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Brenda Scott of Tidy my Space: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life

An Interview With Pirie Jones Grossman

Be open to ask for help, realize that you can’t do everything and can’t know how to do everything. I had to learn about the internet, websites, social media and bookkeeping. I learned a lot from asking people that did know and the things that I couldn’t do or really didn’t like to do myself, I hired out.

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50's.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brenda Scott.

Brenda Scott retired after working 31 years at Kelloggs, and is the owner of Tidy my Space, a Home Organizing company in London, Ontario, Canada. She works with clients who need help getting their homes decluttered, organized and safe to live in. She uses her years of experience to deliver an unique solution specific for each client.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up the youngest child of a working- class family. My Dad worked night shift at the local Kellogg factory and my Mom was a home-maker/foster parent for the local Children’s Aide. It started out that I was the baby of the family but my parents adopted one of the foster children when I was a teenager so I became a big sister. I worked at McDonalds during my high school years and soon realized that I needed more money to afford driving my car and that serving fast food wasn’t my ideal job. My Dad gave my name to the HR department at Kellogg and I was hired, I started in 1983 at the age of 18.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There is nothing more satisfying than being loved for who you are and nothing more painful then being loved for who you’re not but pretending to be” by Neil Pasricha is a quote that I’ve recently found after reading his book, “The Happy Equation”. It reminds me that true success is to be happy and loved for YOU, it feels fake or hollow if people like a false you. It’s easy to copy how other people run their businesses but you have to do things your way to really find true success. I started watching what other similar businesses were doing and just copied them, it was frustrating and I was ready to quit. When I found that if I just was myself, did things the way that it felt right to me, then if people hired me then it was because they liked the real me not a fake me. It’s also much easier to be yourself than to pretend to be someone else, that’s exhausting!

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a success yet, I’ve only be in business for 1 year but I do have a plan and I can see the successes that will follow.

  1. Be real, when I meet a client face to face they often have this idea that I’ll act like I’m better than they are because I run a business but when we meet, they realize I’m real, easy to talk to and just like them.
  2. Be reliable, when you make an appointment, keep it and be totally committed to their wants and needs. Ex. turn off your phone during their session and give them your full attention, give them their monies worth!
  3. Be open to ask for help, realize that you can’t do everything and can’t know how to do everything. I had to learn about the internet, websites, social media and bookkeeping. I learned a lot from asking people that did know and the things that I couldn’t do or really didn’t like to do myself, I hired out.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

I was working at Kelloggs as a fork truck driver and part-time supervisor in the packaging department. I enjoyed every day that I was there, it became my “work family”. I worked all 3 shifts for 2 years then I went to only working day and afternoons, they were long shifts but it instilled a very strong work ethic. I knew how to work hard and long and loved the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. I also learned how to keep my crew organized and running smoothly, like a well- oiled machine. Which it was; a cereal packaging machine!

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

The factory closed in 2014, 5 years short of me getting a full pension so I took a year off to think about what I wanted to do. Did I want to retire and live a life of leisure or did I want to do something more meaningful? Well, I decided that I wanted to keep working, so I went to college as a ‘mature student’, earned my Certificate in Office Administration and became a receptionist. I truly enjoyed organizing the office and planning the clients appointments, keeping the files tidy and up to date was a joy. Many people commented that I was great at organizing the office and I should do something more with this natural skill. So I spend a year on my off hours to research what it would take to run a small business and what kind of business I wanted to do. I launched Tidy my Space in Feb. 2021, I never knew that there were clients that needed help with organizing their homes and that they would pay someone to help them.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

The trigger was when I felt that I could be doing more, I could be helping more. If I didn’t try then I would be always wondering “what if”.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

I discovered that I could run a business when I talked with other business owners and listened to their stories. My story was very similar and that gave me the push to just go for it, try it, if it doesn’t succeed then at least I can say that I gave it everything that I had. I stepped out of my comfort zone and actually talked with other business owners and enrolled in networking groups.

How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.

The business is still young but I’ve been told from other owners that it takes time to get a new business noticed especially during the health lockdowns. The clients that I’ve helped have been very encouraging and love the work that I do with them. My reviews have been very positive and I’ve gotten lots of interest.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m grateful for Elaine Kapogines of Wiltshire Media. She has encouraged and taught me to try new things and that I’m totally able to do great things. When I thought about starting a business, I didn’t have any idea how to get my name out there but after talking with her, I have the skills and knowledge to be a success.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

The most interesting story since opening my business, is the confidence that I now have when speaking with strangers. I’m an introvert and it usually takes me awhile to speak to strangers but now I have the knowledge that I can talk and share with strangers without looking like a fool.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

I totally didn’t believe that I could open a business, I always believed that only men,young or rich people owned businesses, I was just ‘the worker’ for others. I overcame that belief by seeing all of the small business owners on social media run by women and of all ages and backgrounds. I found a networking support group on IG and joined, they were women owned local small businesses and each brought me to realize that anyone can launch a business, and it’s out there for you.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

I had my family, they were the only people that I told about my desire to open Tidy my Space. I found a support system once I launched because I was struggling with social media details. Looking back, I think it would’ve been better to have the support system first but as an introvert, I have a small circle of friends.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

As an introvert I’m totally out of my comfort zone when I talk to strangers, reach out to reporters, hand strangers my brochure and business card. My approach is just to Fake it until it comes easier! Pretend that you can do it and by actually seeing that “Yes I can do this” it’ll be easier and less scary. I was visiting a client and another lady asked what I was doing so I took a deep breath and smiled and then went into my business pitch and handed her my business card. She was so excited and went away with knowing that I was easy to reach when see needed help.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. That is takes a lot of time, you’re wrong if you think running your own business means that you can have lots of days off and make your own hours. I’ve spent 8–10 hours every day working either in or on my business, there’s always something to do. Maybe when I get employees I’ll get time off but not yet.
  2. You need to keep learning, be always reading and improving. This comes naturally for me but you do need to stay on top of the lasted technique or system to can help your clients. If someone asks me if I’ve heard about so and so and their approach to home organizing, I should know who they’re talking about, it looks narrow minded and ill- informed if I don’t.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Be kind and help our seniors to feel useful and respected. Seniors deserve to live in a home that keeps them safe and healthy. We need to take care of our elders not hide them and forget them. Better quality of care that isn’t just for the wealthy, the same standard of care for all.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. :-)

I would love to have a chat with Barack and Michelle Obama. I’ve read their books and find their lives to be truly inspirational.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Your readers can follow me on my website,www.tidymyspace.ca and on Instagram@tidymyspace.ca, I have a FaceBook account; BrendaScott

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Pirie Jones Grossman

Pirie Jones Grossman

TedX Speaker, Influencer, Bestselling Author and former TV host for E! Entertainment Television, Fox Television, NBC, CBS and ABC.

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