Michele Vig Neat Little Nest

Michele Vig knows all about burnout and being overworked, having spent twenty years in the corporate world. During her career she also found she lost the work-life balance that remained deeply important to her. A couple years ago she decided to take the plunge and start a business helping others declutter their lives and find that balance she had also been searching for. Today the Edina, Minnesota entrepreneur is running her full-service organization solution company, Neat Little Nest, full time. Since starting her business she has also written a book, The Holistic Guide to Decluttering, expanding the audience she can reach, even further.

Vig’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

After spending two decades in corporate America as an executive, I left to follow my passion and fulfill my dream of entrepreneurship. Neat Little Nest’s mission allows me to be a real resource in helping transform people’s lives. By sifting through life’s clutter I help people reconnect with the things that bring them joy and joyfully discard the things that don’t. I help them see that clutter is often bigger than stuff and that decluttering holistically by looking at all types of clutter – space, time and mind clutter – they can find the peace their soul desires and live their most desired life.

Our lives are more stressful than ever before, leaving us burned out…and leaving our homes cluttered. My book, The Holistic Guide to Decluttering, shows how three core components— physical, time, and mental clutter—are intricately linked and how focusing on one area alone is not likely to bring the peace your soul desires. This has become increasingly important in the midst of a pandemic when our lives and homes have been turned upside down. Including step-by-step tutorials, reflection tools, and worksheets, this book gives practical ways to learn the “how to” of holistically decluttering and organizing so you can begin to feel the freedom that comes from organizing. I believe that you take the steps to clear your clutter with intention, you can achieve a deeper emotional release and a sustainable transformation.

[Related: 5 Ways to Run a Startup While Avoiding Burnout]

I chased after financial success for years in my career, but now my definition of success has changed. Today, my definition of success is living my most desired life; one that has me following both my passion in work as well as working to make the world a better place for all. My biggest success is writing my book, The Holistic Guide to Decluttering.

The goals for my business are to help provide people with the tools and resources they need in order to declutter their lives for good, in whatever shape that takes as time and needs arise.

When I left the corporate world I realized that I had been trained to work more than play. Finding this balance remains something that I’m very aware of in my new role as an entrepreneur. The way I’ve addressed it in a more positive way than in the past is by being clearer about my priorities and then carving out time for work, family and community to ensure that I’m getting a good balance and living my most desired life.

[Related: Fast, Easy Ways to Make Your Business More Green]

After a couple years in my business, I found out that I needed knee surgery which put me without the ability to walk without crutches for over two months. This was a very challenging time because the in-home portion of my business requires that I am able to walk. It had me think more deeply about how I might want to grow and change in the future.

In terms of my most important role models, there was a women I worked with who opened my eyes to the deep truth that following our passions and doing what we love will bring us a greater sense of happiness than simply chasing money.

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Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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