Michele Vig wears a lot of hats at Neat Little Nest, the home organization company she founded to help people organize their homes, and in turn, organize their lives. With a mission to allow more people to create the “beautifully organized spaces they’ve always dreamed about,” Michele works as the company’s resident Professional Organizer, Home Decluttering Expert, and Storage Designer.
At Neat Little Nest, Michele Vig works through her passion to help others “find their inner most joy.” She showcases her ability to “transform spaces with ease,” which she follows up with teaching her clients how to organize their spaces to keep them looking great.
For businesses, Michele Vig also helps them “optimize their space to optimize their talent.” She knows that clutter in the office could contribute to the business losing time and resources, through a decline in worker productivity. So, with her help, businesses can get back on track through decluttering and space optimization, while the employees can work in peace and enjoy coming to the office every day.
Michele Vig is also the first Minnesotan to receive certification from Marie Kondo, internationally renowned home organization expert and New York Times best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
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Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Michele Vig: Before following my passion and starting my own organizing company, Neat Little Nest, I spent most of my career in marketing and product development leadership roles, helping teams create marketing and product strategies to drive revenue and customer satisfaction. Mid-career, I chose to shift careers and follow my passion to do something I love in order to help people remove clutter from their lives to live their most desired life.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Michele Vig: I have faced many obstacles in my career that started even before I got my first job. I came from a family whose parents did not attend college, so it wasn’t a given that I would be able to attend. Going to college was something I didn’t take for granted and was grateful for the opportunity. I worked several jobs throughout my schooling in order to pay for the education. My parents raised me to believe that if I worked hard enough, I could reach the goals I set for myself — even if those goals were bigger than ones they had reached themselves. With their guidance and me putting in the time to do my very best, I started to see positive things happen in my life and in my career. I believe my drive came from wanting to prove that a girl like me really could be whatever she dreamed. And today, I’m living my best life, I own my own business, I’ve written a book, and I’m helping others achieve their own goals.
Jerome Knyszewski; Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Michele Vig: As a new entrepreneur, I made many little mistakes related to marketing. While I had lots of experience leading marketing teams, I was no longer doing the day-to-day like I do today with Neat Little Nest. A couple come to mind. The first was when I was getting my certification with Marie Kondo, we had an opportunity to meet her. I was excited about it, but I completely left my marketing mind behind. I didn’t think about what I looked like that day even though I knew I’d be getting a picture with the famous Marie Kondo — and that’s a photo that has now been seen in a variety of news outlets including TV. The second mistake I made was taking on too much of the creative elements myself — I created the Neat Little Nest website from scratch and while it did turn out, I spent too much time learning when I could have hired someone to do it, and instead spent my time getting my in-home business going more quickly.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need to Know to Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied with the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
- Think before you delegate. I have delegated effectively, and I’ve delegated terribly. When I give myself proper time to think about what exactly I’m asking of the person to whom I’m delegating, the results are always better. I remember a time when I was so busy that I couldn’t see straight and I just wanted the workload off my plate — and fast! I knew I had to delegate and so I started delegating right and left. Sadly, I hadn’t given myself the time to think enough about what would really help me get out from under the workload. Because I delegated so ineffectively, because of rework and rethinking I was left with even more work. Take a pause, especially when you’re drowning, to get your own head clear about what needs to come off your plate before you put it successfully on someone else’s.
- Be clear about your request. The clearer you can be about what you’re requesting to be done, the better. For big and new tasks, this includes verbal and written communication so you can check for understanding. I had a person on my team that I learned had a short-term memory challenge. I didn’t realize this when we first started working together and we did most of our communicating verbally. When he shared with me it was difficult for him to remember everything, I started to provide high-level recaps of our conversations in writing with key dates, so we were on the same page. I began to do this more broadly with members of my team and it was helpful in all cases and I do this consistently to this day.
- Remind yourself that the person might fail on the first try. This can be hard especially if you are trying to take things off your plate, but it’s just the reality. Early in my career I was delegating to one of my direct reports and they just couldn’t quite seem to get the task done well. While it did take additional conversations and feedback to my direct report, eventually we ended up with a wonderful result. The next time we had a project, ramp-up was much quicker — and we both grew from the experience.
- Be available for questions. I know as a busy leader it can feel exhausting to have your own work to complete, as well as be available to help others, but that’s part of the deal when it comes to delegating. I found that having a set time each week where my door was open so my team could ask questions made it easy for my team to ask questions and keep projects moving.
- Celebrate a job well done. This step is so important and not one that I did very well for many years. I was so focused on crossing things off my to-do list and looking at the next item, I wouldn’t take the time to really celebrate a job well done. As I grew as a leader, so did my ability to recognize the importance of celebrating big and small accomplishments, but certainly a thank you for all tasks is welcome and important.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Michele Vig: Sometimes this cliche does ring true. Often the person doing the delegating has more experience than the person to whom they are delegating. Additionally, they also have a picture in their mind of what they hope the end result will be, so it makes sense that with a clear picture of what they are looking for they will be able to do it better themselves. The challenge with that thinking is that it is limiting potential. Often our vision is only as good as our one mind can think about it. Delegating some of the work can both take tasks off a leader’s plate, but more importantly, different and potentially better ideas will come from widening the group of people helping bring a leader’s vision to life. By doing everything yourself, you’re limiting potential. By widening the circle and delegating, you will see additional ways to look at a problem — and those may be much greater than your original idea.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Michele Vig: You can follow me on:
@neatlittlenest on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
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