What Mom has never felt disorganized? I know for me, when I became a Mom, I tried so hard to stay organized. I have always been a neat freak and one to multi-task, and keep my husband and I organized. Each night I would put together a to-do list for the next day, and have a running list of things I had to remind my husband to do. But, once the girls came, my lists and keeping the house tidy went out the window. It was like all my time was consumed by taking care of them, and the free time I did have, which was sparingly and little, I spent catching up on rest. I found myself doing 3-4 loads of laundry a day, and was tired after this. So, that last thing I wanted to think about was cleaning the house.
But, once Savannah turned 2 yrs. old and was a little more independent, I made a New Year's resolution to get more organized in life. I started off slow, as I didn't want to fail right out of the gate, or become overwhelmed with everything I let go by the wayside. As the months went by, I began seeing my old organized self reappear. Lists were made and checked off daily, and I finally found a sense of being organized and knowing what had to get down and what could be moved to another day. Once I began seeing our lives get more in-sync, my stress level also went down. What I loved most about finally becoming organized again was that I didn't have to give up a lot of time with the family to tackle household chores and items on my to-do list. It came down to time management and knowing how to rank each to-do item. There were days that I wasn't able to check off each to-do item, but that was fine, as I knew that there was always tomorrow.
Fast forward almost a year later, and I am still staying organized to a point. I will not lie, that it has gotten harder now that the girls are going through the terrible two stages together and having trouble sharing, etc. But, thanks to Mridu Parikh's Life is Organized services, I have a place to go to receive organizational support through one on one coaching, useful videos, workshops and more.
So, what is Life is Organized, and how can it help you get organized for once and for all?
"Life is Organized meets all your organizing needs in one place, so you don’t have to go to a bunch of different sources to find your answers. We offer how-to videos, workshop tutorials, favorite products, organizing checklists and discussion boards (and much more) all one on site. Plus, you get Mridu’s personality! Lastly, if there’s something you don’t see that you’re looking for, we’ll try our best to get you the information or post a video on it. Life is Organized is like have your own personal Professional Organizer in your life -- on YOUR schedule.
New training will be launched monthly. Life is Organized launched with its signature home organizing workshop, Power House. We will be launching our next workshop on August 1st on "How To Gain An Hour A Day", an awesome time management workshop. Every month you can expect awesome, interactive and valuable training on how to organize a specific area of your life. Other upcoming workshops include: How To Get Your Family Organized, Get Control Of All Your Papers And Files, Taming The Photo Beast, Control Your Clutter Once And For All and Setting And Achieving Goals."
This week's Spotlight Mom, Mridu Parikh sums up her services in this quote, "I’m committed to helping you lose stress and gain control in every area of your life, like your time, goals, career, family and home. Life Is Organized allows me to give you tons more information and resources than ever before." Let Mridu help you get organized once and for all, by simplifying things in your life, and making taking control of your life attainable. Yes, it can be done. And, Mridu is here to help! :-)
Please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Mridu Parikh of Life is Organized. Then, scroll down below the interview for your chance to win a FREE 6-month PRO Membership (valued at $120), as well as find a 20% off for life coupon code to use towards Mridu's PRO membership, just for Inspired by Savannah readers.
Name: Mridu Parikh
Company Name/Product/Service: Life is Organized
Company Location: Nashville, TN
Company Website: http://www.lifeisorganized.com/
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/LifeIsOrganized
Twitter Handle: @lifeisorganized
Age of Company: Less than 1 yr. (but just transitioned from Memories Organized, which was founded in 2010)
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:
· Nothing worth having comes easy.
· Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. –Mark Twain
· Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will. – Dr. Robert Anthony
· Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it. (friends mom)
It was hard to pick one! But this is one of them. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I’m Mridu Parikh, a 40 year old mom of two boys, Krishin (9) and Vishal (7), and wife to my wonderful husband, Viraj. I have one older brother who lives in NY (where I grew up) and my parents are in NJ. I was a tried and true New Yorker, never imagined I’d ever leave, until my husband’s job brought us to Nashville eight years ago. And now, I’m a convert! I love the lifestyle and feel we can spend more quality time with our kids and can afford them resources we might not have been able to, back in New York.
I am also obsessed with organizing and after organizing professionally for the past three years, I’ve worked tirelessly to launch Life is Organized. I couldn’t have done it without my husband, the strategist and visionary, and the support of my kids who have been very patient with us through these last sleepless six months! :-)
So when I’m not working on my business you can usually find me at baseball practice and games, birthday parties, school activities and play dates. But my husband and I work really hard at taking some time for the two of us, so we usually get a sitter 2-3 times months so we can have a night out with each other. We promise we’re not going to talk about the kids, and usually we spend about 75% of our time doing just that. ;)
By nature, I’m a very positive person and I love helping people, whether it’s at school, in their homes, coaching or simply giving them a ride somewhere. I love socializing, spending time with friends, entertaining, going to movies, Zumba and trying new restaurants. I wish I had more time for pre-kid enjoyment like shopping and manicures, but know that it will all come again in good time. J
In general, I feel blessed to have the family and life that I do and equally blessed that I have the opportunity and support to embark on a new endeavor that I’m passionate and excited about.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
I help moms who are tired of being overwhelmed, who want to take control of their lives and who want to feel confident that they can succeed at it. I do this through Life is Organized, an online organization haven for busy moms.
Life is Organized provides the motivation, the accountability and the tools women need to get their homes, time and goals running smoothly. Through online workshops, training videos, resources (like checklists and goal worksheets) and discussion boards, women get the step-by-step help and tools they need to get organized, find more time in their day, and ultimately, live happier.
I know moms are stretched for time, so each video tutorial is only three to fifteen minutes long, so each person can go at their own pace on their own schedule.
I follow lots of organization blogs and what I found was that I couldn’t find one that had everything I needed to get organized. Some had great blogs with weekly advice and some checklists, but no classes or training. Others had great workshops and classes but nowhere to ask and discuss questions. Or others had awesome checklists but not one place where you could find their recommended products.
Life is Organized brings it all together, so you get all your organizing resources, discussion boards, recommended products and training all on one site. Plus I’ve infused a ton of personality because I want it to be fun and entertaining. I feel half the stress women have is what we’ve built up in our heads, so it was really important to me that I created a site that was relaxed and fun while providing a ton of value.
When we first moved to Nashville, I was a stay-at-home mom. (I left my Marketing career back in NYC!) I immediately got pregnant with my second son and so decided to stay home for a few years. Although I had the itch to start working before his first birthday but knew I didn’t want to go back to Corporate. I wanted to leverage the skills I had, find my passion and have a more flexible lifestyle. (Yes, the SAHM’s ultimate dream! ;)
I tried my hand in a local business for a couple years which I ended up selling and broke even, after realizing it wasn’t as fulfilling as I imagined. However, from the onset I had been thinking about Organizing Professionally (as I learned a lot about it after our big move and two kids) but didn’t know how I could make a career out of it.
But I finally bit the bullet and started organizing locally, specifically on people’s most treasured assets, their photos and videos. And thus, Memories Organized was born. This was a great way to get started in the organizing profession but I soon expanded to Home Organization as well, as so many of my clients were asking for my help in this area. It was during this time that I started my organization blog and within six months, I was video blogging every week. (I provide one organization tip on your home, time or goals on a weekly basis).
The response to my video blogs made me realize what a greater impact I could be having on people’s lives, literally all around the world. I also realized that my true passion was in the coaching and teaching vs. the hands on details. So I embarked on creating a business and marketing plan for Life is Organized, to create this type of scalable business that would marry my passion for coaching, organizing and helping other moms.
And here I am, with a great following but looking forward to reaching thousands of moms around the world, to help them decrease their stress and overwhelm and increase their happiness.
What is a typical workday like?
· Up at 6:15am, make coffee and jump in the shower.
· Get the kids up at 6:45. Make breakfasts and lunches and get them out the door by 7:45am.
· Get back from drop off a little after 8:00. Clean up from the morning and start working in my office at 8:30am
· From 8:30 – 2:45 I’m either creating content, working on marketing/pr/promotion or at networking meetings and/or conferences
· Of course, sprinkle in some school parties, teacher conferences, PTO meetings, field trips and other kid stuff once or twice a week – as well as workouts J
· Leave for pick up 2:45 and spend time with the kids after school or at activities until 5:30/6:00 and then start making dinner
· 8:30pm – get the kids to bed
· 8:30pm-10, 11 or 12 depending on the day – work!
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
1. Wearing so many business hats. J As an entrepreneur there are a hundred different things I could be doing at all times like content creation, video blogging, marketing, PR, social media, promotion, analytics, relationship building, communication plans and the list goes on and on! It’s been challenging to figure out what’s most critical and for how much time, as all are important for launch, longevity and success of my business.
2. The balance! J I honestly think the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is juggling family with your career. There is so much that I want to do and the hours are so limited given school, kids activities and the personal development (homework, relationships and emotions). There have been times that I’ve felt like a really “bad” mom and that I’ve neglected my kids. I know in reality, this isn’t true. They are very loved and well taken care of. But as a very involved mom, it’s been really hard to substitute me with the tv or miss some of their school activities. But the balance has been getting easier for all of us.
What did you do in your past work life?
I worked in Marketing in Direct Mail in a few different agencies in NYC. Prior to that I worked in Advertising Sales at New York Magazine.
What have been some of your major successes?
I’ve had two recent successes that I’m really proud of:
1. I was recently awarded one of the Top 20 Home and Office Organizers of 2013 (by Clear Simple Living)
2. I was picked up as the official Organization blogger at The Tennessean (our “big” paper in our area)
What have been some of your major challenges?
Two big challenges were not having enough confidence in myself and not understanding that I couldn’t effectively do it all. I’ll break these down. J
1) My husband has always been my biggest supporter and cheerleader but in a way that is different than my parents. He makes me challenge myself. He pushes me like a coach pushes an athlete. When I was organizing on a small, local scale (almost more as a hobby) he kept insisting that I could be reaching and helping people around the world. I didn’t believe him. More accurately, I didn’t believe in myself. I believed I didn’t have the background, connections, education or personality to take things to “that level”. Because of this lack of confidence there was a long time that I was self-sabotaging growth. I wasn’t opening myself up to opportunities because I was scared and I didn’t feel like I deserved them.
Now I understand (without being cocky) that I am can create incredible value, I have a gift that people appreciate and that I can make a difference – in a big way.
Now I understand (without being cocky) that I am can create incredible value, I have a gift that people appreciate and that I can make a difference – in a big way.
2) I think part of that small-mindedness was the idea that I could do it all. I felt that I didn’t need to invest in other people to make great things happen. This resistance held my back for a while. About eight months ago I hired a marketing team that helped me with everything from strategy to branding and logo to web build to PR, which was invaluable. There was absolutely no way I could have done it all myself. And I continue to make investments in other people, as I realize that is the best way I can invest in myself.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I have a big quote hanging in my office that says “Take pride in how far you have come and faith in how far you will go.” On my impossible days, I literally fixate my eyes on that for a couple minutes and it takes me back to when I was thinking about what I could do with a few hours of my time every week while my son was in preschool and how I watched and episode on HGTV and thought, “wow, I can do that!” And then I fast forward to where I am today. Different things have motivated me over different points of my process. Nowadays I’m motivated by how far I’ve come….and that picks me up and makes me think about where I could be in just 3 months or 6 months from now.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Focused times. Scheduling specific time on my calendar for specific tasks and turning off all other distractions (as much as possible! ;) I’ve really been focusing on being fully present on whatever it is that I’m engaged in. It’s helped me find a lot of time in the day I didn’t have before, be more productive and focus on my priorities (like my kids and career).
What is next for your business?
Global growth. My message is the same whether it’s a mom next door or a mom in Japan. We all struggle with handling it all. I’m really excited to be able to scale my message and reach even more women around the world to create a collaborative and supportive online community.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
1. Don’t do anything you’re not completely passionate about. (I found that out from my first business). It takes an incredible about of stamina and conviction to stick with it and make things work. If you don’t love what you’re doing, it will show up in all parts of your business and life.
2. Start before you’re ready. Again, in my first business I waited until my website was perfect, my business cards and marketing materials were printed, before I started promoting. And wouldn’t you know it, my phone was silent for six months. However, when I started organizing, I picked a business name, ordered cards on Vistaprint and started emailing friends and family immediately about my new business. My web site and everything else came afterwards. Building relationships and networking takes time. So get started before things are perfect because your schedule won’t be packed on day one!
3. Figure what you like to do and do it -- and figure out the stuff you don’t like to do and outsource it. I hate accounting but still tried to keep track of my business finances for a year and half until I finally outsourced it. The small cost of an accountant vs. the headache and heartache I had every month, was so worth it!
One lucky reader will win a 6-month PRO Membership to LifeisOrganized.com (valued at $120), thanks to Mridu.
Click here to learn more about the PRO Membership and its benefits: http://www.lifeisorganized.com/subscribe/why-subscribe
To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
--SIGN UP FOR THE PRO MEMBERSHIP AND SAVE 20% OFF FOR LIFE--
Mridu is offering Inspired by Savannah readers a wonderful savings -- 20% off her PRO Membership services for LIFE!!!!. To take advantage of this amazing savings, which is only available for the next 30 days, head on over to LifeisOrganized.com and use coupon code "BESTDEAL" at checkout. It is that easy!
More about the "Pro" subscription:
"The “Pro” subscription gives members access to my organizing workshops. I have launched with Power House, a home organization workshop. It’s a step-by-step training on how to get every space of your home organized. (When you log in with your coupon you’ll have access to it all – but for new people, they can see five free classes on http://www.lifeisorganized.com/let-s-shop/workshops/powerhousepromo.
Every quarter I’ll be releasing a new workshop. The next one will be on Time Management: How To Gain Two Hours A Day!
And although workshops will be added every few months, the monthly subscription price will always stay the same.
The best way to understand “Pro” subscription and what Life is Organized has to offer is by watching my video on “Why Subscribe?” http://lifeisorganized.com/subscribe/why-subscribe."