Stand Out


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Whether you are just launching a career in professional organizing and productivity or you’re a seasoned veteran — The Stand Out podcast will teach you how launch, grow and market your business. Host Sarah Karakaian interviews business experts and successful professionals in the productivity and organizing world to give listeners an unfair advantage when it comes to creating the business of their dreams.

Episode Date
Episode 15: Living Fearlessly with Rachel Henke

Effortless productivity might sound like a big contradiction. But that’s how our guest, Rachel Henke, has learned to function, and she wants to share the art of effortless productivity, of being present – of living fearlessly.

Rachel Henke is the founder of Living Fearlessly, a best-selling author, Certified Transformative Coach and speaker. Breaking free of the 9-5 job world upon relocating to a sleepy village in the UK, Rachel started her first business in 2003 working from the breakfast bar around her two young daughters.

Rachel shares a transformative understanding of the mind which shows how we’re already fully equipped to be fearless. After 30 years of self-improvement, she has finally found the secret of a happy, productive life.

Combined with her extensive business and transformative coaching expertise, she’s able to guide her clients and readers to be more productive and achieve their dreams and goals without stress.

Rachel is the author of Living Fearlessly and The Living Fearlessly Guide To Productivity.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why working on your mindset is a waste of time
  • How achievement doesn’t need to cause stress and anxiety
  • How achievement is actually hampered by stress and anxiety
  • Why “effortless productivity” is not a contradiction in terms
  • What to do with our racing minds
  • How to unlock more creativity
  • Why ticking off the next thing on our to-do list does not buy happiness
  • Being present actually makes you more productive
  • The difference between thinking about doing something and doing something


Aug 12, 2018
Episode 14: Decluttering the Mind is a Great Place to Start – With Dr. Regina Lark

Dr. Regina Lark is the founder and owner of A Clear Path: Professional Organizing and Productivity. Dr. Lark earned a Ph.D. in U.S. Women’s History from the University of Southern California then worked with the UCLA Women’s Studies program. In 2008 she left higher education to start A Clear Path. Regina is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD). She is a graduate of the Organizer Coach Foundation Training Program, serves as the Member Director of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and is a member of the National Speakers’ Association.

Regina specializes in working with chronic disorganization, ADHD, and hoarding, and is a relocation expert, helping families upsize or downsize from one home to the next. She is a speaker and trainer on issues ranging from hoarding, time management and productivity, women’s leadership, and the power of positive thinking.

In 2017, Dr. Lark released the 3rd edition of first book, Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship between the Stuff in your Head and What's Under your Bed. She is also the author of Before the Big O: Professional Organizers Talk about Life Before Organizing. Regina was named one of Top 10 Organizers in Los Angeles by CBS/KCAL Channel 2, and was also awarded NAPO-LA’s Most Innovative Organizer.

For fun, she writes goofy songs about clutter.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • If you ask to reorganize your friend’s kitchen, that’s when you know
  • How there are so many ways to specialize – how organization is needed in every aspect of life
  • Opportunities in helping aging adults with organization
  • How to come back from bad experiences, learn lessons and move on
  • Getting rid of “psychic debris” and keeping your mindset geared for success
  • Why getting things done is better than getting them perfect
  • The importance of continuous learning to hone your craft and reach for new opportunities
  • How to work with clients with chronic disorganization
  • Overcoming the “twin evils” of perfectionism and procrastination
Jul 22, 2018
Episode 13: Be a Sales Sherpa, with David Fisher

Is selling an activity that is a “necessary evil” in your business? It doesn’t have to be that way. Today we have an expert who knows that selling is not about arm twisting, but about helping people solve problems – and that’s what your organizing and productivity business is all about, right? Guest David Fisher puts your fears to rest about selling, about networking, and presenting yourself as a professional out there in real life and online.

David J.P. Fisher (also known as D. Fish) is a speaker, coach, and author of 7 books, including Hyper-Connected Selling. Building on 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and sales professional, he combines nuanced strategy and real-world tactics to help professionals become more effective, efficient, and happy.

David’s goal is to help them understand the new landscape of Hyper-Connected Selling, where social media, networking, and old-school sales and communication skills are the key to providing value and staying relevant. He lives in Evanston, IL – next to a huge cemetery which helps him appreciate the value of every day.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What it means to do hyper-connected selling
  • How selling has evolved
  • If selling has negative connotations, you’re doing it wrong
  • Why building genuine trust is the heart of the sales process
  • How to shift from selling as overcoming objections to helping someone find a solution
  • How to become a Sales Sherpa
  • Making a move from information provider to information translator, so people can make the best buying decision
  • Why it’s ok to NOT be the solution to a client’s problem
  • How to network when you hate networking events
  • How to audit your professional online presence to put your best foot forward
Jul 08, 2018
Episode 12: Organizing for Results with Joshua Zerkel

Joshua Zerkel, CPO® is Head of Global Community, Asana, the easiest way for teams to track their work and get results. He is responsible for growing and engaging the Asana community around the world. For over a decade, he has focused his career on helping people and businesses get more organized and increase their productivity.

Before joining Asana, Josh was Evernote’s Director of Global Customer Education and Community. He is the author of the books Evernote @ Work and Integrate: Evernote. Joshua has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, National Public Radio, CBS News, ABC News, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, Online Organizing, among many others. He’s also an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer® and is a two-term past president of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, San Francisco Bay Area chapter.

Although he doesn’t consider himself freakishly organized, Josh does admit to spending some of his free time alphabetizing his comic books.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Organizing for project management in corporate settings
  • If you are wondering if there is a market for your services as an organizer and productivity consultant – there is
  • How to capitalize on who you are, what you’ve done and where you’ve been to bring your unique skills to bear for your clients
  • The crucial importance of professional development in staying sharp in your field and areas in which you specialize
  • Using time blocking as a strategy to stay on top of the multiple aspects of running a business
  • How tech tools can help your own business as well as your clients
  • Enhancing your business and network by becoming a brand ambassador
  • Presenting companies with metrics, what you can bring to them, and what you expect as a brand ambassador
  • Seizing opportunities for work while keeping entrepreneurial ventures going at the same time
  • Tools for managing information and workflow
Jun 24, 2018
Episode 11: Agency in your Inbox with Molly Rose Speed

We’re all stretched a little thin – we see it in our clients and we see it in ourselves. As a productivity and organization professional, adding virtual assistant services could just be a natural next step. Maybe you are wondering if taking your own business to the next level means outsourcing some business tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant just might be a game changer for you.

Guest Molly Rose Speed is the creator of the Academy for Virtual Assistants. After years as a corporate accountant cubicle dweller, Molly Rose decided to live out her mission to live a life owning her time and her unique service to the world. By helping passionate, mission driven entrepreneurs implement their ideas online through flawless tech execution, she has not only freed herself but the hundreds of entrepreneurs she's automated and streamlined. Through The Academy for Virtual Assistants, she trains others on starting successful virtual support businesses.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to find trustworthy virtual administrative professionals
  • The flexibility of being a virtual assistant – your clients can be literally anywhere
  • How to hone your skills at Academy for Virtual Assistants
  • Virtual assistant fee structures
  • Scaling a virtual assistant business by outsourcing tasks
  • How to add virtual assistant to services you offer
  • The importance of a confidentiality agreement when serving as a virtual assistant
  • Why working on retainer is a win-win for both you and the client
  • Why trust is a big factor in virtual assistant work
  • How to up your game to market yourself as a premium virtual assistant
Jun 03, 2018
Episode 10: Let Go to Grow – Focusing on Your Strengths with Lisa Montanaro

If the legal aspect of starting or growing your business has you intimidated, lost or overwhelmed, we have got the expert for you. From legal documents to the ins and outs of everyday business, today's expert has us covered. With a background as an attorney, mediator and trainer of entrepreneurs, Lisa Montanaro is a sought after business expert.

She is the owner of Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises, the umbrella organization under which she offers productivity consulting, success coaching, business strategizing and speaking to individuals and organizations. Lisa is an inaugural certified professional organizer and a member of the Golden Circle of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Transitioning from another career into professional organizing
  • Pros and cons of subcontracting under established organizers when you are just starting out
  • Great PR starts with believing in what you do, then letting media and other influencers know about it.
  • How to grow a speaking and productivity coaching business
  • Tips on getting your name out there when you move to a new area
  • How raising your profile begets more opportunities to raise your profile
  • Understanding different kinds of legal business entities and which one is right for you
  • How to protect both yourself and your client in a business relationship
  • “Let go to grow.” Why delegating and outsourcing tasks is a path to exponential growth in your business
May 20, 2018
Episode 9: Optimizing your online video presence with Brighton West

Online video expert Brighton West has honed his skills not just in video production, but in the best ways to leverage various online video platforms and formats.

Brighton started out behind the camera, making narrative and documentary videos. He soon learned that being on camera was more influential, beneficial and profitable than being behind it. So he overcame his on camera jitters and now helps his clients turn the camera on themselves. Brighton has built his business by creating YouTube tutorials about using YouTube in business. Through his channel, he's positioned himself as the expert for coaches, authors and speakers who want to grow their global audience with YouTube.

Brighton works with clients around the world, handling the technical and strategic side of online video and teaching them to record their own. His team then edits, uploads and optimizes the videos, then gets them ready for promotion, to position the coach as an expert in their niche.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why video should be a key part of your marketing strategy
  • How to step out from behind the camera – and shine in front of the camera
  • Playing the long game with video content, rather than looking for overnight results
  • How to capitalize on Youtube as a major search engine
  • Working with live video on Facebook – and getting more exposure than a recorded and uploaded video
  • Different video strategies for different platforms, like using LinkedIn native video (recorded right on LinkedIn) for better exposure than uploading from Youtube
  • How to give away content to build relationship, and consolidate/add value to create content for sale
  • Finding success through video content by attracting clients who are eager to work with you
  • How, with only $75 worth of gear, you’ll be set for a solid start in video production
  • Smart ways to leverage advertising to build your audience


May 06, 2018
Episode 8: You can share your message with the world – a conversation with writing coach Shawndra Holmberg

Shawndra Holmberg, CPO-CD, is the owner of Dhucks. She signs her emails with the title: Primary Instigator of Productivity & Organization for Writers, Creatives, & Dreamers. Holmberg understands the challenges and triumphs of being a writer. Her fourth book, 31 Small Steps to Organize for Emergencies, was just published in February. Shawndra has been in business for 12 years and has lately turned her passion to guiding, mentoring, and coaching fellow writers with a new business, HYH Book Coach. She’ll inspire you to share your message and get your book(s) into the hands of readers everywhere

On her journey to becoming an organizing & productivity consultant, author, and book coach, Shawndra Holmberg tackled jobs as varied as bioterrorism preparedness planner for the Hawaii State Department of Health on the Big Island, coordinated environmental and safety training on Johnston Atoll (approximately 850 miles southwest of Hawaii), and handled health and safety issues for a year at the South Pole station, Antarctica, with temperatures ranging from a balmy -7 °F to a chilling -112 °F.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • There are many great reasons to write a book – and why you can definitely do it
  • Why marketing your business is not a sprint – keep up the activities because they will pay off in the long run
  • The vital importance of adapting your business for economic upturns and downturns
  • Overcoming anxiety around networking
  • How to repurpose existing content to grow your audience
  • There’s not just one format for sharing your words – use books, blogs, vlogs, newsletters – whatever works for you
  • How to adapt to the always changing world of self-publishing
  • Editing is organizing for words.
  • Why it’s important to set smaller, doable goals.
Apr 22, 2018
Episode 7: Understanding Your Niche with John Hunt

John Hunt is the senior manager of digital marketing content and e-commerce for Smead Manufacturing. Mr. Hunt has over 25-years of experience in both traditional and non-traditional media including digital strategy content creation and new product development.

He also is the host of Keeping You Organized, the weekly webcast that often features NAPO organizers and is now in its fifth season. Produced by Smead a leader in office filing products and records management systems for over 100 years that has had a long term relationship with NAPO. Through Hunt’s leadership, Smead focuses on creating solutions-based content creation that builds goodwill with professional organizer and productivity consultant communities.

John is going to help us understand how organizers and productivity consultants can take this model and apply it to their own businesses.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to build on marketing assets you already have
  • Ways in which NAPO partners with companies large and small
  • The benefits of strong relationships between service providers and product providers
  • The importance of developing your unique selling proposition – your niche and what makes you stand out
  • Using seminars to add value and capture prospects already expressing an interest in your service
  • Steps in nurturing a sales relationship from initial inquiry, to gathering contact, to soft touches and offering things of value, to sale
  • How selling starts with proving to people you can deliver, not just telling them
  • Why “I want to promote my (fill in the blank)!” is not the best sales pitch to get in front of an audience.
  • Staying ahead of the transition from a paper to a digital world
Apr 08, 2018
Episode 6: Beyond Tax Prep to Tax Strategy with Eric Levenhagen

Eric Levenhagen is a CPA and owner of Prowise Financial Coaching.

Eric’s mission is to empower entrepreneurial abundance. To that end he leads small business owners through a proven process to drive permanent profits into their business, minimize their personal income taxes and maximize their after-tax wealth.

Early on in his career, Eric identified that most of the financial services industry is broken and not built to get entrepreneurs the best results. Outside of the office, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and kids. His hobbies include reading, following college and professional football, and music.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The difference between tax preparation and tax strategy
  • How forward thinking can help you prepare for the next tax cycle
  • Avoiding letting the new tax laws just “happen” to you
  • The tools you may be using already to get proactive about tax savings, and some tools to be aware of
  • Advantages of different types of corporate entity designations – should you be a sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp?
  • How to find tax specialists with the experience and training to help you be proactive in your tax strategy
  • Tax law changes that effect what is and is not deductible as a business expense
  • Understanding changes to both corporate and personal taxes and considerations for each category
  • Tax ramification differences between having employees and subcontractors

The Golden Nuggets:

“As entrepreneurs, we go to school, we get training, we have a set of skills and a ton of passion – but nobody really teaches us about how to handle the money.” – Eric Levenhagen

“We help you answer the question, ‘How do I pay as little as I can in personal income tax legally and ethically, and how do I use the information from tax professionals to make my business better, to run it better?’” – Eric Levenhagen

“What a tax strategist does is to help you in doing some forward thinking: where is your business going, where do you want to take it in the coming year, in the next three to five years? A tax strategist asks those questions and helps you plan accordingly.” – Eric Levenhagen

“You can let the new tax law happen to you, or you can introduce one or two strategies that are right for you, and optimize these new laws to make a big difference in savings.” – Eric Levenhagen

“Why did you decide to designate your business as an S-Corporation? The answer is not ‘because my tax person said that is the best thing.’ The answer is, ‘to minimize your self-employment tax.’” – Eric Levenhagen

“I get a lot of questions about how the new tax law might effect the actual operation of a business, or decisions an owner might make. Really the effect on day-to-day operation will be very limited.” Eric Levenhagen

“Before you throw up your hands and say, ‘this is all too confusing,” understand - with the new tax law, a future-looking solopreneur or small business can potentially see a tax savings of between $5,000 and $10,000 by working with a proactive tax professional.” – Eric Levenhagen

“You can respect the power of the IRS, but you don’t have to fear them. There are perfectly legal strategies you can take advantage of to save on taxes without raising any red flags with the IRS.” – Eric Levenhagen

“You just need to make sure that if you decide it’s better to, say, have contractors instead of employees, make sure that your working relationship with them is set up so the IRS will recognize that same working relationship.” – Eric Levenhagen

Mar 25, 2018
Episode 5: Organizing for Growth with Liz Jenkins

Liz Jenkins has a knack not just for organizing other people’s stuff, but putting the time and effort into organizing her own business for sustained growth.

Jenkins is a certified professional organizer, and started her business A Fresh Space in 2005 in Franklin, Tennessee. Yes, she was a solopreneur at the time.

Over the last 13 years, Liz has grown her business into a successful 12-person company, focusing on residential organizing, move management and business consulting. They have recently added a handyman division. Her National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals contributions include chairing the 2015 NAPO conference in L.A, speaking at several NAPO conferences including the Ask The Organizer panel and a breakout session, nearly every board position in NAPO Nashville, and is currently the chair of the special interest groups.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Insights on growing your business from solopreneur to multi-person company
  • How staffing frees you up to improve processes AND gets jobs done faster – happy you, happy client
  • Factoring in profit from employee labor as well as project costs
  • Growing a business means doing what you do well and learning to delegate the rest
  • Why trying something, making mistakes and learning is far superior to standing still
  • Facing and addressing those things in your business that scare you
  • Tips on managing and offering perks for part-time employees
  • Why it’s ok to post pricing so potential clients know what they are getting into
  • How to avoid spinning your wheels on things that don’t increase customer satisfaction or the bottom line
Mar 11, 2018
Episode 4: Mastering your email marketing with Theresa Condict

Theresa Condict is a marketing professional and account manager at Idea Agency. She has proven success in building brand recognition and customer engagement through her knowledge of best practices in web development, SEO, digital advertising, email strategy, there it is, and database design.

Her work for Idea Agency includes development of strategic marketing plans, creating and managing annual marketing budgets, creating trafficking and product management as well as results-oriented digital strategy and implementation. Theresa is a graduate of McGill University and is pursuing her MBA in Business Data Analytics from Quinnipiac University. If that were not enough, Theresa is also a competitive race car driver.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Organizing your email marketing strategy
  • Getting the most from your email marketing analytics
  • Tracking results for increasingly efficient budgeting
  • Using the data from email services like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact
  • Understanding open rates vs. click rates
  • Growing your list while purging inactive subscribers
  • Comparing email benchmarks by industry – click rates and other metrics vary by industry
  • Recommended platforms for smaller scale and more advanced analytics
  • Why organic and inbound growth is more effective than buying a list
  • Effective use of calls to action and landing pages
  • Offering something of value – ebook, newsletter, discount, etc.
  • Understanding bounce rates, hard bounce and soft bounce
  • Tips on creating a great subject line
Feb 25, 2018
Episode 3: Minimums lead to maximums with Helene Segura

Time management fixer Helene Segura is a productivity consultant who provides time management strategies that give busy professionals the powerful strategies and tactics they need to slay wasted time.

The author of two Amazon best-selling books, Helene has been the featured productivity expert in more than 150 media interviews including publications such as US News and World Report and Money Magazine, as well as on Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates. During her time management keynotes and workshops, she shares her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that you can spend more time generating revenue.

On weekends, Helene can be found experimenting with recipes or sneaking adult beverages onto the lawn bowling court.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to set yourself up for success with the side hustle
  • How to maximize your time
  • How to make opportunities for yourself personally and professionally
  • How setting minimums can help you set maximums
  • A proven strategy for finding clients
  • How teaming up with other businesses can help grow your business
  • Why industry credentials are so important
  • How NAPO membership can advance your business
  • The advantages of relationships with other organizers
  • How to build a resume of trust and credibility

Ways to connect with Helene Segura:

Feb 11, 2018
Episode 2: All Things Marketing with Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan has worked in advertising for 30+ years and started his own agency, McLellan Marketing Group in 1995 after a five-year stint at one of the world’s largest agencies, Young & Rubicam.  

He is considered a national marketing expert. He launched MMG’s blog in 2006 and it has been on the AdAge Top 150 from the list's inception in 2008. His first book, 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, was published in 2003 and Drew and Australian marketer Gavin Heaton created the Age of Conversation series of crowdsourced books in 2007. To date, the AOC series has raised over $50,000 for charity.

Drew’s writing has appeared in Forbes, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.”

His favorite topics include all things marketing and entrepreneurial, being a dad and how the Los Angeles Dodgers keep breaking his heart. “When you know who your audience is, you can narrow the conversation so you only talk about what truly matters to them. That captures and keeps their attention.” - Drew McLellan

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why having a clear picture of who you are as a business is the best tool when it comes to marketing
  • How to figure out who your “sweet spot clients” are
  • How walking away from business can be the best thing you can do for your business
  • Why the channel you should be paying the most attention to is your own website
  • Why your website needs to be mobile ready
  • How do you show you’re serious as a professional
  • Should you be blogging
  • How many clients do you really need
  • In order to buy, your clients have to know, like and trust you
  • Why ratings and reviews are so important
  • How to come up with blog content consistently
  • How to “slice and dice” your social content

Ways to connect with Drew McLellan:

Jan 21, 2018
Secrets Of Success With Geralin Thomas

Geralin Thomas founded her business, Metropolitan Organizing LLC, in 2002. In addition to residential organizing, she is a career coach for professional organizers specializing in creating and growing successful, profitable businesses.

She is a speaker and author of From Hoarding to Hope, Understanding People Who Hoard and How To Help Them as well as Declutter Your Home: Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets. She has been seen on A&E’s TV show Hoarders, the Nate Berkus Show, NBC’s the Today Show, Fine Living Network, just to name a few.

She was voted best chronic disorganization expert and has been a NAPO instructor since 2006, past president of NAPO North Carolina, NAPO North Carolina ambassador and on NAPO’s education committee.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What’s the best way to start out if you’re new to the industry
  • Why building your credibility and your professionalism is essential to building your business
  • What you can do to build your credibility
  • How to use social media to your advantage
  • How to build a relationship with a brand
  • Using NAPO to build relationships nationwide
  • Why steady marketing is a must to grow your business
  • How to craft an “elevator” speech
  • The one marketing tool Geralin can’t live without
  • How to do what you’re good at and hire out the rest
  • Employees vs. Independent Contractors

In today’s world of texts and emails, a phone call can go a long way to establishing a personal connection and making someone feel heard. – Geralin Thomas

The Golden Nuggets:

Do what you’re good at and hire out the rest. – Geralin Thomas

There's a lot to know when you're working with independent contractors but managing their expectations and your client's expectations is the key to a successful relationship. – Geralin

Master faster. Get faster at the rote parts of your business so you can spend your time doing what you love to do. –Geralin Thomas

Want to find your calling? What problems do you love to solve and what would you do without getting paid? The answer to those questions will go a long way to answering that question. – Geralin Thomas

The easiest way to fast track your business is to learn from someone who’s already been there. – Geralin Thomas

People who learn as much as they can and properly set up the foundation of their business have a higher success rate. – Geralin Thomas

The best thing people in our industry can do to almost guarantee their success is to build their credibility and professionalism. – Geralin Thomas

NAPO membership and the foundation it provides seems to set the successful organizers apart from others who choose not to get involved that way. – Geralin Thomas

Networking can be so many things nowadays – anywhere from standard media like print and TV to social media and podcasting. – Geralin Thomas

A lot of trends come and go so you need to keep your foot on the accelerator when it comes to your marketing. – Geralin Thomas

You need to scale your business in order to build the life that you want to live. – Geralin Thomas

Ways to connect with Geralin Thomas:

Jan 06, 2018