But this is Sarah’s formal bio, and thanks to the Internet, we have known each other for as long as I can remember.
Being authentic on your social media and in real life is always tricky. She manages to do it extremely well. She is real, kind and hardworking.
Looking back on it, I had this rare opportunity to speak with a woman whose passions mirrored mine but who was a few years ahead of me in her career trajectory. She is an expert at time management, as an example, she wakes up at 5 am to do a hike or another work out before doing her daily tasks/meetings. She knows her own voice and is not afraid to use it. She is not striving to be perfect, but she manages somehow to be always excellent.
This is Sarah’s answer to my 13 Questions. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Follow her on her Instagram for more inspiration
1. How would you describe yourself to a total stranger?
Hi, I’m Sarah. I grew up in England and I’ve lived in Hong Kong for over 9 years and I have two children. I created a specialist marketing agency, White Orchid Insights, and a lifestyle blog on Instagram. I am passionate about learning, community, kindness, spirituality, fitness, wellness, connection, hard work, achievement, travel, naps, yoga, and nature.
2. What is the first 1 hour of your morning looking like? Share with us, any morning routine you have.
I wake up around 0600 and I start my day with coffee and intentions for the day ahead. Then I reply to emails, calls, messages, and DMs from my team in the US and Europe before moving into important client emails. I work out every morning, usually with my rescue dog, Mia. Then, I return home to continue YouTube workouts and breakfast with my son before we start our day.
3. What is your thought process, before making a decision?
It is a work in progress for me to be more reflective and less reactive. This means that I tend to let decisions “sit” for a day or so before I act. I find that meditation, prayer, and exercise help me get clarity on challenging decisions. I used to be hesitant to ask for advice, but now this is something I do on a regular basis when making decisions.
4. We live in a digital world. What are some apps you use on an everyday basis?
Instagram, Fitbit, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Fast Habit, Spotify, and Uber are my most-used apps. I also have a series of apps for video creation, editing, banking, news, and others.
5. When was the last time you changed your mind on an important issue? And can you tell us more about it?
Great question. Not for some time. I used to frequently change my mind back in the days of being very reactive. Now, I tend to really think things through – avoiding overreaction. Of course, there will still be times that I doubt myself or when new information comes to light that means I have a change of heart. I allow myself that opportunity to do what’s right for me and my family.
6. You are very successful in your field. What are some of your tips/strategies on overcoming fear?
Oh, this is a tough one. I am naturally anxious and that tends to pop up at the most inconvenient times, like presentations, seminars, and pivotal career moments. That said, I am a huge proponent of “feel the fear and do it anyway” – it is cheesy, but for me, it’s true. I also let go of overthinking and perfectionism and instead I focus on the work and trying my best. I meditate, I consume a huge amount of learning content via podcasts, and I try to have a sense of humour: I can’t always get things right and if I don’t, I smile and move on.
7. You travel a lot! What is the best vacation you can think of and culture you like the most? Do you have some travel tips/tricks
It’s so hard to define the best vacation. I have had wonderful times in Ibiza, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Greece, California and so many other places. That said, I have so many more places I want to discover, so maybe the best is yet to come. Culturally, I really appreciate Japan for its cleanliness, dignity, food, and manners. Next up, I am heading to Nepal and Tibet: two cultures I am so looking forward to understanding more.
Travel tips – stick with one airline so you can build miles and enjoy the lounge. Collect free nights and points in apps like Marriot Bonvoy and Hotels.com. Take the earliest flight of the day, work in the lounge, and sleep on the plane. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with lots of water on board. Apply a great sleeping mask like Summer Friday Jet Lag and you’ll land with beautiful skin. Avoid plane food and pack protein bars, nuts, and fruit.
8. What do you do when you feel anxious. What are you doing to gain focus?
When I work out regularly, I can manage my anxiety. When that fails, a quick meditation helps. I have also used anxiety medicine in the past and I have no shame around that. Anxiety can be crippling and I would recommend anyone to seek professional help in addition to their own wellness mix at home.
9. How do you define success and who comes to mind, when I say “successful person”
I consider success to be a journey of relentless commitment to self-improvement. Success is more than just money and things, it is happiness, peace, community, and purpose. I have a lot of role models and people I would consider successful, too many to name but Michelle Obama strikes me as a phenomenally successful woman.
10. What are some spiritual practices that you have?
Breathwork, prayer, walking and running, yoga, meditation.
11. What are 5 books, you read that influenced your life
The Bible, No Drama Discipline, The Rules of Life, The Personal MBA, The Little Prince
12. What advice, do you wish you had been given 10 years ago?
Know your worth. Set boundaries and stick to them. Let go of shame.
13. What are you excited about right now?
A transition in my career so that I’ll be running one and not three businesses. This will give me more time with my family, my friends, and for travel including trips to Nepal and Tibet.