You may remember that I’ve written about what I learned from my new kitten. Rosie Mittens has grown up beautifully. Now I’d like to share some life lessons from another living thing in my house: my sourdough starter! These, too, inform both my personal life and my professional life as a financial organizer / daily money manager.

Paperwork Pointers from an Unexpected Source

Karen Caccavo Financial Organizing, Life Lessons, Paperwork Organizing, Working with Seniors

You may remember that I’ve written about what I learned from my new kitten.  Rosie Mittens has grown up beautifully.  Now I’d like to share some paperwork pointers from another living thing in my house:  my sourdough starter!  This, too, informs both my personal life and my professional life as a financial organizer / daily money manager.

Hold out for the best.

Weekly fresh-baked bread may not at first a formula for losing or maintaining weight, but, in a funny way.  Having yummy homemade bread available has caused me to raise my standards when it comes to carbs and think twice before reaching for store bought rolls, crackers, or other baked goods.  Rather than cut out all carbs, I limit my bread consumption to the single weekly homemade sourdough loaf I share with my family.  How does this lesson apply to other aspects of life?  When you have the best, ignore the rest!

Be flexible and let yourself experiment.

In the realm of bread, being a “what-iffer” has meant trying different flours, different proportions of flours, adding herbs, and more.  After all, it’s only a loaf of bread and what’s the worst that can happen? Sometimes I feed the starter every two or three days, sometimes it goes a week without additional flour or water.  Guess what?  It has survived!

In the financial organizing world, flexibility means always seeking creative solutions that address my clients’ paperwork challenges.  I keep trying out different organizing systems so I can flexibly tailor my approach to each client’s preferences and abilities:  one size does not fit all.  It’s been a great lesson for me, and I share it with my senior clients.

Reach out for help.

Keeping the starter alive, getting the loaf to rise, improving its taste and looks–all of these I learned from the bread-baking community.  In fact, the starters themselves (I’ve had 4 over the years) came from generous fellow bakers.  I wouldn’t have gotten this far if I hadn’t reached out for assistance and, in turn, shared what I know with others.

When I need another opinion or information, I find experts whose advice I value. In my work as a financial organizer / daily money manager, I reciprocate with colleagues by sharing paperwork pointers from the knowledge I’ve gained in my twelve years of experience.  As with a sourdough starter, it’s important to keep the “network” alive!

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

There’s nothing like a ball of dough to invite you to dive in.  But the same can be said about other challenges—personal and professional.  We’re never too old to take risks, stretch and try something new.  Remember that loaf of bread, and rise to the occasion!

Have you found ways to use lessons learned from personal experience in your work with clients?  Want to try your hand at baking sourdough bread?  If so, let me know.  May I help you get – dare I say – started?

Hungry for more “lessons”?   Read this.