Rowena’s 25+ years of experience and expertise in “getting it together” are multi-faceted – being a successful entrepreneur, speaker and coach/trainer, have all played an important role in honing Rowena’s natural ability to harness and teach others the best practices for getting – and staying – organized, and for maximizing one’s time.
Rowena’s non-judgmental, supportive and caring nature, along with her irresistible energy and enthusiasm make working with her feel ‘safe’ and empowering – whether it’s a full-scale de-clutter and re-organize or move scenario, or coaching and training on how to master all sources of ‘incoming’, to-do’s and commitments.
Rowena’s highly interactive speaking engagements have spanned the globe and her organizational tips have led to numerous media attention, including Breakfast TV, Global TV and Fanny Keifer. You may have also heard her on CBC Radio or read her de-cluttering tips in More magazine,
Canadian Living, Vancouver Sun, and The Vancouver Province.
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Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
3 Key Points:
- Getting it together is a process to organize all your things in your business, home, and personal life. This is important for you because you’ll make a bigger impact by being organized.
- Everyone can learn these systems.
- When you are organized, you’ll achieve more of your goals like never ever to forget a follow-up call in your business.
[2:45] It’s a very important role because it saves you time, energy, effort, money, frustration, it’s very very important to be organized.
[3:37] You know, people bring this business into their home and quite often. And so here’s a new thing that you’re bringing into the home somewhat like if you bring your baby home now there’s a new person in your home or you bring a puppy home. Now, you’re bringing a business into your home, have you prepared for it?
[5:55] And so even as a young child and a teenager, I kept my room organized, and I kept my space organized. So when I started my first business at 19, I brought that into my bedroom, because I was living at home and I had to have an area that, you know, could be just for my business and keep it all organized. And it really has made a huge difference because I can honestly say that I have never missed a follow-up call or a lead that I was supposed to follow up on.
[7:22] And you have to think you didn’t get disorganized overnight. So you’re not going to get organized overnight. I say break it down into bite-sized pieces.
[8:40] That’s the keyword is to be ruthless and say to yourself, if I lost this piece of paper in a flood or a fire, would my business be better off or worse off and only keep the papers that are, you know, so important and so urgent that you need to keep those, most everything else can be found on Google.
[9:36] Exactly, and the less you bring into your space, the less you have to stress about and worry about getting out of your space. So that’s perfect advice, Christine, is to be really mindful about what you actually bring back into your space.
[12:10] What I encourage you to do is before you go to a conference, have a goal in mind, you know, how many people would you like to connect with? And then, also have it scheduled in your calendar for after the conference.
[14:32] It’s not about the quality or the sorry, the quantity of the leads. It’s about the quality of the leads.
[17:55] Whereas if your offices you know, sitting there waiting for you and you feel comfortable and good in it, then you’re going to be excited about going in and following up with your leads and making your contacts and having a successful business.
[20:20] You know, I always say to people don’t should on yourself. Because, Oh, I should get out my recycling, I should organize my leads, I should follow up with my leads, I should clear up my closet. Well, it’s so disempowering. And as women entrepreneurs, I know you’re the same Christine we’re wanting to empower not only ourselves but all the women whose lives we touch.
For FULL Transcript click here:
Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Hi Gorgeous! This is episode number 231 with a wonderful Rowena List.
Rowena List [0:09]
Hi, this is Rowena List you’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with Christine Schlonski. Enjoy.
Christine Schlonski [0:16]
Well, I can’t wait to dive in this Rowena on the topic getting it together. Rowena has more than 25 years of experience and expertise in getting it together. She has a natural ability to harness and teach others the best practices for getting and staying organized, and for maximizing one’s time. Her non-judgmental, supportive and caring nature along with her irresistible energy and enthusiasm, makes working with her feel safe and empowering, which is super important because whether it’s a full scale, declutter or reorganize or move scenario, or coaching and training on how to master all sources of income to dues and commitments, there needs to be a trust relationship and Rowena is going to talk about this with us today. Rowena is highly interactive speaking engagements have spanned the globe and her organizational tips have led to numerous media attention, including Breakfast TV, Global TV, and Funny Kieffer. You may have also heard her on CBC Radio or read her decluttering tips in more magazine, Canada Living, Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province. So I’m super excited to have her with us today. And let’s find out what decluttering has to do with your business. Enjoy. I am so excited to have you on the show today, Rowena. Welcome!
Rowena List [1:52]
Thank you. I’m excited too!
Christine Schlonski [1:54]
Yeah! And we have a really, really cool topic, which I think is so so important. And it is actually all around getting it together. So do you want to let us know what this means for you?
Rowena List [2:11]
Well getting it together, you know, it’s a process because none of us ever arrived, and we’re not perfect. So I feel that getting it together, you’re in the process of getting organized in all things. Maybe you’re wanting to get organized in your business, in your home, in your personal life. And getting it together. Sort of covers it all.
Christine Schlonski [2:35]
Yeah! Well, it’s why we think of being organized plays such an important role in your life and also in your business?
Rowena List [2:45]
It’s a very important role because it saves you time, energy, effort, money, frustration, it’s very very important to be organized.
Christine Schlonski [2:56]
Yeah. And by being so organized as you are, you have achieved amazing, amazing results. So, when we start out on that entrepreneurial journey, I know for many, it’s quite unorganized because it’s trial and error. There’s not really a plan in place. What would you suggest people can do to set themselves up for success?
Rowena List [3:20]
They need to know exactly what their goals are, why did they start this business? And what do they want to achieve from this business? Because what I have found over the years and I started self-employment when I was 19, it’s a long time ago. You know, people bring this business into their home and quite often. And so here’s a new thing that you’re bringing into the home somewhat like if you bring your baby home now there’s a new person in your home or you bring a puppy home. Now, you’re bringing a business into your home, have you prepared for it? Have you set up the systems in order for you to be successful? Well, you created the space, or have you just brought it into an already cluttered area and just kind of dumped it and just winging it hoping that it’s all gonna work out and, and be successful.
Christine Schlonski [4:13]
Yeah. And we know when we wing it sometimes it works most of the time it doesn’t.
Rowena List [4:18]
Yeah! Most of the time it doesn’t. Certainly, doesn’t work successfully. It might work on some level, but certainly not on a successful level. And certainly, without causing frustration for yourself or those that are around you, your family, and friends.
Christine Schlonski [4:36]
Yeah. And you know, you’ve been in business at such a young age, really making it happen and showing so many people now, how you made this successful career. Can you share with us what made the difference for you? And why do you think it is important for people to actually learn how to, for example, declutter or to reorganize and, and really get structure into their surroundings and environment.
Rowena List [5:08]
Well, when I started at 19, that was an I’ll date myself, but that was long before computers were invented, imagine. So, I had to come up with systems of how to, organize my leads and how to keep track of them. I had to come up with systems for follow up and systems for my bookkeeping, all of it was paper related. And so I just sat down one day and sort of thought about what would be a good way to follow up with my leads, and came up with the system? And I was one of these people that was sort of born to be organized. Not everybody is but the good news, Christine is that you can learn these systems because that’s all they are is systems. And so even as a young child and a teenager, I kept my room organized, and I kept my space organized. So when I started my first business at 19, I brought that into my bedroom, because I was living at home and I had to have an area that, you know, could be just for my business and keep it all organized. And it really has made a huge difference because I can honestly say that I have never missed a follow-up call or a lead that I was supposed to follow up on.
Christine Schlonski [6:28]
Wow! And that is a huge achievement. And I’m quite sure every entrepreneur can understand and honor this fact that it is something that’s pretty rare. And we talked about it that people don’t follow up with us, right? Even if that could mean business. They leave thousands of dollars on the table.
Rowena List [6:50]
Christine Schlonski [6:53]
So can you share with us a little bit like in case I am not that organized, right? And I’m thinking Oh, that would be such a great idea to never ever forget about a follow-up call, or when I go to conferences or trade shows have a system in place that really helps me to get organized. What can you share with us?
Rowena List [7:16]
The first thing is that most people are usually very overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that they have. And you have to think you didn’t get disorganized overnight. So you’re not going to get organized overnight. I say break it down into bite-sized pieces. So on my website, I have these techniques that are called 15 minutes to freedom. And I encourage my clients to just take 15 minutes to maybe clear the top of their desk and not get sidetracked and not lose focus, and then maybe take 15 minutes to organize how they’re going to follow up with their leads and planning that in their appointment book. Just like it is an actual appointment with a client, you need to put follow up into your schedule. You can’t just wing it and just say, Oh, well, when I’ve got some spare time, I’ll follow up. It needs to be organized and have a system where you are actually planning it and planning for your future. And then, just starting to break down your projects into bite-sized pieces. So it might be you take 15 minutes, and clear out a big stack of paper that you have that has maybe been from conferences that you’ve been to and you get lots of flyers and fillers and things like that in those conference bags. Go through those and be ruthless. That’s the keyword is to be ruthless and say to yourself, if I lost this piece of paper in a flood or a fire, would my business be better off or worse off and only keep the papers that are, you know, so important and so urgent that you need to keep those, most everything else can be found on Google.
Christine Schlonski [9:07]
Yeah, I love that advice. And I’m really I started to be really ruthless when people hand stuff to me, right? Especially when you’re on conferences, all of a sudden, you have a booklet that you didn’t ask for, or you have an invitation or a coupon you’re never going to use. So I really am not taking any of those things anymore. If there’s not a conversation, where I really understand that this is gonna help me move forward because it just clutters up your space.
Rowena List [9:36]
Exactly, and the less you bring into your space, the less you have to stress about and worry about getting out of your space. So that’s perfect advice, Christine, is to be really mindful about what you actually bring back into your space. Quite often if I’m at a conference or a networking event or something like that. I actually, especially if you get a bag when you first go in and you know swipe bag of some sort, I’ll go through and I’ll leave behind recycle what it is that I don’t even want to bring home. So it doesn’t even make it to my office. And that way I don’t have to do it when I get back to my office. Especially, you know, if you’re staying in a hotel room or something like that, you know, you can quickly do it. Yeah.
Christine Schlonski [10:23]
Yeah! And that’s, you know, it’s frustrating when you get home and then you have to clean out a bag. And especially when you travel right, you schlep it maybe hundreds of miles only to throw it out at home. Yeah, that’s cool advice. So, we had a little conversation before and I told you about me not putting it into my calendar, just not even being aware that this one conference would bring so many contacts that I just had this huge stack of cards from people, and promises, and excitement. And then, probably did something with it like 10, maybe 15% that I followed up with because I did not make space in my calendar and I was traveling. So I would just assume that I’m not the only one on the planet. Having this challenge or having had this challenge, obviously next time, I’m going to do it differently. But what would be advice from you because you’ve been at so many networking events, trade shows, organizing. What can people do to set themselves up even before they go?
Rowena List [11:37]
Good, good questions. And you are not the only one on the planet. I coach people all the time about how to follow up with their leads and how to organize their leads, and they’ll have thousands of business cards that they’ve collected over the years and they think okay, well now what do I do with these? So there’s, you know, several people that are in that same boat, most people are probably in the same boat because humans have the best of intentions. I’m going to go to the conference, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, you know, we have hopes and dreams.
Rowena List [12:10]
What I encourage you to do is before you go to a conference, have a goal in mind, you know, how many people would you like to connect with? And then, also have it scheduled in your calendar for after the conference. So before you even go to the conference, schedule it in your calendar as to when you’re going to do your follow up from the conference or the networking event and schedule in a couple of times because you can’t sit on the phone for eight hours. You know, that would be boring and our, you know, sort of frustrating and hard and so forth. So schedule in maybe two or three different times throughout the next week as to when you’re going to do your follow up. And what I do is when I meet somebody, and they give me their card, and I feel that it’s something that is going to resonate with my business or that I’m going to be able to use it to pass on to a client or colleague. Then, I do what I call dog ear, the corner, the right-hand corner, I just while I’ve got the card in my hand, I just fold over the right-hand corner just a little bit. They don’t even see that I’m doing it because it’s in my hand and I just discreetly dog eared corner so that I know when I get back to my office and do my follow up. The ones that are dog eared are the ones that I’m going to connect on social media that I’m going to do a follow up with all of those sorts of things. Because we don’t connect with every single person whose card we receive. Some people we just don’t have that connection, or maybe their business is so different to anything that we would remotely need or use, or maybe they’re not even in the same country and so we can’t refer them to you know, locals. So there’s lots of reasons it doesn’t mean They’re a bad person, it just means that you know, you’re going to connect with those that really connect and have, where you can have a strategic alliance. And if I really connect with somebody, more so than just, you know that I’m going to do a follow-up or so forth, I’ll actually say to them, hey, let’s book a coffee time to get to know each other a little better. You know, I’ve got some time at the end of the conference, or I’ve got some time next week or, you know, take 15 or 20 minutes so that you can really get to be personal with the person. It’s not about the quality or the sorry, the quantity of the leads. It’s about the quality of the leads.
Christine Schlonski [14:40]
Yeah, I 100% agree at its, you know, making those relationships happen. Mm-hmm.
Rowena List [14:47]
Christine Schlonski [14:49]
Yeah, you’re so right. It’s just about the quality of really nurturing a relationship that will make the difference in your life in your business at the end of the day. And it’s not about like hunting as many cards as you can get from a conference. And what I really like you, you brought us today, a guide to 10 tips to get organized. And I love that because 10 doesn’t sound overwhelming. It sounds really like something that’s doable. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Rowena List [15:21]
These are the top 10 tips that I find are most helpful for people in getting organized. There are things that can be done in a few minutes or so. And they’re very manageable. You would pick one and just work on it on that particular day and then pick another one and work on that one. And it’s my free gift to my clients to potential clients to those that come to my website. And it’s all things organized. So it’s a little sprinkling of different areas throughout your house in your life, helping you to get organized and hopefully to help you kick start to getting the biggest projects done that, you know, maybe you’ve been putting off like your garage or your closet or your filing cabinet.
Christine Schlonski [16:09]
Yeah. And if you’re just thinking right now, well, that’s okay. I don’t really see my garage I park outside because it’s so cluttered. I just want to talk to you about the energy and the magic. What happens when you reorganize or tidy up your space and what kind of impact this has to your business. But before we go into that, I just want to make sure that people can go to getittogether.ca to actually download those tips and get started.
Rowena List [16:42]
Yes, and it’s actually getting, so gettingittogether.ca and they can go and get those tips sign up. And I do, do a monthly newsletter. I don’t inundate because the last thing I want is for people to have a cluttered inbox, but you’re so right, Christine, with the energy that this, you know, clutter brings, you see clutter becomes invisible to those that are around it. So you might not see as much of the stuff as a person first coming into your space. And that stays in your mind all that clutter and you know, it holds you back from getting things done because especially if you, let’s even just take a home office, it becomes a dumping ground for a lot of the family members. They don’t know where to put something, oh, put it in the home office. Well then when you walk by your home office to go in in the morning to start work, you get this overwhelming, heavy feeling. It doesn’t step up to greet you, you’re not excited to walk in and start your work. And you procrastinate by saying, you know what, I think I need another cup of coffee and you detour and go off and lose focus. Whereas if your offices you know, sitting there waiting for you and you feel comfortable and good in it, then you’re going to be excited about going in and following up with your leads and making your contacts and having a successful business. And then, it lessens the clutter in your mind as well, which is a whole nother show. We’ll have to do that another time.
Christine Schlonski [18:19]
Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. Because like, decluttering it’s not just external, it’s internal, as well. And when you really get to do the work, and every time I declutter, I get, you know, I get into my closet and I give away what I’m what I haven’t worn for a longer period of time, or what, you know what I don’t like anymore. It really, it sounds funny, but it creates space. And interestingly, after every declutter action, something amazing happens. So I’m a total believer in decluttering and getting organized because you feel better, it says more space for you. And you also have to keep in mind, you have to do the maintenance on all those things that you have in your space. Somehow you are responsible for, that everything works, that everything fits. And the less you have to worry about, the more time and space and energy you have for other things that might be more important at the end of the day.
Rowena List [19:27]
For sure, it just gives so much freedom. And you know, you think about it, we’re always bringing things into our posts, whether we bring in groceries, or we bring in the mail, or we bring in a new pair of pants, but how often are we taking things out of our space. And that’s why it’s important to maintain it and to be on top of that. And the 15 minutes to freedom gives you that freedom of removing things, really almost every day, or at least every week, whether it’s even so much as your recycling. You know, I work with clients that maybe haven’t taken out their recycling for months and months. Well, you know, it needs to be done on a regular basis so that it frees you up because those are all negative thoughts that you’re thinking about while you’re not being productive in your business and your self-talk.
Rowena List [20:20]
You know, I always say to people don’t should on yourself. Because, Oh, I should get out my recycling, I should organize my leads, I should follow up with my leads, I should clear up my closet. Well, it’s so disempowering. And as women entrepreneurs, I know you’re the same Christine we’re wanting to empower not only ourselves but all the women whose lives we touch.
Christine Schlonski [20:45]
Yeah, totally. And I’m really looking forward to the next episode was we were we’re gonna dive into decluttering the mind and I’m quite sure you have a ton of wonderful tips for us how to do that. So thank you so, so much for this episode.
Rowena List [21:04]
My pleasure. Thank you.
Christine Schlonski [21:05]
Well, I hope this episode with Rowena was an inspiration for YOU. I know for me that I will have a look at my environment. And I probably make some tiny adjustments, just to make sure that I’m really, really well organized because it’s so juicy to think that when you organize your environment, your business will grow. Because you will take different action steps and you will actually be able to use your time more efficient. So hop on over to christineschlondki.com, find the podcast tab. And there you will find all the episodes with the show notes, the transcripts and all the resources, and the links that connect to Rowena. It’s all just one click away. And while you’re over there, sign up for the Empowerment Notes. That is Empowerment right into your inbox where I share all the updates on Heart Sells! Podcast as well as amazing content that I usually don’t share. And you will get an invitation from time to time to one of my amazing online events, like the Sales Mentality Makeover Masterclass, or the Heart Center Lead Generation Summit. And that will really help you move forward in your business with ease. Thank you so much for tuning in. Have a wonderful day wherever you are in this beautiful world. And I’m looking forward for you to tune into the next episode. Thank you so much.
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