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Podcast Episode 6: Starting a Podcast with Laurie Palau

May 1

Welcome to Podcast Episode 6: Starting a Podcast with Laurie Palau.

In today’s episode, I am chatting with my friend Laurie Palau, host of the podcast, This Organized Life and the creator of a partner program for professional organizers through her business, Simply Be Organized. We are chatting all about podcasting and about what she offers for professional organizers. Plus, check out where she sees herself going as an entrepreneur in this industry!

What We Talk About:

(00:00) – Introduction to this episode
(00:59) – Introduction to guest, Laurie Palau
(01:47) – What Laurie believes is the most interesting thing about herself
(04:54) – Why building a community around a podcast was a good idea
(10:13) – The most surprising aspect of Laurie’s partner program
(13:15) – The funny story of how Laurie and I met
(16:10) – How Laurie launched a podcast and book in one year
(20:25) – Laurie’s tips around self-publishing a book
(22:06) – What Laurie’s next book will be about
(25:03) – Get educated on what the clutter clinic is
(30:14) – The real life of Laurie Palau
(32:33) – How Laurie’s transitions from doing all the things to a single focus
(38:26) – How to limit yourself on social media
(43:54) – What Laurie does at this stage in business to continue to be inspired
(46:04) – The best book or podcast Laurie has experienced recently
(49:15) – Where to find Laurie Palau

Laurie Palau, Simply Be Organized

Laurie Palau is author of the book HOT MESS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GETTING ORGANIZED, speaker, and host of the weekly podcast, This ORGANIZED Life. She is a go-to Organizing Expert whose advice has been featured in The New York Times Parenting Section, Family Circle, and Home + Table Magazine. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband, 2 daughters, and 2 dogs.

Website

Takeaways

Engaging with your audience is so important and if you are looking for a casual way to talk with your viewers than starting a podcast is a great place to start.

Full Transcript

Jen Obermeier:

Welcome back to the Pro Organizer Studio podcast, it’s Jen Obermeier. And I’m so excited today to have Laurie Palau on with us. And Laurie is my friend of course, and she is the host of the podcast, which you probably already know and love called, This ORGANIZED Life. Wonderful to have you here Laurie, welcome.

Laurie Palau:

Thank you so much.

Jen Obermeier:

So this is, as you know, it’s a brand new podcast and you’ve been podcasting for a while.

Laurie Palau:

I know, I’m really excited. I can’t even tell you when I saw that you were starting a podcast. I literally think I did a little jump up and down in my house.

Jen Obermeier:

I need all the tips and advice. And you reach professional organizers all over the world with yours as well. So let me just start first question first. What do you think is something interesting about yourself that your listeners don’t even know about you yet?

Laurie Palau:

Okay. I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked that question.

Jen Obermeier:

You’re such an open book.

Laurie Palau:

I know, I am. That’s what I’m saying. I’m trying to think of something that people don’t know about me. They know that I hate laundry. They know that… I’m just trying to think. I’m really afraid of heights. That’s a big thing. I hate roller coasters, spies. Actually, my family banned me from going to museum parks with that because they said I’m just like a buzzkill. So I’m not even allowed to go with them anymore. It’s a true story.

Jen Obermeier:

That’s hilarious. So when you started This ORGANIZED Life podcast, and you started getting people listening to you from all over the world, which is a surreal experience, right?

Laurie Palau:

Totally.

Jen Obermeier:

What did they say? Did they say, “Laurie, I need you to come organize my house and I live in California.” What happened? What started happening when you started podcasting?

Laurie Palau:

Okay. So this is really the funny story. This is the truth. I mean it sincerely. So when I started the podcast, I felt I was late to the podcast game, right? There were people that had been listening and doing podcasting for years and I was like, “I don’t really understand it, but someone told me I should do it.” And I was like, “Oh, I don’t have to do video, perfect.” Because, I’m much rather be behind the podcast mic.

Laurie Palau:

And I guess at the time I just thought it would be a nice compliment to blogging, because I like to think of myself more as a writer, and then doing video. And I like sharing my content just through kind of words and teaching in that modality. So I thought this would just be a nice extension of that.

Laurie Palau:

And in my mind I thought the audience would really purely be people that needed organizing help. And that’s kind of what my approach was when I first started the podcast, was just talking to people like, “Hey, you need help? I’m going to provide you a solution.” And I think we still do that to some extent. But what I quickly found was that there was this whole other audience of people that were listening to my show, that whether they were just entrepreneurs in another business, and they just wanted business strategy and advice. Or a lot of the people that were listening to our show were other professional organizers.

Laurie Palau:

And they were either saying, “Oh my gosh, I do that too.” Or they were trying to learn some new tricks of the trade that they could incorporate with their own business. So it really opened up this whole other world to me that wasn’t even on my radar, when I first started the podcast. And I think from there it just really helped me grow, and evolve my business in being able to not be so narrowly focused on the audience I was trying to reach.

Jen Obermeier:

That’s fascinating. So you and I have talked before about, what we really have in common is that we’re pretty just obsessed with entrepreneurship. And all of the ideas that we have, we don’t have enough time to get to in a day. So how did you decide that building the community around the podcast, and then bringing other professional organizers into it? How did you decide that that was a good idea? That was something that you had the bandwidth to give time to with everything else that you had going on as an organizer?

Laurie Palau:

Well, I think it’s a matter of just being deliberate and making choices. Because we all have so many hours in a day. And I like to revisit my goals and how I’m serving other people and how that relates to what I want to be doing in the bigger picture. And when I first started my business 10 years ago, my goal at the time really was to be able to be rolling up my sleeves, hands on helping other people.

Laurie Palau:

And to some extent, I think that’s still true. I just think that I’m a doer by nature. I’m an eight on the Enneagram, so I’m just all about doing, doing, doing. But what I found is that I enjoy helping people. And I don’t mean that to sound altruistic, that’s not at all what I mean. But I feel the value I can bring to people, as I starting to feel a little bit more like a veteran in the organizing space, is that there’s a lot of people that are coming up the ranks, that are really good at organizing but lack some of the experience, and the knowhow on the business side of the business.

Laurie Palau:

And you and I’ve talked about this offline, is that we really enjoy the business side of the business. And not everybody does. And I think that that holds true for a lot of people that are entrepreneurs. Whether they’re a designer, a jewelry maker, you could kind of fill in the blanks where you start your business out of a passion for something that you’re doing, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing that you know how to run a business, and all the many hats that that requires you to wear.

Laurie Palau:

But I happen to enjoy that part. I like that part. I like the strategy of how do you build a business? How do you scale a business? What does that look like? And so I said, “Well, since I have this organic community of people through the podcast and other modalities, why am I not leveraging those talents to help people in those areas that they’re struggling?” Just like 10 years ago, I helped people organize their pantries and their closets.

Jen Obermeier:

That makes so much sense. So how did that all come together? What did you create?

Laurie Palau:

So in 2017, was probably the biggest turning point year for me, because I released the book and launched the podcast in the same year, which I don’t recommend to anybody. It’s like getting married and buying a house in the same year, just don’t do two big things. But I did it. And so I started trying to figure out a way that I could organically connect the dots. And I knew that there were people out there in podcast land, or social media world, that lived in other areas outside of my geographic footprint that really needed accountability support from a professional organizer.

Laurie Palau:

I knew that there were other professional organizer’s kind of coming up the ranks that were trying to build out their brand. And I wanted to help them be able to kind of expand their footprint, because I think that the stronger we are as a holistic community of organizers, the better it is for our industry. So I want to be able to help them. And I realized that I could be the conduit between those two points.

Laurie Palau:

So I created a partner program, which was a way for me to align other professional organizers in other geographic markets with my audience. Just like if you were to move here tomorrow and you said you needed a hairdresser, and OB/GYN or a painter, I would be the person that you would come to. This was no different. And that’s really kind of how I saw it. And I said, it’s a collaborative group of people, not so different than Pro Organizer Studio, but just kind of focusing in on different areas.

Laurie Palau:

And really complementing the other areas. It’s like, “Okay, great. I built this website. I have an idea of what I want to be doing. I know what I want to be… Who my target audience is, but now what? How do I go out there and get them? How do I do these things? How do I grow my presence out there?” And so we’re just kind of helping them navigate that. Because I know when I first started, it was a totally different landscape of the industry. And in some ways it was better. And in some ways it was worse, but I just kind of had to figure it all out.

Laurie Palau:

There weren’t as many resources out there. And so I wanted to be able to say, “Listen, if you can learn from some of my mistakes, then have at it.” And that’s really how it… And it just sort of grown and evolved from there.

Jen Obermeier:

What’s the best part of this so far? Or what’s the most surprising aspect of growing your partner program?

Laurie Palau:

That’s a really good question. So I think for me, when I first came up with the idea and the concept, I felt like the responsibility of growing the program, and cultivating it really fell on my shoulders. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just felt like it’s my responsibility. I’m bringing these people into this community, and it’s up to me and my team to continue to foster that relationship.

Laurie Palau:

And what I saw was, we opened the door, but the organizers in our community of our partners have developed their own independent relationships and friendships. And they support one another without me having to be the person leading it. So for example, we’ve got a few different podcasters. We have a few different partners who also have their own podcast. So they just willingly invite other members of the program to be on their show as guests.

Laurie Palau:

We did guest blog on each other’s platforms. So there’s so much social sharing, and organic connection that’s happened, that’s not like part of the responsibility with my air quotes. You know, nobody’s under any obligation to support the other organizers, but the people that we are bringing in all have that same mindset. And so we really believe in the mindset of community over competition. And not that I coined that phrase, but it’s something that we use, and we kind of all practice that and walk the walk. And just seeing that organic growth of the 37 women who are in our program right now is just fabulous.

Jen Obermeier:

It sounds like a vision that you had for a long time about building community beyond just who you could serve in home. Sounds like your dream really coming true, right?

Laurie Palau:

Oh, 100% and I think community in general is just super important. And I think we have two different types of community that can certainly intersect. I think we have our in-person community. How are you serving your community of the people that you do life with every day? And whether that’s school friends, church friends, work friends, whatever it is. Your neighbors, who is your community of people?

Laurie Palau:

But then we would all be re-missed to not acknowledge our community of people. I mean, I think for as negative press, a lot of times social media gets, I mean, I think there’s so much good that can come of it. I mean, you and I became friends through social media. And I value your friendship and your wisdom and I think that there’s so much that can come of it. And I think it’s great when you can have your real life community intersect with your online community.

Jen Obermeier:

Can I tell our audience a funny story?

Laurie Palau:

Yeah.

Jen Obermeier:

Laurie says we met through social media, which is true, but if you guys have listened to Laurie on her podcast before, she has a very blunt and straight forward style. And the first time that Laurie and I ever talked was when she actually replied to a mass email that I’d sent out, and she was asking to unsubscribe from it. And I said, “Oh no, I know who this girl is.” I was like, “Hey, Laurie.” But she was so funny. She said, “I want to stay on the email list. I just don’t want this particular email series.” And I was like, “Yep, that’s her.” I was like, “All right-

Laurie Palau:

Was I offensive? I didn’t mean to be mean.

Jen Obermeier:

No, not at all. No, not at all. Like I appreciated it.

Laurie Palau:

And I remember that. I remember-

Jen Obermeier:

I’m sure you are on an unsubscribe spree that day, which I think probably a lot of organizers do that. But it was just so funny because I never, and my audience knows this, I never pass up an opportunity to meet somebody and network with somebody. And I just thought, “Oh, well I’ve been meaning to reach out to her anyway.” And so I replied and I think like within a day we were on the phone with each other, and then we’ve been buddies ever since.

Laurie Palau:

Totally.

Jen Obermeier:

You’re very special to me.

Laurie Palau:

Oh well, likewise.

Jen Obermeier:

Because I feel like I can talk to you about almost anything when it comes to business and just this industry we’re in, and life and all that stuff.

Laurie Palau:

Well the feeling’s mutual. And I think the key, I obviously can’t speak for you, but for myself, I think there’s just a mutual respect. I respect everything that you’ve built for yourself. I know that you’re working mama, I’m a work your mama. We both value building relationships, and being able to realize that we don’t have to hoard the information that we have, or the knowledge that we have. And that doesn’t diminish who we are.

Laurie Palau:

And the more that you can lift other people up, it really comes full circle. And so I see that in you and everything that you’ve built with Pro Organizer Studio, and just in your own life. And so for me, those are the types of people that I want to surround myself with. Because I think we, in general, and I mean that collectively, it’s our job to lead by example. And the more that you can lead by example, the more naturally people will follow suit.

Jen Obermeier:

Well, I think we must be like sisters separated in some way because we are so much alike.

Laurie Palau:

You’re the sister though, I’m like the old sister.

Jen Obermeier:

Well, you’re the cool sister for sure. And you’re the one who will say anything, whereas I’m more like, “I got to get to know you before I would say anything,” you know? Anyway, our personalities are different, but we definitely have very similar interests and I don’t know, just I’m always thinking of the next big thing. And it sounds like you are too.

Laurie Palau:

Always, always trying to think.

Jen Obermeier:

Always.

Laurie Palau:

Yes.

Jen Obermeier:

Yeah. Yeah. All right. So on that note, let’s go back and talk about, you said you launched a podcast and a book in the same year. That is exactly the kind of thing that I would do. I will tell you I have a book idea. I’m not planning to do it this year, which everybody in my life is like, “Thank God, because you’ve got…” I have way too much on my plate already. But going back to, you launched the book and what was that… I mean, what was that experience like for you? By the way, Hot Mess is Laurie’s book and it’s really good.

Jen Obermeier:

And I say that, and I want everybody to know that I have not read every organizing book out there. Laurie’s is really good because it’s very to the point, and it’s very well organized and it’s valuable. I recommend it even to other organizers that are just starting. And I’m like, “If you just need a framework for how to approach a space, this is really good.” Even though it was really meant for a more general audience. Right?

Laurie Palau:

Yeah. Well, thank you for that, I appreciate that, and it always means a little extra something special when it comes from somebody who’s in the space, right? Because, you’re looking at it through a discerning eye. But really the story kind of behind it was, I wanted to be able to provide a practical resource for people. And there’s a lot of organizing books out there, right? I mean, I’ve read a lot of them. I know that there’s tons of them out there.

Laurie Palau:

And for me, the way that I kind of built my business practice in general, if anybody’s listened to my show, or knows anything about me. My big thing is I like to get to the root of the clutter, right? When I talk about clutter, it’s really kind of getting to the root of it. Because, I think we could talk all day about strategies. You can talk all day about solutions, but until you really identify kind of where the root of your problem is, it’s only just really putting a bandaid on it.

Laurie Palau:

And so that’s just how I’ve approached business with my clients. And when I talk to other professional organizers, and I’m not saying my way’s the right way or the only way, because clearly it’s not. But I think that for me it’s how I differentiated myself in the marketplace, that was really my focus. And so when I wrote the book, I wanted to break it down into sections that were just easy, manageable chunks.

Laurie Palau:

So I structured it so that the first section was all just dedicated to clutter. Defining it. What is clutter? Because it’s not just the physical stuff that you see, it’s the stuff that holds you back emotionally. It’s being over-scheduled with calendar stuff, and activities, whether it’s for your kids or just volunteer stuff or whatever. So let’s just even identify what that clutter is, and what that looks like.

Laurie Palau:

And then the next part is how do you deal with that? Okay. So now we’ve identified it, which is step one. Okay, now what? So now you know it. So what do you do with that information? So talking about some general practices, because again, I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. I think everything has to make sense for you and your lifestyle, and what’s going to resonate with you. So we talk about some different solutions.

Laurie Palau:

And then the third part is organizing room by room. And it just kind of gives a snapshot. And I would say the first two I encourage people to read section one and two in its entirety. And then section three you can pop around. So if you live in a apartment, you don’t need to read the section on garages. Or if you are a single professional, you don’t need to read something about playrooms because it’s not going to apply to you.

Laurie Palau:

So I think the third section is just here’s some specific solutions geared towards these spaces. I would say it’s a quick read. I don’t want this to be something it’s not the gospel, it’s not the Bible, it’s should be fun, lighthearted and just something that people could reference back to if they need. And another thing was, I know that a lot of the people that are probably listening to this show are entrepreneurs, and may be thinking about writing a book themselves. I personally went back and forth a lot about how to publish this book, how to get it out there. And I know this isn’t a podcast talking about the book, but I just want to say like for me, I wound up going the self publishing route and I did it primarily because it was important for me to be able to maintain my intellectual property.

Laurie Palau:

It was more important for me to be able to say, “I want to say this message the way that I want to say it. And I wanted to be able to get it out and use it as a resource.” As much as I would love to be a New York times bestseller, because who wouldn’t be, I don’t really think that, that’s my end goal. My end goal is to be able to provide my audience with actionable solutions that they can incorporate. And so, it was more important for me to get the content out there, than sit on it.

Laurie Palau:

And I sat on my book for a long time because I had lots of self doubt. Is this something that I want to put out there? Is it not? But at the end of the day, I had a conversation with myself and saying whether I serve one person or I serve a million people, I think that there’s value in this content. And so, it’s important to get it out there. So if there’s anybody out there listening that is thinking about writing a book about whatever, I encourage you to do it and just stay true to the reason why you’re writing that book.

Jen Obermeier:

So what is your next book going to be about? [crosstalk 00:21:12] this is?

Laurie Palau:

Okay.

Jen Obermeier:

I’m sure you can’t say it but-

Laurie Palau:

I am not going to say, but I will tell you offline because I do have, yes, I do have something. And it’s still within the organizing realm, but it speaks both to entrepreneurs and to clutter.

Jen Obermeier:

I love that.

Laurie Palau:

So, it’s a little hybrid.

Jen Obermeier:

Ooh, that makes me really excited. That’s right up my alley.

Laurie Palau:

Yes.

Jen Obermeier:

I’ve noticed you have a series on your podcast that is geared towards entrepreneurship. Is that right?

Laurie Palau:

No, you’re totally right. So, again, when I started the podcast, it was really with the intent of serving people and giving them organizing tips and strategies and having guests on that either have a product or service to help you with your daily life. And that’s still true. But because like I said, I started incorporating this audience of other entrepreneurs. I was getting asked questions about building your brand offline. I was getting questions offline about how to build your brand.

Laurie Palau:

So I decided to just launch a mini series called This Entrepreneur’s Life. It was an eight episode series and you could just go right to my website and binge it. And we ran it actually as bonus episodes right off of the same feed of this organized life, because we really wanted to make it easy and just attract our existing audience that were already subscribed to our show. And that way for people that were interested in the content could easily just consume it. And if they weren’t, they didn’t have to listen to it and they sold their regularly scheduled programming. But we launched season one in January and we’re probably going to be working on season two and this coming summer when my schedule permits.

Laurie Palau:

And it’s really giving entrepreneurs some basics and there’s tons of business podcasts out there. Of course. I mean, I listened to many of them, but I’ve had guests on about streamlining, business practices, whether it’s email marketing or hiring a business attorney or social media, hiring a virtual assistant. So, there’s a lot of different kind of checkpoints that we touch upon, but we just want to do it as a launch to see if people were interested in it and they seem that they were. And so, we are going to be in the talks… We’re in the talks of season two.

Jen Obermeier:

That sounds amazing. I love how you have so many different things going on within your platform. You have something else called clutter clinic. Tell us what that is.

Laurie Palau:

So the clutter clinic’s really an extension of the partner… No, it’s actually an extension. Let me take that back. It’s actually an extension of my business. So, one of the things as an organizer when I was just growing purely my organizing business that I wanted to do is I wanted to diversify my service offerings. Which I think anybody who’s an entrepreneur, regardless of your field, understands the value in having diverse revenue streams. Because if you have all your eggs in one basket and that particular, whether you go through a recession or there’s a shift in the market, you don’t want to just be reliant solely on one revenue stream.

Laurie Palau:

And I happen to enjoy speaking, and it’s something that I like to do. And I decided that I knew that I couldn’t always be out there pitching businesses on hiring me to come speak because I was out in the field organizing with other clients. So I developed a speaker program that I produced myself, and I started to market it and I called it the Clutter Clinic. And it a hybrid way for me again, because I like hybrids as you do. I had a large following of people that followed me on social media, read my blog, subscribe to my newsletter.

Laurie Palau:

But for whatever reason, they were not going to convert to become a client. Whether they didn’t have the financial resources to hire professional organizer, they had too much embarrassment or shame. Not that anybody needs to, but people inflict it on themselves. Or maybe they just felt like I should be able to do this myself. So, I had this large following of people that I knew I could never convert in a traditional sense, but I knew that there was a value and they were interested in the content I was consuming, I mean that I was putting out there.

Laurie Palau:

So I decided to come up with a way that I could communicate with them in person, by hosting a lunch and learn series, sharing some of these tips and actionable strategies. Allow them to grab a girlfriend and for two hours have lunch, have a glass of wine if they so choose and learn some specific organizing tips and strategies. And in a way follows but obviously on a much broader scale, the outline of the book. We talk about clutter, we talk about strategies, we talk about solutions, but people can also bring their questions. There’s a large Q&A, so people can really address their questions and it’s a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional organizer for people that struggle with shame and guilt and embarrassment, it’s certainly a much less threatening environment.

Laurie Palau:

And it was again, a way for me to be able to leverage my existing audience without having to spend time pitching my business out to other companies and reaching an audience when I had this community already in my backyard. So, really when I looked at it, I was like, “I have this community, how can I serve them?” And so, that’s how the clutter clinic was born. And then what happened was, when I launched the partner program, a lot of my partners were talking about having, they wanted to incorporate speaking into their business, but they either didn’t have the time or really know how to structure a presentation, put that together because again, they’re great at organizing, but they may struggle with some of the other business acumen parts.

Laurie Palau:

And so I said, “Well, why don’t we license this? So this could be a speaker program that you could then take, customize it, tweak it to your own branding, your own messaging and allow you to serve your audience in another way while revenue.” So that’s how it came about.

Jen Obermeier:

That is brilliant. So, is it only open to the ladies in the partner program?

Laurie Palau:

It’s actually not. It’s open. It’s obviously specific to the professional organizing industry. All of our partners, any of the things that we offer, mentoring or clutter clinic, we offer obviously a discount to the people that are in our partner program. But the clutter clinic and my mentoring are both other services that I offer to anybody that’s in the professional organizing industry that could find value in it. And there’s links on the website. So, I’m sure at the end you’re going to have show notes of where people can go. So yes, if you just go to my website, you can find information all about the clutter clinic and there’s a closed Facebook group.

Laurie Palau:

I’m always in there, you can ask questions and you know, it’s great because not only is it the presentation and gives you the slides, but I also include handouts, feedback cards suggestions on how to market and promote it. Again, some of the areas where people might struggle because again, if you’re an organizer, you probably know how to organize and you’re good at that. But maybe some of the other strategic parts you may struggle with and this allows it to be a little bit more turnkey for you.

Jen Obermeier:

Well, I think you’re an incredibly brilliant business woman for coming up with all of these different things going on. And on that note, I want to switch and talk about you a little bit. I want to know a little bit more about the real life of Laurie Palau now. So you have a daughter going off to school to college this fall. Like what is life like at this stage where you’re not dealing with being, you mentioned being a working mom, but now it’s not about little kids. Now it’s about helping them transition to adulthood. How is that like?

Laurie Palau:

Oh my gosh. Well, it’s great. First of all, I actually like big, I like little kids and I like big kids, but it’s completely, your exhaustion comes from a different place. It’s a lot more mental exhaustion, if that makes sense. Like when your kids are little, you’re tired because you’re constantly doing dishes and picking up toys and giving baths and all of you’re feeding these people and wiping butts and all that stuff. Just physically tiring when you collapse at the end of the day. And as they get bigger, I look at this season of life that I’m in now, and it’s a lot more mental exhaustion where your kids are trying to find their own identity. My girls are 18 and 15, and they’re very independent and I think that’s part of who they are.

Laurie Palau:

And it’s part of how Josh and I have kind of empowered them to take ownership of parts of their lives. But there are times where they want to talk or they’re struggling with stuff. Whether it’s pure stuff, friend stuff, college stuff, all the life things that really requires you to be present. I actually feel like I was a better, I know there’s all these things like you shouldn’t multitask. It’s really not good to multitask. I feel like when my kids were younger, I was a much better multi-tasker because I didn’t have to necessarily think about the things I was doing. It was like, yeah I could juggle three things at once. But I feel like I really need to be super present with my kids when they do need me because they don’t need me all the time. Does that make sense?

Jen Obermeier:

It does. So, how for you do you transition from doing all the things into single focusing on your child when they need you and being present?

Laurie Palau:

It’s deliberate. I mean like it’s a discipline, and I think for someone like me that’s a little type A and thrives on structure and routine. It bodes well with my personality. But it is something that I have to be disciplined about, like really kind of time blocking in my head whether I’m writing down or not knowing like, “Okay, I’m turning work off, I’m putting my phone away, I’m at a certain time. I’m going to go to my daughter’s lacrosse game later, and I’m not taking my phone out. And then maybe I’ll check it later after that.” But I will also in the same token tell my kids like if there are certain things that they want me to do something and I know that I have to prioritize or I’m choosing to prioritize work without guilt, they understand that too.

Laurie Palau:

So, I think it’s trying to realize that you can’t be all things at all times and that you have to really just say, “This is the best I can do right now, and I’m going to focus my time and energy here and then I’m going to put that on the back burner and I’m going to focus my time and energy here as opposed to kind of doing them halfway.

Jen Obermeier:

Do either of your girls have any entrepreneurial genes in them?

Laurie Palau:

It’s funny. My little one is very creative. She’s my artist musician and, but she would need like an organized, like she needs somebody to run her life because she is just a hot mess. Right? She’s such a hot mess. And the poor kid, if you ever listen to my show, like I call her out all the time because she’s just, not only is she my ADD kid, but she’s just, she’s a magical thinker. Everything has feelings. So, that is justice for somebody who’s organized, where a kid who wants to hold onto like every broken pencil because it needs a friend. It’s tiring. And my older one is much more structured and like me and discipline and just kind of her approach to life.

Laurie Palau:

She’s like my athlete, my go-getter, the type A personality. But she’s a little bit more of a follower in life. I mean she leads, she’s like student council and all that, but she looks to other people’s approval more than I do. And I think if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, and I don’t know, again, I could be generalizing. I think you have to just not be afraid of what other people think. And maybe in time she won’t care as much. But I think you have to trust your gut because if I listened to people, when I was starting my business, I wouldn’t have started it.

Laurie Palau:

I started my business in 2009 at the height of the recession. And really I was starting a luxury business, you don’t need a professional organizer. “Yes, it helps you with self care. Yes, there’s benefits to it, but let’s be honest, you don’t need to hire professional organizer.” And people were like, “People are losing their jobs. They’re not sure what’s going to happen and you’re starting a business?” I’m like, “Yep, I am.” And I think if I listened to all the naysayers out there, I probably wouldn’t have been here. So just word of advice to anybody out there listening, if you believe in your messaging, just just go with it.

Jen Obermeier:

So it takes a little bit of tough skin to even get the thing going. Right? I mean, do you agree?

Laurie Palau:

100% and I think it’s harder nowadays again, because social media, and obviously everybody wants to put their best foot forward. Nobody wants to see the failures or the things that aren’t working.

Jen Obermeier:

Absolutely.

Laurie Palau:

But I think that there’s a lot of distraction that can draw out a lot of insecurities in people, present company included. And I think you just have to be mindful to recognize that. You’re looking at a one dimensional or two dimensional picture. You’re not looking at where they’re struggling behind the scenes. You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know how long it’s taken them to build something. And so if you can look at people on social media, or in your real life, and look to them and draw positive stuff from it, that’s great. But if it’s bringing you down… I just did a whole segment on a digital clutter, and it was geared towards, a lot of it towards social media and the negative effects that it can have.

Laurie Palau:

And again, not that I’m hating on social media by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m not a spark joy person, but if you want to use that language, are these people that are on your social media feed, are they sparking joy for yo? A You know, or are they bringing you down? Are you looking at somebody and feeling inferior or insecure? And if they are, then you’ve got to just turn that outside noise off, because it’s going to be there one way or the other. And it’s up to you to decide, is this something that I want to let into my life and let into my mind.

Jen Obermeier:

Do you have any really good tips for limiting yourself on the amount of time you spend on social media? Because if you share one, I’ll share mine.

Laurie Palau:

Oh my gosh.

Jen Obermeier:

People ask me this all the time.

Laurie Palau:

Yeah, no and I’m always trying new things to be honest, because I question like, “What did I do with my life before social media?” And the majority of my life was spent before there was social media. So like I know I filled my time. I’ll be honest with you, I actually have to put my phone away from me because it’s become so innate. So I’ll in the evening, I will have my phone in a different room to just not even be tempted, because what’ll happen is we’ll be watching something and I’ll just like glance over and pick it up. And the next thing I know, I’m scrolling through Instagram. So if I don’t physically have it there, I don’t miss it.

Jen Obermeier:

That’s a really good tip.

Laurie Palau:

What do you do?

Jen Obermeier:

All right, here’s my thing. Well, I have an iPhone. And so I have all my apps organized into categories. So it’s all on-

Laurie Palau:

In folders.

Jen Obermeier:

… scroll through page after page. Yeah, exactly.

Laurie Palau:

Yeah.

Jen Obermeier:

So I have one folder and it contains Instagram, my email, my text messages, Facebook, and a couple of other random apps that I use for texting. And the name of this folder is it has a bomb emoji.

Laurie Palau:

Okay.

Jen Obermeier:

And then it says one time a day. And the reason why I have this set up this way, is it’s to remind me that if I am on my phone, because I tend to like, if I’m really working and I’m supporting my students, or really replying to an email, I would much rather be sitting at my computer so I can actually think and type. So if I’m on my phone, what I tend to do is I tend to click into those apps and just consume but not really get anything done.

Laurie Palau:

Correct.

Jen Obermeier:

So the bomb and the one time of day is to remind me that I should treat these apps as if I’m running into a building that is on fire, and it has a bomb inside it. And then I need to get in, get out as soon as possible. It shouldn’t be like I go in for one thing and then get distracted by the newsfeed, or by somebody comments or by somebody new text message. It’s like, “Get in and get what you came for and they get the hell out of there.” So it’s working for me.

Laurie Palau:

I love it. That’s great. Can I tell you another? Well, here’s what-

Jen Obermeier:

Yeah, give me an another one.

Laurie Palau:

Well, this isn’t for me. So my Zoe, my older one, she decided… And I will tell you in truth, it did not last. But she decided that for lunch she was going to give up social media, and I was like, “Really? You’re like 18 years old. How are you going to communicate with anybody?” But she just said it was really more… And it was really more Instagram than anything. They don’t consider Snapchat… I’m not a big Snapchat person but that’s a whole other story. But she was like, “I’m going to give up Instagram.” And so what she did, because she’s not a big Facebook person, she went into the settings in your phone, and this is for everybody, it’s not like a separate app. It’s like in your settings in your iPhone.

Laurie Palau:

And it says you can limit your screen time on a certain app, and you can and the minimum is like you can’t turn it off entirely, but you could set it to like the lowest setting I think is one minute a day. And then it like shuts off. I guess it’s more of a parental setting. And remember my kids are older, so by the time like… I didn’t have a little kid with an iPhone because it just wasn’t a thing. So she set it to one minute a day and she’s like, “Yes, I could go back in and turn that off.” But it was like work. It was like a three step process.

Laurie Palau:

So I would have to really want to undo it and turn it off. So she went without it for I think like two full weeks. And then she was like, I’m going to have to. So it was a little bit of a-

Jen Obermeier:

That was like a mini cleanse.

Laurie Palau:

I know, I know. But I thought it was really cool how she kind of set that setting to make it more difficult for her to even access it.

Jen Obermeier:

That’s really smart. That’s a good tip. She’s a smart one.

Laurie Palau:

She is.

Jen Obermeier:

So what will it be like when you have one child in college and she-

Laurie Palau:

I don’t know. I’ll have to let you know. It’s going to be weird. I mean, she’s super independent, and she drives. So that’s not a big to do. But I think it’s going to be different. I only have two children. So half of my population of kids is going to be gone. I have friends who have four or five kids, whatever. So it’s like you lose one, you still have a large network. I’m going to be like losing 50%. But I think it’s going to be… I mean, we’re super excited for her because this is, I think the way things are supposed to be. But it’ll be definitely a shift. And I know her sister’s going to miss her because, Zoe picks up a lot of slack for Logan, so Logan’s getting hot seat now.

Jen Obermeier:

Nice. So all the ideas that you have, I know you have no intention of slowing down anytime soon. What do you do still at this stage of your business journey to grow and to learn and to be inspired by new things?

Laurie Palau:

So I’m not super social, like out on the weekends and stuff. I like to retreat. I’m a home body. So I really recharge as much as I’m an extrovert, and I get my energy from other people. I definitely need time to think, come up with content, come up with ideas, things like that. So I definitely really cherish alone time. I don’t get it that often, but now as my kids are getting older, you’d think I’ll probably be getting it a little bit more and more. I like to learn from other people, I think it’s really important.

Laurie Palau:

And so whether I’m listening to podcasts from other people who I respect and admire, or I’m reading books from other people who I respect and admire, who have done things… And it doesn’t have to be in my industry, it’s just in life things where I feel like people are successful, however you define success and, and financially is only one small piece of it for me.

Laurie Palau:

That’s how I guess, continue to stay fresh. And I think ultimately I’m always trying to figure out how can I serve people? What is it that they need? What the value that I can bring? And whether it’s to my clients, whether it’s to the partners, whether it’s to colleagues, how can I continue to bring value? And I think if you just quiet yourself and listen a little bit, the answers are right there, you know? So all the evolution of my business has really come from me listening to what people want, and just being able to kind of connect those dots.

Jen Obermeier:

100%, what’s been the best book or podcast for you in recent memory?

Laurie Palau:

So that’s a loaded question. Okay. So right I’m on this really big Enneagram kick.

Jen Obermeier:

Oh, interesting.

Laurie Palau:

So are you an Enneagram person?

Jen Obermeier:

You know, I was just asked that exact question earlier today and I certainly know what it is, but I am more of a Myers-Briggs person.

Laurie Palau:

I would like you to read the road back to you.

Jen Obermeier:

Okay, I’ve heard of that.

Laurie Palau:

Okay. And we can talk. We can reconvene. Because I think it’s really important to not only have this… And I’m a Myers-Briggs person too. I’m also really big into the four tendencies, which was Gretchen Rubin. I just had Gretchen Rubin on my show and we were talking about that. I think understanding not just who you are, but who the other people in your community are, right? In your life, whether that’s your spouse and your kids. Whether that’s your coworkers, your boss, your clients, your customers, whatever. That’s been really eyeopening for me.

Laurie Palau:

Not just how I process information, and how I deal with situations, but to understand and have a little bit more grace and mercy for people that don’t see life the same way I do. So that has been something that I’ve been really kind of devouring recently. And there’s a couple of podcasts about Enneagram stuff. So I was listening to that and obviously your podcast because-

Jen Obermeier:

Oh thanks.

Laurie Palau:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jen Obermeier:

So on that note you said you were kind of like my cool big sister, which you are. So what cool big sister advice do you have for the Pro Organizer Studio podcast?

Laurie Palau:

Be authentic. Continue to be authentic to who you are, because the people that you want to attract are going to be the… The people that are going to join Pro Organizer Studio, or listen to your podcast, and read, and consume the material that you’re putting out there are going to do it because you’re striking a chord with them. And there’s always going to be people that are going to like it. There’s always going to be people that don’t. And that’s not your problem. Your goal I think, is to be who you are, and use the gifts that you’ve been given to serve people.

Laurie Palau:

And the people that appreciate that are the people that are going to show up. And whether that’s 10 people or 10,000 people, or 10 million people. You want the authentic people that are going to get it. And I think that’s really… If people can focus on just staying true to who they are, and not lose sight of it with all the other bells and whistles that are out there. I think that’s probably my best advice.

Jen Obermeier:

That’s solid advice. You’re good.

Laurie Palau:

Preach it sister.

Jen Obermeier:

You’re very wise.

Laurie Palau:

Am I?

Jen Obermeier:

Oh yeah. You’re a pro. So tell everybody where they can find you online just in case they are not following you yet.

Laurie Palau:

Yeah, sure. Probably the best place is you could just shoot over to my website, which is simply B organized, and that’s just the letter B, simply B organized. And that’s where I am all over social, so you can find me there as well. And there’s links to all the stuff that we talked about, the book, the podcast, clutter clinic, all that is on the website.

Jen Obermeier:

Awesome.

Laurie Palau:

Hit me up there.

Jen Obermeier:

Oh girl. Thank you so much for joining me today. And I can’t wait to give you a big hug in person.

Laurie Palau:

I know.

Jen Obermeier:

You’re going to be down this way, like-

Laurie Palau:

Now that-

Jen Obermeier:

… much more often.

Laurie Palau:

I know. Now that Zoe’s going to be going to school in South Carolina, I’m going to have reason to be down there, so I’m super excited for that. Yay.

Jen Obermeier:

She’s going to love it here. She’s really going to love it.

Laurie Palau:

Oh, I’ve no doubt. We’re super excited for her.

Jen Obermeier:

Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me, Laurie, and I can’t wait until our next conversation.

Laurie Palau:

I love you, friend. Thank you so much for having me.

Jen Obermeier:

I love you too. All right, y’all take care.

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