Juli Shulem, M.S., PCC, CPC is a Productivity Coach and Industrial Organizational Psychologist at Coach Juli, LLC. She has been helping Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, and Business Leaders improve their ability to get things done more efficiently, and effectively through speaking, training, and coaching. She works with clients world-wide to transform the way they work and live by helping create systems, structure, and boundaries.
Coach Juli has been helping people go from chaos to orderly for almost 4 decades having started her career as a Professional Organizer. Aside from coaching people through challenging aspects of their lives, she can train people to become better with task management, organizing, prioritization, sequencing, planning, and project management via seminars, groups, and one-on-one sessions. Her additional specialty of helping adults with ADHD provides major transformation for those dealing with stress, anxiety and overwhelm due to being non-neurotypical.
Although she had started out wanting to become a surgeon, entrepreneurship took hold, but she still fulfills her dream of helping people have a better life. And as one client said to her – “she still does surgery…just not with a scalpel” and that is because Juli just doesn’t apply a Band-aid® to a problem – she helps you get to the root of an issue and solve it.
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
I began my career as a Professional Organizer and Efficiency Expert decades ago organizing medical and dental offices while attending college. I pursued a career as a medical illustrator with a back-up plan of becoming a surgeon. I was photographing operations which I would later illustrate for doctors who were speaking and needed the illustrations for their work. This was a short-lived career path however.
I loved organizing --- and was able to teach it and not just ‘do it’ so I worked with clients after college and soon found I could make a good living doing that and quickly became known as the top Professional Organizer & Time Management Expert locally. I designing paper management systems of all kinds, organized companies, and taught time management and efficiency through workshops and seminars.
I was brought in to organize more medical and dental offices, law offices, therapists, realtors, and then larger corporations such as Amgen and John Tesh Productions at Paramount Studios.
Around 2004 all my business clients disclosed that they were struggling with ADHD. It was then that I realized that this was a very misunderstood and underserved population so I re-directed my focus to help those with more difficult challenges around organization and focusing. When my son was ‘invited to never return’ to the private school he was attending due to his severe ADHD, OCD, and ODD – I home-schooled him. It was then that I was driven to not only help my son, but help other families grappling with this in their own lives. I became the referral source to help other parents who had received a diagnosis of ADHD for their own children. Word got out quickly and I was getting asked to help the college students of my business clients and soon became the top referral at UCSB’s Disabled Student Services Department.
I taught as adjunct faculty at SBCC’s Career Skills Institute on Leadership as well as Time Management. I have since led workshops in Task Management and Productivity for multiple departments at UCSB and other companies in the Southern California area.
I earned my Coaching Certification at the International Coaching Academy and became a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation. Several years ago, I decided to get a Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology, graduating in 2019 at the top of the department.
Was any one person who was instrumental in helping you get from where you started out, to where you are now?
Honestly, there wasn't any specific person who helped me get to where I am - if there had been I would probably have been MUCH farther along sooner. I didn't have a mentor - but I was one for many people in the past. I tended to blaze my own trail not knowing where to go for more help along the way. I admit I did things the hard way as I didn't know there could be an easier one. I would say that each experience in my life; be it with a client, a particular job, or a conversation with a colleague, added either a tool in my toolbox of skills or knowledge which gave me ideas and options to move my work forward.
Is there a particular piece of advice you were given in the early days of your business journey that you still benefit from today?
My father had put in my head: Find what you like to do and then find a way to get paid doing it. My big problem was there were so many things I liked to do from illustration, to medicine, orthodontics, to organizing and solving problems in so many arenas. I had a really difficult time narrowing down my strong interests. I landed on the ones that I was naturally good at that I could turn into my super power: Organizing and Productivity won. And I indeed found a way to get paid doing that! I am often reminded of that path and believe that finding one's passion and turning that into your career makes 'work' something you look forward to doing each and every day. I love my life, my clients, and that I get to do something I LOVE, where I am having serious impact in the lives of others, and I can support myself doing it too. It doesn't get better than that!
What is the most important lesson you've learned about leadership in your business journey so far?
Lessons on Leadership so far having coached many leaders in Fortune 500 & 100 companies…
Leadership is not about being ‘bossy.’ It is about empowering and inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. Helping someone become an excellent contributor, by being a wonderful role model, gives those you are leading an example they can emulate.
Leadership is about being approachable so that those you lead feel safe coming to you for their own growth. Empowering others and helping them to learn what they wish/need to know is the sign of a strong leader. Ego cannot be part of the equation. Confidence is necessary, and by the same token, showing some vulnerability as well as building relationships is what moves the needle forward for all. Great leaders know how to get out of the way of those they have hired and who are leveling up, as well as letting individuals do their job without being micro-managed.
What are the top three things you wish you'd known when you were just starting out?
These are the top three items that I wish I could get a 'do over' on:
Get the really well-done professional website first. I couldn't afford the really professional one with the amazing SEO at the beginning and that postponed my success by years.
Vet people before hiring anyone and steer toward those who have been personally referred versus someone who randomly solicits you online.
Don’t stop marketing and putting yourself out there or you stop getting work. I stopped marketing while earning my M.S. degree and it took over a year to ramp back up.
In your experience, what is the most effective way to build a strong network of mentors and advisors to guide you in your business endeavors?
Get into a mastermind or networking group that supports giving to others. If everyone gives then everyone wins. These people may become your circle of influence, but they also can become amazing guides, mentors, and advisors along the way. And many even become friends. :)
How do you determine when it's time to pivot, and what factors should you consider in making that decision?
I have pivoted so many times and each time was due to a change in trends, needs of the world, or lack of happiness on my part. I keep on top of what is going on and what people are needing so I can pivot to meet those demands as best and as promptly as I can.
How do you stay motivated and inspired during the business cycle of ups and downs?
I look back on my life and realize that there are ALWAYS ups and downs so I don't stress about it any longer. I have projects that I keep on the back burner for the 'down time' so I am still productive - just in another way.
Looking back, what one thing would you do differently if you could start your journey over again?
Not take as much time away from my career when my kids were growing up. Being away from the working world as much as I was caused me to spend a lot of time reinventing myself and getting back up to speed again when I did so.