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The Joe Costello Show

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I am a serial business entrepreneur, YouTube Creator, Happiness Mentor, Integrity Guru and speaker.I want us all to be happy and I’ve been told by many, that my videos and social media posts have been inspiring and I believe I can help by sharing some of my life's experiences here as well. Episodes … read more

1:06:42

Decluttering Tips For Hoarders with Tracy McCubbin

Decluttering Tips For Hoarders with Tracy McCubbin was my guest recently on my podcast, "The Joe Costello Show".

She is a decluttering expert and she shared how she got started, what her business does and some tidbits that can really help you get started.

Tracy's company has so many service to help people declutter their home, office, home office, etc. She also has other services such as closet audits, garage organization, moving services, senior downsizing, estate decluttering.

Please go to https://dclutterfly.com/ and check out how she might be able to help.

Tracy has also written a book called "Making Space, Clutter Free: The Last Book on Decluttering You'll Ever Need" which you can buy at Amazon or support this cool book website called BookShop.org.

Here's the link to the book: Making Space, Clutter Free: The Last Book on Decluttering You'll Ever Need 

Also check out OneKidOneWorld which Tracy plays an important role in as the Co-Executive Director    

Thanks for listening!

Joe

Tracy McCubbin

CEO & Owner of dClutterfly

Website: https://dClutterfly.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dclutterfly

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracy_mccubbin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisistracymccubbin

Private FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2036212949941199

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-mccubbin-566829b2/

One Kid One World: https://www.onekidoneworld.org/

Email: info@dClutterfly.com

Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: "Out and About", Song: "Chicken & Scotch" 2014

Andy's Links:

http://andygalore.com/

https://www.facebook.com/andygalorebass

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For show notes and past guests, please visit: https://joecostelloglobal.libsyn.com

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Transcript

Joe: Tracy, welcome. I'm glad to have you on the podcast. I've been waiting to have you because clutter is is just the worst thing in the world. So I'm excited to talk to you. So welcome to the show.

Tracy: Thanks, Joe. I'm super excited to be here, and it's always interesting to meet people sort of who have different expertise and different focuses like everybody have in common everybody.

Joe: Yup,

Tracy: So

Joe: Yup.

Tracy: It it's just I love talking to different people about kind of how they can manage their clutter, get ahead of their clutter and live their best life.

Joe: Well, I'm excited and I, I follow a pretty strict format in the sense that I really like to know the person and I think my audience likes to know the person. And I think that's how they connect with you. I just don't want the end of this podcast to come and say other this really great woman that was on who understands how to do clutter. I want to know how you got into this and more about you. So can you kind of give us the background leading up to when you started to clarify?

Tracy: Yeah, it's a very interesting subject, I like to say that I'm one of those people who all I had a bunch of jobs that turned out to not be my passion, but everything I did along the way brought me here. So I was a personal assistant for a very long time to two different people. I was a bookkeeper for small businesses. I was an administrative assistant to lawyers. I had all these various I took care of my grandmother, helped her manage her finances. So I had all these various kind of office centric jobs. And then when I was working for one of the people I was a personal assistant for, he was a television director. So when he had downtime, friends of his or he for, say, the friends of his oh, my assistant, she can handle anything. So I started helping other people. Somebody's grandmother had passed away and they need to clean up the house. They had a big accounting mess and all of a sudden people started to tell other people and I would get phone calls. And at first I wasn't charging. And then I was charging a little bit. And a friend of mine said, I think you have a business. And I was like, no, I'm just helping people. This is. And he's like, no, that's what a business is. And so I I'm like, all right, let me just see. And I made a little website and I put the word out. And that's fourteen years later at eight employees later and thousands of jobs and everything I did in the past, from acting in commercials to doing bookkeeping to taking care of my grandmother, it all led me to creating this business. And then the big piece of the puzzle, which I didn't even realize when I first started the business and I had to have a client of mine point out I'm the child of a hoarder.

Tracy: So my dad is an extreme hoarder. And I have lived my whole life watching him struggle with his relationship to his stuff. So very acutely aware of our relationship to stuff is emotional and but I'm not kidding. It was like ten years into my business when this client of mine, who is a psychiatrist was like, that's so interesting. Have you ever thought of the connection? I was like, what? No, what do you mean? And then you're like, oh. So watching what my father went through and still continues to go through gave me so much empathy to people's struggle and how for so many people there's all this shame around it. I'm messy and I'm disorganized. I'm a bad housekeeper. And my goal and what I realized through clients of my dad is that that's not the case, that there is this emotional attachment. And if you're not aware of that emotional attachment, you're going to keep repeating the same mistake. So it's getting to the root of why you're hanging on to all the stuff and changing your relationship so you can have the home you want to live. So I'm a I'm late to this business. I opened this business in my forties, so I'm also a really good poster child for like if you have something you want to do, don't get stuck in the age. Don't think like I and get this done. My success is all coming my fifty. So I'm um like if you have a passion follow. It doesn't matter where you are in your life.

Joe: Yes, and that's what's great, because my audience, at least what I think is my audience is really entrepreneurs like that's most of what I like, because that's where I come from. My heart is in that. So I like that. You said all of what you just said. I encourage people out there that have an idea that having made the commitment to go forward with it. So that was awesome. And I read the part about I didn't know what family, what person it was in your family, but I read that you had a family member who was a hoarder. So I'm glad you brought that up. But I wanted to know, like, what your trajectory was when you started. Like, did you what

Tracy: Oh,

Joe: Did you want

Tracy: This is

Joe: To do? Like.

Tracy: Oh, this is this is even better if you if this is your conversation, I call myself an accidental entrepreneur, right. That I, I just I had no idea what I was doing. I was like, oh, let me just start a business. That'll be fine. Oh, let me just charge X an hour. Like I just made up some number which was clearly too low. And then I think about a year into my business, I read a book called The MF. That

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Right. Am

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: I getting

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: The name of that.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: It's a great

Tracy: And

Joe: Book.

Tracy: I and I did the math and I was like, wow, I'm working for four dollars an hour. When I when I realized how much time I was putting in and what I was charging and another like I like when I say I had no business, I'd always work for other people, I'd always put things together. But I didn't I didn't go in with this. I didn't have a business plan. And I learned so much along the way. And every misstep was a giant step forward. And the biggest change for me, too, was when somebody said to me, you know, you're not charging for your time, you're charging for your expertise.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: And that just switched anything because I had a lifetime of dealing with someone and their staffs. And that just turned the light bulb on like, oh, right. It doesn't matter that this business has only been open for a year. I have 40 some years of doing this. And when I thought that and then I started to read more and realize and I hired a business coach and I started to really shift things around, that's when the business took off. That's when I was like, oh, stepped into the role of being an entrepreneur. And then I started to hire employees. And then I became a boss. Right. Which is a whole other thing.

Joe: Yes,

Tracy: And how

Joe: It

Tracy: Do

Joe: Is.

Tracy: You take care? How do you take care of your employees and how do you serve your clients and how do you not work twenty four hours a day. And so I love being an entrepreneur, but it was it wasn't an easy journey. It's not like, oh, just open your own business. I would do it no other way. And

Joe: Mm

Tracy: I

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Had to stay really clear about because I fall a bit into the imposter syndrome, like who am I to open a business and who am I to do this? And if they want to know you've worked for work since I was 13. I've had job like I know how to do it. So I had to take all my past experiences and filter them in and realize that even though the path didn't look like a linear line, I didn't get an MBA, I didn't get venture capital. I didn't I have just as much experience, maybe more. So I always tell people, you know, in some ways you're not reinventing the wheel. A lot of people have done this. So gather information, listen to podcasts, read books. I'm a business coach if you need it. Like you can do it. If you have a great idea that know what it's done, you follow it through, follow it through. So

Joe: So.

Tracy: I feel I feel really I love it. I love running my own business. I love it. It's hard.

Joe: Yes,

Tracy: It's

Joe: It is,

Tracy: Hard,

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: You know. And some days I really I, I, I just got a text from a client. We helped them with this fundraiser that they were doing and it was a very emotional cause. And my team went and we kind of helped them organize all their stuff for it. And it was just a very grateful text. And when I get those texts, it's like, oh yeah, this is why we do this. This

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Is why we do this. So, yeah, I have a very funny like I it was not a straight line, but all roads have led me here.

Joe: So I'm going to just that's where you have to bear with me for a moment, because I want to know more about Tracy, so I want to

Tracy: Ok.

Joe: Know, like, where you and the kid like like what

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Did you do? Like

Tracy: That's

Joe: Like

Tracy: The

Joe: So

Tracy: Idea.

Joe: I want you to go back a little further. So,

Tracy: Ok,

Joe: Like,

Tracy: Yes,

Joe: Go back

Tracy: Absolutely.

Joe: As far as you want. But I just want to know I want I think it's important because where I am today, everything. And you are saying all the right things for all of the listeners that will listen to this is that everything that you've done in the past just adds to who you've become now? Right. And it'll continue that way. And so many people lose sight of that. And at one point I did I was like, oh, I wasted so much time. And then I look back and I go, wait, that helped. And that helped. And that helped. And I learned a lesson there. And so what did you like? What was what did you want to do?

Tracy: Yeah, you know, it's funny, I I was a neat child, I wasn't crazy, crazy, crazy organized, but I had a pretty between my dad being a hoarder and my parents getting divorced. I had a pretty California in the 70s. Like I had a kind of chaotic childhood. There was everywhere. Parenting was being reinvented. School was being we lived in a van for a year, traveled through

Joe: If.

Tracy: Europe. So I definitely like to make order out of chaos. I definitely like to know, OK, this is my space and I can live in it this way. And I also grew up very close to both of my grandmothers and my grandfather, but they came from the Midwest and Fresno and we're farm farmers. They came from and one of my grandmothers was an immigrant from Scotland and they all lived through the Depression. So my generational experience, the sort of generational trauma of living through the Depression, living through World War Two, you saved every yogurt container. You saved

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Every rubberband, learning how my ground both my grandmothers were. You don't put it down, you put it away and you fix. And I learned how to sew and I learned how to change it. I can change the oil in my car and I can change a tire. And I had all these really practical things. And also for me, I think one of the big lessons that really served me in opening my own business when I started working, I started babysitting when I was 12, 13, and I started making my own money and I was like, oh, I can buy that blue, shiny satin hang tan jacket that I really want. No one can tell me, like I learned, especially as a young woman, that money equated freedom. Right. That this money that I made also could make mistakes with it, rack up some credit card debt, like I could do that. But if I work and money comes and I have power over this and my grandmother and I, we bought some stocks and she kind of helped me figure that out. And so it was a really that was one of those life lessons that they don't teach you in school, that this is making my own money. I want to take a trip, then I can do it. And that was and I'm a worker bee hardwired that way. I like to work. So I think it was I think a lot of my childhood was trying to make order out of chaos and having control and having power, you know, and I was very blessed. Like I got to I went to UC Santa Barbara. I went to a great college. I had a lot of opportunities. My family was very pro education. So I traveled the world. So again, it's all these things that at the time like, I don't know, I'm going to live in Italy for a year to study art. The smartest thing. Yeah, it turns out it was

Joe: Oh, that's awesome.

Tracy: You

Joe: When

Tracy: Know,

Joe: Was

Tracy: Turns

Joe: That?

Tracy: Out I did that my junior year of college,

Joe: Wow,

Tracy: So.

Joe: That was that's awesome. And

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: Was there

Tracy: So.

Joe: Were you was there something that you were wanting to become like? Did you aspire to be or

Tracy: You know,

Joe: Was?

Tracy: Yeah, it was funny, I never I for a while, I thought I wanted to be an actress, and so I took acting classes and I did that. I had to moderate, moderate success, but I didn't like the business side of it. And then I was so for me, it was a lot of figuring out what I didn't want to do.

Joe: Uh huh.

Tracy: Like I was like, oh, you know, and because I'm a hard worker and I'm industrious, kind of whatever job I had before, like, we'll promote you to manager, we'll make it up. And it was a very much a series of like, oh, I don't want to do this. I don't want to spend the day doing this. And when this business started, it was the first thing that I was like, I want to do this every day, like the rhythm of it, the helping the clients, the feeling of satisfaction when it was done. It was the first I mean, I liked other things that I did, but

Joe: Mm

Tracy: It

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Wasn't I was like, oh, I want to do this all day, every day. Like, I you know, technically the joke is I would do it for free. Well, there was like a year I did do it for free. It's literally like that is a brutal I'll tell anybody, the entrepreneurs, people starting a business, track your hours, track what you're getting paid, do that math because it'll gut punch you and it'll make you rethink everything. Like

Joe: Goup.

Tracy: When you realize, oh, I'm working for four dollars an hour. No, no, no, no, no. That's an important lesson for everybody and it makes you really rethink things. So it really wasn't until this until this business started that I realized my purpose.

Joe: Right, and if I remember reading correctly, it came out of you being this service assistant to this, right? And then.

Tracy: Director Yahya.

Joe: Yeah, and then everybody you were helping, everybody saw all the stuff you were doing and it just went from there and then you realized.

Tracy: And I'd always been, you know, it always been of service and my grandmother was there, like my grandmother was the lady at the church who kind of did everybody's books and she was a secretary at the church. And we were forever if somebody was sick, I spent a lot of time with her, we would drive over to somebody's house and we'd take them to the post office. So for me, helping people in sort of an admin sense was just a being of service. That's just what we did. We were a nice person. You help your friends. So I never thought about monetizing it. I never thought that it was a service that people desperately needed desperately. I was like,

Joe: Right.

Tracy: Well, of course, you know how to move yourself. You just pack your boxes. Now, people don't know how to do that. So when I realized that there were so many people that either didn't have the time or the inclination and there was a way to offer the service, get paid, help them know that was the perfect marriage, that was like, oh, this is a something that's desperately needed. And I feel like for kind of where we are in the world, it's interesting. But I think as we get further away from making things ourselves, knowing how to sew, knowing how to cook, that there are more and more people that I mean, they can do things for themselves. They just it's I

Joe: I know.

Tracy: You know, it's just it's just really interesting. I'm a little worried and I have young nieces and nephews, and so I'm very worried about what they can do. And so I it's just it's interesting that this has become very desperately needed service.

Joe: Yeah, OK, so the name of the business is dclutterfly, right,

Tracy: Correct, yep,

Joe: That

Tracy: DClut

Joe: It's

Tracy: ter

Joe: A

Tracy: fly.

Joe: Mouthful, the cutter

Tracy: Oh, trust

Joe: Fly.

Tracy: Me. Oh, and trust me, here's another thing I'll say to aspiring entrepreneurs. When you name your business, say it out loud all day. So it would be easy to come off the time and then try and spell the website, because that's something else I didn't think about. So when I give people the email, they there's D.. C. There's no

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Easy people leave it up. So do a little bit of market research. Go.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Can

Joe: That

Tracy: I, can

Joe: It

Tracy: I say this. Yeah.

Joe: It's so funny, it's all those

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: Little things you learn as you're doing it, you print your business cards and people, and especially you get older clients that want the help with some of these services that you have. And the prince too small and you're just like, oh, my God.

Tracy: I went I went through that I rebranded the company about two, three years ago and the designers did a beautiful job and I was like, the font is too small and they're like white. And I'm like, oh, I'm like they're like we have like less tags, bigger font.

Joe: Yes.

Tracy: Like the bulk of my clients are over 50, like make it big.

Joe: Right, right. That's awesome.

Tracy: I, I just about a year ago I bought my first about a truck, a 17 foot truck because we're so busy and I got it wrapped and it's like my traveling billboard and I was like no bigger, bigger,

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Bigger

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Phone, no bigger. And the guy that the drug had the rapping place, like, are you sure? I'm like, bigger, bigger,

Joe: That's

Tracy: Bigger.

Joe: Awesome. That's perfect. OK, so your your I know you have clients all over, but you're you're based out of California.

Tracy: Yeah, and based in Los Angeles pre pandemic, we were I was in New York a lot traveling a lot post pandemic were starting to travel again.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: I'll go anywhere. But right now it's been the book is Los Angeles to New York.

Joe: Ok, perfect. So I want to go through the services quick, because I want everyone

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: To sort of understand. And so I want to start with the home, the home de cluttering and it also on on the website, his office as well. And that's that's an important piece for me. And I think the audience, because if there are entrepreneurs out there, like my desk was clean a couple of weeks ago and now I'm in the middle of doing a bunch of videos and I have research materials and now it's starting to become something that I can't look at. So. So

Tracy: Yep.

Joe: Let's start with that. The home deck fluttering, plus the office stuff. And and just a brief explanation of each so that at least we can get an idea

Tracy: Yes,

Joe: Of what that means.

Tracy: That's great. Go home and office cluttering is if your space that you live in or work in is unmanageable. I always tell people the really good litmus test is if you can't tidy up a room and make it presentable where you have somebody else walk in in 20 minutes or less, you have too much stuff. So that services we come in, we help people sort through it. We help people figure out what they need to keep, what they need to let go of, and then creating systems for where it goes. So in an office, where do you keep your printer? Is it near the printer where you keep your paper? How much paper do you need to print out? Can we move you to digital? And if we move you to digital, how do you organize it? How do you find that is a really important thing in offices, in the whole home, but really in your offices, where do you put the things you need to keep so that you can access them when you need them, that you can go and buy? And don't tell me. I know there's people out there that are saying I know where everything is in my office. There's giant piles on their desk. I'm like, that doesn't count. You

Joe: Right.

Tracy: Can't point to a giant pile and say, oh, I know what's in there. First of all, you don't I'm talking about you won't be able to find it like,

Joe: Right.

Tracy: You know, creating filing systems or digital filing systems. And it's and again, the really underlying message is this isn't about creating a home that you can put on Instagram or Pinterest. You can if you want. It's about creating a space that works for you. And now if you are working from home pandemic, from home schooling, from home, all you got to make your space work. You just have to make your space work. They've done so many studies, they scientists about the effects of clutter and stress. It just this is all about that. It raises your cortisol so puts you in a fight or flight your brain. I'm sure you've probably talked about this on here, but decision fatigue, where you make so many decisions, your brain just shuts down.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Will every piece of clutter in your house is a decision? Do I need it? Do I not need it? Where does it live? So the physical and mental effects of clutter are very real, very, very, very real. So my purpose isn't, again, to create I'm not saying be a minimalist. I'm not a minimalist. You know, it works for you. But is your home is your office working for you? Is it working for you? Chances are for a lot of people it's not.

Joe: Right.

Tracy: And that's OK. You may not we don't know what we don't know. Right. So if it's not working and if you have an issue with that or if if it's tough for you, you know, it it's like I always say, if you didn't know how to play the violin, you have beat yourself up like I wasn't born knowing how to play the violin. You might not have been born organized. You might have spatial issues. You might have added. There may be a bunch of things. So let's not beat yourself up for it. Let's educate and get it working for you.

Joe: Yeah, you hit it on the head because cluttered just causes me angst, like I hate my garage, I hate walking in my garage, and so I understand it,

Tracy: Can you even walk in your garage because only 20.

Joe: But it's lucky I can. There's so many of our neighbors that have their cars in their driveway, in the hot sun here in Arizona because they have so much stuff in their garage. And that was like priority number one. My

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: Car has to go in the garage. It's one hundred

Tracy: Only,

Joe: And thirteen outlets like.

Tracy: Yeah, only twenty five percent of Americans can park their cars in their garage.

Joe: Really?

Tracy: Seventy five percent of Americans who have garages cannot park their cars

Joe: That's

Tracy: That.

Joe: Amazing.

Tracy: I know, I always say I always say we put our forty thousand fifty thousand dollar cars on the street where we fill our garage with trash.

Joe: That's you know what, and you might I don't want to put you on the spot, but I can't imagine what the statistic is of people that have storage units and how many times they visit that unit a year. I just

Tracy: It's

Joe: I, I could

Tracy: It's

Joe: Never bring

Tracy: A.

Joe: Myself to have one.

Tracy: This is where I get on my soapbox, this is the thing I get on my cell phone calls

Joe: I

Tracy: About

Joe: Knew this was

Tracy: And

Joe: Going to kick

Tracy: I

Joe: Something

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Off here.

Tracy: It's a billion dollar industry, a billion dollars. I have been in no exaggeration, hundreds of storage units, hundreds. I have had clients who because I make them do it, I've done the math of what they've spent on that storage unit. Twenty thousand thirty thousand a hundred thousand dollars. I have never once and I say it is no exaggeration, I have never once been in a storage unit or what's in there is worth more than what they paid to store it. It is a colossal waste of money. You will never go there if you have something in storage that you can't access. Why are you storing it?

Joe: That's.

Tracy: There is it is. I like till I'm blue in the face, I'm like, get rid of it, get rid of it, get rid. I have had clients crumble to their knees when they open it up and see what they've been saving. There's no there's like one or two slight somebody sometimes doing a remodel. There's a few

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Where I'm like, oh no, no, maybe.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Let's

Joe: It's.

Tracy: See if we can find another way. It is, it is just take money and just burn it because

Joe: Correct.

Tracy: It is such a waste of money.

Joe: Amen. I agree with

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: You. I just it's so funny, and I just figured I'd throw that out because I,

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: I knew that was going to trigger.

Tracy: Yeah, I know, and it's people don't go there and they don't it's just really like if I can convince anything to anybody, just don't have it, don't

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Have it, don't

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Get it. Because once you get it, you're never going to empty.

Joe: Ok, real quick on the on the topic of the home and office right now in your business, how much is home and how much is it? When I say office, I'm not talking about Home Office because I'm I would think because of covid home offices are on the rise because so many. Right. So

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: But but do you actually go to commercial office spaces to help CEOs

Tracy: I do,

Joe: And.

Tracy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean that in covid has just worn

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Down,

Joe: Yep.

Tracy: We haven't done any, but we have definitely we definitely will go in like work with big offices, like how do people use their space? How do people do that? I'm going to be really interesting to see if that. Comes back after covid, I

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Think

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: We're going to get a lot of those calls, the way the business sort of shakes out now, I mean, right now we've just been trying to get everybody off. Does that how that was that was like how do you work from home? How do you go from home? That's been a big one, but it's probably it's probably a third of the business is senior downsizing. A third of the businesses are moving services and a third of the business is declaring

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Home declaring and then probably 20 percent that is office. I'm excited. I also think that when we go back, how offices work are going to change because everybody's like open floor plan. And now it's like, well, maybe not so much. So I'll be curious to see how that goes. I've also interestingly, too, I've had a couple calls lately about helping already offices, office companies that are moving small, 10 people, companies that are moving and setting up the office spaces before people even get in there. So that's a that's a thing that's starting to happen. And I think it's really how to keep people safe and covid and that kind of stuff. So that's that's always interesting to me.

Joe: Perfect. OK, so let's go down the list here, so the next one that I have is closet audit. And

Tracy: That's a good one.

Joe: I

Tracy: Yep.

Joe: Know.

Tracy: So, yeah, I have a couple of the people who work for me are like they can make it look like the Carrie Bradshaw perfect closet. So we come in, we help you figure out what you wear, what you don't wear. Get rid of the stuff that you don't wear. We donate everything. And then it's organizing like the like color coordinated matching hangers. Like it's really. And the thing first of all, it looks beautiful, but also your clothes are an armor that you go out into the world with. And if you have if you have a business where you have to meet with clients or you have to go in and pitch your services to another company, if you start your day off digging through the laundry basket to put something on, you're starting at a deficit. You're already starting stressed. I wear the same thing to work every day. I have 10 shirts from the same company, ten different colors. I have four pairs of jeans. I have my nice Nike shoes that are comfortable, but they're fashionable. I don't want to think about it.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: I want to get dressed. I wear a nice belt, I look presentable, but I look like I can roll my sleeves up. I figured out what works and I don't think about it.

Joe: Mm

Tracy: I

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Just don't think about it. And I start my day ready to go. It's not my morning isn't about like, oh, what am I going to wear? What am I. So people have to understand, if your closet is disorganized, it's not serving you right. You're already starting the day. Right? Where are my keys? I packed my lunch and what happens and what people don't understand is, OK, so you're taking your clothes out a laundry basket, you can't find your keys. You're running late. Oh, you didn't make yourself breakfast. So you're going to go through the drive thru. So you're going to eat Egg McMuffin and coffee like you've already set your day up so that you're not at your peak.

Joe: He.

Tracy: Right. You know, if you knew if your clothes were organized, you could get dressed, then you could make yourself that delicious smoothie that's healthy. You could start your day relaxed. And that's my whole I get out into the world ready to go, not frazzled. And especially if you've got kids like Model Man, those parents with the Zoom schooling like

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: To

Joe: I know,

Tracy: Have that, you

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Know, to have that extra to anywhere we can grab time. That's what the goal is. So if your closet's organized, you've just gained yourself fifteen minutes, right? Oh, those are my jeans are those are my shirts are great. Off

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: We go.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: So that's a really closet. We love deposits. We love it. We love it. We love it. And we do the really big fancy lady those. But we love closet.

Joe: Let me before we get off the closet audit subject are what you do with closets, do you ever get in a situation where you go and and they not only want you to organize, but they want you to actually help design a more efficient closet, and then you

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Have to bring in

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: Like a company that does all of the shelving and

Tracy: Yep,

Joe: Ok.

Tracy: Yep, it's it's great, we've I've really started in probably about in the last three or four years of service, I'll consult on construction. So clients that I've worked with for a long time are building new homes or remodeling their homes. So I'll come in in the design phase and meet with the architect and the contractor and say, OK, look, this is how many pairs of shoes they have. This is how long this is. So I love doing

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: That.

Joe: Cool.

Tracy: It's I love it. It's a constant fight because architects do not believe people have as much stuff as they have

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Contractors don't listen to forever, like the person that's like there's no broom closet, you know, and they're like, oh, you know,

Joe: Yep, yep.

Tracy: There's no broom closet. They're like, what do you need? A broom closet for it? Like, we need a broom closet.

Joe: Right,

Tracy: We need a real good bit.

Joe: Right.

Tracy: So that's been really fun. I have been pitching it. I'm working on my second book, but I have been pitching for a little while. I want to do a book, so I'll probably be down the road a bit. But I want to do a book between myself, an architect, an interior designer and a cabinet worker

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: About how to remodel or build houses in the most efficient way. So that's

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: Super exciting.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Yeah, it's super exciting.

Joe: All right, cool. We've already touched upon this a little bit, but garage organizations, brutal.

Tracy: Our favorite is

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Brutal, it's brutal. We we do it, we got we have packages one, two, three days a team goes in there. I'm at the point now where I don't do any more garages.

Joe: Mm

Tracy: I

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Never need to be in a sweaty garage

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Again.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: But my team's really good at it. It's a big and post covid this this one's been really people lots of people have been called in. They're like, we have so much toilet paper, we have so much canned goods. And that was one in terms of this is actually a great entrepreneurial point. This was one of the services that I realized. So one of the things I'm constantly balancing is how do I work on my business and in my business?

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: In my business is a cult of personality. People want me. People will wait for me, people will pay for me. But I can only work so many hours so I couldn't grow the business if I'm doing it. So I had to find some of the services closets. I hired two people who are amazing at it. Garages are another way. It was a service that I could offer where people got the Tracy McCubbin experience, but I don't have to do it. So it

Joe: So.

Tracy: Was a way to go vertical. And that was a big learning like, oh right. This is something I can hand off, you know, get my team up to speed on it. And it's a good moneymaker for us and

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: It's a really good moneymaker. So it's if you are starting a business and if you especially are sort of a consulting service, what are the services that somebody else can do? But your clients still feel like they're getting you.

Joe: Yeah, man, you hit it on the head, it's so hard, they want they want you, you are the brand and it's such a hard thing to break away from and it's such a hard thing to hand over to trust other people.

Tracy: Oh, yeah,

Joe: Yeah, I get it.

Tracy: It's

Joe: I get it

Tracy: You know, everybody

Joe: Now.

Tracy: Knows if,

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: You know, you know, it's

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Really been in there and especially we were like, oh, wait, you're like it's a six week wait. And now, like, I don't care. And

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: I was like, OK.

Joe: Yeah, I know it's explain the moving services.

Tracy: Yeah, that's been a big that's been our biggest thing during covid because we were essential workers, that we were able to do it and so I started when I started. This is another great entrepreneurial lesson. When I started, I just oversaw the move. So I would just take over, become the client, but the movers. And then we started offering de cluttering before people moved. So all the stuff you didn't want to take with you, let's get rid of it, not pack it up. Then we would unpack and organize into the new houses. So it was like, OK, we'd oversee. We get everything to the new house, we'd unpack and organize. And then I was like, wait, why? If we're doing the de cluttering and we're putting things in piles, why don't we just start doing the packing also? So it was another service that I could add that I didn't have to do. So we now did clutter pack, oversee the move and unpack into the new house. And we deal with very complicated situations like going to two houses or we do a lot after people, but people have passed away people's parents. So the grown kids have full time jobs. They can't be here for two weeks. So we'll empty the whole house, get everything shipped across the country. And so it's been a great. So that was another way to realize to go vertical. Right.

Joe: Skep.

Tracy: Here's another service I can offer. It doesn't take my time. It dovetails perfectly, we're declaring. So we might as well pack anyway. Know I bought a 17 foot truck. I hired a couple of expert packers and it's been a great part of the business. So I always invite people from my own experience to like, what's the what's the thing that you're outsourcing that could you move it in the house and make it part of your vertical?

Joe: Yeah, yeah, it's such a great service because there's a huge gap there, there are great moving companies and they will provide

Tracy: Oh.

Joe: The services to pack stuff up, but it's just merely taking what's in a cabinet and putting it in a box and taping it up. There's no rhyme or reason. So when you get to the new property, you're like, where is this and where is it back? And you're moving

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: A box from that landed in a bedroom that should have been in the kitchen and all.

Tracy: And

Joe: It's.

Tracy: Look, I work with I work with moving companies all the time, I you know, they're amazing at what they do. Those teams work so hard. I have great relationship, about three or four moving local while I have about six and

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Everything.

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: They're fantastic. But the story I always tell when people are like, well, why should I hire you as the movers?

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: We're a little more expensive them and not much. Ten dollars an hour. And I tell the story of a client of mine who was a musician when on tour movers packed all our stuff up, put it in storage. We unpacked for her. And it was it was I unpacked a box and there were literally like a year old half-Eaten Sarcone and a Starbucks coffee.

Joe: Oh.

Tracy: And she was like she was like, oh, that's where that where the movers just pack everything

Joe: Like,

Tracy: In sight. Right? That's what they do there

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Based on time, their speed,

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: They're doing it. So for us, we go in, we did clutter, we pack in an organized manner so that everything goes in room. So in a way, I tell people it feels like a more expensive service, but we actually save you on

Joe: Mm

Tracy: The other

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: End

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Because it's super organized. We love it. It's one of my favorite favorite and especially the sounds so strange to say, but helping people after a family member has passed away

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Is it is one of my favorite services. It's so hard. It's so emotional. It's heartbreaking when the liquidation company comes in as your child is not worth saving your coffee cups, are they? They are. It's heart breaking. So to be able to honor the legacy of a family, deal with the, you know, not not pretty part. It's just it's one of my favorite things that we can do for people,

Joe: Yeah, that's

Tracy: Really,

Joe: Really cool.

Tracy: Is.

Joe: So we can talk about that next sense, you kind of moved into that and then we'll get to the last one. So let's talk about the state. Kicklighter because

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: That to me is that along with the other one, which is the senior downsizing, to me, those are both very, very sensitive type situations. Like you said, there's emotions that are involved in and these two things. So how do you deal with that?

Tracy: You know, for me, it's I view it as such an important service. I know how difficult it is. I've had to do it for both. My grandparents like to I just know that it really providing a service that not many people do. And we my company is very special. There are a lot of organizing companies out there, but there's not I have been in this business longer than anybody. I, I know what's valuable. I know what's not valuable. I have the sensitivity. Everyone who has worked for me. We're all a little we're all a little damaged. We all have a little trauma in our childhood. We all have something to draw on. We've all been caregivers to family members. So we have so much respect. I just feel so honored that a family would trust us for this. And we just did a family. There were four children. Three of the children were on board. The parents lived into their 90s and it was taught it was time

Joe: No.

Tracy: For them to go. And there were three of the children were on the same page and one was an outlier and that that one person was making it very difficult for everybody else. And so to be able to step in and a little bit be the bad guy like these, these books aren't worth anything. Yes, they are. It is. It was like, OK, well, let's get the appraiser in. And then the appraisers, they're not worth anything.

Joe: Right,

Tracy: So being

Joe: Right.

Tracy: Able to sort of draw from my Rolodex and and my experience, like I've donated I've donated thousands of sets of China. It's not worth anything. I'm

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Sorry. I'm so sorry. It doesn't mean that your holidays when you were growing up weren't important. It doesn't mean that you have the memories that you have. And if you love that China and it brings back those memories, keep it. But if you are keeping it because you think it's the family fortune, then we're going to have a different conversation.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: So I just feel so honored to be a part of it. I've met such interesting people and when this steps into the senior downsizing, when we move seniors from lifelong homes into smaller places, a lot of what we're facing when we declare in these phases is our own mortality, right? Oh, right. We're going to die someday. You know, did my life matter if I don't have the staff? Did I make an impact? So it's very I just feel very, very, very lucky that I get to be a part of this process with people. I hear amazing stories. I met amazing people. We always approach it with love and laughter and humor and respect. And it's just a nobody. Nobody does this. Nobody does this.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: I

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Know

Joe: It's

Tracy: I

Joe: A

Tracy: Get

Joe: Great

Tracy: Phone calls

Joe: Service,

Tracy: All the time.

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: It's

Tracy: It's

Joe: So

Tracy: It's.

Joe: It's tricky, it's emotional and elderly people become a little bit they don't trust people. They don't know you're in their house

Tracy: They

Joe: Or.

Tracy: Shouldn't,

Joe: No. No. Right.

Tracy: They

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: Shouldn't,

Joe: Right. And so

Tracy: They shouldn't.

Joe: That's a tricky balance.

Tracy: We are one of our favorite things. We just did it last week. We've said we're now we've been working for so long, we're now helping parents of clients. Right. So kind of my mom died. I went to Nashville to help. I went to New York and doing that. But what we've been doing, a lot of which I love, is moving someone into an assisted living or community. So we like it. Like we feel like we're on a TV show. We're like, OK, we've got 12 hours until we get the apartment all set up so that when they're making the move, the drive from the old and they get to the new, their artwork is hung up.

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: The TV's

Joe: That's cool,

Tracy: Working, their bed is made

Joe: Yeah, yeah.

Tracy: So that they walk into this new experience with familiarity. And we love it. We're like running around sweating like they would do it, do

Joe: Yeah,

Tracy: It. But

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Then they walk in and they see their stuff and it's home. They're not stepping into boxes everywhere.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: So this is this is it's my favorite part of what we I mean, I love everything that we do, but this one's really that's really important.

Joe: That's very cool, just the way you describe. That was awesome. A couple of questions out of the way of the business. And then I want to get into the book and then I want to get into

Tracy: If.

Joe: The chair, the organization, and we're running out of time because this is I love this, but

Tracy: It's great,

Joe: It's

Tracy: It's great.

Joe: So if somebody wants to work with your company and in a sense you're based in California, let's just say somebody here in Arizona, I wanted to hire you to come in and clean out my crotch. How does somebody work with you that is in like how do you work in other states with people?

Tracy: Yeah, we do it know we pay our rates, they just cover travel costs so we can make it sometimes. Sometimes if I'm in other cities, like in New York, I have two women who I can subcontract to sometimes all subcontract. I'll go myself and maybe bring one of my people and then subcontract to try and use the local companies that do that. I have I'm getting a pretty good network. I mean, I'm very I have very high standards,

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: So I'm pretty I need somebody to be tried and true. But I can I can make it work. But yeah, it's just it's the same rates. It's not more it's just the travel cost. So

Joe: Perfect.

Tracy: A lot of times when people they're realizing like, oh, it's actually, you know, the other thing I've started to do for clients to if they if they I got a client who had to go to Florida and they just didn't have a sister, their mom passed away. They didn't have the means to pay my travel costs. So I actually helped interview local people for him. So I'll do that for my clients. Like, let me let me make the first phone calls. Let me have the conversation. And I just because I'm I'm very mama bear about my client if I want

Joe: The.

Tracy: To and I want to just go to anybody.

Joe: Perfect. All right. And you scared me for a moment because you almost sound like you're bleeding into my my last thing about the business, which is the virtual dcluttering. So how do you handle that?

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Is that like

Tracy: You

Joe: A

Tracy: Know,

Joe: Face time walking around with an iPad?

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Show me this

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Room.

Tracy: Yeah, yeah, we do. So the virtual declaring, it's been a bit of an experiment to make it work. And what I've found is that we it's it's we have to set very specific goals. So oftentimes we break it up into half an hour sessions. One session is about right. Here's what you're going to get accomplished. Here's less paperwork. You have these four boxes of paperwork. What are you going to do with them? I don't as much sit there and sort of go through things with them. It's more about helping them come up with a work plan, what the traps are going to fall into, then a period of time, and then we come back and go over it and they ask me specific questions about what they got stuck at. So it's

Joe: Got.

Tracy: Really almost the virtual it almost becomes a little bit more time management focused help you come up with a work plan. How can you get it accomplished? I also have I have a private Facebook group called Concreter Clever with Tracy McCubbin. It's a free Facebook. I go live pretty much every Wednesday and people can that's a really great it's a very supportive community. Everybody's read my book. We're all so sometimes people would join their and the group will help them. So that's that's great. They're like, OK, it's

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: A lot of accountability this weekend I'm going to tackle. And that's what the virtual turned out to be. Two is a lot of accountability.

Joe: That's great. OK, cool. OK. The book came out in 2019 called "Making Space, Clutter Free" and you can get it on. I know you can get it on Amazon. I think I saw two other

Tracy: Indie

Joe: There was an

Tracy: Bound.

Joe: Indie

Tracy: I think

Joe: Band

Tracy: It's indie band.

Joe: Of.

Tracy: Yeah, I send people to either Amazon, there's a really great website called Bookshop Dawg

Joe: Ok.

Tracy: And it connects all the independent booksellers. So you it's a clearinghouse. And so if you don't want to give the man who just went into space more of your money, bookshop dog is a great way. It's available on Kindle. It's available ebook. It's available as an audio book. I narrated

Joe: Oh, great.

Tracy: A lot of. Yeah, it was great. A lot of libraries have it. They did a really big push. So your local library has it and it's great. It's great. It's doing really well. It got to be an Amazon bestseller and it's an evergreen book. It is not going out of style,

Joe: That's

Tracy: So.

Joe: Awesome, yeah. The reviews

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Are great.

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: So making space clutter free. The nice thing about it is we really delve into the emotional part so very deep about the emotional part. And then there's an actual work plan, how you tackle the house room by room. So people are really it's just I'm very, very happy with that. And I'm in the process of writing the second book called Make Space for Happiness. And it's a it's about why we shop, why we overshot the holes in our lives that we're trying to fill by shopping.

Joe: Mm

Tracy: So

Joe: Hmm,

Tracy: It's a little

Joe: That's called.

Tracy: I love it. I love it. But it's going to be a little controversial.

Joe: That's

Tracy: I

Joe: All right.

Tracy: Feel like I feel like I feel like that man who just went into space is not going to like what I have to say. But, you know,

Joe: Well, I like to think about

Tracy: You.

Joe: The closet that I saw one thing and one thing out, right?

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: That's awesome.

Tracy: It's very practical, it's very you know, there's a lot of oversimplified I think that part of the feedback I always get and I know from growing up with the parent that I did it. And also some people understand a lot of times reporting is generational. So

Joe: He.

Tracy: I my I had two other a great uncle. It's a genetic thing. It's a it's an anxiety disorder. I think it's a bit of an addiction. I think that people who hoard get a big dopamine hit when they find something. So there's just a lot of empathy. I'm not judging. I'm not shaming. I under I understand how hard it is. And

Joe: Yet.

Tracy: So people really respond to that.

Joe: Yeah, OK, cool. One last question, I thought it was really cool you had the Clutter Block Quiz on your website and you talk about blocks, right? Clutter blocks.

Tracy: Yep,

Joe: Can you real

Tracy: Yep,

Joe: Quickly, can you just.

Tracy: Sure, and this is the crux of the book. So basically a clutter block is an emotional story that we tell ourselves about why we can't let go of what we don't want or need. So it's so there are seven of them. And I witnessed this from working with clients for so long. I was like, this is that story again. This person is that same story. This is that. So it ranges everything from my stuff keeps me stuck in the past. Sentimental things that you can't let go of, the stuff I'm avoiding, which is your paperwork, which is me. That's my clutter block. I'm not worth my good stuff. So not using your nice things, saving

Joe: Mm.

Tracy: My fantasy stuff for my fantasy life. Oh, I'm going to become a rock climber. I'm going to knit, I'm going to buy all that stuff for this stuck with other people's stuff. And when in the book and in a Facebook group, I talk about it when you identify you're like, oh, this is a thing. The perfect example. Last Clutter Block No.7, the stuff I keep paying for, this is storage unit. You bought this stuff and now you're paying to store it. And when you see it that way, like, oh, I'm paying to store stuff I never use. Oh, it's like it's it's illuminated, you know,

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: You're like, oh, this is why it's not I'm not a bad person. I'm not a bad person. This is just, you know, we're humans. We're meaning making machines. Right. We just rains on your wedding day that all that stuff. So we make all this meaning out of the stuff that's meaningless and it gets a hold on us. So the clutter blocks are really effective for people really, really affected, like, oh, this is real. This is you know, it's not just me. It's

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Not just me.

Joe: Yeah. All right, awesome. Before we move off of your business to the organization you're part of, because I think it's really important to talk about real quick. You've made incredible headway in the press, like being on the shows that you're on. And for the entrepreneurs that are listening to this, you could have just been another de cluttering company in California, right? You've said it yourself,

Tracy: Amy.

Joe: But you obviously you have a unique approach with all the different services you're passionate about. It's very clear by talking with you and everyone will pick up on that. When they listen to this and when they watch the YouTube video, they're going to tell that, yeah, this is this woman is really has the integrity and really loves what she does and it speaks to her. How did you get the the press and all of the stuff that has catapulted you to be the expert in this field? I mean, it's it's amazing,

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: The

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Shows

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: You've been on and the podcast

Tracy: It's

Joe: And.

Tracy: Yeah, it's great. So I think the thing the first thing that I got really clear about was a couple of things. One, people need content, TV shows need content. Morning news means content, podcasts meet. Everybody needs content. So even if you have a product or a service, you know, there's a mission statement behind it. There's a reason that you're doing it. So what's the what's the story that you can tell about why your service is going to help? Or how can you tell your mission statement and not even mention your product? If you can talk about the service or what you're offering, you know, how can you talk about it without even mentioning it, then that's the content and people need it. And I'll tell you, you say yes to everything. I have been I mean, my favorite story is like morning news show in Temecula, California, like sandwiched in between the October Fest dancers and the like kid who won the spelling bee, like I said, yes to everything. And I worked on my media training. I worked on the messaging. I really understood that you have to be able to communicate it. And so I just started saying yes. And then it I got a reputation for being good and delivering and I did. I have worked with when the book came out, I did work with a publicist. I found the best person who specializes in non-fiction authors. That's the other thing about PR. If you're going to pay for PR and you sometimes you have to and you're the two things you're paying for someone's Rolodex. So who can they call?

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Who do they have connections to? And also you need to find the person who understands what you do. Right? So let's say you have a company where you've invented a new kind of pool cover that will save children's lives, superimportant,

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Needed.

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Don't hire a publicist who works with beauty products.

Joe: All right.

Tracy: Right. Like really honed down on what you're offering and can that person help it? And sometimes you need to sometimes you need to pay a marketing person. Sometimes you need to pay a social media manager. We can't do it all. So it's really understanding, understanding how valuable those marketing and publicity dollars are. Right. Because they can get expensive

Joe: Oh,

Tracy: Fast.

Joe: Yeah. Mm hmm.

Tracy: You can turn around. And I mean, you people are out there and starting to look at that, you know, problems and say, oh, yeah, we have a ten thousand dollar per month retainer. You're like, oh, so what are their goals? What are their goals for you? How can you help? And I always say this. You can't for those kinds of positions. It's like if you have an agent, right? I have a literary agent. Help me with my book. She takes 10 percent of my money. She does ten percent of the work.

Joe: Mm

Tracy: I

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Still got to do the 90 percent. So you can't dump and run against. Oh, I have a publicist. I don't have to do it. Now you are working in conjunction with them. It's your product. No one's going to care more about your business than you are. So show up. Say yes to everything. You know, like be realistic. It's like I want to be on Good Morning America. OK, well, you start following the October 1st dancers. You just say yes, you say

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Because first of all, it gives you practice,

Joe: At.

Tracy: It gives you practice and you hone your message. And and this is where the Internet is fantastic. Reach out to podcasts, you know, get really clear about the content you have to offer. Just cold call people, cold email people. Here's what I want to say. Like people that you listen to where the message across, it's the biggest it's the least fun. The marketing and publicity is the least one part about running a business, I think. But the most important.

Joe: Yeah, well, you've done great, it's amazing

Tracy: No,

Joe: And

Tracy: Thank you.

Joe: Yeah, it's absolutely awesome. Did I miss anything about the business that you would like to talk about before we move on to the organization?

Tracy: The only thing I would say is that if you're out there and if you're struggling with your relationship to your staff, don't be afraid to find help locally.

Joe: Love it.

Tracy: There's lots of people who are opening this business. Reach out to me. I can give you some questions to ask. So don't be afraid to ask for help.

Joe: Perfect. OK, one kid, one world.

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: It's super cool. I went and I looked at the website, I watched the videos and can you explain what it does? You know, what what the the mission of it is? And then

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: I

Tracy: Yeah,

Joe: Don't want to forget

Tracy: So.

Joe: After you do that. I want to understand when a volunteer goes, are they just volunteering their time and you get them there and you get them back or so let's start with

Tracy: Sure,

Joe: The organization

Tracy: Yeah, yeah,

Joe: First.

Tracy: Yeah, so basically, quick story, my childhood friend of mine, our dads, went to law school together. He went to Darfor and he was in the volunteering in the refugee camps and he realized that the bulk of the people in the refugee camps were women and children and that they were setting up schools and setting up little shops, like trying to get normalise as much as possible and realizing, as we all know, that education is the key. So we ate on that trip. He met a Kenyan doctor, a nurse. They told him about this girl's school in Kenya that needed a science lab. The girls couldn't take their exams because they didn't have a science lab. So he said to me, it's twenty five thousand dollars. Want to help me raise that? Let's throw a party. You know, our our peers were all starting to make money and their careers were taking off. So we threw the party, raise the money. We're like, let's just go and see. Let's just go and see what this is. And we went and it was life changing.

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Here

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Were these girls. And in Kenya, most of them are orphans because HIV AIDS

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: And the desire for education. And so there's a lot of organizations that are curriculum based and this and that. And what we were like were like they don't have desks to sit in. There are no there's no room. There's not. So we started focusing on capital improvements. We built buildings, we built dorms, we put desks, we put bookshelves, we pay teachers salaries. We put nurses in the school. We just do the things that they need to stay open. We never build a school from scratch ever. We know nothing about what the community needs. We get in partnership with a community where a school has already been established. We do not affect curriculum, not for us to say

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: We try and work in schools that have at least a 50 percent girl population because girls education is much underfunded. A big part of what we do is we supplied feminine hygiene products to our girls school because that keeps girls out of school. So we're we work mostly in Kenya and then we have branched out to Central America of Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala. And, you know, it's an amazing it's amazing where we started the same year I started my business. So I did both of those. I think we're up to like twenty six schools we rebuilt. And part of our fundraising model is we do volunteer trips. So we go, for instance, to Central America. We fly for a long weekend. We rebuild a suite. We don't we do the big capital improvements before we get there. And then when we're there, we demolish bathrooms and paint murals and get very, very involved. And for us, what we found is that there's sort of two types of donors. There is the vicarious donors who your friend goes and see the work that the friends do and donate that way. And then there are the people who want to see where the money goes, really make a difference. So when you go on a trip with us, you you commit to raising a certain amount of money when you come back. And we always had our goals. We never operated a deficit. We don't ever take on projects that we can't finish. We're very lucky. Both Josh and I have other businesses that we work for free. We don't

Joe: Mm

Tracy: Take a

Joe: Hmm.

Tracy: Salary. So we're like we're at like ninety percent of every dollar we raise goes back. And not that, not that. I don't think that nonprofit workers should not be paid. They absolutely should be. But we choose for us. We choose not to. And it's been it's been great. It's been one of where a couple of years ago, our first round of girls started to go to college in nursing school and technical school. And it's it's really amazing. It's a really, really, really amazing covid has been really hard. We haven't been able to go. I think next spring will be our first trip if everything goes OK.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: But it's been a really amazing it's been an amazing thing to be a part of. It's been an amazing thing to be a part of.

Joe: Yeah, it was really cool, I watched the video and I saw where there was a person taking Polaroids and then everyone and then the Polaroid was there was a square where the Polaroid would go on the piece of paper and each student had to say, I'm going to be a doctor

Tracy: Yeah.

Joe: There or I'm going to be a nurse, or it was a radical.

Tracy: Well, one of the funny things I get I invented invented this exercise, I was realizing, talking to the girls in Kenya, that because they didn't have parents, so many of them, they didn't they never they didn't know how to make a business phone call. They didn't know how to apply for a job because it's like the teachers are teaching them. But there's not that. So I started to do this exercise where they would be the shop owner and I'd be like another volunteer. And I like I'd be the bad like I wouldn't say, you know, I'd say my name really quiet. I wouldn't shake a hand. And you just did these roleplaying exercises of how to apply for a job. When you realize, like, you have to learn that stuff, you don't know you don't know how to call someone and say, hey, here's my name or walk into a shop or say like, I'd like a job and walk in with confidence. And so now it's like day can't wait. Every time we go, we all line

Joe: And

Tracy: Up

Joe: That's

Tracy: And they

Joe: Called.

Tracy: All get to pretend. And, you know, it's such a it's such an amazing just right to have the self-confidence to get go in there and do that. And so it's very practical and we love it. We love

Joe: That's

Tracy: It.

Joe: Awesome,

Tracy: We love it. We can't wait to get back. So

Joe: I'm

Tracy: If anybody

Joe: Sure.

Tracy: Out there is listening and want to come on a trip with us, one kid, one world dog, tell me you heard me on here and would love to get.

Joe: Awesome. OK, I've taken your time. I've gone over, I apologized,

Tracy: It's

Joe: But

Tracy: All right, Joe. We're

Joe: This

Tracy: Having

Joe: Is

Tracy: A great conversation.

Joe: This was awesome. So let's give everyone the and I'll put it in the show notes, but the website for your business did clarify.

Tracy: Yep, yep, so the website is dClutterfly.com, so a d c l u t t e r f l y dot com. See, this is why you say it

Joe: Yeah.

Tracy: Out before you name your business. The clutter block places on there. You can sign up for my newsletter. It's a great place to find me. I'm very active on Instagram. So Tracy_McCubbin and then if you are looking for some extra love and support, the private Facebook group, which is called "Conquer Your Clutter with Tracy McCubbin", come join us over there. It's an amazing group of people, lots of love, lots of support. Everybody's struggling with the same stuff. It's such a safe space. So I'd love to see people over there.

Joe: Well, perfect. Did I miss anything?

Tracy: I don't think so. I think

Joe: All

Tracy: We had

Joe: Right,

Tracy: A great time.

Joe: All right, awesome. Well, I really appreciate you, this was a treat. Your entrepreneurial wisdom is going to be invaluable to the lessness. And then all of the other stuff was just icing on the cake. And I wish you the best. Again, super impressed with all of the press that you have. And watching those videos, you're really good on camera, which you already know because you're an actress. So we don't have to. So again.

Tracy: You know what it is, it's more yeah, I have a little bit of training, but it's more, I believe, in what I'm talking about, as you know, and it's funny, I never thought of myself as an entrepreneurial expert because I was like, you know, and then I was like, oh, no, I have made a bunch of mistakes, like I'm very passionate about. And I said, I'm an accidental entrepreneur. But it's so like I was like, oh, no, I learned this like I really lived it. And so it's great. So those people who are thinking of doing it, if you've got a good idea, there's a reason. If there's something my grandmother used to tell me about this when she bought stock, she would only buy stocks and products that companies that she used. So in the 50s, she bought a little stock called IBM

Joe: Mm hmm.

Tracy: Because she liked it. She bought a little stock in Apple because she liked Apple. She was like, that's a cute name for a company, right? She saw me using the computer. She did very well. So if there's a if there's a service or a product that you wish you had access to. Do it.

Joe: Yeah, created by love it, Tracy, it's been a treat. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Tracy: Thank you, Joe. Have a great day.

Joe: You too

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