking for weaknesses, but I just have a general sense of what’s out there so that I rest very easy, knowing what is different about my business and about what I offer and about my personality versus those other people.

And I don’t know that I’ve ever worried about. The fact that I know that I’m not for everyone. So there will be some people who think that I’m not polished enough or they don’t like my accent or whatever. And so they can go to any one of those 20 other people. I just feel like there’s enough for everyone out there and why I feel like that is because as a person who, when I.

Really obsessed with something. I don’t want to just hear it from one person. I want to hear it from multiple people and I will pay for the same type of course or coaching or something on the same topic from multiple people. Like I like to get it from multiple directions. And so that’s why I feel like your competition, especially online.

It is not at all like a zero sum game, because like I said, you only have one TV show that you’ve ever watched. No. And aren’t we always looking for another good one. Yeah. There’s enough for like good content. I feel like the market is never saturated and then into, and when you’re speaking about like local competition where you’re talking about professional organizers, for example, Hey, the hardest part is not getting clients.

The hardest part is what you do when you’re so overwhelmed with clients that you cannot physically do all of that work without having a few other friends who get. And that you’re approaching your clientele the same way and that they’re going to represent you well, and hopefully return the favor.

That’s way more of a pro than it is a con to having competition that is close to you is having a team of people that independence you can call on for help if you want to. 

Carly Tizzano: Okay. Yeah. And going back to what we were just talking about, there is no one else who will ever understand you or your business or your decisions better than those people who are in a very similar position to you.

Jen Kilbourne: Oh, absolutely. There’s a lot of tangible, direct benefits to having friends that do exactly pretty much what you do. So you’d have a client that comes along and they’re great, but they’re not a great fit for you having someone else that you know, who. Does really great work that would like that kind of person is going to be a win-win win for everybody.

And it just plants the seeds of generosity, I think, which is super important. 

Carly Tizzano: There’s so many great resources out there between connecting with those other business owners, building relationships with them, building your own community, going to those free YouTube videos we talked about. Can you share a little bit about how you’ve continued to invest in yourself over the years of growing your business and also how, you know, when it’s time to do that, when it’s time to move from the free content.

To something paid or one-on-one 

Jen Kilbourne: or something like that. Oh, absolutely. Pretty quickly. Once my business had some money coming in, I definitely did have still, I’m still like this to this day. I’m like, if I have a problem, I’d rather pay to go directly to the answer. I don’t want to read 16. Blog posts about it and get a book and try to figure it out myself and apply it myself.

Now, I just know that I won’t stay as committed to it, and I will honestly probably end up wasting my time. That’s just me. And so I have invested in lots of courses over, over the course of my online business journey and those have been about gosh, all kinds of topics, but some of it is okay. Here’s how you do.

Pinterest marketing. So it’s some of it’s very practical types of things. And then other ones are, oh my gosh, I have a long list. Facebook ads, that kind of thing. There’s a lot of free content out there that is overwhelming, but I’d rather pay for someone to tell me the order of the steps to go. And so that I’m not trying to.

And I’m a fast reader, but I can’t still totally take it all in. And then note an order of a plan without I’m just like, I want you to tell me, so I pay for it. I want people to pay me to tell them like, here’s the fastest route. And so I do that frequently as well. So do you consider that a major investment in, into the business and has allowed me to help so many other people because.

Really feel like I know what I’m talking about when I didn’t learn it from free blog posts either. And then I would say the biggest investment that I made back into myself and the business in 2019, I was in a year-long graduate level program or exactly. Coaching, which is the fanciest way of getting a business coaching, like official certification.

So I felt like because of the coaching industry, there’s not a lot of regulation or if at all, as far as anybody can be a coach, if you’ve done it, you can coach. If you haven’t done it, you can coach. You can just, you can just be, you can hang your shingle out. And so it’s easy to break into. It’s easy. Fall right back out of it.

Cause you’re not super committed when I started pro organizer studio. Again, I didn’t really think of myself as a coach because I don’t know. I guess I had envisioned more about just like helping people with like branding and marketing. And so I didn’t think of that as necessarily a coaching realm, but I was the one who was uneducated about what coaching really was.

So even after I had been doing it for a few years and I’d been, people pay me to talk and have conversations, I felt like it was time for. I felt like getting that level and doing that degree of commitment of a program through the university of Texas that would really raise up the professionalism of pro organizer studio and what I was doing so that it wasn’t just, Hey, it’s this girl who does Facebook lives like that?

It was like something much deeper. And that I, I received a perfectly. Benefit from going through that program and from getting certified. And it wasn’t even because like I wanted to necessarily start booking out every day, all day with coaching calls. It was just, I wanted to be able to say, here’s the person who founded and has led this platform, and this is how serious I take my job.

So yes, I would say if you, when you have the, it feels good to make money in your. Whether you’re at the beginning or middle or no matter where you are, but when you do have, like, I feel there’s no hard and fast rule for this. In fact, my podcast cohost and I, Melissa, Melissa, and I did a whole podcast episode about the ways in which we differ in terms of how we view investing into our businesses.

And we made it very clear. I will spend money and reinvest back into the business all day long. Melissa is. Measured and thoughtful and plans out things like that more than I do. And that’s just, again, a personality style and maybe a risk-taking flare of mine. But if I, I believe strongly that betting on yourself and investing in yourself, it’s not really gamble.

It’s I know that this is going to pay off because I know exactly how this is going to help me go faster or grow bigger or help more people, or be better at what I do. Yeah. So that’s, I guess that’s not a hard and fast rule at all, but something to. Definitely keep in mind as you’re starting to make money.

Carly Tizzano: Yeah. I totally agree. Something that I always say is investing in yourself, always reaps, infinite rewards. It’s always going to come back over to you a hundred fold. And even more than that, when you have an online business, it’s going to come back and benefit your clients, which is what it sounds like is the underlying reason behind so much of that is how you can show up for them and make sure you have the tools to support them.

And really the best way, like you said, if you’re doing it for them, like, that’s what it’s all about anyway. 

Jen Kilbourne: Yeah. Okay. 

Carly Tizzano: So I want to move on to the resolution round. You talk a little bit about goals and goal setting and what you’re currently working on. So let’s start off with, do you set goals or resolutions and what does that 

Jen Kilbourne: process like for you?

So I will say I used to be much more. New year’s resolution or, and goal person in general. And it’s not that I don’t still do that, but I would say that my process has changed. And so I know that I’m the kind of person that loves making a plan more than I like sticking to a plan. I rebel against myself.

I rebel against employee. This is why I can’t be employed by anybody but myself, because. I don’t like it. You can give me the best office in the whole building, but I’ll be like, you’re telling me I have to sit here for eight hours a day. I just don’t. I don’t like that kind of stuff. So rather than being super, super strict with myself, I feel like in my goals have definitely evolved over time.

And especially in the last year at hope, it has changed me and my outlook on a lot of things. And so other changes that have happened in my personal life and like with my kids over the last few years, it just made me realize, okay, I need a lot more bandwidth and not to be scheduling out every. Moment and every plan and every filling up my time to the max, because when things would happen that were unexpected.

And a lot of those things are sometimes emotions like, oh, I wasn’t planning on feeling sad today. And now I feel sad. It’s not even like some emergency event happens. It’s just like some like life just has its own ideas. And so I try to leave myself a lot more room for. Needing to be there for someone, a friend or family, or in not saying I’m sorry, but I made this plan back on January 1st and now it’s March can I simply cannot rearrange my schedule to suit that.

That’s just never been me. And that’s why going super stringent about goals is not really my thing, but I will say that I I’m much more. Cognizant now of just forming habits. And if I know that I’m essentially working the process, that’s going to lead to my goal happening and then I’m not as worried about okay.

An end date of when I want that goal to essentially be done. Anything about health as an easy metaphor. So if I just know that I’m on the list of foods, that makes me feel good and I’m doing the things that are generally contributing to my health that are important to me and reminding myself how good it feels after I get done working out, then I’m not sitting there going, okay.

Not worried about like the actual number on a scale or whatever. That’s lost. Some things do definitely have deadlines. I just feel like in general, I’ve become much more of a habit focused person than a then I go. So I guess it’s more of like a resolution. Resolution focused, but like all the time. Yeah. I love that.


Carly Tizzano: part of what I love about resolutions is having the year, which gives you so many opportunities to check back in and assess. And so if you’re not feeling great on March 1st, that’s okay. You have 364 other days that you can try. And you’ll probably feel sad for a handful of those two and that’s okay.

And I love hearing the different ways. People approach the goal setting process and really just working towards the things that they want, whatever form or structure that they use, I think is so fascinating and powerful. So what is a biggest goal or a resolution or a habit, I guess that you have set and worked towards and really integrated into 

Jen Kilbourne: your life?

Uh, 2020 definitely brought to light a lot of things in my business and personal life that were not. Sustainable. There’s something about all of a sudden being locked down in the house, like with your whole family and you can’t go anywhere. And it becomes very obvious very quickly. Like what things that I’ve been doing or not doing every day that now I can’t do those things because the environment is now different.

So I have been consciously working on. Being more present for my kids and for my family in the last year. And also being more responsive to the needs and desires of my community in my business. I gave you the example of when lockdown first happened. I was doing a Facebook live every single day. I was like, I’m not going to say it’s gonna be a certain time, but I was going to get on every single day and just talk about the topic that comes up.

And like I said, hope this helps somebody. This is on the online business topics, but then eventually. There was a day when I was like, okay, I think I’m just done. Like I had to be done because I, that was my initial reaction to things is usually to way overdo it. If I go back into the gym and I haven’t been there in a while, I’m going to hurt myself because I’m going to do way too much and I’m going to be like, okay, I’m dead now.

So I, after initially having that burst of energy at the beginning of COVID, I really had. For myself and really determined what was workable and what would the needs of like my community were beyond just like what I was able to do and let that just marinate for a little while and not jump into some huge action and action plan of like, how am I going to do that?

Like, how am I gonna do this? I was just like, okay, what if I was not capable or available? To be that person all the time. How would I still do those things? So I know, I know I’m getting away from your original question, which is what is a goal or habit that I’ve really been working on. But I have had to consciously work on like, having that burst of energy when I’m like, okay, I’m committing every single day of my life now to this new thing.

And I would say, gosh, I’m proud. And I’m feel like I’ve been successful in that in the last year. One of the outcomes of that. Like reprocessing and thinking about how to continue to grow the pro organizer studio platform. And Melissa clue was kind of in my circle of online people, she had come to one of the retreats.

So we had met in person and she has a very different background than I do in terms of how she came to professional organizing and how she approaches things. And so we first started talking about having her on. Regular co-host of the podcast. And then that eventually developed into her, stepping into the program director for pro organizer studio, and that allowed the business to be able to.

New offerings that people have been asking me for years when I was like, yeah, I’m not really interested in doing that. I know I’m not the most qualified to teach people how to actually organize other people. I only ever want to talk about business, but Melissa is the perfect person for that. So that to me has been definitely a result or an outcome of what started with me realizing that I was spreading my energy way too thin.

And how was I going to fix this now, before it became an emergency? I’m down for the count and now nobody can do anything. My kids can’t rely on me and my clients can’t rely on me at skirt pay. How can I start to be more responsive by not being the person who’s oh, I’ll do this. I’ll do this. I’ll do this.

It actually lets me do more. Yeah. 

Carly Tizzano: So is that kind of the biggest goal you think you’re still working 

Jen Kilbourne: towards that? That certainly has dominated the last year in business, bringing her on as a face of the business because people know me. I don’t think that they’re necessarily attached to only me all the time, but introducing her to people and her being on the podcast and being a little.

And the content and really letting her do her thing. Because like I said, there are ways that she is way more qualified than I am. And this is going back to another perfect example about collaboration versus competition. Melissa is extremely high up in the KonMari professional organizer community. She’s a master level content.

Consultant, but she is the type of person who was like, I’m never going to go and start my own version of pro organizer studio. But we had just had these natural, very organic conversations about where we both wanted our lives and businesses to go. And I saw there was this potential overlap of, I would love for you to be that person who can come and create some of this content that people have been asking.

I have always had somewhat of a team. There wasn’t ever anybody else who was coming along and saying, I’m going to have them instruct you instead of me. So once we saw that, that was going to be a huge benefit to both of us, I was just like, oh, thank goodness that, and in this case, going to Melissa. One of my retreat attendees, but really she reached out to me during COVID and was one of the people that’s like, Hey, how are you really doing?

And I think having friends in the business and in the same line of work as you is just so valuable because now she and I, a year later, So much more at peace and very solid, not just with pro organizer studio, but we’re both of us see our careers going and I’ve been able to take more of a step back and let her lead so that I can have more of that bandwidth that I needed to be able to do that.

Very much needed self care, because like I said, I tend to jump in the deep end of everything and then like figure things out later. And that’s my style. I regret nothing. But the years of entrepreneurship definitely had led to some like neglect them, just my health and quality time with my kids and the husband and all those things.

And so like that, it was time for that for me and Melissa’s children a little bit older than mine. And so she was like, this is her time that she wanted to hone in more. Taking on more responsibility. So it all, it was all great timing and yeah, that’s been the biggest win for not just for me, for her and for our audience too.

Over the last year. Yeah. I love 

Carly Tizzano: hearing that undercurrent of self-reflection and self-awareness that you have under all of those decisions from all the pieces of the product. Yeah. So every week on the podcast, um, I encourage listeners to resolve, to consider something or experiment or take some action.

So what would you encourage the listeners to resolve, to do? 

Jen Kilbourne: Oh, when you start this journey of entrepreneurship, whether it’s online business or anything else when you’re, when you start. In being your own boss and figuring out how to make money without an employer telling you what to do. You start out just working on those logistics and then you find out like, oh, I’ve just enrolled in like the biggest self development journey of my lifetime, because then you find out that it’s really so much more about mindset and breaking through limiting beliefs and all of that sounds.

So we knew at the beginning, And I even consider myself like a medium. We were a person when I started, but now I honestly, I feel like that’s the entire game, because there are how to blog videos about literally everything you want to do in your business, applying it and becoming the type of person who’s consistent and who doesn’t just sabotage yourself constantly is 99% of entrepreneurs.

Yeah life. Yes. But yeah, we start out thinking, oh, it’s just about making started like my income goal for this month. Like you start out with something that’s very out there and then you, after a while, I start to realize, oh my gosh, it’s my self talk that is literally driving this whole entire bus. So when I, when you asked me, what is the most important thing like to resolve to do?

I. Say that I have any great advice beyond just start listening more because I think everyone has the potential to grow in this area. No matter where you’re at is listened more to the thoughts that you’re thinking and the conversations that you’re having with another person with yourself. Because all of a sudden, after a while, you’ll be like, I spend a ton of time preparing myself for challenges that are not even happening.

Like you just suddenly starting to realize that you’re like, wow, why I’m spending so much mental energy on this. What if I gave even 1% of the mental energy that I’m spending on this? Maybe not super productive thought pattern and just gave that energy to something that I know that I do really well. I feel like just hearing yourself and realizing that you can listen.

Without engaging back. And now I know I’m starting to sound like a real, crazy person, but you feel finally it’s oh, you’ve got to know when they say know yourself. You’re like, you actually literally have to listen to the person who’s in your head. All the time. And then what you do with that information can vary from person to person, whether you start journaling about it or start doing anything about it.

It’s just that it’s just so helpful to know that there are beliefs and thoughts that either help you or hurt you. And just any awareness of that, that you can grow in is vital. Yeah, 

Carly Tizzano: that’s so true. So I want to move on to just some confetti questions there for fun to help us get to know you just a little bit better and everything up.


Jen Kilbourne: what time do you get up now? But my kids are back in school for the school year. Okay. When do you do your best work? That’s a good question. I feel like it changes every day. I’m definitely a morning person. Once I’m drinking coffee. I can’t, yeah, it’s gonna be, it’s going to be mid morning for sure. Yeah.

Carly Tizzano: What is the best piece of advice you’ve 

Jen Kilbourne: been given? Oh my gosh, man. There’s been so many good ones. I will say. When it comes to the online business. That since that’s really a theme of this conversation is there was a person there was a very helpful free YouTube personality who at that time was sharing a lot about creating courses.

And she said, if you can write eight blog posts, you can create a course with eight modules. And every single time I thought this idea is dumb and I want to give up because nobody’s really going to pay for. I realized because I just didn’t want to finish it. And I was like, okay, if I just can finish this, I was like, if I can write a blog post, I can write a module.

Anything that like breaks something down into like parts. That’s always going to be good advice because I feel like constantly our problem is that we keep looking at the. That’s true thinking, how am I going to ever do this? So yeah, like that, that one was really helpful in the online business world. But in man, I’ve gotten so much good advice in life.

It’s hard to pick one. It’s a great one. I love that one. 

Carly Tizzano: Yeah. 

Jen Kilbourne: What do you do to rest? I like. Yeah, me too. Yeah. If I get a few hours of alone time guarantee you I’m going to be on the couch reading. I download books like candy onto my phone, my Kindle, and I just finished reading. Yeah. What’s your favorite beverage?

Daytime lemon shell or LaCroix? Nighttime Sauvignon blog. Perfect. What’s your favorite TV show? Ooh. Oh my gosh. I got to say one of my all-time favorites is arrested development. I like the writing and the humor and that show was so good, but I watched it probably about 10 years ago. I wonder if it has stood the test of time to rewind.

I will. What book has had the greatest impact on your life? All right, now that is definitely too hard of a question to answer. So I’m going to say in the last year, A book that has really so hard to peg. I was lucky that I had a mom who was like into all the self-help stuff. Like we were stuck. So I literally grew up with like bookshelves full of things that, so it’s hard to say that any one of those books was the best or most impactful, because I feel like each one leads to another.

It’s always on this journey of sometimes I’m super in a soup, like personality. In the business books and to relationship books, I’m always trying to read something that’s practical, but in the last year, a book that has been very impactful is called Psycho-Cybernetics. And it sounds very weirdo, but it is about mindset and it’s about beliefs, but it’s more importantly, it’s about identity.

And I think one of the most important things, and this ties back, whether we’re talking about business or anything else is. The concept that the identity that you take on really does so much of the heavy lifting of like habits and behaviors and being consistent with things that sometimes we spend so much time, like, like willpower in ourselves, like over here.

Whereas if you were taking on the identity of like I’m a successful online business, And really internalizing that. Then you just sort of show up to everything differently and you stop over analyzing things and you stop beating yourself up about not knowing better. It’s just no, like I’m on a journey and I’m always improving.

There’s just those little things like really, I feel like it’s the simplest way to cut through not to say it’s easy to do, but that book is very fascinating. It was written by a guy who is a plastic surgeon and he noticed about how. The outer environment affects how you perceive yourself and then vice versa.

And I just found it completely fascinating and it made me really want to dig deeper and peel back the onions in my brain and find out what’s going on in there. I’ll have to read 

Carly Tizzano: it. What book are you currently reading? 

Jen Kilbourne: Oh, good question. So I was usually having four or five things open on Kindle. I am currently reading a book called the physics of America.

And it is so good. It is so good. Again, it sounds, I like stuff that it hits that angle of woo, but it like brings in science. And I just think anything like that was fascinating is that sounds 


Carly Tizzano: interesting too. 

Jen Kilbourne: W where can people go to 

Carly Tizzano: find more information about you and 

Jen Kilbourne: your work and all the things that you’re doing? Thank you so much. Carly pro organizer studio is the professional organizers chock-full resource about all kinds of things.

We have YouTube channel podcast, blog content, if you like reading rather than listening, but I love, like I said, Rely so much on the team of people who help things happen behind the scenes. And Melissa is now a podcast co-host with me. So you can find out about her there too. And like I said, she’s the program director for everything that we offer at pro organizer studio and inspired organizer is the name of our course for professional organizers who want to get a handle on the whole business.

And then beyond that for pro organizer studio, we have social media all over. I don’t manage personally. That’s not my strong suit. So Facebook, Instagram, that kind of thing. And then, like we mentioned earlier, I do have a Facebook live archives series out there from last year. And you can just get on Facebook and search for the gin Obermeyer blog cast, and that’ll come up and that.

An assortment of everything about online business. So if you treat it like a course, it’s like a free course on everything that I know. It’ll get you started for sure. If you comment there on that Facebook page, I will personally respond to that one. So if you want to get in touch with me, let’s do it.


Carly Tizzano: Thanks so much for coming on the podcast today, Jen, it has been so fun to hear from you and to learn from you and you just had so much great insight to 

Jen Kilbourne: share. Thanks Carly. I’m so excited for your new podcast and I greatly appreciate getting to be one of your first guests. It is such an honor.

Thank you so much for listening into the pro organizer studio podcast. If you’d like to get our roadmap for success as a pro organizer, head straight to

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Photos of jen by ANGELA ZION