Soft Skills, Strong Impact: Sara Harrup’s Inspiring Tale of Human Connection
Prepare yourself for an emotionally gripping episode of Empowered as Sara Harrup shares her remarkable journey of resilience and personal growth. From running a homeless shelter to managing fear and trauma, Sara’s story will evoke a whirlwind of emotions, leaving you reaching for the tissues.
In this heartfelt conversation, Sara opens up about the challenges she faced and the invaluable lessons she learned along the way. From navigating the heaviness of her career to strategically protecting herself from the weight of societal issues, Sara’s perspective on separating problems from personal identity will resonate deeply.
Through her experiences, Sara highlights the importance of prioritising health and well-being as a foundation for success and making a positive impact. Her passion for mental health and well-being shines through, inspiring listeners to prioritise self-care and recognise the profound impact it has on every aspect of life.
As you listen to Sara’s story, you’ll be reminded of the power of empathy, the strength in vulnerability, and the transformative potential of difficult conversations. Her advocacy for soft skills and the human element in a tech-heavy world will leave you inspired to cultivate your own emotional intelligence and connection with others.
If you’re seeking inspiration to reclaim your life, this episode is a must-listen. Sarah’s journey serves as a powerful reminder that no matter the challenges we face, we have the resilience within us to rise above and create a future filled with purpose and impact.
Welcome to eMpowered!
#FromTraumaToTriumph #FindingPurposeAfterAdversity #EmpoweredToMakeADifference #CompassionOverFear #WellbeingMatters
00:00 - Start
00:20 – Intro
03:01 – Dealing with ADHD
04:12 – Sara’s guest talk in the Redd Business Technology Podcast
04:36 – Sara’s career background
07:45 – ADHD Awareness
09:18 – Relearning story of yourself
09:50 – Sara’s children diagnosed with ADHD
15:45 - Relearnings of being a mother after ADHD diagnosis
18:45 – Emma’s career as a host
25:36 – A deep dive to Sara’s life
25:55 – Sara as a disruptor
26:43 – Sara pursuing her career as a nurse
27:43 – Working as a CEO
34:05 – Sara running a homeless shelter
35:36 – How did Sara protect herself from those fearful moments?
37:52 – Soft skills are not “soft”
41:03 – Prioritizing mental health and well-being
42:52 – Outro
If you would like to discuss any of the topics discussed in this episode or if you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch either via our website, [email protected] or through any of the links below.
Thanks for watching!
You are amazing and you are loved!
You can find the full transcript below!
Welcome to Empowered. Before we get started, I would like to acknowledge and pay my respects to thepast, present, and future traditional custodians and elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural,spiritual, and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We furtheracknowledge the land on which we work here at Red and the that is the land of the to and ugaa peoples.Thank you for being here today, episode, I can’t remember what number, but I appreciate you being herefor your eyes and your ears. The struggle that you have overcome might be the struggle a Queen iscurrently sinking in. We all have a story and I believe we all need to share that story. So welcome toEmpowered here. You will be surrounded by a community of queens who have conquered their own. I’mvery blessed to have a village of people in my corner who lead with love, share their success tips, andthis is a platform for dust.
Those stories, if you had the cure to cancer, you’d share it. And I believe that your story is someone else’scure. Your story will help save a soul, and this world needs way more of that. The intention for thesepotties is to host guests with topics and tricks shared with the listener or the viewer to help them live alife full of love, happiness, and success. Be surrounded by Queens who have walked your path andresonate with their stories. What do you know now that has helped with your journey that your youngerself would love to have in your toolbox? Welcome to Empowered and today’s Queen is a little one andonly Sara Harrup, and I really appreciate you being here. I’d like to recap what I sort of mentioned to youis very grateful for Sarah in a previous life who was the CEO of Food Bank, of which we were very gratefulto be blessed as an opportunity as a client of ours here at Redd.
And albeit I didn’t actually do any of the technical work because I’m the least technical person here atRed. Being the chief of happiness, I just automatically was passionate about and connected with yourenergy. I just felt really driven towards connecting with you. So I dunno if you thought when I messagedyou first up, what on earth is Emma? I hope about the chief of Happiness at Red, want to have a millionfor a podcast. But I hope that introduction sort of unpacks why I am so grateful for you being here,because I just think you’re amazing from what I know of your story to be, I think you’re incredible and I’dreally love to hear more about that today. I believe we also have a superpower in common, which is ouradhd. So that’s really cool. Love to hear more about that and how that’s helped or hindered you andwhen you got diagnosed and all that kind of juicy stuff. So there’s so much that we could unpack today tothe point that we probably will maybe do two or three more sessions in the series. We’re going
To pack it in. Yeah,
Good, good, good, good. I’m always known, which is one of my blessings from my ADHD for, I have onespeed, which is Turbo. So I don’t know if you’re the same, but from what I know of you, I believe you areasleep
Occasionally, but I always say don’t rest the way normal people rest.
No, what’s normal. No, I agree. I even apparently talk in my sleep as well, so that’s awesome. You neverget silence from me, but thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank
For having me. You’re welcome. It’s such a great introduction. Thank you.
It’s so kind. Thank you. Well, it’s genuine. I, if it, it’s not genuine. It doesn’t come out of my mouth, sowhy waste that space? So I truly mean, what I said. I sort of explained before as well. Sarah’s been on ourBrother podcast, which is our red technology and business podcast where you shared, what was yourtopic? Actually, it was so long ago. Oh
Gosh. It was really all about, should
That. Yeah, no, that’s okay. It was really about technology and the not-for-profit in the not not-for-profitspace. And we touched a fair bit on cyber and I guess some of the barriers to implementing good cybergovernance when you’re in a charity.
And how long were you with Food Bank for?
Nearly three and a half years. Yeah. Wow.
Wow. Not easy, but it would’ve been fun and highlighted a lot of awesome moments in your career. Idare
Look. Not easy from the perspective that hundreds, and I’m not even hundreds, I say thousands ofmoving parts, which is not uncommon for organizations that are charities that are also kind of providingproducts and services so complex from that perspective, fun from a transformation perspective and funfrom an impact perspective. And I think one of the best parts about it was the team. They were just thepeople. So great. But that’s what I’m drawn to. Wherever I am, it’s usually about the people. For me.
I’ve made a career out of people. Yeah. Thank goodness. Yeah, no, absolutely. And that transformationpiece you mentioned is so evident that three and a half years you were there. Yeah. You’ve done so well.So of a
Much bit of a,
Again, turbo, it’s our superpower. I don’t show away from it, but yes. Thank you for what you did shareon the brother podcast, the boys, I’ve got to stop saying that, but they are. Jackson and Nigel co-hoststogether or they’ll laugh for a minute. But yes, my podcast is slightly ever so slightly different and it’sabsolutely not about the tech. It’s more about, as I said, those queens in our community and the shortstories that we need to share because I believe that we’ve all got them, and we were speaking before offcamera around, we are removing that lens of it being, it used to not be okay to share your deep, rawemotions and who we truly are and all those stories. But now I’ve known
People want it. They
Do. I really want it
Every time I look at, I was going to say, I don’t put huge amount of thought into my LinkedIn post. That’snot entirely true. I’m not scientific about it, is what I would say. But I do have a look at what resonatesand it’s honestly, it’s the stories. It’s when you actually reveal something about yourself, that’s whatresonates. Absolutely. When I think I’ve done a great post that’s got some sort of really amazingtechnical takeaways, it’s like, yeah, nobody cared about that. Crickets.
Yeah. Yeah. No, you’re right. I think also too, my motto has always been stand out from the sea of same,whether it’s aesthetics or everything. Again, maybe a superpower of adhd or maybe it’s just Emma, Idon’t know. But you’ve got to stand out because I don’t know,
It’s a lot of beige in the
World. There’s so much beige, but LinkedIn, for example, is such a terrific platform, but it can be the seaof same unless you’re standing out. So I’m always drawn to your posts and I love them. And you usehuman elements like video. It’s just so simple to pick up the phone, you’re going to take a photo orsomething, just record you because it captures you, it shares you on a platform that we don’t get to seemuch whoever you are. Yes. Yep. It’s more, here’s some data or here’s some statistics from recent sales.Here’s
How smart I am.
Yes, exactly. Something that I really resonated with, and I mentioned our mutual superpower is ouradhd. And Oh, I loved, I love, and I loved seeing all your posts come out about being proud enough tospeak about that. Because again, it’s something that used to be a
Naughty, I’ve come out of the closet and I’m almost a hundred percent comfortable with it. Yeah. I haveto be now, I’m just saying on a podcast now, and it’s really the last year where I’ve actually, I was worriedat first that people would, I don’t know think part, particularly as a non-executive director on boards, Ithought it would impact my chances of getting board roles that people are going to think that I can’t holdit together together or I can’t concentrate or I’m flaky. Or
Yes. But I typically medicated. Yeah. So Ritalin doesn’t agree with me. Yep, very much. Fair. Yeah. So Ithink now I take the view that I’m just unapologetically me and if me declaring that I have ADHDprevents me from getting a role or engagement or a piece of advisory work somewhere good because Idon’t
Want, they’re not people. I
Don’t want that work.
And you’ve got to be, and I appreciate and respect you saying you’re not a hundred percent therebecause it takes, it’s so strange. You’ve got to repack your toolbox because how long ago were youdiagnosed by the one?
Yeah. Yeah. So it’s kind of like a relearning of yourself and the stories that you had told yourself over theyears. They’re all bs. Yeah.
Snap. I was about to say that the beautiful part about it was I got to go back and retell a set of old storiesthat I had told myself Goose gooses my entire life and retell them in a different way. And it was soliberating.
It’s like a rebirth in a way. It’s
What drove you to the diagnosis and, okay, have I
Touched a son? No. Well, so my son was diagnosed.
That’s right, you mentioned
That. And then one of my daughters was diagnosed because
It comes from one of the mother or the father.
And their psychiatrist looked at me and said, so you understand it’s as heredi as hi. And I went, yeah,yeah. Oh right, okay. Why are you looking at me? Didn’t know that. And I often had wondered why. Iseem to have an innate understanding of the issues that my son and daughter were having. Why do I getding? Why do I get that so much? But no one else seems to get it right? And how can I explain that toother people in a way that makes sense? And then I went, oh, penny drops,
Lights switch on. So how old are your children or were they when you went through the process
Of it? So my son was nearly 9, 9, 8. Eight. And my daughter was diagnosed late, so she was 15, nearly 16.It’s interesting, when she was four, I took her to the pediatrician and went, there’s something a bitdifferent about her. So
Yeah, we always go to say there’s something wrong. There’s not
Something wrong. Yeah. Yeah. Something different. And in the way that she thinks and does things. Andthey said, oh no, no, she’s fine. But when I look back, had I known then what I know now would’ve gone,oh my gosh, she’s her adhd. I remember a grade six teacher saying that she didn’t do any work, but shekept novels hidden underneath her desk and she would be reading novel after novel. Oh my goodness.Which was really interesting because when she was prep and grade one, she had a severe learningdisability and she couldn’t learn how to read
Any dyslexia showing
Up, not dyslexia. Cause our brain works
Dyscalculia. Yes, sure. So real issues for her with numbers. And same.
That’s why I made a career out of people
Auditor, auditory processing. Right. And it’s amazing because her difficulty reading is now, she’s a hugereader now. Is that cute? Yeah, absolutely. Huge.
Or is my son not a fan of reading his numbers? Numbers kid. And he’s like high school algebra. Wow. Hewas doing high school algebra two years ago when he was eight. And they kept saying to me, oh look,he’s just gifted and he’s anxious cause he’s a gifted child. And I go, yeah, but he’s not universally gifted.It’s just math. What’s just
Going on? And then it was just the ADHD mask, his school performance in other areas. So we’re all greatthat we’re super proud now that we all understand who we are and how our brains work.
What looking as from a mother’s perspective, would you have appreciated when you were younger?Because I can tell you my list. It’s speaking. Oh, sorry. Listening to you now speaking of your daughter,borderline feeling guilty that you just unsure. Right. I was diagnosed obviously late in life, and my momalmost went through this horrific guilt phase where I’m so sorry, I’m 41 and a bit now, they didn’t knowwhat that was back then. No. I was just the perpetual, naughty child. I was always in trouble, always tooloud, always disrupting insert symptoms here, not symptom. You know what I mean? And she feels soguilty that she didn’t pick it up. And then one of the uncoverings, did you have to go through the currentsymptoms and childhood symptoms for yourself? Do, yeah. Yes. Yep. So mom went through that processwith me and spoke with my psychiatrist in part of the diagnosis. And mom actually broke down. She said,I’m so sorry, I now realize you had a piano teacher when you were six or seven. And the pink,
This is funny now, but not back in the time. I’m sure the piano teacher called mom and said, there’s nopoint wasting your money because she’s not doing her homework. She’s not paying attention in herclass, so you’re ripping up money every week. And she at the time was like, oh, that’s a bit hard. Mom’sthe most introverted Catholic little lady you’ve ever met. So she would’ve just gone, okay, thanks. Andshe’d never told me that story. I just assumed something else happened with my NL lessons. I don’tdunno. But as a parent, and I’m certainly seeing signs in one, maybe two of my children, but am Ifocused too much on it because of what I’ve gone through myself? That I don’t know. But that’s a wholenother thing.
I think the answer that’s no. Yeah.
There are still people out there who say that ADHD doesn’t exist. It’s just, it’s so,
Try living with it, mate. Would
You go up to a person in a wheelchair and tell them that paraplegia doesn’t exist? I mean, absolutely. It’sit. And look, I don’t have a problem calling it a disability be because I look at my life and my kids’ lives.And it’s true that we have huge amounts of adaptive traits to help us to do all the things that we do. Butwithout the diagnosis and without being able to develop adaptive traits, it really is a disability.
Living our life without that would’ve been, yeah, crippling.
It’s just from an Australian government perspective. Although there is some inquiry work happeningnow, but yeah. Not there yet. No. Yeah.
So being a mother, supporting your two children, it’s major, major, major. They’ll know no other way.Whereas you’ve come from a different learning where you’ve had to relearn. Yes. Tell me some of yourrelearning or your aha light bulb moments once you were out on the other side of the new way of life.Can you think of any?
I think, yes. So one of my relearning moments was, a lot of it was around acceptance and capturing someof the things that I already did that were adaptive and going, I can amp that up. So for example, so I havegot a board meeting this week and I’ve got the papers and I’ve had the papers for a couple of days.
No, no, exactly what you’re going to
Say. And I need to be in a specific state of mind to be able to get myself through those papers. And whenI’m in it, I’ll be completely down in the hole with it and I’ll be really fixated on it. And I’ll be great and I’llget there. But I just actually, I am not beating myself up about the fact that I have not yet read thembecause I know that I need to be in a certain place before I can do that. A bit of deadline pressure isfantastic for me. Same. So this afternoon, tonight is probably the time that I’m going to get down in thehole with that stuff. And I’ll need a few things to help me. There’ll be, there’s some certain soundtracks,music soundtracks and no, I use, oh, actually I did start using brown noise last week.
You normally have no idea what we’re talking about right now, but it’s game change.
There’s orange noise. Yeah. I sleep with white noise. Silence is deafening for me.
Yeah. So there’s, there’s just a Spotify soundtrack called Music for Concentration, but I’ve trained mybrain and it now associates that soundtrack with, that’s cool. I’m in concentration mode or reportwriting. So it’ll be that there’s a little bit of, there’s some OCD traits that come with adhd. And for me it’saround, before I sit down to read those papers, there will need to be a glass of water in a specific placeand a cup of tea, a specific place. How
Many times do you catch yourself with seven different drinks start?
Yeah. And so I just actually, rather than beat myself up about that stuff now, I go, yep, that is just the wayI work. Work who you are. And in, if I need to do a bit of a check on myself around, so do you thinkyou’re running a little bit close to the wire here? I’ll go. Right. Okay, so what can I about That’s atechnical,
I need absolute no
Schedule around to create that space earlier because I also understand the impact of what if you don’thave enough time? So one of the strategies I now use is that when I get a board pack, I open it, I do aquick first glance, and I go and I do a little estimate and I go, right, I know exactly how much time I needto read that.
That’s amazing. And that in itself, that gave me goosebumps because that was a major relearning for me.You probably didn’t, I mean, in my previous life, in a previous business, but I used to host a womenInternational Women’s Day lunch every year for 300 people. Did it for almost a decade. And as the hostin the mc, it takes three months for this event because we did not take it in halves. It was amazing. Veryproud of it. I will be doing one next year, but it’ll be different. It’ll be, yeah, little bit different. But I wouldcatch myself with the biggest anxiety and self-loathing because the same thing, I would have a bulletpoint of what I wanted to capture in essence for the day and the theme. And I knew what it was going tolook like. And it probably took me till my ninth year of hosting those events and MCing them to be atpeace, knowing I sometimes wrote my spiel the morning of, because I would sit in the space of themoment instead of, and I know that it gives Brad, our CEO and Chris, my husband, and our E G M, theshits sometimes with whether it be a report or something that’s due and they are prepared and theywant to a week or two weeks in advance.
And I’m going, but it’s not due yet and I need to sit. And to be in that moment to give you what’s actuallythe real data rather than, anyway, so I know that you understand that. And that’s really powerful for youto understand yourself, to know how to get the best out of yourself. So
Just knowing that your brain is wired for interest. Yeah, not important. Yes. Oh, that’s awesome. Is reallyhelpful. Yeah. And I’ve just been through this with my son because his brain is also wired for interest andnot important. And I’m like, so if we
Trust dopamine, right,
If you have to get something done, then you need to gamify something. I love that. To actually createinterest. So you need to be able to go that task’s important and I can’t, can’t can do. Yeah. What can I dowith that to gamify that? That’s awesome. Or to make that interesting. So I gamify, that’s cool.Everything in my life that needs to be done, that I’m otherwise not interested
In, that’s amazing. And what a gift you are to your children to understand and empathize with them.Instead of going, Debbie silly, you just need to get it done, or you’re so distracted. Or this, that and theother, which is probably what we heard growing up. Well, I
Do have the guilt over my daughter because girls do present differently. And I just thought she was lazy.And then I Oh, was as horrified. This is
My daughter now. She’s
Horrified. Horrified at myself that I, because I couldn’t see any other explanation. Why is it when we’vehad 10 conversations about this that still
Didn’t, you didn’t understand it
Yourself, that you’re still doing the same thing. She had a pretty tough mental health journey in her earlyteenage years. And as a mother you do go, oh gosh, how much did I contribute to that? Well, yeah, butthen you get
To make, we can’t tell get mother,
Mother make your present and your future. Right? Yeah. That’s amazing. So as soon as I kind of saw adifferent way, I just jumped on it and went, right, well, I can’t change what’s happened, but I can changenow. Now and I can change tomorrow. You’re
Almost a different mother now off the back of
Oh, you have to be. You have be. Yeah.
Yeah. So the strategies you’d put in place for all of you versus post, that’s
Different. That’s empowering. That’s really
Cool. And I have one daughter who doesn’t have D, adhd, an me and yeah, she’s a yes. So she’s aneurotypical. Yes. And sometimes we all say to her, oh, don’t you think you got a bit of something? Andshe goes,
Come on, join the
Club. Just because you all do doesn’t mean I have to. That’s adorable. And we’re like with the jury’s out a
I love that. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Of course. That was not the onlyfocus or intention for today. Sure. It’s part of who you are though. Absolutely. And I’m so glad that you’releaning into it. What would make your leaning into yourself be at a hundred percent that you’d be superconfident to say out and proud, this is who I am? Or is it? That’s probably
Just a little bit more time. Sure. I think generally speaking, I’ve had a really accelerated true journey ofevolution. Generally I am 52, but in the last, yeah, I think kudos.
I have a great woman who does a bit of touching up, so she’s awesome. No, just generally speaking, Ithink I’m only starting to reach my peak now. So the last couple of years have been rapid evolution forme in terms of confidence, growth, capability, all of that. So I think a little bit more time, and I’ll be ahundred percent. That’s amazing.
Well be kind to yourself because it’s a journey, not a race as we know. And isn’t it funny, I remember mybrothers giving me curry every birthday until I was 30. They’d buy me a 21 birthday card and cross outand put 30 because I was just so paranoid about turning 30. I don’t know why that was a decade and abit ago, but I love getting older because it means more wisdom and more understanding and morelearning, more sharing of stories. You say you need time and I’m so respectful of that, but you’ve justgiven somebody else by sharing that story. You’ve given them the power to uncover themself or be trueto themself and give themselves some time too. So sharing your story around that part there of ADHD isa gift that you’ve just given to somebody else. So I thank you for sharing that.
Well, I hope so. Yeah, definitely. Well, I probably wouldn’t have gone down the route if I didn’t hearpeople like yourself who are strong, who are confident, yeah. Who’ve got a solid career, who’ve got abeautiful rapport because I was so scared. I knew all along, but I was scared that, like you said beforeabout that stigma or being tarnished with this, I don’t know, whatever brush, but I see people likeyourself who against all odds are doing what they want to do and doing what they love. So I’m gratefulfor you in this space and grateful for you sharing that story. And I know it’ll resonate with someone, butADHD is part of you, but it’s not everything of you. It’s right. It’s superpower. Yeah. I mentioned in thebeginning that love to unpack a bit of a chronological story to success as to who Sarah is now. So okay.Tell me as much as you’d like to share about your journey to who you are. It can be professional,personal, whatever you’d like to unpack, but tell me more about Sarah.
Yeah, that was a big sign.
Huge question. Where do I say? Well, it’s
A huge question. I think the best way to describe it is, so I am a variety seeker.
Oh, I love
That. A variety
Seeker. Can I borrow that? Yes, yes. That’s
Yours. I’m a variety seeker. And I, when I say I’m a disruptor, I don’t mean I’m a disruptor in a toxic sense,but I do think about things differently. And I also, once I’ve conquered something, then I’m ready forwhat’s next, A new challenge. Right. Love that. So I’ve had lots of different careers and I started, well, Iwent to uni to be a journalist, and I was so bad at it, I failed. Oh,
Because you didn’t love it? Or?
No, I was terrible at it. I’m brilliant creative writer. But I couldn’t even write a head headline. Right. CauseI was like, what do you mean? That’s the important part. I thought this over here is really
Important. Might be. Yeah.
Yeah. So yes. And so then I thought I’d be a psychologist and I got to the end of that and went, oh yeah,no, no thanks. So I decided to go and be a nurse and oh, you’d be amazing. But seven years and that wasenough. But I ended up, look, I went to corporate life, spent eight, 10 years in corporate world andinsurance and loved it. And where I worked was had a bit of an intersection with health. So there’s oftenbeen a bit of a health kind of theme through what I do. Ended up in leadership positions and then wentinto the not-for-profit space. And then when I was working in rural and remote medicine, and one of thethings we talk about in rural or remote medicine about GPS in that environment is they have this verybroad horizontal discipline that is broader than a city based gp.
And it’s a discipline that intersects lots of subspecialties. And one of the doctors I worked with said tome, Sarah, you are a generalist. You have a broad horizontal discipline that you can work across. And yes,you’ve got some subspecialties there, but you need to focus on being a generalist. And so I went, oh,maybe I’d be a good c e O. And so when an opportunity came up, I became a C E O and I loved that work.But ultimately then I’m variety seeking. And I started to, when you’re a ceo, you work with lots of boards.I’d done a few board roles. And so I decided to make a transition. And so the transition, and it’s prettyrecent. So what are we, week nine actually. Oh wow. Yeah. Week nine of the transition. But look, atransition, that was a long time, not necessarily in the planning, but lots of steps taken to get towards it.
So I have what we call a portfolio career. I understand. No. So I’m on a variety of boards and they’re allvery different. I am an executive coach, so I’m still doing more studies in that area because I love it. Andit’s one of those things that you never finished. So exec coach and I have a wonderful group of seniorexecutives through the executive connection. And so I facilitate their peer advisory board one day amonth. Oh, amazing. And that is just such a privilege because I get to watch them grow. Andinterestingly, it had not been in my plan necessarily. I had no set plan to do advisory work, but it’s findingme. So I’m not saying no to that because for me it’s important to put the pieces of the portfolio togetherin a way that lets me stretch all the little bits of myself.
Being a director is often requires a bit of restraint and you know, can’t hog the floor. You’ve got to becareful and considered with your questions and your contributions and you’re not sleeves rolled up inthere doing so. It’s certainly, it exercises a part of my brain that I really love. But the advisory work givesme a little bit of something where I can dabble a bit more and tinker and just get into a little bit moredetail with people. The coaching I love because it’s a beautiful quiet space where you’re just in thecrucible with someone and I get a huge dopamine high from coaching people because you’re helping,well that’s the nurse. You watch them solve their own problems. So yes. Gosh, you’ve got a
Well, I don’t know. I think it’s just how I’m, well all of those wired,
All those in essence, all those parts that of your performance are helping. You are helping. And as anexecutive coach, you’re helping another professional put their hand up and say, I’m not good at or I needhelp with. That’s in essence a coach. You’re showing them that’s right. Them the light at the end of thetunnel because you’ve been there and you’ve blazed the journey before them. Advisory is advising. It’sgiving another thought process to something where you know what it’s like you get stuck in a train ofthought and it’s not until somebody else says, what about this route? You’re amazing. I love that you’redoing so many moving parts at the moment. Cause I think that definitely speaks to you and yourpersonality. You don’t sit on your hands for long. So I think that’s really cool. It sounds like you’redefinitely filling your cup with what you love.
I am. I have to be careful what I say yes to because just in my nature I’m like, and I want to do this and Iwant to do this and I don’t want to do a bit that. I do a bit of that. So I am being careful good. Becauseanything I say yes to means I’m saying no to something else. To something else. But I feel like overall I’vesaid yes to the right things. And I think I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about thisconcept of the scariest part of it is the part leading up to and right before you jump. So
It’s the unknown. Yeah.
Well, and I think once I made the decision that this was the direction that I wanted to go in all of thestuff around, oh, well who, who’s going to want me to go? Oh, who’s imposter syndrome? How is what?Well I don’t think, I’m not going to call it imposter syndrome. Cause I think then we say we havesomething that’s static true. But I definitely had
Doubt, bit of doubt around, well what will I bring? And it’s doubt that coexisted with confidence, the twothings are not, we actually needed mutually exclusive. They actually go together. And then once Idecided and went, well, what do I oh actually need to do to put this into action? Then the fear just kindof vaporizes and goes and it doesn’t really return. So then you’re just off doing your thing. Here
I am charging away. I think doubt something or fear or the unknown or something that a lot of peopleare scared of, like you said. But I actually like it because I don’t know, I love getting deep into the psycheof things and without doubt we wouldn’t unpack what we’re capable of because it’s almost like ajuxtaposition I can’t do or I’m doubtful because, and then you just teach yourself another way and thenyou actually start to realize that doubt’s bs and realize, yeah, it’s go for it. And you certainly sound likeyou’re just going all in and the journey that we are going through, not a marathon, a journey. Whatyou’re doing now is going to open up for something else and then you’ll look back and go, that’s why Idid that, or that’s why I said yes to that. Do you ever have moments like that you look back on yourcareer and go, holy moly, that was crazy at the time, or I can’t believe I did that. But then it’s brought meto probably so many of them.
Oh look, I ran a homeless shelter for five years and it was actually a day center, so we didn’t haveovernight guests and it was full on. And the people that walk through life that walk through those doorslived a life in a world that the rest of us don’t really know about. Agreed. So it taught me a lot aboutmanaging my own fear. I had people threaten to kill me. I had people hurt her coffee cups at my head,but it taught me a lot about managing fear and that was really useful. Really useful. That you’re amazing.And I still talk, I’m still really close with all the people that work there and sometimes we go, do you missit? Do you miss it? And we go, I miss a good ambulance or a good call to the police because it wasadrenaline you, you’re living on adrenaline the whole time. Yeah. Adrenal. And yet everybody carries alittle bit of trauma from true that time together because you good, you can laugh about it, lost somepretty difficult ugly things.
How do you cope, not just in that scenario, in that part of your career and your journey, but in generalnot taking on board because I believe that quite empathetic, not taking on board the heaviness ofwhatever you’re doing in that time. How do you strategically protect yourself from those moments?
I think I just have a view that I see problems or situations or issues as separate to myself. So even myown problems or issues that I might be grappling with, my goal is always, that’s not anything personalthat about me that is a problem that’s separate to me that I need to do something with. So I think theother perspective taking thing that I always did was you can’t solve every social issue, Sarah. You can’t
Give it a red crack though. I
Bet. I remember, I mean used to find, I went through a period in my life where I kept finding lost dogsand my Oh,
They find you not the other
Way. And then my mother made a comment to me. She said, oh, so I see you’ve stopped finding andsaving lost humans and you’re onto dogs now. But she was right. It’s true though. So I really had torealize that if you impact one person, that’s still an impact. If you allow the enormity of some of thesocial issues that we have in this world to weigh on your shoulders, it gets in the way of you being ableto do the work you need to do to be impactful. That’s
That’s good. You’ve got to keep it in perspective.
That’s amazing. Thank you. Regardless of what industry or where you are in your career, someone isdealing with the heaviness of insert the heaviness here. Being in the people, part of a business always is,it can be heavy because people are beautiful and they have feelings and they carry struggles and it’s alearned mechanism of our skillset. I hate hearing the words or the term soft skill because it’s anythingbut
That draws usually quite a savage response from me when people talk about soft skills.
Really? Okay. Please imagine. I’m saying it. Give it to me.
Well, there’s nothing soft about any of those skills. Calling them soft suggests that they’re in some way, aweakness or in some way or easy to learn, easily learn. Yes. And in fact, they are the skills to have directconversations with people about their behavior or the impact they’re having on other people. The abilityto communicate clearly and articulate what you need from someone or would like from someone. Howare you feeling? All of that. People struggle with that and it’s what I actually see the most in my work andin my coaching work. It’s the difficult conversations where we are actually confronting uncomfortablethings that people find the hardest. So there’s nothing soft about that. And the people that, the otherthing that preach really gets on my nerves is the people who often refer to soft skills, often the peoplethat don’t have any Correct
Because it’s just so foreign for them. I think, again, regardless of us having ADHD or not, I think it’s partof you. It’s part of me and I now understand that empathy piece is intertwined with our diagnosis, and Ilean into that so hardcore, Brad, our CEO here at Red always references me as being an enigma, and it’snot until we’ve worked together so closely. I joke that he and Chris and my husband’s, because they’reliterally twins and being in business and partnership together, it’s like being in a marriage. We spent athird of our life and potentially more together and in the beginning I know it was like a deer in headlightsfor him, but I now know that he understands me and he says enigma, but actually with love and kindnessbecause he just can’t explain it and I sometimes can’t explain it.
I just have conversations all day long with beautiful humans around me, and it’s quite often having thosehard HR conversations, for example, you can go into it with a completely different perspective, frame itcompletely differently than in previous businesses. Chris and I used to call each other good cop and badcop, of course I was the good he was. He’s not bad, but he just approaches it differently and soft skills.They are skills that I think more people need to lean into and not be so scared of because this is therealness, it’s the real skills and the human skills and the human elements that we need more and more,especially in worlds we both have come from. It’s very tech heavy and robotic is just not something Ithink you and I enter into. It’s all human. No, no. I mean this a place for robots. Yeah,
Thank you. Sarah. I am mindful of time. You and I could probably continue chin wagging forever. Is thereanything else that you’d love to share that’s in your toolbox currently that you wish another queen orking to hear about or understand or believe in themselves or anything in closing that you’d like tomention?
I had to think about that for a minute. You can say that. Well, I know. No, no, no, there is and it’s reallylike, so I wanted to think of a word other than passionate, but I can’t think of another one. It’s a goodone. I’m really passionate about health and wellbeing, and I think when we prioritize that for ourselves,it makes the rest easy.
I haven’t been prioritizing my health and wellbeing, so I need to absolutely focus on that. We’ve get busyin the busyness and forget yourself, so I appreciate
There’s no perfect there either, despite what Instagramers would tell you. No,
But this is our vehicle for life, right? So yeah, definitely. And mental health plays a massive factor ineverything we do, and you’re obviously maybe even without realizing that a big advocate for that. I am.Good, good, good, good power to you, Sarah. Thank you so much for being here today. Thanks for havingme. I hope you had fun just getting warmed up. I know, I know. It is like that. But for respect of yes, oftime, et cetera, I have kept these around the 30 minute mark just so that you can listen or watch. Theycould just keep driving around the block. They could. It’s supposed to be, the intention is for a quick oneon the way to work or way home before the busyness, before or after work kicks off. But I know thatthere’s going to be a second and a third and a fourth.
So watch this face for Sarah round two. But for today, I really appreciate you coming in. Thank you.Thank you. I loved getting to know you a little bit more and I look forward to continuing that. And don’tstop being you don’t stop sharing and I can’t wait to see Sarah at a hundred percent watch out readinessbecause yeah, goodness me, if you’re 90% now, like look out world, she’s coming at you. Don’t shy awayfrom telling the world more about you because I think you’re a gift. If any board or whoever you’relooking to work with shys away from that, then that’s their loss. You’re incredible. And I look forward togetting to know you a lot lot more. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much forlistening to all watching this episode. I can’t remember what number we’re up to, but I’m sure it’ll flashacross on your screen soon. Thank you for listening and watching what? Watching. Yeah, that’s what youget. Watching this episode of Empowered, thank you very much for being here. We hope that you gainedsome insight to a phenomenal person. That is Sarah Har, and thank you for being here. Welcome toEmpowered.