CPO® Stories: How Certification Attracted New Business
Five months after I earned my certification, I was contacted by someone who wanted me to organize her whole house. I asked how she found me. She said, “The NAPO website. You’re the only one.” I knew I wasn’t the only NAPO member showing up in her search because I’m not the only one in my city. But I also knew I was the only CPO® within 250 miles of my city, so I asked about that. She confirmed that was what she meant and explained she “wasn’t comfortable with someone who wasn’t certified.”
I was excited that my new credential was paying off so quickly, though not surprised. I’ve heard lots of stories from CPOs whose credential played a large role in being selected for lucrative jobs. Here are some of those stories:
A woman called me from Chicago requesting help unpacking her two-bedroom apartment in New York City. She said, “You’re a CPO® right? That’s why I chose you. My organizer in Chicago said to look for a CPO® and I would be in good hands!”
– Angela Kantarellis, CPO®, AKorganizing
Last spring, I received a call from a woman who answered my question, “How did you find me?” with, “I searched ‘certified professional organizer’ in my city.” She wanted to work with someone she deemed qualified. She chose me because I was certified and we both felt it was a good fit. After working with me, she recommended me to a friend. Another time, a man wanted to hire me but needed to run it by his wife. She emailed me asking about my qualifications and requested more information about my organizing business. I wrote back with a link to the BCPO’s website so she could read about what it means to be a CPO® and sent links to my listings on a handful of websites, including some that had reviews. That led to a phone conversation with her, where I told her the exam content covered ethics, action plans, and foundations of organizing principles. She was very impressed by the requirements for eligibility to take the exam, how the BCPO® keeps up with industry standards, and the recertification requirements. She told me she knew of other professions that didn’t have standards that high. Then she hired me. I think my years of experience and the reviews helped, but the certification was what sold her. I’m still working with the family.
– Glenda Evans, CPO®, Glenda Evans Organizing
Several years ago, the city of Yonkers was looking for someone to do a series of training workshops for their municipal employees. They contacted Pace University to ask about workshops. Pace recommended me. Yonkers was interested, but due to the regulations around government jobs, they were required to put out a bid asking for qualified people to apply. They made being a Certified Professional Organizer® part of the criteria. At the time, I was the only CPO® in my county, so no one was qualified to apply except me. I did 6-8 presentations per year for them. It resulted in thousands of dollars throughout the years.
– Lisa Montanaro, JD, CPO®, Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises, LLC
After being in business for six years, I was contacted by an international certification board. The Executive Director visited the NAPO website, and upon reading about CPOs, decided she wanted to hire someone with the credential for a large and complex office relocation job. When we met, we spoke extensively about getting certified. She appreciated the dedication it took and realized it’s an important credential. She hired me for the job. As we were nearing the end of the relocation project, the ED mentioned she had a position open requiring an organizer’s skill set. When I expressed interest, she was very excited. After some negotiation and board approval, I was offered the job! I am now Director of Finance and Internal Operations. I love the varied duties my job requires, such as staff management involving project and time management, including conducting productivity trainings for my team. After organizing and attending the Board Meeting in Lima, Peru, my next project is to totally reorganize the organization’s paper and digital system, which we estimate will take two years to complete. No boring days!
– Eileen LaCreca, CPO®, Sensational Spaces, LLC
A client moving into a new home hired me because I was a CPO®. Before calling me, she hired an organizer who was not a CPO®. She was unhappy with the other organizer’s skill set, so she hired me to finish the job even though she had paid the other organizer her package deal. My fee was even higher than the other organizer, but the client felt it was well worth it after seeing what we accomplished. – Cynthia Braun, CPO®, Organize Your Life
I didn’t include every story but collecting them showed me that the return on investment for the CPO® credential is enormous! I know certification doesn’t make sense for every organizer’s practice and there are many talented organizers who’ve been in business more than ten years without earning the CPO® designation. However, becoming a CPO® is a strong demonstration of a professional organizer’s or productivity consultant’s commitment to the profession, requisite organizing knowledge, and experience transferring skills to clients. That’s why it’s a credential the public finds so impressive.
For more information, contact Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributed by: Miranda Wise, CPO®, BCPO® Director of Communications; Wisely Organized, Lubbock, TX
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