What defines our level of success is not the volume of our achievements or the weight of our laurels, but by how many people we are able to help reach their goals and achieve their dreams through our influence, that is how great legacies are built. Meet Welcome Sarah, a CEO and an influential leader in her field. She is a veteran podcaster and the founder of a company called Greatness Realized, a brand with the vision to help corporations and entrepreneurs reinvent themselves and build influence across a wider audience in their niches, through podcasting.
Her love and passion for the growth of women have over the years grown enormously, as her podcast is a medium for self-realization, especially for women who want to actualize their potentials and increase their capacity. In her interview with Gabi Media, Welcome Sarah explicitly explained her journey to greatness and why she loves doing what she does.
CAN WE MEET YOU, WHO IS SARAH?
My name is Welcome Sarah and I am the founder of Greatness Realized, a brand that helps amplify the voice of women and leaders around the world. We have the amazing honour of working with corporations consulting to leverage their messages through podcasting. We also support beginner and intermediate podcasters with training and help thousand of women reinvent their lives, increase their professional income and impact. That’s just a little bit about me. I am an author, podcaster and I am so happy to be here.
WALK US THROUGH YOUR EARLY YEARS FROM DISCOVERY TO DIAS
I started as everyone did; you have a dream and with time you get some tools and your dream expands. I think I’ve always been in the same space; what I specialize in is training and development, though it has kind of evolved, however, everything I am doing is training and development.
The dream I think has evolved, and now talking about the early days, I am someone who wants to help others see the possibility that they hold inside, that their dreams are valid, that they could get to the next level, to have the dream they desire. What they saw possible for themselves is not just imagination but real. So how do we take that thing which we don’t see and turn it into a tangible form, that is basically what I do.
WERE THESE THINGS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO FROM CHILDHOOD OR DID YOU JUST DO SOMETHING AND DISCOVERED YOU COULD DO THIS.
I believe that if you pay close attention to children, they know what they want to do and I wasn’t any exception. Growing up, I had dolls that I played with, but one thing I loved doing was pretending that I had a business. So, I had a notebook and pretended I was signing cheques and I had really important meetings and things like that in my pretend play. So that was a tale factor even till now, I’ve been interested in business, creating resources to support the growth and development of others. So, that’s what I do now but did I know that I will be doing what I am doing now; I thought I was going to go to law school, to be a lawyer though there’s still time. But in terms of owning a business and creating space for others, that comes naturally. I love when people see what is possible for their lives and say, “I can do that”. That fills me up.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFECTIVENESS IN YOUR SPHERE?
Really time Management, I think everyone wants to be efficient with their time. We want to use the most of it and maximize it. I’m always trying to stretch myself, I’m a lover of personal and professional development. So this last quarter, I played this game with myself to see how much I can accomplish within a short period and the great thing was that I smashed my goals. However, it also showed me how incredibly inefficient I was being. So, it is a two-sided coin because even when we think about time management and all, being effective and efficient in what we have, we can always be more efficient and effective.
You just need to push yourself to see what you can accomplish and push yourself past your boundaries and barriers you set up to achieve. It’s crazy how much you can go beyond that, how far you can go past what you think your limit is and that is what I saw for myself. Even in this quarter, the great thing I saw for myself was my goals and I am exceeding and meeting. I see also that I left so much at the table and I could have been performing and upgrading at this level some while ago.
Every minute counts when you are being effective and efficient with your time, depending on what your circle is like; people may say: “Oh you’re always working” and have opinions about what you’re doing even those close to you and that’s fine. You have to listen to that sometimes, maybe you need to put your computer down from time to time, I’m guilty of that though I’m working on that. I’ve had friends tell me, you work too hard and I go like, you don’t understand the goal. So, I don’t receive that information because it’s inaccurate. If I wasn’t doing that, then I wouldn’t be efficient, I wouldn’t maximize my time. So, always keep things in perspective with the vision God has placed in your life.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE WELCOME TO REINVENTION PODCAST?
I created the podcast out of a space of need I saw for women who are reinventing core areas of their lives; money, career, health and relationships. These are segments I didn’t see a lot of tools in one place that helped women in that process. It was more like they knew they needed to reinvent, to change something.
You know as a woman, sometimes we overstay our welcome in certain situations, or we have a forever plan that we feel like it’s always going to be there, whether it’s a career, or a relationship and it crumbles in front of our eyes. It’s a challenge with reinvention, we are like, what do I do because we have been scheduled in life’s plan and it’s not working? That’s why I created the podcast because I believe when we hear the stories of others, it subconsciously permits us to realize our greatness, to go after what we seek, and not be afraid to become. When you hear other people’s stories, you see yourself, no matter the race, ethnicity, or culture, you see yourself and feel like you can identify with it, you can do it and feel validated.
In a year, we’ve had amazing growth. This is God’s podcast, I am a woman of faith, it baffles my mind; the reach and the impact in a year. When we started, we were in three countries; the United States, Canada and Australia, and I was honoured to be there, incredibly humbled to serve those women out there. And in about six and half months, I was in about 23 countries with people listening and we ended the year in about 36 countries. Currently, we are in about 40 countries. It’s much too big for me and I can’t imagine taking all the credit. I’m grateful to the women and amazing men all over the globe who resonate with the message of reinvention. It is my complete honour that I facilitated this gathering.
A LOT OF STARTUPS, CAREERISTS ARE AFRAID TO STRETCH THEMSELVES TO ATTAIN MORE, WHAT COULD BE WRONG?
In terms of why they are not stretching themselves, it comes down to mindset. I wrote a book about this, it is called ‘Declare: Unleash Greatness Through Mental Fitness’. I’m a person and professional development person and I can’t do anything without mindset. When you talk about people who are afraid to stretch themselves, then something is happening in their minds. Are you telling yourself, I can’t be that, I can’t do that, who am I? Can I be great? Something is happening in your self-talk and in the way you believe. You have to do the inside work first.
We all see the light and the glitz, and all the luxury that we desire but none of it is sustainable without the inside work. So, if you’re afraid to stretch yourself, you need to start asking yourself better questions like, what has me scared. Who told me that I would not be a success? You have to be aggressive with those thoughts; I call them the less than thoughts. Scrap those thoughts. You need to find out why you are afraid and go to the next level. If it’s your circle, then change your circle. If it’s your friends, go get new friends. If it’s your family, stop telling your family your dreams. Your dreams came to you, not your family. So, you need to have a little intensity by which you move, you dream, and deal with things you are afraid of.
DO YOU THINK IMPOSTER SYNDROME IS A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE FAILURE OF MANY CAREER PERSONS? IF YES, WHAT COULD HAVE LED TO IT?
Yes, the impostor syndrome is real. It goes back to mindset, as a man thinks, so he is. If you think you can do it, then you can do it. But if you think you don’t have the ability, then you don’t. You may typically try but if you do try, you feel limited and you’re not going to level up and you say things like: I knew I couldn’t do it even though I tried and that’s why it didn’t work. It all goes down to mindset. One thing bigger than impostor syndrome is really just perspective. You feel like you’re an impostor because that’s the perspective and lens you are looking through. When you realize that you are called, chosen, and designed for impact, for greatness, to prosper, you carry the DNA to positively impact the lives of others, then you’re not an impostor, you are not looking from that lens. What if I’m working as a professional in a corporate organization and have a dream to own a business, how do you think it will start? Yes, impostor syndrome is real but I think the core of impostor syndrome is really perspective, not looking through the right lens. It boils down to knowing who we are.
A lot of people don’t know who they are, and so to hear me say things like, you were built to succeed, create, prosper, do realize the dreams you have, it only feels like an impostor because you don’t understand it is in your DNA. The core of what I live and breathe is to be that, not just for me but to be able to hold space for others and help them as well. When you get clear on who you are and how you were designed, you have to access yourself, and your perspective changes, the impostor syndrome breaks.
Other steps in breaking the impostor syndrome include doing the inner work: start asking better questions, your mind is a computer. Ask yourself when I have not succeeded when I put my mind to something? Do the work to dig up negative weeds in your mind. Your mind is like bare ground. Do the work to till and prep the ground of your mind that is to pull up weeds, negative self-talks, things people said to you and replace them with what’s true even when you are struggling to believe it. Say, I can do this and I believe I can.
The same way you wouldn’t talk down, crazy and bad about your mum or best friend, should be the same way you wouldn’t talk bad about yourself. Put those thoughts you give to others to yourself and allow them to grow in you. Water it constantly by affirming yourself in the best way. If you need to buy a new outfit to look good, then do so. Shift your mind to a positive place that allows you to thrive. If you need additional resources and support, the best top secrets are always in books.
WHAT ARE THE 5 MAJOR LESSONS YOU HAVE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY?
First, do the work. We love to see the glitz, glam, the flash and all of it but we need to do the inner work. The work of self-talk, the work of how you see yourself is much more important than the work to build your business. You need to create a space to hold the business, which that means, if your character can’t hold you then you can’t stay. Secondly, hold to your vision. Sometimes, you are the only one who sees your vision and one thing about vision is that we are always waiting for people to validate it. But it wasn’t given to a group, it was given to you. So you are supposed to spearhead this. Whatever you see for your life, go do it because it was given to you.
Thirdly, everything in life even lessons are not sequential. Your life is a dot to dot puzzle but it will all come together. So be mindful of that, know that you are getting random lessons and soon everything will come and work together. Fourthly, believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if none believes in you, it doesn’t matter what you see. One thing with success is this; nobody likes anything not moving, once they see motion, they get on the bus but until the bus is moving, no one likes to be on what you’re doing. You have to focus and create motion. Lastly, you have to be grounded on something higher than who you are.
For me, it is my faith. That’s what gets me through hard and happy times. If you don’t have a foundation, it is going to be a challenge. Find a way to ground yourself especially as you grow. You need that grounding, I call it the insider information that allows you to see yourself at a high level, provide insight when relevant and timely. So those are five lessons I have learnt in my journey.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE EXPECTING FROM WELCOME TO REINVENTION IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
We have a podcast called Welcome To Reinvention. This year, we’ve added new voices to the cast and fresh perspectives with men inclusive I believe men have an incredible voice for women and we need their perspective. We’ve added a segment for women who have lost their mothers or those who feel their mothers weren’t able to mother them the way they would have desired. We also have a redefining leadership segment with our resident leadership and mentorship expert and that’s so phenomenal. Over the next few years, we will continue to bring content that’s relevant to our audience. We are currently working on a blog that will soon be up and running and people will be able to get written information. We are also working on a network where men and women interested in podcasting or who have a podcast to connect with us, especially in other countries. We are working towards enriching our community and serving at a high level.
WHAT WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE OUT THERE, WHO NEEDS TO REINVENT HIM OR HERSELF?
Who told you it was going to be hard? What made you afraid? Because whatever is on the other side of the process for you is going to completely outweigh your fear. Don’t shrink back, now is not the time to play small, play big. I invite you to stand in the biggest version of yourself that you can be. Take up space because you are needed, your voice has power and relevance and we need to hear you. Push past your fear at all cost. Push through it because the other side of your journey is going to be amazing. Anyone who feels alone, I am completely from a whole different side of the world wishing you well and I know what it feels like to be there and I know you can come out of whatever it is you are facing.