Sarah P. Self-employed profile
|Information Technology, Business Management, & Foreign Language (German) (ITBML)|
About this profile
|Co-Founder and Owner|
|Retail and sales|
|Small business (0-49 employees)|
About the job
What I do
I co-founded a company to help businesses and organizations ignite growth through the power of thoughtful gifting and inspire more meaningful and authentic connections.
How I started my business
At York my closest friends and I used to talk about creating and founding a business, it's been a lifelong passion. However I chose to work in the corporate world for over a decade learning as much as possible about business, people, and relationships. In 2016 I applied my insights and began to uncover the steps to create a company. Lots of common sense, lots of drive, lots of unknowns, asked a lot of people (all of which is still the case!), and day by day we are creating the foundation of a sustainable business built on the values of delight, connection, and shine.
What inspired me
I've been a lifetime card and gift giver. I've seen the sparkle and delight they create and the way a relationship is nurtured as a result. Coupled with a growing desire in the world for authentic and genuine connection I wanted to combine the two and create a business to offer this service with ease.
Skills I use and how I developed them
A complete mixed bag of skills covering many areas, some examples are: strategic planning, relationship building, sales management, technology creation and development. However what proves to be a stronger need in being entrepreneurial and running a business is a willingness to learn new things everyday, having an open mind, listening (and really listening), asking questions, being mindful, thoughtful, self reflective, seeking clarity for yourself and learning how to hear feedback and knowing when to apply and when not to, getting comfortable with not knowing how to do something but trying anyway and figuring it out, and generally being uncomfortable regularly!
What I like most
Creating a business is truly a liberating experience for me, it has highs and lows but the journey is extraordinary. I love meeting all the amazing people I come into contact with, I love the creativity, the flexibility of working 'regular' and 'irregular' hours, the freedom to explore and create something from the ground up, to try things, to learn about myself, to learn about others, to be willing to accept where I am in the process and learning to release the idea of comparison. To focus solely on creating a business that serves others by delivering delight and joy into the world - that's a true privilege and quite humbling at the same time.
What I like least
Great question - the transactional, repetitive aspects that any small business has to complete, i.e. reviewing legal documents, creating contracts, accounting, tech development. Now while we have a great team of partners that help us with all of this, it is important for any business owner to invest time in understanding these aspects and for me they are not my favorite parts so I'm grateful we have a team but I still hold myself to the discipline of spending time on things I don't always love to do. Why? I know that long term it's providing me with insights that are critically important for me to have an understanding of. It helps me engage with other people who are more of an expert at these topics than me but allows me to ask questions in a way that moves the activity forward.
What surprised me most
I have been so surprised at how much building a business requires self reflection and introspection. You have to be open and willing to have hard conversations with yourself! You learn a huge amount about your own abilities, boundaries, and what's important to you - and what's not. Business creation and management is more emotional than you might first think but when you learn to incorporate this into the business it generates a flow that is extraordinary.
My career goals when I graduated
To become a CEO and/or Founder of a company
My career history
I began in the corporate world, first starting with a small to medium consulting firm in the U.K., then moving into an international investment bank working in technology and then wealth management where I held many roles in both the U.K. and the U.S. In 2016 I left the corporate world and co-founded my company based in New York City.
What has helped my career to progress
A willingness to learn, to work hard, long hours at the start (and sometimes still!), and unwavering commitment, being focused, learning how to pivot and evolve in new paradigms and industries, learning how to be self-introspective and willing to do the hard work there (anyone exploring this will know what I mean!), being observant to what is going on in the world and around me.
My advice to students
My advice to students considering work
The job market is very different to when I graduated in 2001. The advice given to me was learn the 'trade', then apply it and you'll have a long term career. Another piece of advice given to me - you'll work for 30 years; the first 10 you explore all avenues, the next 10 you apply and begin specialising, the final working 10 you soar as an expert in your career, then you retire. The world is different. I don't believe in this now. I have no intention of retiring, I choose to work in a space that I have so much joy and delight in it that I could literally continue for life! I recommend you delve into what makes you tick? What do you love? What do you find yourself doing regularly? You can pick anything in the world you want to do - you have to first believe it's possible, then you create a path for yourself, and it can be unlike anyone else by the way. Ignore the naysayers, believe in yourself and your ability to learn and grow. Success is how you define it, and doing what makes you come alive inside is what matters. If you follow that others will see you shining brightly and want to be part of what you are doing, and you will be having so much fun along the way that you won't even realize you're working!
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