In April 2017, 80 consultants representing over 20 countries traveled to the windy city with KonMari on their mind and joy in their hearts. I had the privilege of welcoming the incoming class the evening before the Chicago 2017 KonMari Consultant Certification Course by planning and hosting a meet-up sponsored by Slice.
It was a magical evening followed by an equally memorable first day of consultant training. Right before lunch, I was tapped to share my experience as a certified KonMari Consultant with the group.
I didn’t take this lightly.
I was challenged to summarize everything I’ve learned since I started down this path into a tidy ten minute talk. Here are some of the tips I shared:
I’m sure you soaked up a ton of great information about KonMari and the art of tidying, learning from the instructors and each other by bouncing around ideas and thoughts. I remember having that same experience and leaving training on a high. But, when I returned home, my mind felt cluttered and I wasn’t sure what to tackle next.
I suggest that you take a moment to pile your ideas, similar to how we pile clothing when we tidy by category to confront everything in one place, all at once. This way, you can pick out what sparks joy, hone in on what’s priority, and map out the details from there. You’re left with a strong visual of your priorities that will continue to inspire you as you grow your business.
Initially, your clients won’t really care what your business card looks like or why your website isn’t live! They simply have a problem and know you have the solution. So, don’t let a desire to achieve tidying business perfection stifle your momentum. Instead, use the hands-on learning opportunity of working with practice clients to drive your business copy and inspire your brand.
As an emerging tidying professional, I suggest selecting clients who are your advocates (friends, family, social circle) or potential strategic partners (media, local community, small business service provider) to practice with. For example, my brother and sister-in-law were my first two clients and I traded services with my photographer who recently read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up.
If circumstances allow, offer free or reduced rate practice lessons to encourage immediate action during the practice phase. At a minimum, ensure your clients understand you are building your business and KonMari experience, so their feedback is golden and a sincere expression of gratitude. Require photo consent, testimonials, public reviews via online platforms, and feedback on any customer facing resources (blog, website, ads, etc.) you’re developing for your business.
Write down and photograph (with client’s permission) everything you observe or hear during one-on-one tidying time with your client (even direct quotes when possible).
Use your practice time to refine your client relationship skills and standardize your unique interpretation of the KonMari practice. If you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it! 99% of the time your client won’t even notice. Use this time to get comfortable and find your flow. Note particular moments that either sparked joy or were challenging and share them with the KonMari trainee/consultant Facebook network.
When establishing your brand, it’s important to step back and truly understand what KonMari means to you and your personal “why.” I believe KonMari is fundamentally rooted in principles of respect, gratitude, and joy. All of those virtues reflect love, so that’s how I landed on For the Love of Tidy as my business name. So, think about what aspects of the tidying process resonate with you.
Keep your business identity close prior to launch. Make sure you google your business name and your full name as you begin to reserve your social media handles and shape your digital identity.
Remember, if you’re struggling to nail down your brand, don’t let that slow your momentum! Let it take shape organically as you practice.
Having a firm understanding of your ideal customer is critical to the success of your KonMari business (and really any business). We all have an affinity for keeping things in order and have immersed ourselves in the KonMari subject matter. But, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. We can learn so much from simply being in tune with and relating to our client’s questions, their pain points, and habits.
Just like we seek an ideal lifestyle, we should also have an ideal client in mind. It could be a fictional person. I know entrepreneurs who give their ideal client avatar a name, determine their household income, and other details down to what they eat for breakfast. These details may seem silly, but it’s actually a great way to help you make small and large business decisions – by simply considering what your client would want to learn, think, or do.
I’m sure you’ve created lasting friendships within your training class. I encourage you to continue to uplift your fellow trainees and partner together. For example, the Spark Joy podcast was a partnership that emerged from a chance meeting at a KonMari seminar in 2016.
Reach out to trainees and consultants that came before and after you. Your professional network may also include:
At times, the pressures of the administrative requirements for certification may distract you, causing you to lose sight of what truly matters – cultivating a positive, life-changing KonMari experience for clients. Marie Kondo reminds us “tidying is fun!” The same applies to consulting. Loosen up and remember why you started down this path in the first place. Empathize with and get to know your clients. They are your biggest fans. Share your own life-changing story and grow together!
There were many things left unsaid after my short talk.
Luckily, during lunch, trainees started to approach me individually with really great questions. This organically turned into a group chat where we were all learning and growing.
…and no, we weren’t talking about how to fold socks.
We discussed the realities and hard truths around starting your own tidying business and approaches that best serve clients. How to set up a webpage. How to attract ideal clients. How to create a brand. How to schedule appointments and accept payment…
Somewhere in the midst of these conversations, I realized I wanted to create a platform to help foster and serve a community of emerging tidying entrepreneurs with actionable tools and accountability that drives the thriving business envisioned in their ideal lifestyle.
Interested in tools and a network that supports the business development side of your tidying work? Check out Tidy Mastermind 4.0, offered to active trainees and consultants annually. Enrollment opens February 24-March 6, 2020. Click here to enroll.
Check out my 90 min KMI Retreat breakout presentation From Certified to Successful: How to Build a Thriving Tidying Business, Clients, and Lifestyle as a preview of TM 4.0 topics. Schedule a tidying business coaching call to address more immediate needs. Here’s how your fellow KonMari Consultants have benefited from their call:
Good luck and spark joy!