Debbie Rosemont of Simply Placed
Debbie Rosemont, Certified Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant, started Simply Placed in 2003 to help clients increase productivity, maximize efficiency and bring balance and control into their work, homes and lives. Simply Placed associates work with individuals and businesses to create effective organizational systems, clear clutter, successfully manage time, focus on priorities and achieve goals. They help people work smarter, not harder, to increase their bottom line and peace of mind through consulting, hands-on organizing, and group training.
Debbie teaches individuals and groups productive habits and organized systems that allow them to maximize their email, time, tasks, teams and work space, resulting in improved client service, employee retention, revenue and reduced stress. Simply Placed can help you and your business focus on what’s really important, ultimately helping you achieve a level of efficiency that allows you to get not just more, but more of what you want, out of business and life.
Rosemont is an engaging speaker, an effective consultant and trainer, and has been interviewed numerous times for TV, print, radio and online media. She is the author of the book Six-Word Lessons to Be More Productive and the creator of several information products.
Rosemont is one of a small number of Certified Professional Organizers in Washington and was a founding member of the Seattle chapter of NAPO. She is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), Women Business Owners (WBO), and Business Networking International (BNI). She was a proud finalist for the 2015 WBO Nellie Cashman Business Owner of the Year award.
Rosemont, who wears many hats in her own life as a wife, mother, volunteer and business owner, understands that “life happens” and that it can be a challenge to get and stay organized. However, she’s seen the benefits of an organized life and wants that for her clients. Her goal is to ultimately save her clients time, money and stress, and allow them to focus on the things that matter most.
In the chaotic whirl of business, how can you be better at finding focus?
What does 100% commitment look like?
These leadership traits are evident in my guest, Debbie Rosemont, CEO. This is why I invited her to talk with me.
Debbie is a consummate professional, who uses her experiences in systems and processes to help other professionals be more organized.
Whenever she says “yes” to something. Debbie goes all in with style and grace. You can always count on her.
As you will discover, this risk-taker left the safety of the corporate world and founded Simply Placed. Debbie’s driving force was to experience a full life, one where she has time for her family, personal pursuits, and her career.
I’ve known this life-long learner for a while. She is charismatic, positive, and honest – all admirable traits for a High Road leader.
Ron: Let’s get to know more about Debbie Rosemont. It is an honor to feature on my show. Welcome to the High Road Leader Podcast, Debbie.
Debbie: Thanks Ron. I’m really pleased to be here.
Ron: And it’s such an honor to have you. I’ve known you since you started your business, and so I’m excited that my audience can learn more about you.
Debbie: Yeah, that’s great.
Ron: Tell us what you’re doing now. What exactly is your role as CEO and the founder of Simply Placed?
Debbie: Well, I hold a role, like you said, both as CEO and founder, but also an operational role in the business because I love the client work we do and I haven’t wanted to give up serving the clients myself, so I am a CEO and I lead the organization and manage our employees. I also do business development and love talking about what we do with people that may have a problem we consult. And then, lastly, I am a consultant and trainer so I work with busy professionals and help them implement organized systems and productive habits so that they can have more time.
Ron: I’ve seen you in action and you work both with small groups and large groups when you do presentations.
Debbie: That’s true.
Ron: They’re very effective.
Debbie: Thank you.
Question 2 Dream Job
Ron: Think about when you were a child. What job or what career did your child mind want to have?
Debbie: I was thinking about that the other day because I was talking to somebody else about what we thought we wanted to be when we grew up. I just had two kids graduate, one from high school, one from college, so thinking about starting a career and entering the workplace is top of mind. And what I remember most was the things that I played at when I was young as, “Oh gosh, wouldn’t it be great to do this when I grew up?”
Debbie: And the one that really comes to mind that I can remember the most is teaching. And so, I would play as teacher and play school with my friends and the young child. And I think what attracted me to that, and I think I still get to have elements of teaching in the work I do today, certainly, but it was the ability to help others learn and develop. And also, I think there’s an organizational aspect to what I thought as the best teachers is being organized with all their school supplies, and all of that. So it really combined some things I was interested in, but I loved the teaching aspect of the job that I have now and what we get to do as a company as well as the opportunity to teach and train and develop people within the Simply Placed organization.
Ron: Can I assume you were probably the only child on the block that had one of the neatest, most organized rooms?
Debbie: That’s probably a good assumption. I grew up in a household where that’s what was expected of me. I have parents who both were organized and neat and tidy themselves and expected that of their kids. So we both worked hard and played hard growing up, but the play came after we had done any chores or responsibilities and that certainly included cleaning up a room, and I just found it was easier to keep my room clean when things had a place and when things were organized. So, yes, that was definitely something that was a part of my childhood, too.
Ron: That’s a good philosophy for emerging leaders.
Ron: The path of leadership is usually not a straight line. It’s more of an adventure. What was your journey like? How did you end up being a leader or an influencer?
Debbie: Yeah, I think my journey started when I was in school, really. I chose to take on some leadership roles through some student activities and through my youth group and really enjoyed the involvement I had with those organizations and clubs, and that sort of thing, in part because I had the opportunity to lead and to influence decisions, to be a part of seeing a vision or goal come true for members or individuals in the organization. So I got a taste of that pretty early on. And, when I think about my leadership path as an adult and through my career and my work experience, I got that early, as well, when I worked for Bank of America.
Debbie: When I started in my post-college work, I started in an entry-level position in human resources because that’s the area I wanted to be, and everybody starts someplace. So I started as a recruiting coordinator, and I think others must’ve seen some leadership capabilities in me early because I had a pretty fast track to more responsibility and quickly came to not only move from the support position, but into a lead recruiter and then managing the team in the office. And, ultimately, when I was still down in southern California, I managed three employment offices for Bank of America, and that was at a young age. I was in my mid-twenties. So I was managing some people who were twice my age, but I don’t think it had anything to do with an age, didn’t really come into play. It was more the ability to be approachable and to share a vision and to lead towards that vision in a cooperative and collaborative way that I think helped me do that even at a young age.
Debbie: So that’s really where it started, was that youth experience and youth leadership experience, and then early on in the corporate career. And then, of course, like you said, it’s not really a straight line. So I did continue to progress through that corporate career, but I came to a point where I wanted to step out of corporate America and lead in a different way. And so, I started my own business, not for the faint of heart, yeah. And then, what was interesting about that, too, is I knew that I would love the work that I set out to do, the organizing and the productivity consulting and training. But, I didn’t know if I would enjoy running a business, and I think that leadership aspect translated well from the corporate experience I had had into running a business, because I came to hire employees and wanted to be a good leader for them. But also, I think each of us within Simply Placed, we lead our clients, also, to a vision and on a path to help them reach their goals and success. And so, that’s an aspect of leadership that we all use today.
Ron: Do you notice that, from your track record, that once you make a decision to do something, whether it was at Bank of America and also Simply Placed, that you go all in, you just give it your all? Is that true?
Debbie: Yeah, I would definitely say that’s true. I think that, as you mentioned, once I make a decision, really a lack of decision is a decision, also. It’s a decision not to move forward, but once I make a decision to try something, I want to go all in because I think if I don’t, I won’t know if I could have been successful. So I feel like if I do something only halfway, and then it doesn’t feel successful, well, what if I had done it the whole way? And I tend to also be selective about the things that I choose and try and want to intentionally choose things that I’m either passionate about or feel strongly about. So that brings some extra energy to be able to go all in.
Ron: I’ve noticed that you have been recognized for your leadership. You were the 2015 Nellie Cashman Business Owner Award nominee that year, which is an amazing honor.
Debbie: Thank you. Yeah, that was a neat honor. There was a pool of I think originally 14 qualified candidates, meaning somebody had nominated them, they completed the pretty robust application and an initial conversation or interview. And then, from that, the pool is narrowed down to five finalists of which I was extremely honored to have been one. I got to know the other candidates well, and when you talk about leaders, I felt surrounded by exceptional women and just honored to be recognized among them.
Ron: That’s very nice.
Ron: What does Simply Placed do best?
Debbie: I think our magic power, so to speak, or our super power, really is about taking away the overwhelm that our clients feel. And that’s something that we have and serve clients from diverse industries and, as you mentioned, companies of diverse sizes. But, the one thing that the individuals that we work with and the teams, as well, have in common when they call and inquire about how we can help them is that they’re feeling overwhelmed, and that’s usually overwhelmed by email, overwhelmed by demands on their time, overwhelmed by too much stuff or information. And I think we do a great job at, first, taking away the overwhelm and then offering very practical, easy to implement strategies and systems and habits that give people more time and energy and really attention for what matters most. So I say that’s where we really shine.
Ron: You do that very well. I saw the reviews that you have on a LinkedIn, and you have a lot of praises for that.
Debbie: Thank you.
Ron: How do you define good leadership, based on your experiences?
Debbie: I think that a good leader is someone who can both have and hold strong values and a clear vision and a path to get from where an individual or an organization is now to reach those goals or have that vision come to be, but with flexibility, with integrity and with buy-in from those they’re leading. Otherwise, if they don’t have that, I think then it’s more of a dictatorship. So someone who really can set a vision, get others to buy in or it’s a jointly created vision, and then motivate and inspire and empower those to follow and/or to lead themselves, as well, to the completion of that objective goal or vision.
Ron: We met, Debbie, back in 2003, 2004 after you started Simply Placed, and one of your philosophies that impressed me, that helped me to realize that not only are you a good leader, you are also a High Road leader is developing a culture that helps your employees to succeed. Tell us a little bit about that, because you wanted them to have the flexibility they needed.
Debbie: Yeah. I selfishly started Simply Placed in part because I mentioned I was ready to step out of corporate America, but I still wanted to help people, to influence people, to be of service and certainly to provide financially to my own family and have achievement. But, the other element to the idea behind Simply Placed and starting my own business was that so I could have more work/life harmony and be able to be the mom I wanted to be and honor some boundaries that will allow me to be there for our son’s baseball games and volunteer in the kids’ classrooms and to be able to have time to do things I enjoyed and that filled me up, as well, so that I could be the person I wanted to be. And that was important to me as I continued on and moved from being a solopreneur to hiring employees, is I wanted others that worked for Simply Placed to also have the opportunity to craft the life and the work that they wanted.
Debbie: So we talked quite a bit about employees, and many of our employees are hourly part-time by choice, both on our side to have a nice pool of individuals with different skillsets and different talents and different availability to serve our diverse clients needs. But, I also wanted to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk for our clients who are seeking the same. We are hired by many individuals and companies who want themselves or want for their employees to have more work/life harmony, because we know, and studies show, that when people are happy and they’re fulfilled and satisfied and have time for what matters most to them and energy to do priority work, they’re more productive. So that’s what I wanted for my team because that’s what I wanted to both model and for my employees to understand and be able to teach to our clients, as well.
Ron: I know that you work to develop your staff into leadership roles and help them to become leaders, and then you also work with leaders and help them to be better leaders by being organized. So what’s working for you? What are some best practices that you have found work for you?
Debbie: Ron, I’m big on process and systems, and I think that we have systems in place for onboarding employees, for seeing that they get the adequate training that they need to lead their clients through a journey of organization and productivity so that they can reach their potential. And, in doing so, we teach a process that then our employees use with their clients to do the same. So it’s really, like I said before, it’s setting a vision for what we want as an organization, Simply Placed, but also the vision and helping set that vision with and for our clients for their potential or to reach their goals, and then understanding that we are leading them on a path to get there. So the second part of your question is we know that when we are more organized and manage our time well, we have more time for what matters most, which includes, and good leaders, need to have time to be strategic, to be innovative, to be creative, to do deep thinking. And when they’re not organized, they just don’t have as much time.
Debbie: So we help people. They’ll be able to find what they need when they need it and manage their time well so that they’re not wasting time, and then they have more time to lead. And whether that’s leading as a sales professional, if their objective is to do business development or get new clients, they can be a leading sales representative because they have more time to actually do the selling rather than the minutiae that get some bogged down, or maybe they’re leading by managing other people and taking them on a journey to a shared vision, as well. Either way, when we work with them, we get to basically give them the gift of time by stripping away some of the waste and the things that take time. So, in that way, we can help equip leaders with the focus and the energy and the attention they need to lead.
Ron: That’s a great best practice.
Debbie: Thank you.
Ron: What is a leadership book that you recommend?
Debbie: I have a couple. Two of them are kind of old-school. One is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and I wouldn’t necessarily call that a leadership book, per se. It’s a personal development and I guess a personal leadership book. And I think about the idea that, when we’re on an airplane, we’re always told by the flight crew that if there is turbulence and should there be an emergency and the oxygen masks drop, that we should put our own first and then help other people. And I think about having good principles in place individually, then allowing us to both by role modeling that and also by engaging in other leadership activity, allows us to influence other people. So The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
Debbie: I’m still a fan and I said this is kinda old-school because it’s not a new book, but The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey I think is a good one. And then, a newer book that, again, it’s not directly about leadership, but I just mentioned leaders need time to do strategic innovative, creative work, and there’s a great book by Cal Newport called Deep Work that talks about, with all of the demands on our attention and all the interruption and the temptation to flip from one thing to another, how we actually get things done is by creating the space, the time and our focus to dive deeper into something and to stick with it for a period of time. So I think that’s a great book for leaders, as well.
Ron: Excellent. I got three ideas to pass onto my audience.
Ron: When you hear the phrase “high road,” what does that mean to you?
Debbie: Part of what I think it means is acting with integrity. When I think about taking the high road, I think about anytime I might either want to lead or potentially be in conflict with someone or making a decision about what to do next on something, I want to and I like the sound of and the idea of taking the high road. So acting with integrity, doing the right thing, leading a path on a journey that might be simple, but maybe not easy. I think of those things as “high road.”
Ron: Sounds great.
Ron: Where can people learn more about not only Simply Placed, but also about you, since you do presentations and training?
Debbie: Yeah, we can be easily found on the web, so www.itssimplyplaced.com. I-T-S-S-I-M-P-L-Y-P-L-A-C-E-D.com. If people visit the website, they can learn about our services, they can go to the about tab and certainly learn more about me, about our team. We have a lot of great resources and content there through our blog posts. We post at least once a week. We do have a pretty robust newsletter that goes out, so on the contact us page, someone can, or really our homepage also, I think there’s a couple of opportunities to get on our mailing list and to receive periodic inspiration and ideas and tips on organization and productivity.
Debbie: So that’s a great thing if anybody’s listening and wants to have those come to them, then the newsletter is a great resource. And then, we’re also pretty active in some different social media platforms. So we have our Simply Placed page on Facebook, on LinkedIn, both as a company, and then I’m Debbie Rosemont as an individual, and can be found by looking there. Instagram, Twitter. So a variety of ways that people can find out more about us, follow us, and most importantly, for me, is please engage in conversation with us because we really like that. We love to talk about this stuff.
Question 11: The Ask
Ron: What sort of ask would you like to have or, promote about your business or yourself?
Debbie: Ron, imagine that you have listeners that are not only local, but are a little all over the place, and so one thing that I think could be a good fit for a number of people that could be listening is our virtual It’s About Time Productivity Program. This is a monthly membership program, and each month our members benefit from a theme. So each month has a theme. We have a themed webinar that is on the topic of workplace organization and productivity. And, at the conclusion of the webinar, we issue an organization or productivity challenge for focus for that month that our members engage in. And then, two weeks after that, we get back on, and this is done through Zoom, we get back online together and we have an “Ask The Organizer,” which is an opportunity to really ask me any question related to that month’s theme, or not.
Debbie: We have an Eat Your Frog Day. That is a day where we have regular check-ins with our group to help our members along with something they’ve been procrastinating on or that is a high priority, and we have, then, handouts and resources and a community with accountability that brings like-minded people together. So people that really are interested in increasing organization and productivity so they have more time, we communicate and hold each other accountable through a closed Facebook group.
Debbie: So that is a neat offering that we’re having a good time with, and I think members are both benefiting and having nice things to say about. So I would say that’s an opportunity for somebody to engage no matter where they are, whether there a solopreneur or a very small business person, and maybe they’re not in a company that’s large enough to bring us in for a group training or engaging in individual consulting in person.
Ron: Sounds like fun. Especially the Eat The Frog Day.
Debbie: Yeah. Yeah, it is fun. And we get results, but we do have some fun and try and smile and encourage each other in a lighthearted way along the way. And the best place to learn more about that program is on our website under the business organization tab. If you hover over that, the bottom item in the drop down there is the It’s About Time Program.
Dream Job, part 2
Ron: I posed the question about your childhood dream and this is the reason that I asked that provocative question. When we are children, we usually have a vision for what we want to be, but we don’t have a language for it. We don’t have a context. Yours is very clear. You became the teacher, you became the organized child that took care of chores before play, and that turned into a business. I also think another part of the experience that you wanted was that you want people to feel good about what they’re doing. In other words, you and your team help, I don’t want to say make organization fun, but make it so that it becomes routine. It’s not that dreaded frog that they don’t want to eat. It’s something that just becomes part of who they are. Does that feel right?
Debbie: It does, yeah. You asked about what are we really good at, or I use the term “superpower,” and again, it is making the strategies that we offer simple, practical, easy to implement because I don’t think this needs to be hard. And I think, while I grew up learning organization from my parents and that was an expectation and that was modeled to me, not everybody does. An organization isn’t necessarily taught in school. So we work with a number of people who wonder is it too late for them? Are they too far down the road of disorganization? And I always, always hold out hope in the belief that this and these are learned skills that we can learn to be organized and that it doesn’t have to be hard.
Debbie: What I love doing is finding what works for each individual or team that we work with, and we don’t prescribe a single system or solution. We customize the offerings so that we can find what’s going to work for each individual or team. And when we do, and when they are committed to implementing these easy strategies, they get results. They have a simpler time with life and work, and they get better at these things becoming habits so that they have more time for what matters most and can generate more revenue, can be of better service to their clients, and ultimately, just have an easier time with life.
Ron: That goes way beyond teaching, Debbie.
Debbie: Thank you.
Close of Interview
Ron: Thank you for making a difference, Debbie. You are a person of influence and the audience can now see that you are helping leaders to be more organized and effective. I appreciate the time that you spent with me and for the insights into who you are, and what Simply Placed is all about. I appreciate you.
Debbie: Ron, thank you so much for the invitation to be a part of your podcast, and you reminded me that we’ve known each other for 16 years now, for the length that I’ve had Simply Placed, and it’s an honor to know you and to be a part of your network and your community.