Having a clean home is wonderful. No need to call in the bomb squad to deal with the mess that is your living area when you decide to have a barbeque for your friends and family. However, it goes far beyond that. Psychologically, a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind: generating feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
This is a bit of wisdom that Christa Jones has picked up while running a successful business of decluttering and organizing people’s homes. Pick up some more wisdom with us as we learn all about Christa’s Entrepreneur Story.
What are three things every Entrepreneur should know?
“Just three?” Christa laughingly clarified our first question. Knowing that entrepreneurship is no small undertaking, Christa brought up her first point: that during the initial five years, you must be prepared to invest a significant amount of time and energy into your venture.
This often requires sacrificing personal time, saying no to social calls, and prioritizing work over other aspects of life. Although entrepreneurship comes with a certain level of freedom that a traditional nine-to-five doesn’t offer, running a business demands constant attention and dedication to ensure its success.
Christa emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs to recognize their limitations and be open to learning new skills for her second point. While you may excel in your area of interest, launching a business involves various tasks beyond that. It’s important that you actively acquire and learn these skills in the beginning, as you may not have the resources to outsource them.
Lastly, Christa advises entrepreneurs to understand the financial implications of scaling their business. While it may be tempting to delegate tasks as the business grows, hiring employees or outsourcing comes at a cost. There’s, first, the cost of hiring the individuals and, second, the need to constantly and carefully manage your finances: increasing revenue and monitoring cash flow and profits.
Additionally, as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be very conscious of what you do with the time that hiring other individuals frees up. Are you taking this time to relax and recuperate, or are you using it for outreach, networking, and further growing the business? Striking a balance between self-sufficiency and smart delegation is crucial for long-term success.
What problem does your business solve and who are its customers?
Christa’s business, Rose City Professional Organizing, helps individuals take control of their home and their space by offering expert decluttering, design, and organization services. Christa highlighted that their service is about more than simply offering a “clean home,” it’s about the mental and emotional effects that this has on their clients.
Rose City’s declutter coaches and professional organizers assist individuals and families who feel disorganized, overwhelmed, and stressed out with the goal of helping people transition from a state of discouragement, overwhelm, anxiety, and clutter to a space of calm, peaceful, and empowering confidence.
They want them to enjoy their spaces fully, not only by regaining control over their homes but also by feeling in control of their lives. By taking these steps to transform their home, Christa’s clients gain a sense of confidence and empowerment.
Rose City’s ideal client, according to Christa, is someone who wants to take charge of their environment, ultimately transforming their life. She likened her services to being personal trainers for your home.
When you take control of your external surroundings, it has a profound internal impact, positively influencing various aspects of your life in remarkable ways.
What inspired you to become an Entrepreneur?
Much of Christa’s interest in becoming an entrepreneur can be credited to her father who was always working on this side hustle here, and that business there, and that other venture over here. When she was 12 years old, Christa’s father took her to a trade show where she became a salesperson for the first time.
Her experience at this trade show, educating people about the product and making sales, served as her first spark of interest in entrepreneurship. From then on, her dad started taking Christa to meetings and conferences related to his various businesses, where she was usually the youngest person in the room as well as the only female.
From selling vacuums to direct sales calls, Christa’s dad was a serial entrepreneur, always starting new ventures, and she learned a lot through joining him on these ventures. When she turned 18, she was able to enroll in direct sales companies on her own - an impactful turning point for Christa as she shifted from assisting her father to pursuing sales and entrepreneurship on her own.
For about five years, Christa worked in real estate. In fact, she didn't actually start her own business until four years ago when she founded Rose City Professional Organizing. Initially, it was a side hustle to earn extra cash for retirement and her kids' savings, with Christa working on it in the evenings and weekends while maintaining her regular job.
Her first client wanted her to declutter and organize their storage room for four hours, preparing it for a sale, during which time the client donated an entire minivan's worth of items. Her client realized in doing so that she didn’t need a new bigger home, just less stuff. This experience demonstrated the significant impact decluttering can have on people's lives to Christa.
Christa continued to discover that the benefits of her business went beyond saving money and making a difference, as clients shared how it brought them freedom, relief, reduced overwhelm and stress, improved their children's behaviour, and created a sense of order in their homes.
They expressed that Christa had changed their lives which further motivated her to grow her business.
If someone had given you a million dollars when you first started your business, what would you have spent it on?
Christa’s main investment with the million dollars would be similar to those of many of the entrepreneurs we have the pleasure of speaking to: investing in people.
Christa mentioned that had someone given her a large sum of money, she would’ve been skeptical of her business’ ability to turn a profit from it at first. This makes sense considering the way she viewed her business in the beginning, and how much her perspective shifted when she learned of decluttering’s true value and impact.
In running her business, Christa has also learned that the best investment is in good people who can help you achieve important milestones and keep the momentum going.
As an entrepreneur, it's crucial to have a reliable team supporting you, even if they are contractors. Christa allocates her funds towards individuals who handle various aspects of her business, such as social media scheduling, content creation, website management, design, bookkeeping, accounting, client follow-up, and team reminders.
This allows her the freedom to focus on her own passion in the business and spend quality time with family and friends outside of it. Moreover, by investing in capable individuals, she is able to reach a wider audience and change more lives.
According to Christa, when it comes to using a large sum of money, it's wise to prioritize investing in the right people who can provide valuable support.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an Entrepreneur?
One of Christa’s proudest moments was when she made the decision to take the summer off from work. After working intensely for three consecutive summers, she decided it was time for a break. She discussed it with her counselor, who questioned whether Christa could trust her team to handle the administrative tasks and follow-ups.
Therein followed the realization that she needed to hire a virtual executive assistant. Once Christa found the right person and onboarded them, she breathed a sigh of relief and decided to book a two-week vacation in Mexico while her kids were with their dad.
Christa completely trusted her team to handle everything in her absence. During that time, she only spent about 10 minutes a day checking in and conducting some client coaching calls.
Despite taking a significant break, business revenue reached $150,000 that year, with an additional $30,000 from business coaching. This achievement of being able to afford and enjoy a vacation while maintaining strong revenue growth is something Christa takes immense pride in.
What big goals are you looking to achieve?
This year, Christa’s main goal is to achieve the same organizing revenue as last year, $150,000, while maintaining a similar profit margin of around 20-25%. However, Christa showed some uncertainty about reaching this goal as this year people are able to travel, dine out, and live their lives more “normally” again.
Consequently, the focus on organizing and the mental health aspect of decluttering is not as prominent. Rose City now also offers moving services, which helps balance things out. Their revenue goal is important for Christa’s personal expenses and investments, but ultimately, she wants to find a sweet spot where she can pay herself adequately, have free time, and avoid burnout.
Christa dubbed this year an “experimental” one as it’s her first year without the impact of COVID. She’s open to seeing how things unfold, and has always been adaptable and willing to explore different opportunities - a realization many entrepreneurs can relate to.
People are the most important investment you can make as an entrepreneur. Founder’s have the luxury of more free time but it’s hard earned through years of sacrifice first. Scaling your business is both tempting and rewarding, however, it comes at its own cost.
These are just a few of the educated tips that Christa Jones, a professional organizer and declutter coach, has for fellow entrepreneurs seeking financial stability, time freedom, and passionate living through carving out their own path to success.
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