In my column the last two weeks, I talked about the journey I’ve been on to gain clarity regarding the direction God wants for my writing—and how I’m discovering that through what I need to let go of, what I need to keep, and what I need to return to that I hadn’t even considered.
In this Part 3, I’d like to share a little about my thoughts around What I Need to Return to That I Hadn’t Even Considered.
What I Need to Return to That I Hadn’t Even Considered
When I first opened my business, Organize the Essentials, in 2008, it wasn’t a freelance writing business at all—but a professional organizing business.
Since I love to organize stuff, imagine my delight when I learned in early 2008 that there were people who actually organized for a living—and a professional organization to which many of them belonged. At that time, it was called the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), but in a recent check I found that while the acronym remains the same, the name has been changed to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.
Like most professional organizers at the time, my initial foray into this new field focused on space organizing. I hired a local coach who had her own organizing business, and during evenings and weekends she taught me how to set up my business and work with clients on organizing projects in their homes.
After doing this a few times on my own, I saw a more specific niche that needed much attention and was one I could fill: Health Information Organizing, which I affectionately referred to as HIO. As was typical for my team whom I could always count on for support, Dave and Mom jumped in with both feet to support my efforts and get things off the ground.
Mom picked the company name, Organize the Essentials, and was my test client to help me create a HIO system. By the time we were through, our system included templates into which I could add a client’s health information, a STATKey™ medical flash drive that made the information portable, and a Health Information Notebook™ with system-oriented tabs to keep everything organized.
Dave and I made the rounds to our area’s Small Business Association (SBA) resources to gather information and garner advice. We made decisions about product design and packaging—then hired a graphic designer (who became a wonderful friend) to design the packaging inserts and other collaterals for products and marketing, like this one:
Armed with all of that, I initially offered a health information organizing service in which I met with clients and often family members in their homes, rolling my little office behind me. I’d set up my laptop, portable printer, and scanner, and use the system we’d created to organize their health information. By the end of my visit, my client had a completed Health Information Notebook™ that contained all of their essential information as a means of improving their care. Of course, that also included all of their digital files that had been loaded onto the STATKey™, too. In that way, they could update things themselves as needed along the way.
When word of the STATKey™ started to spread, other groups started inviting us to their events, too—namely kayakers and athletes, since we offered a version that was water resistant and could be worn on a wrist. Dave and I spent many hours packing products for vendor events, and we enjoyed being out in our community—and sometimes Mom came along, too.
But, since we were such a small operation, we knew the rapidly-expanding digital world would soon offer more advanced options than what we could afford to develop. So, it ended up being one of those nice-while-it-lasted endeavors that taught us all a great deal—and accomplished my primary purpose for creating it in the first place: ensuring the quality of Mom’s care.
I always worried about making sure her essential information was readily available if I wasn’t around and/or she couldn’t speak for herself—but our health information organizing system made it possible to have everything that was needed all organized in one place. Her healthcare providers loved it.
So, why am I talking about this in the context of What I Need to Return to That I Hadn’t Considered?
No, I’m not going to dive back into professional organizing again.
However, what I’ve realized as I’ve been on this journey of discovery is that when I was organizing on a professional basis, I wasn’t writing about it except for the marketing materials being used in various ways.
With my recent website shift to “Embracing faith and simplicity to help Boomers focus on what matters most,” it seems to me I need to loop back around and include offerings for health information organizing and estate organizing, too.
So, there’s my intro and FYI regarding the additions you’ll be seeing on my website in coming weeks.
Thanks for letting me share, and I’d love to hear from you, too.
Do you have something you might return to that you hadn’t considered before?
Please join the conversation by commenting below.
Feature photo by Jon Eckert on Unsplash.