Welcome to My Workflow Studio’s blog series where we’re interviewing APPO certified photo organizers. This is an opportunity for you to get to know more about your colleagues and learn something new!
Beth Gibson Lilja joins us from BGL & Associates, LLC – Professional Organizers in Golden Valley, Minnesota…
Share your story about how you became a photo organizer…
I have been in the professional organization and photo industry for nearly 20 years and have been honored to help many clients to preserve their precious family memories. My initial interest in photos/organizing began when I joined my local county 4-H program. I meticulously captured each year’s project accomplishments with photos, journaling and memorabilia in my scrapbook album. I then continued on in my adult life with this photo preservation/organizing “hobby”. When my corporate position was eliminated, I wondered what in the world I would do with my life. My husband sort of mentioned (with emphasis) that I had a hobby in the basement…perhaps I should do something with it since I was very passionate about it. I love being able to help others to share their life stories as well as help others invest in their own photo organizing/solutions business.
1. Home, Office and Photo Organization, Photo Preservation, Photo Restoration and Photo Display
2. Client Events – project workshops and retreats
3. Professional Speaker and Trainer
It is hard to select one service that I most enjoy most – I am passionate about each business component as each one offers opportunities to showcase my passion and my mission – to bring order to your home | your business | your life.
How did you find APPO and how long have you been a member?
I have been blessed with the opportunity to network with many others in the photo and organization industry. A few years ago, I was discussing with then APPO Territory Manager Lynn Williams about the services that I was currently offering my clients and that I was looking for additional avenues to grow my business and client relationships. We each shared potential opportunities for our respective photo businesses and agreed we would continue to guide and support each other in our efforts. Shortly thereafter Lynn mentioned this new organization called APPO – I checked it out, knew it was the right thing to do (actually, totally LOVED the concept) and became a member in December 2011.
Favorite tool or vendor you use for photo organizing?
At present, I am working with the FOREVER family of products. I enjoy the features of Historian, Artisan and the permanent online storage. I am working on a new program entitled L.I.F.E which will incorporate the online data storage features of the company. My plan is to introduce my new company program to my business associates in the first quarter of 2016.
What is a big (or small) mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
Sadly, my biggest mistake was working with a PITA (Pain in the #$%) client for far too long. Her negative personality was affecting my other clients at many of my projects workshops and retreats. So, I had to “fire” her. I needed to do what was best for my business and forgo that income. I have now seen an increase of client attendance at my events because this negative client is no longer attending.
Best client success story…
Oh, my….there have been so many in the past 20 years…..I am honored to be a part of so many clients’ lives. I love seeing the clients’ faces when the project is completed and they are so grateful for what you have done for them. My clients’ belief and faith in me is so very rewarding. Also, getting paid for something you love to do is a great benefit as well!!! I also have a fantastic boss!!
What is your favorite family tradition?
There are two things that come to mind….we have been hosting our annual Halloween Party on the last Saturday of October since 1993 and we have the scrapbooks to show all the crazy costumes. The second one is that the week-end after Thanksgiving we go and find the perfect real Christmas tree. I do the decorating but my husband is in charge of putting the angel (that my mom made) on the tree. We have a picture of this for the 20 years we have been married.
If you weren’t a photo organizer, what would you be doing instead?
Organization has been my passion for SO long….I cannot think of doing anything else. However, when it is time to retire, I will be buying a Caribbean island and continue to work on my own precious family memories.
Are your own photos organized?
Hmmmm…yes and no!
Best tip for a new photo organizer…what you wish someone would have told you sooner?
If you do not validate your business, how do you expect potential clients do the same? NEVER hesitate about your services or what you charge…this is your business…be proud, passionate and confident!
Anything else you want our readers to know?
My husband and I love to travel and the Caribbean is our favorite. This is so much so that we named our four-legged child Caribbean (Cari), Of course, Cari probably has more pictures on the computer than anyone else in the family!
Say hi to Beth in the comments below and share something you learned from her interview!