1-3 Yikes! I'm 60(ish). What Are My Options? Diversify and Continue Doing Work You Love!

1-3: Yikes! I'm 60(ish). What Are My Options? Diversify and Continue Doing Work You Love!

Susan Kousek, CPO
Panelists: Ellen Faye, CPO, Janet Schiesl, CPO & Hazel Thornton

Continue Your Path


We love what we do, but as we mature our work can be hard on our bodies. This session provides an overview of services less physically demanding and currently offered by four long-time productivity and organizing professionals who are older or thinking ahead for when they will be--how to get started, recommended training, and marketing ideas.

Attendees will have an opportunity to form virtual mastermind groups with others interested in offering the same service.

Session Objectives:
- Know many options for services they can offer as they and their business mature.
- Get ideas about how to start and market services that are less physically demanding, including recommended training.
- Have the opportunity to start a virtual mastermind group with like-minded colleagues.

We’ll engage the audience with:
- A presentation from each panelist.
- Polling questions throughout the session.
- Small group or paired discussions.
- An opportunity to form virtual mastermind groups.


 Susan Kousek, CPO

Susan Kousek, CPO, owner of Balanced Spaces®, LLC in Reston, Virginia, has been self-employed since 1985. In addition to bookkeeping, she helped her small business clients get organized which was much more fun! She prioritized organizing over bookkeeping and joined NAPO in 1999. 

Residential and paper organizing are two of her passions, but she finds them too hard physically now, so concentrates on less physical services such as home inventories, Quicken training and troubleshooting, gathering financial papers for taxes, and helping businesses organize their digital documents and email messages. She teaches workshops on email and time management for government agencies, associations, and companies.

A member of NAPO’s Washington, DC Metro Chapter and Virtual Chapter, she volunteered at the WDC chapter at her second meeting and in 2004 at the national level, serving on many committees and on the NAPO national board 2012-2015. She holds NAPO’s Specialist Certificate in Life Transitions and has been honored with the 2016 Special Service to NAPO Award and the Washington DC chapter’s first Volunteer of the Year award in 2004.

Susan is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), and has presented multiple times at NAPO conferences and for her chapter.


Blog: https://balancedspaces.com/articles



Ellen Faye, CPO

Ellen Faye is a Professional Certified Productivity Coach, a Certified Professional Organizer, and entrepreneur who has had her own successful organizing and productivity company since 2001. With a background in coaching, business management, organizing, and leadership, Ellen uses her experience and expertise to inspire those she works with to improve their productivity by focusing on their leadership effectiveness.

Ellen began her business as a residential organizer, moved into business organizing, and then added coaching by taking Denslow Brown’s Coach Approach foundations curriculum in 2009, earning her Certified Organizer Coach credential in 2011. She teaches both Coaching Effective Leaders and Coaching the Team Leader for Coach Approach, is an inaugural member of NAPO’s Coaching SIG, and is the first coach to earn the ICF PCC-level Certified Productivity Leadership Coach Credential.

Additionally, Ellen served seven terms on the NAPO Board of Directors including two as NAPO President and is the 2019 NAPO Founder’s Award recipient. She holds NAPO Specialist Certificates in Workplace Productivity and Team Productivity as well as two ICD certificates of study, is a member of the 2007 Inaugural Class of Certified Professional Organizers and teaches three NAPO University courses.



Janet Schiesl, CPO



Janet Schiesl, CPO is the owner of Basic Organization, a leading professional organizing company in Northern Virginia. Early in business, Janet decided that she liked working with a team, but found the independent contractor model did not work well. She took a leap of faith and began hiring employees. In the ten years since, she has grown from a solo practitioner to a team of six people that specialize in big jobs with a tight time frame. So along with working one-on-one with clients, they can pack or unpack a home in one day, organize a garage or basement in record time or help you deal with piles of paper or an overstuffed closet or pantry. Growing her business with a team has allowed Janet to step away from hands-on organizing and focus on running the business, making it easier for her to continue helping clients far into the future.


Janet is a past president of the Washington DC Metro Chapter of NAPO.  She is a member of two NAPO committees and has been honored by her colleagues in receiving the Professional Organizer of the Year award and the Volunteer of the Year award (twice) from NAPO-WDC. 



Hazel Thornton



Hazel Thornton is a professional organizer and genealogist whose business, Organized for Life, began in 2004 Los Angeles. After moving to Albuquerque in 2005, she used her engineering background to create The Original Clutter Flow Chart so a former client could continue decluttering on her own. When she realized that the chart could help other organizers too—with their own clients, marketing, and presentations—she created a whole collection, plus an e-workbook called Go with the Flow!

A dormant passion for genealogy was reawakened when Hazel joined APPO (Association of Professional Photo Organizers) in 2015. While many photo organizers work with family historians, few of them also do research, or teach clients how to climb their own family trees.

Most of Hazel’s services are provided virtually these days. Not only is it easier on the knees, it also appeals to her introverted nature.

Hazel belongs to the Virtual Chapter, PONM (Professional Organizers of New Mexico), and APG (Association of Professional Genealogists). She holds four NAPO Specialist Certificates and has volunteered on several NAPO committees. In 2017 she was recognized for her contributions to POINT with the NAPO2017 President’s Award. 


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