Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Georgina Forrest, Founder of Smartworks! Productivity & Organizing Solutions, located in Red Deer, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a certified professional organizer, a certified photo manager, and a productivity coach. My focus these days is on growing the photo organizing side of my business. My clients are typically overwhelmed with the volume of photos they own - both digital as well as printed - and are seeking to cull them down to a manageable number. They also want them organized in a way that allows them to find those special memories quickly and easily.
Tell us about yourself
I fell into the world of professional organizing - I never imagined myself doing what I naturally love to do as a business. My focus in the early days of my career was providing office organizing services which quickly led me to learn, then teach my clients about productivity and time management. Once, while working with a client in her office, she shared an article about an entrepreneur that was offering photo organizing services. It was as if two worlds collided for me at that moment: organizing and photos - my two loves all in one package! I could hardly contain my excitement. After a bit of research on the internet, I discovered the photo organizing side of this industry. I joined a photo organizing association and began learning about the many ways photo managers can help their clients. I have never looked back. I am motivated every day by my client's relief at finally getting some help with sorting through, culling, and organizing their photo collections. For many, this is a legacy they want to leave for future generations, and the profound importance of this is not lost on me. I feel as if what I do is to provide value to others' lives, and in this, I am humbled and grateful.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Continuing to evolve as a business owner. The changing needs of clients, as well as staying on top of new trends, requires me to continually learn and grow. Not just as an entrepreneur but also as an individual. The confidence I have gained about my skills and knowledge over the past 25 years as a business owner is immeasurable.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Staying motivated when business is slow. In business, there will likely be busy times and then times that are slower, and it requires a lot of self-will to be optimistic when the bank account starts to dwindle. You will need to dig deep and get doing what needs to be done, no matter what.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- My first tip is to just do it. Clarity will come when you start the process, not in the planning stages. Yes, of course, there is some planning that is necessary but do not let that prevent you from just diving in and following your dream. It's nearly impossible to avoid making mistakes, so surrender yourself to them and learn as you grow.
- The second tip I would give you is to find a group of like-minded individuals that you meet with on a regular basis to set goals with and hold each other accountable for those goals. I have accountability buddies that have supported me, provided feedback on ideas I'm considering, brainstormed solutions to problems, and a whole lot more. If you're working alone, an accountability buddy is a necessary component of a successful business. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for these individuals that are as committed to my success as I am. And, of course, this goes both ways – I am committed to supporting them in their respective successes.
- The third tip I would offer is never stop learning. No matter how skilled or knowledgeable you are about your product or service, there is always something more you can learn that will enhance it and benefit not only your clients/customers, but also yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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