Honoring Barbara Hemphill's 40 Years in Business

Judith Guertin Posted in Getting Organized

Creating Productive Environments Worldwide

Honoring Barbara Hemphill's 40 Years in Business

If you look up trailblazer in the dictionary you will find the definitions include: a person who blazes a trail for others to follow through unsettled country or wilderness; a pathfinder, a pioneer in any field a person who makes, does, or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular, an innovative leader in a field.
I think we all can agree that trail blazer is a term that describes Barbara Hemphill very well.
40 years ago, Barbara and her $7 ad in a New York City Newspaper, became a trailblazer for all of us at PEI and for thousands of Organizers and Clients all over the world.
When Barbara attempted to get a loan for her business she was told "that is not a business, no one will pay you to do that” Well, we all know how that turned out. Barbara gathered her resolve and did it anyway.
Not only did she create many tried and trusted systems, she helped entrepreneurs create successful businesses, she created a sense of community and collegiality seldom seen in the world today.
For those of you who have been with Barbara for a while, you may remember her term as President of NAPO. Her theme for the term was "together we are better". It was then and is now a deeply held belief and philosophy. The Productive Environment Institute is the embodiment of "Together We Are Better." We learn from each other, support one another, and help each other grow in ways we never even dreamed of.
I recently discovered the term Ikigai, this term comes from the Japanese words Iki for life and gai meaning value or worth. Ikigai is about finding purpose in life. It is about establishing a career that is "at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing." It's about feeling your work makes a difference in people's lives.
- What do you love?
- What are you good at?
- What does the world need?
- What can you be paid for?
For Barbara the Productive Environment Institute is at the intersection of these four questions.
She is doing something she loves, she is very good at, the world desperately needs and certainly something people will pay for.
Barbara has been instrumental in asking all of us at PEI these 4 questions to help us to find our Ikigai.
My journey with Barbara goes back 17 years to the beginning of AWO. I bought a book the Best Home-Based Businesses for the 21st Century and found Professional Organizing. There was no looking back! In 2001 there was not much written about Professional Organizing and there were no training programs. So, I did what any researcher would do, I went to the Library! There I discovered Taming the Paper Tiger, which made so much sense to me that even back then I started applying the principles of a Productive Environment in my client work. I first met Barbara in person at NAPO 2006 in Boston. I was starstruck...yup starstruck. It was awesome watching her gather people in at her booth at the Expo to talk about becoming a PTAC. Paper Tiger Authorized Consultant.
She was just as I thought she would be...warm, supportive, curious, and so full of energy. I made it my business from then on to know what Ms. Barbara Hemphill was doing.
Barbara next appeared in my life at a Virtual Meeting for the NAPO New England Chapter. She and Andrea were discussing the Productive Environment and the CPES Program. She invited us to have a discovery session over the phone. I told my husband that night I was going to join the program.
Barbara's systems have resonated with me since I started and now I had the opportunity to get certified. It just felt right.
Fast forward a couple more years to beginning of the Master's Program. Barbara's dream had grown again. When I signed up the program was in it's infancy. But knowing Barbara and Andrea, it just seemed right to trust the process.
It has been an honor to learn from Barbara and to become part of a community that has supported me and challenged me to grow. The program has taught me that success lies just outside your comfort zone. Get comfortable with being in new and unexpected places!
I have learned to trust the system, to take on challenges and try new things. Barbara often tells us; if you don't like change, don't hang around with me, I am always changing and reinventing myself.
It's a good thing. It led me to create the Power Up Webinar Series with Elisabeth Galperin my fellow CPES Master’s Colleague. The series featured Barbara, Kerry Thomas, Elisabeth Galperin, Jennifer Dawson, and me. Next was the opportunity to participate in presenting the Productivity Power Up Live Event in Carolina Beach in 2015 with Barbara, Andrea Anderson, Elisabeth Galperin, Kerry Thomas, Marya Welch and Sharon Sorenson. These events taught us all a great deal and helped us find our respective voices.
I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation for your leadership, for making the route clearer, for defining systems and strategies that will live on into the future in Productive Environments™ everywhere.
Lastly, Barbara has often said that she would like her epitaph to be "she gave others hope" The acronym Andrea coined for the word hope fits this occasion perfectly: "Helping Others Pursue Entrepreneurship!"
It is true now and it will remain true for many years to come.
Happy 40th Anniversary, Barbara, you give all of us hope. We love you, we honor you and we thank you. God Bless You!

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