14 Years And Counting
Life Simplified is celebrating its 14th year in business on Saturday, April 9th. Karen Wright, creator and owner of Life Simplified, began the company in 2008 with the mission to create and implement custom solutions to provide people across North Alabama with an organized and efficient lifestyle. Throughout the years, Karen and the Life Simplified team have helped countless individuals simplify their lives.
To celebrate this milestone, Karen sat down and answered a few thought-provoking questions about how Life Simplified began, what she has learned, and where she sees the company going in the future. You can read the full Q&A below.
Q&A With Karen Wright
Why “Life Simplified” as the name?
When I first started my business, I pitched the idea to a friend of mine who is a very savvy business person. I explained to him what I wanted to do, and he suggested that I call it “One Source.” I went with that name as I began getting everything together to start the business. Throughout the process, I found a company to design a logo for me. I looked at a few options they created for me and thought I really needed a tagline to tell people specifically what I do. I thought about the embodiment of what I wanted to do, which was to simplify people’s lives, so I put that as the tagline. Another friend of mine, who is very strategic with marketing, reviewed my logo options to help me pick the best design. He quickly pointed to my tagline and said, “There’s your business name!” I ultimately chose “Life Simplified” to explain what the first business name was trying to, but in a more specific way.
When you first started Life Simplified, did you dream that this is where the company would be now?
When I first started the company, I envisioned myself doing it alone for quite some time. I thought at some point that I wanted to be able to employ people who want to do this type of work, but I didn’t know how all of that was going to logistically work out. Did I think that we would have eight people total on the team at this point? I don’t think I ever would have imagined that! And did I think we would experience the type of growth that we’ve had? I would have never thought that almost 70% of our business would be packing and moving people. I never had that on my radar… so that’s been exciting to watch how that has grown so much, especially in the last two years.
What is one word you would use to describe Life Simplified?
Life-changing. You’ll notice that on the homepage of our website, there is a quote that says, “We do more than organize. We change lives.” I truly believe that.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned through leading the Life Simplified team?
I’ve always been big on communication, and I’ve always felt I was a very good communicator. Although, I learned with my very first employee that I’m not the best communicator in the sense that I feel like if someone is organized like I am, then they will think like I do. I’m continually working on that. I’m glad I’ve learned this about myself because I believe that everything starts at the top. If I don’t have good communication, then how can I expect my team to?
What words do you hope come to mind when a previous client refers someone to Life Simplified?
I don’t have one specific word or phrase because I truly believe we are so much more than one word or one phrase. People will tell me they think we are “amazing” or “sweet” or “efficient.” I believe we are all of those things. Ultimately, I just want a client to be able to tell someone something positive that will show them we’re there to get the job done.
Who is one client that really left an impact on you?
It’s really hard to isolate one person who has left an impact on me because so many people have on so many different levels that I never expected. Ultimately though, two different clients come to mind. One is a woman who I have worked with for years who had a dining room that was very cluttered. Her family had not been able to use that space for years. Because I helped her go through it, they were able to sit down as a family for the first time in years and have a meal together. That really touched me.
The second client’s situation was similar. Her kitchen and kitchen table were extremely cluttered. After helping the family declutter these spaces, I set out placemats and napkins on their kitchen table. Because I helped them make that space functional again, they started inviting friends over for dinner. That’s something that they never could have done before.
There was a sense of family with both of these clients. What I did helped them connect again with their family and friends. I never could have imagined the ripple effect of that. I’ve also been really impacted by the children of clients who have been part of the project in some way and then have gone home and started doing things in their own homes that they see us doing for their parents. It touches me to see that. I feel like I’m using my God-given talents to help other people. My whole mission is to simplify other people’s lives… so when they ripple out it just becomes so much bigger than it was ever intended to be.
When did you have your first aha moment with Life Simplified… knowing that this is what you were meant to be doing?
It’s not necessarily an aha moment that I’ve had, but when I hear people compliment me or the team about what a great job we’ve done… it just reinforces that I’m doing what I’m meant to do and the people working here are meant to be working here at this time to make an impact in peoples lives. I don’t know that it’s specifically one aha moment, but it’s the ongoing assurance. It reminds me why I do this.
What has been the most rewarding experience over the past almost 14 years?
One experience that comes to mind is a client who dealt with severe chronic disorganization. He had about eleven hobbies and could hardly walk throughout his home. He had been in his home for many years but had reached the point where he needed to move into a retirement community. Within 90 days, I helped him go through his entire house and color coded everything for his move.
I was by myself for the majority of this project, and I had not done a move on this scale before. So, to move him out of a 4,000 sq. ft home into a 1,453 sq. ft home—in that time frame—and for the moving company to walk in on move day and say it was the most organized move they had ever seen… I knew I was doing something right.
That was rewarding personally for me, but it was also important to get him out of an environment that was not healthy and safe for him and get him into something that was better for him. I still have a good relationship with him. It’s very rewarding for me when I can have an ongoing relationship with my clients long after the project is complete.
What is your biggest goal for Life Simplified?
I think my biggest goal is to be a sustainable business that will still be here in ten years. One thing that I have thought about in recent years is that I would like to get to a level where we have a team of ten people. I feel like with that size we could remain close knit and maintain good communication. We have a strong team, and I feel very blessed to have the individuals that we do because they’re each unique in their own way. We all get along and get the job done. So, I would want to keep that and just build an even stronger team.
Another big goal is to just be more known in the community. I want people to know the story of Life Simplified. I want people to see what we do, how we work together, how we simplify things, and how we make an impact in people’s lives.
Where do you see Life Simplified 10+ years from now?
I still want to be doing what I’m doing now, which is a newer role for me. Within the last couple of years, I’ve taken myself out of the field a lot more and have delegated more responsibilities by creating specific roles for team members. It’s an exciting part of the business because that means it’s growing! Because everyone has to share responsibility, it’s helped take pressure off of me to where I feel like I’m more able to focus on growing the business. I can take calls throughout the day and meet with people during the day, which are things I was not always able to do.
I feel like in the future we will have more positions. I don’t know what they are right now, but that’s an exciting part of growing a business. In 10 years, we may be bigger than I think we will be! We may have 20 people. We could have a location in Huntsville and a location in Madison. It’s going to be fun to look back in 10 years and see how much God has blessed us and taken us where He wanted us to go.
We hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Karen and the Life Simplified team! Be sure and let us know in the comments below what information you found most interesting in this blog and what you’d like to read about next!