Each month in the Resolve Newsletter we will be showcasing either a client’s company or a company that we work with on a regular basis. If the lockdown has taught us anything it is that we need to support small businesses and so we thought we could do this by showcasing a different company each month. This month we caught up with Carlos Saba from The Happy Startup School, which helps entrepreneurs and professionals build new businesses that feel less effortful and more aligned with what they want in life.
What are the pros and cons of running your own business
It is very rewarding work that involves some real personal transformation but it isn’t for everyone. It takes focus and regular communication to find the right people to work with us.
What advice would you give to other individuals thinking of starting their own business?
Be very clear about what you’d like to get out running your own business other than the money. Ask yourself the question “what success looks like at a personal level?” Is it also about impact or learning or freedom?
The other thing is try to have a strong support group of people around you who think about business in a similar way and can act as your own personal advisory board. These people are there to accelerate your learning and to keep you going during tough times.
What lessons have you learnt over the years of running your own business?
I have learnt that there is no professional development without personal development. We can learn all the tools and strategies we like but, unless we have clarity about how we are getting on in our own way and what it is we really stand for then there is a good chance you will find yourself running a business you don’t enjoy.
How did your company have to adapt during the 2020 pandemic?
Part of our business is event based. We run annual retreats and an annual festival. They were not possible during the pandemic and so we took a massive hit revenue-wise. However, just before lockdown we had launched an online group coaching program called 2020 Vision. We are now running our third cohort and it has been the most impactful and profitable thing we have ever done. We have learnt a lot about how we can use online tools and group facilitation techniques to help entrepreneurs and professionals redesign how they do business.
How do you ensure a work / life balance?
I don’t believe in work/life balance. I think of it more of a blend that dynamically shifts depending on the needs of the business and the needs in my personal life. Ultimately it’s about having choice and designing a business that means I can choose to be with my family when I need to be and to also work really hard when I really want to.
What are the values that drive you?
My three core values are learning, play and friendship. I believe in constant personal growth and am very curious about the world. I love learning. Play is important to me because that’s the birthplace of creativity and innovation. And finally I run my business with my old school friend and the way we work together and how we work with others is very much based on building strong relationships and friendships.
What is the one piece of advice you always give to clients/customers?
Don’t assume too much. It is very easy to think that your thoughts and feelings are reality. But when it comes to dealing with conflict or even making a sale, make sure you get out of your own way and try to look at the situations from the other person’s perspectives. In that way the problems or objections you thought existed mostly dissolve a way.
If you would like to be included in our monthly company showcase, then please get in touch.