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  • Writer's pictureHilary Young

Woman Owned Wednesday: Sarah Wahiba Senan

Sarah and I first met when she reached out to me to work together. She had recently taken her business from a side-hustle to a full-time endeavor and she knew that working on her brand strategy would take it to the next level. Part of what I love most about working with my clients is how well I get to know them in the process - branding is an extremely personal endeavor - and the experience with Sarah was no different.

Sarah has an incredible story, one that many of her own clients can relate to. She really walks the walk, having had to do the hard work required to make a major life change for herself. As a result, she brings a lot of insight and empathy to her work. If you've ever felt stuck at a crossroads in your life, I think you'll really be able to relate to Sarah's story.

Sarah Wahiba Senan: Life & Leadership Coaching

What is the name of your company and what do you do?

Sarah Wahiba Senan, LLC. I support people to get what they want in life, whether that’s moving beyond tolerating or getting in to action, as a Life & Leadership Coach.

How long have you been in business?

I’ve been in business for 7 and a half years total, and a little over 4 years full time!

How did you decide to launch your own business?

I worked at Target as a store manager. I spent all of 2014 frustrated, and thought I could never leave and still make money.

After a full year of feeling so stuck, I had a moment where I thought long about what I loved. At Target, I loved working with people, supporting them to develop. I loved mentoring folks, helping them get to where they wanted to be, even if it meant leaving Target. I realized this was 1% of the job, and tolerating 99% of my job wouldn’t be sustainable for long.

I started to make a list of what I wanted the new job to be - I knew I wanted to help people, have freedom over my time, and maintain my life. After searching for what job would let me do that, i realized life coaching was the answer and started to pursue my certification.

What challenges did you face in the process of launching your business?

The biggest challenge was managing my energy and time as I was still in my full time job (that was draining me 50+ hours a week) while getting my coaching certification and then building and establishing my business.

There were days I had nothing left after a full day at the store and there were moments the politics of work frustrated me beyond belief, and I had to figure out a way to find balance. I worked with my coach to put together a plan to manage my energy. This was something I had to stay really aware of. Recently, I’ve had some full circle moments where I've supported some people in this same very space, as they step into their dream.

Did you feel as though there were resources available to you, specifically as a woman business owner?

Yes! There’s so much out there. I think the challenge isn’t finding the resources, but finding the right ones. There’s so much out there that can exploit or make things seem too easy.

Do you have a mentor?

Yes! This makes a huge difference, to just pick her brain or ask questions. Having a mentor in the industry has also been invaluable when it came to establishing my pricing.

Books you recommend?

Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown and Untamed by Glennon Doyle.

What do you love most about running your own business?

I love that I get to support people AND I get the time freedom. There are days I want to pinch myself that this is my job!

What is your least favorite aspect of running your own business?

All the back end tech stuff - I love what Canva can do, but hate executing it, and I am not a fan of formatting my blog posts. (I’ve found a great VA who does this stuff for me and it’s been a gift!)

What is your best piece of advice for other women who are thinking about launching a business?

If there’s a thing you’ve been wanting to do, explore it! It’s so worth it! And once you decide, don’t stress so much about the business aspect, get out there and get the experience. Running a business is 90% feeling confident in what you offer, and 10% the business side. I’ve seen so may women hide behind the doing of the 10%, which keeps them stuck.


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