Mary Cate Claudias; Charm City Organizers, LLC; The Story Exchange Your Name: Mary Cate Claudias

Business Name: Charm City Organizers, LLC, a professional organization service

Type of Business: Professional Organizing

Business Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Twitter   @organizebmore

Reason for starting
I have an innate passion for clarity and order so that my surroundings, schedule, and relationships run more smoothly. When I realized I had the ability to teach others the skills needed to maintain that peace and calm, I knew I had to start a business. I’m also driven by challenge and change. Becoming an entrepreneur has served my personality very well in that respect and I’m a much happier, more fulfilled person these days. And of course, it was very gratifying to leave ‘cube nation’ for my own schedule, projects and goals (both professional and personal).

How do you define success?
That’s such an interesting question. You know, when I was a young PE teacher / coach, I was a chaperone for a middle school outdoors’-course trip. One of the challenges was to ‘face your fear’. All of us put our fear into a hat and drew another’s to read. Mine was that I may never be successful. One of my kids (a 13 yr-old), pegged me for writing it, read it out loud and said, ‘Well that’s a weird one, Coach Slay (my maiden name), don’t you know you’re already successful?’ Since that day, I’ve defined success as what I make of it. I’ve already been successful in so many ways and the things I’ve screwed up, I’ve learned from. Success is making the most of my day today and rising to the challenge of tomorrow, all the while keeping my ego and fears at bay.

Biggest Success
It’s a 3-way tie. 1. Jumping into this business and never letting up. 2. Getting through a divorce in my 20’s and coming out much stronger than I could have imagined. 3. Empowering my CCO organizers to the best of my ability.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
It’s gotta be trying to accomplish everything I want to do. There are only so many days in a week. My own time and task management advice for my clients are great reminders for myself once in a while. I also force myself to take ‘down’ time. Whether it’s a workout or glass of wine with a friend, it’s a MUST to escape the schedule and I know when I do, this body-machine of mine will run better the following day.

Who is your most important role model?
Toss-up… between my Mom and my husband. My Mom is one of the core reasons I have the skills and the courage it took to start this business. My husband is the grounding, hilarious, more laid-back balance that I need to stay semi-normal 🙂