International Women’s Day 2019

You may not know but the word Pai actually means good in Māori, and doing good by our customers, our suppliers and the planet is what gets us out of bed each and every morning.

So in the interest of spreading and celebrating goodness this International Women’s Day, we’ve asked Sarah to share her thoughts on leadership, mentoring and what inspires her!

What does the term ‘dream job’ mean to you?

Somewhere I feel a strong raison d’etre and where I believe I can change the world a little bit for the better. An environment where I can create, that ultimately pushes me beyond the realms of what I believe I am capable of.

What one thing motivates you to get out of bed and into the office day in, day out?

I have two giant spurs to action in the morning.

The notion that there are millions (actually billions!) of people out there who don’t yet know about Pai who we could be helping with their skin frustrations and upset.

As well as the thought of every one of our fantastic team at Pai – whose livelihoods I am ultimately responsible for!

What qualities do you think you need to have to make a really great mentor?

I mentor a few start-up entrepreneurs. Where I have found I add best value is when we focus on just one thing that is an obstacle to their progress or wellbeing. The one thing they have the power to fix or change that day or week.

Clearing that blockage can have a profound effect in removing a weight off their shoulders and freeing them to do what they do best.

Also, fuelling their ambition is crucial. Because running a business or climbing the career ladder requires 100% commitment and can feel relentless. Sometimes people’s early passion and ‘fire in the belly’ can turn to embers and need re-stoking.

Women together

How would you mentor your staff to overcome lack of confidence, and encourage them to ‘lean in’?

I would remind them that success never comes easily and that life is all about the climb.

Gold medals aren’t won from an amble in the park! They require slog, patience and a degree of frustration, setbacks and pain too.
For someone to grow in confidence on that climb, they must never worry about making mistakes. Trip-ups are part of the course and escape no one.
The greatest achievements often follow failures. Dyson had 500 aborted attempts at inventing his vacuum cleaner – spanning 15 years!

No one will ever judge you on the mistakes or errors of judgement you make – only what follows, in how you respond to them.

What do you think makes a company ‘good’ to work for?

One that has a higher purpose beyond making money. Somewhere you can feel part of an authentic mission and crucially be able to see where you fit into that picture and the impact you are having.

Also, somewhere company owners put their customer and staff’s needs ahead of their own personal interests. Who believe in the power of ‘we’ over ‘me’.

One piece of advice you wish you’d received when you were starting out?

When things go wrong or you face adversity ask yourself the following questions. Am I going to still feel stressed about this in one month’s time?
Am I going to remember this in one year’s time?

If the answer is No to either question (which, by the way, it usually is) – then don’t waste another second worrying about it. Move on.

Who is your greatest female inspiration?

Hard to pick one! Kresse Wesling of Elvis & Kresse is pretty remarkable and regularly tops my list.

I saw her speak in the very early years of Pai and her story blew me away. She’s continued to sustain a really strong social and environmental purpose and pulse to her business.