meet the member: Sarah Steinhofel

Meet Sarah Steinhofel of The Hive Mind Company. Sarah, what made you start your own business?

BURNOUT!

Back in 2017 I was so stressed and burnout that I had no idea who the hell I was anymore. I’d worked as a Technical Support Analyst for 18.5 years, and when I was younger, I could bounce back. But as I got older and technology became more embedded into business, I couldn’t switch off. The issue was that as much as the job stressed me out, I actually loved the people I worked with; the other staff and clients were amazing.

But marry that stress with a bad management team, and it was a recipe for disaster! I didn’t feel like I was supported at all.

I visited the same doctor three times with stress, and the last time, he asked me if I was still in the same job. I let out this very tiny ‘yes’ and realised that I needed to do something about it, or the job would literally kill me.

I was persuaded to go self-employed by a couple of friends, and although I’ve now returned to employment, I’ve never looked back! I am living the life that I now want to live.

What do you enjoy the most about being an entrepreneur?

I love the freedom of being able to choose who I work with. In my old life, I had no choice; if my gut told me no, my mouth had to say yes! That whole corporate conditioning thing has taken a while to shake, but now I love being able to work with other people like me!

Who or what helps you to stay organised?

OK, let’s be honest here: organisation ain’t my strong point! I’ve been known to write 6 blogs in a day, then completely forget that I have done it! That is most of my issue – I forget what I need to do. Since working with Helen Calvert, I’ve gotten better at managing my workload and recording what I need to do so it doesn’t get lost in the churn of my ADHD brain. I now use Trello as both a brain dump and a planning tool – which is genius – Thanks Helen!

Rank these 5 business activities in the order that you find them the most enjoyable:

1. Marketing

2. Business Planning

3. Putting plans into action

4. Finances

5. Admin

What do you enjoy most about being a member of The OEC?

I found my people! So many people in the OEC gang are now my friends. I’ve had some trials and tribulations in the last few years, but they are my constant cheerleaders. It’s just a great bunch of like-minded people who you know you can absolutely turn to in a crisis! Actually, you don’t need the crisis – we’re just a great team. I think that is all testament to Helen and Caroline and who they choose to work with.

How has being a member of The OEC helped with your confidence in business?

It’s helped me to feel less alone. I work from home, like most people these days, and it can feel lonely. But knowing there is a whole team of others who are feeling the same makes me feel more confident in what I am doing. I know I can sound things out, which, in turn, makes me happier with putting stuff out there! I didn’t have that before being part of the OEC, so my negative voice was so much louder when it came to my business choices.

What is your top tip for maintaining a healthy business mindset?

Don’t fall victim to comparisonitis… We all need to check out our competitors; it’s the marketing law! But we also need to remember when it’s time to stop. There are so many coaches these days, but none of them are me. None of them has lived my life and has my lens on the world. So whilst on the face of it we may well be similar, we’re never going to be attracting the same clients!

How do you help your clients?

I am a qualified marketer, but I see marketing through the eyes of the unheard, the ones who are square pegs in round holes! The ones who are just that little bit different. I will never encourage you to do something that is not you.

I mainly work with clients on their mindset around marketing.

As a small business owner who worked in a corporate environment, I know how hard it can be to get the courage to talk about yourself. That’s not something you’re encouraged to do when you are employed. This is sometimes worse if you are someone who is from a group where it can be hard to talk about who you REALLY are. That could be because of gender, sexuality, race or neurodivergence, for example.

I can either work with you in a single 90-minute session, The Feisty 90, or we can work to create a longer-term plan. I am currently also planning group sessions where five of us can work together for five weeks to dive deep into what is holding you back.

Of course, if you just want a marketing plan that works for you, we can work together to create that too!

What have been your biggest business wins over the last 12 months?

My biggest win has been signing up for a Marketing MBA with Mark Ritson; he’s my absolute marketing crush! It took a lot of positive self-talk to convince myself I had what it took to do the 10-week course… and yes, I love it!

Who are you looking to work with and how can people get in touch?

I am looking to work with anyone who knows they can do more with marketing themselves. They’re not always a slave to digital marketing, and they are prepared to ask themselves some tough questions (they’re always asked with love) The easiest way to get hold of me is either email (hello@thehivemindcompany.co.uk) or message me on either Facebook or LinkedIn.

You can also sign up to my mailing list here to be the first to find out what I’m up to!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I am actually quite shy. No one ever believes me because I am literally a gob on legs, but I am. I struggle with large groups, partly because I have issues hearing (I’m a little bit deaf) and also because I am happier with smaller groups of people. It’s not so much stranger danger, more just the over-stimulation that large groups can sometimes cause.

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