I went to Google.com and did a search on "FlyLady" and got back 73 pages of search results listings, not 73 listings, 73 pages of listings. FlyLady has been written up in major magazines, interviewed on radio and TV, holds what she calls Fly Fests in different locations around the USA, conducts an Internet radio show, and has a top selling book, Sink Reflections. Everywhere she goes she is met by adoring admirers, FlyBabies, she calls them.
Why is this woman the patron saint of women, and men too, who have taken up her program for getting their homes clean and possessions and work organized via her simple and specific principles and routines? I've given this quite a bit of thought since I became a student of everything FlyLady and found that much of it works for me. I like to observe whoever and whatever works and try to figure out how and why it works, and what I can learn from it beyond obvious benefits.
1. FlyLady, Marla Cilley, is the real thing. She is genuine, open, and brutally honest about her own life. She's a passionate and emotional being, and doesn't hide it, she let's it all hang out for everyone to see. As a result, she's believable. When she says something people listen.
2. Marla's routines and information are simple, direct, and easy to do. She starts small, and is very specific about what beginners are supposed to do. It's hard to fail with Marla's instruction.
3. She genuinely loves her subscribers. She has profound sympathy for their plight. But that doesn't mean she's going to be soft and fluffy about it. She's the top sergeant of the domicile, no whining, no complaining, but with a heart of gold.
4. She doesn't put on airs. Marla is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).
5. It's all free. Her web site http://www.flylady.net is full of good practical information, including free downloads of her specialized "control journals." Those control journals are for filling out with your own personally customized versions of Marla's routines, and for special purposes like holiday planning and emergency/disaster preparedness.
6. She responds to reader requests for products and aids to enhance the FlyLady experience and to do practical work. Her for sale products are of high quality, and order fulfillment is swift.
7. Subscribers feel that they are a part of a culture, a group of like minded yet diverse subscribers who help each other with mutual support. This happens via testimonials sent to Marla's main email list, and also through the large number of Yahoo Groups FlyLady related discussion lists, 622 of them, as I write this.
You might say that the FlyLady endeavor has quality, contact, camaraderie, personality, trustworthiness, and commonality. It's also a great example of thoroughly exploiting a niche.
With all this, it's no wonder FlyLady is popular. I used to recommend FlyLady to just about everyone who would listen, online and off. But, I'm having my doubts, or rather I'm adding qualifying cautions to my recommendations now. I'll tell you why, and what I've learned from my observations in the next post.