Struggling as an Entrepreneur, Actor, Singer, or Model? Here’s Why You’re Overwhelmed:

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My client *Nina yesterday started pacing back and forth.

“I just feel really anxious right now. I just feel kind of upset!” she said, exasperated, as she wore circles in the floor going from the kitchen, to the office, then back to the kitchen. “I just didn’t realize how much stuff I had or how bad my disorganization and clutter is!”

I said to her calmly, as I sat with a pile of disks fanning away from me like a ballerina tutu made of CDs instead of tulle, “That is normal.  We don’t realize the burden we’ve accumulated because we put it in boxes and folders and closets because it looks presentable and manageable, but all we’ve really done is found a way to store and not deal.”

What she was going through is completely normal.   She’s not a hoarder- but 20 minutes into our Chaos session, she felt like she was one.

Why? Because I made her face all of her sh*t.  I made her take it all out and go through every bit of it.  And she had a mini panic attack.

That’s normal. That will happen, should happen, and there’s something amazing that happens after you go through it.

But here’s the truth for anyone who is an actor, singer, song writer, model, entrepreneur, etc in LA:

You are overwhelmed because you have too much shit (even if it is “neat”) and you’ve made it literally impossible for your career to move forward until it is taken care of.

We were in her tiny washroom which had been converted to her office/music studio. It was the size of a small apartment bathroom.  She had a closet, a desk, a chair and small table.

Inside the typically deep shelved, non-functional closet that apartment renters in LA know all too well about (seriously, who designed these terrible closets across the entire city???) , Nina had a massive amount of office supplies, 3 ring binders for organizing taxes and business info, bins of wires for her electronics and music devices, keepsakes, hundreds of CDs for her singing demo and other musical influences, a dream board that was curling and faded on the wall, inspirational quotes cut out of a magazine and pinned to the wall, extra pieces of furniture that had been pushed to random corners that took up prime real estate where she should have had open space, pictures, and on top of all that, dust.

This is not the house of a hoarder.  This is the room of an artistic, talented, beautiful, intelligent 20-something fantastic woman who, in the heart of LA, is trying to simultaneously grow a business and jumpstart her music career.

Which is pretty effing awesome, if you ask me. Yet, typical.

Very. Very. Typical. For LA, at least.

In LA, a heavy percent of the population is an aspiring something who has another job on the side. For Nina in particular, she was doing ALL THREE! Job, startup AND music.  And she was trying her best to live a healthy and organic lifestyle.

Talk about pressure.

Here’s where the breakdown happens. It isn’t because she isn’t talented, isn’t creative enough, doesn’t have a good enough business idea or even because she doesn’t have the proper connections.

The issue is her power and effectiveness over her environment.  She doesn’t have it. But she desperately wants it and needs it.  To-do lists make you feel like you have it.  Binders and plastic bins make you physically feel like you are achieving it. But those are temporary escapes.

Even though things are (somewhat) neatly tucked away, she is literally drowning in the disconnect between clutter, organizing finances, organizing her career, and keeping papers and other items tucked away that are old, unnecessary and yet another thing added to the always amassing, yet vague, “To-Do List” in the back of the brain.

The problem is common and it is debilitating to anyone who is trying to start a business, move a business forward, increase their income, have a thriving artistic career or feeling at peace.  There is always a feeling that something isn’t completed, something needs to be done, something has to be taken care of.  And this incompleteness lasts for years! YEARS, on very small, seemingly simple tasks.  Like installing a new water filter that has already been purchased and is still in the box.

To battle this and try to be successful at what the rest of the population considers “getting a lucky break”  would overwhelm even the toughest cookie.

As the session moved forward and Nina and I, together, battled everything in only her studio/office closet, the panic started to subside and I could see her energy level raise.

First, she hesitated to even throw away a broken straw purse that she had intended to fix the strap of for years. She put it to the side.

Then, as we rooted through her demo cds, boxes of antiquated and outdated headshots, notebooks full of old song ideas, taxes, and motivational self-help books, Nina left the room with a stained ottoman to dump in the trash. When she came back, she picked up the purse. “I don’t need it do I? Do you think this is cute?”

“Honestly it looks like the filler from the bottom of an Easter basket.”

She looked at me, slightly offended at my bluntness, then laughed. “You’re right. I’m being ridiculous. I don’t know why I was so hellbent on holding on. It was just going to stay tucked away neatly for another 3 years. I don’t even know where to go to fix it, and I don’t even have the interest in looking up a place on the internet.”

She tossed it.

Then, it was like a weight had been lifted. Nina started tackling the box of headshots, then the cabinet full of boxes for electronics, you know, the ones you keep for years in case they ever break.

She started moving faster and with ease, as if she knew exactly what she was doing, where things should go, what was necessary to let go of.

We haven’t finished yet- but at the end of our Chaos session, Nina and I have a plan in progress.

Each thing her life that she is devoted to, music and her organic greens business, will have a section of flawless detail.

Paperwork, forms, schedules, supplies, marketing material, tracking of income, tracking of advertising, taxes.

All of it, purged, simplified, and each with it’s own neat area and system. After acknowledging everything that has been tucked away, we threw away the unnecessary, put back the essentials, then formed an organizational plan for her sales, her music marketing, her income tracking and her resources.

Because you can’t reach your potential of success when the clutter overwhelms your creative.

How creative could you possibly be on a canvas that has already been painted and trashed, compared to a blank white canvas?

Stay tuned– Next article is the 6 Steps to take to Battle Overwhelm and Get It Done Once and For ALL!    and How to Be a Success in LA

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How To Easily Fold Pesky Fitted Sheets Fast

Well, I wouldn’t be a very great professional organizer if I didn’t know a trick to one of the worst household tasks EVER!

You’re welcome for saving you from ever getting assaulted and embarrassed by a fitted sheet again.

If you like my stuff and want more quirky little tips, tricks, motivation or videos, be a good little Tornado and send me your email below. Let’s get rowdy.

How I Eliminated Chaos To Become Successful

I knew I had hit an all-time low as they put the cuffs on me and searched my car.

They drove me exactly one and a half blocks to the precinct and I was photographed, inked, patted down and stripped of my bra.

I was arrested in front of my boyfriend.

Not for stealing. Not for assault.

I had a warrant.  For a failure to appear.

A failure to appear for a ticket I got driving an entire year before.

An easy thing to take care of. On the date on the ticket, you simply go into the court at the appropriate time and listen to how much of a fine the judge will give you.

Imagine that. I turned something small, something annoying and rather un-chaotic, into an EVENT.

We all do it- we create events, even negative events.

We call our destructive chaos many things:  absent-minded, busy, ADD, forgetful, careless,  bad with money, broke, someone else’s fault, oh and my favorite: normal.

Destructive chaos is none of these things.

Chaos is something we create, whether we have ADD, we miss a court date, or we just think all the tumult in our lives is what everyone else is experiencing, too.

Here’s the clue though; most happy people aren’t living in destructive chaos.  They are living in normal, manageable chaos.

What is the difference? Destructive chaos leads you into a downward spiral and a never ending cycle of unpaid bills, burned bridges, struggling with weight loss, feeling unappreciated at work, being late, missing opportunities and never reaching goals and dreams.

Normal chaos is 5 kids running around while you finish off the tail end of brownie making which they’ve abandoned after they got to lick the spoon.  Normal chaos is a family member passing away and having to notify work, book a ticket home and find a place to stay while coping with loss.

The difference is that one is managed by taking care of what needs to be done and the other is caused by letting things get out of control and

The only reason we think our destructive chaos is normal is because it can seem like a good story or we are just plain addicted to the upset of a perfectly calm life. We feel like something needs to HAPPEN. There has to be an EVENT!

Living a life without destructive chaos is not boring. It is not you sitting around wasting the best years of your 20s and 30s, forgoing the miniskirt or the 3 too many martinis. It’s not swearing off all assholes- because we need these things. We need a couple assholes to put what a good man is into perspective, we need a couple blurred nights and hang overs to put consumption limits in order, we need that one outfit that tells us that it is only right for a night out, not around the boyfriend’s parents.

On the other hand, we need that one good man to wipe away all the memories of the assholes which could become destructive chaos, we need that night out with the girls where we only had one drink and still had the time of our lives to let us know we don’t have to be shit shows to get attention or be liked, we need that selection in our wardrobe that makes us feel powerful without showing an inch too much yet turns heads anywhere we go.

Chaos, misplaced, becomes our excuse for destructive patterns.

The habitually late will always find themselves in the midst of some “issue”, for instance.

I found myself in handcuffs because I created a bunch of chaos around resolving a ticket. Something a simple appearance would have resolved.

Something a little saved money would have resolved.

Saved money, which would have been there, if I had written a budget, followed it, and had not just shut my eyes to my spending and limits.

It was when I was sitting there in my cell, head down, tears pooling in my eyes, that I realized that this arrest, these money issues, this body, this

Luckily, we are not doomed to live in destructive chaos.

On the other side of this is a life of power and respect for ourselves, our time, our money and our health.  A life you are in control of, a life where you don’t have the constant drama and setbacks keeping you from achieving the life you want.

It can be difficult to wrap your mind around at first because essentially we are talking about changing our entire behavior, which can be confused with “that’s just who I am”.  But, if “who I am” worked, we wouldn’t be treading water emotionally, financially and physically, would we?

Luckily, I already endured the broken path to figuring this out. Even though I’ll be blogging about it, enter your email here to get more motivation and info on how you can change your life the way I did.  

It took a couple traumatic experiences for me to get myself to where I am, hopefully you can get there without all the extra drama it took my stubborn self to get through first! Learn from me. Trust me. You don’t want to continue down my former path!