Tell us a bit about who you were before the change? What was your personal brand (i.e. how other people perceived you). What were you known for? How would you compare today’s version of you to the one before?
Previously I was known for being a corporate IT lady managing up to 400 staff and sitting on a PLC board. My brand was very much about being seen as being in control continually, on top of things and reassuring at the same time. A person that would get things done for my customers.
In comparison to myself today whilst I still get things done I approach things in a different way as I do not have the same sort of job role. I am more creative than I was before in my new role which is a complete change.
What made you think you needed to change? Was it a bolt of lightning moment or did it happen over time?
It was more of a change over time as I wanted to make a career change. After 18 years of IT I wanted to develop both myself and my hobby into running my own business.
How did you set things in motion? Did you leap in or make the change in increments?
As a natural planner I set things in motion over a period of time. I always knew I had to get my role in the IT company to a certain point and at the same time I was building up my handbag business. Then a year ago the timing felt right so I decided to resign from the board and make my leap. I am a firm believer that you have to put 100% of yourself into something and running two businesses wasn’t really possible.
What was the reaction of others? Did they support you or did they resist the change?
My family were very supportive and in the end my IT company were happy for me to make the change. This was done over a 12 month period as part of a notice period. Even today if they need something I will still assist them so they have my support if required.
What was your most valuable resource/what kept you going?
What kept me going was knowing that the product that I was developing was actually liked by my customers. Knowing that you have developed something that people like is what keeps me going when I am feeling challenged by the business.
How do you feel now that you’ve made the change?
Whilst I miss the staff from my old company and the friends I made there I am pleased I made the change. I feel more passionate again about my day to day job and I am enjoying the challenge.
What’s your advice to anyone contemplating something similar?
Take the leap. No one is on this earth that long and if you have lost the passion for what you are doing then definitely find something you love to do. Be prepared to learn lots (every day is a school day) and I always think – what is the worse thing that could happen, figure that out, decide if you can deal with that outcome and then go for it!
Thanks for such an inspiring interview Sarah!
If you’d like to learn more about Sarah and her gorgeous bags, you can find her recent guest post for us here!