Julie Subotky

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Founder and CEO, Consider It Done

Need someone to orchestrate your move into a new home? Plan your next vacation? Get you a reservation at that hot new restaurant? Organize your business files? Manage a company event? Deal with the expanding pile of personal paperwork on your desk?

Julie Subotky has turned to-dos like these into Consider It Done, a New York-based business that organizes and coordinates projects for individuals and corporations.

First Things First – Hitting the Slopes

“I graduated from school at U.C. Santa Barbara and decided spend the ski season in Aspen. I had never been there, but like many, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I figured that if I didn’t like it, I would go somewhere else. Eight years later, I was still there. ”

Catering to Aspen Clientele

“In Aspen, I was working every odd job in town. People would come to me and ask, ‘How do I do this? Where do I get that?’ I would always say, ‘I can help you out with that.’ It seemed that people would come into town and would leave their personal assistants at home. So I started doing all kinds of projects for people.”

Beyond Babysitting

“People started to say, ‘Can you come on vacation with us? FedEx the luggage, make sure we have housekeepers set up for when we arrive, make our dinner reservations, handle our child care, take care of our itineraries, etc.’ Others would arrive in town on chartered planes from L.A. and ask, ‘Do you know anyone who wants to take it back?'”

New (York) City, Same Idea

“Then I decided it was time to try something else. I thought it was time to live in a city. And if I was going to a city, it might as well be New York. I had no idea what I was going to do, but less than a week after arriving, I was walking down the street and ran into someone I knew from Aspen. She said, ‘I know someone who needs your help while you’re deciding what you want to do here.’

“I handled a move for him… moved items to the Hamptons and other items into storage. Created inventory lists so that he knew where everything was. When he arrived home from work, he was organized and moved in with the boxes all unpacked. He thought it was great and asked if he could give my name to someone else. I did some gift shopping for her and she said, ‘Can I give your name to someone else?’ I organized a charity benefit in Connecticut for that person. One project just seemed to lead to the next, and I soon realized that I didn’t need to look for a job.”

They Considered Her Crazy

“I registered the name ‘Consider It Done.’ Everyone thought I was crazy. No one seemed to get it or understand when I said, ‘People have too many things to do. I’m going to do whatever people don’t have time to do.'”

Proving Them Wrong

“It wasn’t just individuals who needed things done. I also I started doing some corporate work. I did projects for companies including Revlon and Unilever. They knew I could be called upon to organize photo shoots, co-ordinate hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists, so I just did it. I put together sales conferences or organized files in their corporate communications department.”

Expanding the Business

“I was making all kinds of connections through word-of-mouth. One project led to the next, and as I got busier, I hired an assistant. I had a lot of VIPs as clients and was traveling everywhere – London, Israel, and all over the US. I needed someone to handle clients in New York while I traveled. We have continued to grow and we now have 5 full time employees, as well as many part-time people.”

Concierge Services Come Home

“I also expanded the business into a concierge service, which we’re now running out of 16 apartment buildings in New York City. People call in for things like dinner reservations, tickets to shows or pet sitters.”

Jumping Through Unusual Hoops

“We had to decorate a room recently for a fairy princess birthday party. You would think that was no big deal, but the party was in New Jersey in less than 24 hours. There were 30-foot ceilings – and it was an enormous room. We brought in a chupah, draping, butterfly lights. It’s no surprise that people call us in the last minute, when they’re in a bind.”

“Another client needed a costume for a Moulin Rouge party. He was in Belgrade and needed it in New Zealand by the next day. We not only made sure the costume was there, but we also set up a car to pick him up at the airport to take him to several other locations to get other items he wanted. It’s all about being resourceful.”

Delegating the To-Dos

“Working for myself on a freelance basis was great – I had no overhead. I didn’t have employees. I had a completely flexible schedule. But it reached a limit. When I was working 100 hours a week, I knew I had reached my limit.

“I asked myself, ‘Do I want to have a business and have my role change? The answer was ‘Yes. ‘ That requires time and money being spent on building the business – hiring people, paying rent, doing marketing and PR. We’re developing software programs now for my concierge program.

“We’re starting to open offices in other cities. I think that there is a need in just about every city. I just returned from vacation and have e-mails from three different cities from people saying, ‘We want to open your business here.’ I spent a lot of time this year getting the systems in place so that (the business concept) will work in every city.”

Greatest Success – Letting Go

“That I’m able to rely on other people – learning how to grow a business and still keep balance in my life. I just took a three-week vacation where I did not work. I checked in once a week. Now I have to look at what happened while I was gone, but I realize that nothing is going to fall apart in three weeks.”

Greatest Challenge – Letting Go

“Switching my role from doing everything myself to running the business. It’s important for me to have someone in the (people manager) role, so that I can focus on strategic partnerships and the bigger picture, really getting the other offices up and running. I have someone who assists with the business planning and budgeting. I have someone who can put together a simple PowerPoint presentation. I also have a business coach. For each project, I bring in the people that I need.”

Words of Advice

“Know that there are more people who will say, ‘This (business idea) doesn’t make sense.’ So many more than those who say, ‘Wow, that’s a fabulous idea.’ There will be a million roadblocks. If (building a business) were so easy, then everyone would do it.”

Making Time for Personal Time

“Right now I want to have a balance in my life. It’s important for me not to work weekends, not to work until 10 o’clock every night. I’m 37 and I want to have a family. I have to have a focus in that because without making an effort, it would be easy to get pulled into work all the time,

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