Sarah Crawford | Connecting People to Content - Bringing Meaning to Success
Ever since she was a child, Sarah Crawford has been a storyteller. Through words and images, she always had a strong desire to connect people with stories. From creative writing and art in school to working at an internet company in the early nineties, followed by a career at a newspaper house, she has always been passionate about connecting people to content. In addition, Sarah studied fashion design and pursued a career in menswear design. Together with her background in writing, this was the perfect combination to enrich her experience and learning. Her addiction to content remained eminent.
In 2012 she founded The Man has Style, a digital platform where she could thrive on her undying passion for telling stories by writing feature articles on the subject of men’s fashion. She built a strong global network while working from the Gold Coast, Australia, and prides herself on big audiences in London and New York. She realized that the power of online content was evident.
In addition to online mediums, Sarah started focusing on marketing. A by-chance introduction led her to an aspiring business partnership with Joanna Wojtalik, the founder of their digital marketing agency, Polka Dot Marketing. They soon found their skills were complementary and their mutual values ensured a prosperous and ever-developing business relationship.
What are 3 business and life lessons you have learned
Surround yourself with constructive and influential people in both business and on a personal level. There is no room in life for negativity. It’s going to be hard to succeed when you are being pulled down. Learn to love who you are. Work on your weaknesses so they become your strengths.
Coaching can help with this and it is something I have found to be essential in order to be the best version of yourself. Sure, you can do it on your own, but with coaches, you will go so much further. Don’t try and do everything yourself. If you want to grow and succeed, it is vital to delegate.
How did you choose your niche and why?
People want to feel connected. Even though we have less physical interaction now than ever before, with our busy lifestyles and the use of digital media, people still need a personal connection. I’ve dedicated my life to content and this emotional connection, and I can only see this area growing. As we become more disconnected due to technology and have less human contact, we are going to need that connection even more. I find it very rewarding to create this emotional connection which allows people to live more fulfilling and enriched lives.
What do you think is more important, motivation or execution and why?
Motivation is important. Without motivation, you won’t execute, and without execution, nothing happens! You’ll see motivated people all around you and, however, you will notice that not everyone takes action. Without action, it’s simply a dream or an idea. A vision that may or may not have a plan. Without execution, it’s like sitting in a car without going anywhere. Without motivation though, you’re not likely to even get in the car! So, I feel both are equally important.
What inspires and motivates you?
Seeing that I make a difference when helping people achieve their vision is what inspires me every day. This does not only apply to the clients we have at Polka Dot Marketing, but also to our team; the culture we have created for everyone to grow and be the best version of themselves. Nothing inspires me more than seeing people flourish.
You are a very successful and powerful entrepreneur. From your experience, what is the best way to market your business or yourself?
You need to be true to who you are. Of course, we all want to grow and be better, both personally and in business. However, I strongly believe you need to be you without trying to be someone else and you need to really connect with people. You can learn the skills from the best, but to market yourself you need that level of self-awareness and just be you.
The same goes for business. When we are marketing a business, the message we are putting out to the world needs to match the reality of what the business is delivering. You need to understand who your clients are, what value you are giving them and how you make their lives better.
For both business and as an individual, you need to remember that you can’t be everything to everyone.
What is the secret to your success?
While I’ve had many successes over the years, the big jump in my success was coaching. This by far outweighed anything I had experienced before. JT Foxx, the World’s #1 Wealth and Business Coach, has had a huge impact on my success. After taking his advice, I took on extra coaches to work on areas that were holding me back. This has transformed my life tremendously, and along with his coaching, it has moved me forward so much faster and with greater results than ever before.
Aside from coaching, I see the positive in every situation. It doesn’t mean everything is positive all the time, but I am able to find the bright spark, the opportunity and the story in all I am faced with. This gives me that ability to keep going, something which you definitely need as an entrepreneur. As a business owner, you are faced with challenges and problems to solve every day. You want to create opportunity, not only for your business but also for your clients. I think you also need to love business. Not just what you do, but business itself.
What quote do you live by and why?
“See the beauty in life, opportunity in obstacles and inspire through respect.” This is a quote from my writing many years ago and I live by this every day. There is beauty in life everywhere if you allow yourself to see it. My mum taught me this from a very young age and it is something I am forever grateful for. The pain points and obstacles are the perfect places for finding opportunity.
You can look at a situation that may not have gone as you hoped or planned and see it as negative, or you can see it as an opportunity. It really is about how you look at it. Inspiring through respect is not just about respecting others, but also respecting yourself by learning who you are, being self-aware and finding what inspires you. When you have that high level of respect for yourself, you naturally treat others with respect.
What advice can you give fellow female entrepreneurs on the same journey who want to achieve the same success as you?
Number one is to love who you are. Learn to say no, trust your gut instincts and be confident in who you are. Take care in who you surround yourself with and don’t be afraid to share your successes.
What is the hardest thing about entrepreneurship that no one told you?
You’ll never tick everything off the to-do list. There will always be a project you want to start and a business you’ll want to grow. You’ll never find enough hours in the day for all you want to achieve. It’s that passion for what you do, for learning, for growing and for making a difference that inspires you. It also means you will have to sacrifice things in life to be able to do this and not everyone will understand this or even agree with it. That is why the people you surround yourself with are so important.
What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
At Polka Dot Marketing we are expanding our coaching. There is so much going on in the online world of marketing, it can be a challenge for business owners to know what works for them. We have also been working with voice and augmented reality which we are really excited about.
My first book is to be released this year. Having been writing for the majority of my life, it is a wonderful feeling to be at this stage. The book is about our pursuit of happiness and how our habits play a big part in day-to-day happiness and the meaning we have in life along with our successes.
If you could do it all over again, what will you change and why?
I would have found my coach, JT Foxx, much earlier! He taught me straight off that, in order to succeed to my full potential, I needed to overcome my fears and develop my business skills. Since I started coaching with him, I have worked on this every single day.
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