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Eileen Roth on Transformative Decisions in Business and Life

Eileen Roth, organizing expert, author, and speaker at Everything in its Place

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your journey as a leader in your industry?

I graduated college with a BA in Secondary Education - English but there were so many teachers that year that I never found a job, so I became an Administrative Assistant and rose to being an Office Manager. From there I decided to become an organizing consultant.

What specific experiences or decisions in your journey do you believe have shaped your approach to business and leadership?

When things are not what you want, then you want to look at what skills you have. So when I realized I wasn't going to find a teaching job, I relied on the skills I already had-- typing and organizing information. Those same skills served me to later become a professional organizer.

Can you share a story of a pivotal moment in your career that led to a significant transformation in your business or personal life?

I was laid off twice in the same year. I didn't think I wanted to try for another position in association management, but I didn't know what I wanted to do.

What factors did you consider when making that critical decision, and how did you weigh the potential risks and rewards?

I decided to use a mind map to make a decision. I listed my 3 favorite jobs and then what I liked about each one I also weighed working 9-3pm as I had been working while my children were in school. Becoming a consultant allowed me to make my own hours.

What challenges did you face during this transformative period, and how did you overcome them?

I tested my idea of being a professional organizer by organizing a pantry for a neighbor. I'd never really seen it, even though I had been to her house many times. Then I organized a friend's file system to see if that was also something I wanted to do. I found I liked both, but organizing offices and setting up file systems is my specialty.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self at that time, or to entrepreneurs and business leaders who might find themselves in a similar situation?

1. What skills do you currently have that might lead you in a different direction? 2. Is there a way you could try a different profession? Could you work thru a temporary employment agency? Could you do research or talk to someone in that profession or maybe spend a few hours to see what their job entails?

How has that pivotal moment influenced the way you make decisions today, and what lasting impact has it had on your business?

I tend to do a mindmap or at least a list to make important decisions and weigh the pros and cons or advantanges and disadvantages.

In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs and business leaders to have these transformative moments, and how can they best prepare for and learn from them?

Look back on your personal or business major decisions and see what lessons you can learn from them.If you are new in business and haven't had any, you could use a mind map to help you determine what to do for projects you have - business or personal. Having that experience will prepare you for when you need to make an important decision.


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