Overwhelmed? Simplify. Behind the Business with Louise Nettleton
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Life can be overwhelming. Whether it’s too much stuff to do, or simply too much stuff in the way, getting started is hard enough, let along getting finished. But that’s where Louise Nettleton comes in. She’s a professional lifestyle concierge, and through her company simplify, Louise helps people take care of whatever they need taken care of.
We interviewed Louise and spoke about how she got the idea for this unique occupation, and how she keeps it successful.
Tell us about your business in as much detail as you can. What is it that you do and who are your customers?
simplify is a lifestyle concierge service that provides comprehensive solutions to customers who are short on time or who are simply looking for a helping hand. As a concierge, my services are really dictated by the client however here are some example of the most popular and main categories that I provide: errands, grocery & personal shopping, transportation (social events, doctors appointments, airport transfers), party planning, home organization, house and pet watch, home waiting service (i.e. for a service provider to complete work at client’s home). As long at the request is legal, moral and ethical, simplify will provide the service! The request is only limited by the client’s imagination. My two target demographics are busy professionals and seniors.
How did you decide that this was something you could do for a living?
I love to help people, running errands (nothing more satisfying then crossing an item off your to-do list) and organizing. I have over 15 years of coordination/planning experience and it wasn’t until I accepted a position as a meeting & event planner for a national distributor of health, beauty and cleaning products in 2006, that I realized how much I love organizing, running errand and working on a never-ending to do list! That coupled with my desire to be of service and help people. All of my skills have been gained through professional experience but I definitely was born to do this. It’s not a job for me, it’s my life’s purpose and it’s so much fun!
That pretty much answers my next question: they say that to be successful you have to be passionate. Why do you love what you do?
Repeat answer #2. I love being of service and helping people. That is really why I do what I do. In my humble opinion, the world needs more service-oriented businesses that are focused on making a difference in their community. When you have passion, your work becomes effortless and you tap into an energy that is boundless.
Has it been smooth sailing or have you overcome adversity to get where you are?
Like everything in life, adversity is always present but it’s how you handle the adversity that makes the difference. Every adverse situation has a lesson within it and it is what you do with that lesson that makes all the difference. As my business is still fairly young, four years in December, I have been fortunate not to have experienced many bumps in the road.
We all know that crazy happens. What’s the wildest thing that’s happened on the job?
Wildest thing to date is when I went to pick up a client for a routine airport transfer. It was during the winter and their house is located at the top of a very steep hill. Even though my car had snow tires, my car simply would not make it up the hill, it kept sliding down to the bottom of the hill and as I drive a standard, you can imagine just how challenging this was! To add to it, this was my first time job with the client so you can imagine how the panic started to set in. I called the client from my cell phone, explaining the situation and we decided that they would drive down the hill in their car, drop off their luggage and then take the car back to their house. This of course meant that they had to walk down the hill to meet me. You can only imagine how I felt, seeing new clients, trudge down a snow-covered hill in their winter boots. Thank goodness they were good sports about it!
What do you do with your time off? Are you familiar with that concept?
Time off when you are self-employed is a challenge for sure, they don’t go hand in hand but it is important to take time off. I am an avid reader and I love to go for walks with my husband and our dog, Finnegan. As my business tag line is “helping simplify your life, every day in every way” I need to be mindful and walk the talk!
This is the age of the social network. How important is social media to your business?
Social media is extremely important to my business because of the nature of the services I provide. They are very personal and I develop close relationships with my clients. Also because people are short on time, social media is the perfect conduit for advertising and to connect with new clients. It really comes down to helping people simplify their lives.
How are you involved in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
There are a couple of local charities that I want to become involved in – it’s just finding the time. Which is very ironic given the service I offer! Supporting local is extremely important to me. I will always support a local business over a large chain. That’s how communities thrive and grow.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future for my business, which is truly an extension of my personality, looks very bright and very busy! As the world gets busier, people have less time to spend with families and friends. simplify gives clients more of what they want most – time for life’s important moments.
Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners just starting out?
Follow your heart and listen to your intuition. Only you know what is best for your business and always trust in that inner voice. Starting simplify was one of the best decision’s I have ever made!