Give us your “elevator pitch” (What you do, who you are, where you’re from).
I'm Sarah, and I live in the Indianapolis area. I help small businesses, creatives and non-profits build happy brands via words and design.
Who’s your hero?
Great question! There are so many people I admire, but I recently finished reading Amy Poehler's book and she kind of shot to the top of my list. Obviously she's very talented at comedy and writing, and I've been a big fan for years, but I just really loved her thoughts on being a woman, especially the rat race of comparison we have with each other on all aspects of life. I also LOVE her work to empower women of all ages through Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, which celebrates women making achievements in all fields and shows young girls that being smart is cool and fun. In today's Kardashian culture, we definitely need more of that!
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to unwind and refocus?
I sit my phone and computer in a different room and curl up with some Netflix (sometimes by myself, sometimes with family/friends/the boyfriend). I have a problem fully turning off in the evenings--I'm writing emails, reading blogs, constantly checking my phone, etc.--so I'm trying to unplug more. Also, just getting out of the house is effective. Working from home I can easily go a few days without having to leave. Just running an errand or going out for lunch, whether by myself or with a friend, is great for recharging.
What’s your favorite book?
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It's actually a young adult book and I read it in middle school, but it's one of those that adults can appreciate, too. It has absolutely beautiful writing and is a great read for those who feel a little quirky and don't want to conform to the norm.
Describe the biggest risk you’ve ever taken. How did it work out?
I turned down a placement in Teach for America my senior year of college. TFA is very big at my school (it’s consistently one of the top producers of corps members for a small college, with usually 10-20 joining each year), so turning it down felt taboo. But I realized teaching elementary school in the Mississippi Delta would just be a way for me to postpone life a bit and try to figure out what I wanted to do. Plus, two years felt like a huge chunk of time to do something I didn’t see turning into a lifelong profession. I'm sure it would have been a rewarding experience, and I know plenty of people who were corps members and made great impacts, but it just wasn't the right choice for me. I didn’t have anything else lined up for after graduation, and when no one would hire me (thanks, 2011 economy!) I definitely felt l had made a HUGE mistake. But now I know I’m where I need to be. I would have lost those two years of building my skills and portfolio, which were hugely important to being where I am today.
What’s your favorite quote?
”Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon.
Describe your dream vacation.
Traveling through Europe! Paris, London, Dublin, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Berlin and more. I didn’t study abroad when I was in college, but several of my friends did and I was so envious of their class breaks that allowed them to train hop and see all of these amazing places.
Where do you see yourself in 25 years?
Tough question! There’s the typical married with kids response, and I would like that on a personal level. Professionally, things shift as I grow, learn new things, and find new passions, so it’s hard to say! As long as I’m creating, I’ll be happy.
What’s currently on your radar?
Tell us about your latest project. Right now I’m working on my web design skills and plan to include that as part of my offerings this year. In addition, I’m brainstorming ideas for my first course offering.
Any advice for recent college grads?
1) The biggest mistake I made right out of college was keeping my world too small. I wanted to stay in the Indianapolis area, so all of my networking and job hunting was focused there. I might have had more opportunity had I spread out a bit.
2) Don’t go to grad school to go to grad school. If you’re razor focused on a path, you know it’s an amazing fit for you, and it requires extended education, then go for it. But if you think grad school will help you figure out what you want to do, it won’t! I’ve seen lots of people struggle with this. Time goes so quickly after graduation (which is cliche to say, but my last four years have been an absolute blur), that you definitely shouldn’t waste it on a degree you won’t use.
3) Build a community. If you’re starting a business, you WILL be lonely. Building a community is one of the hardest things about the post-grad life, but it’s so important. I’m just now reaching a point where I feel like I have a great community who gives me pep talks and understands my frustrations. They also help me celebrate the little things and understand why they’re important. Find interesting groups through MeetUp, go to different networking events, take classes on things that interest you, and have coffee dates. You can’t hide out all the time. It’s exhausting!
4) Keep learning. There are so many free and cheap resources for learning it’s insane. Coursera is great for the more traditional academic classes (including business), while Skillshare is great for the more creative and business.
Connect with Sarah:
Check out Sarah's phenomenal website @ SarahEutsler.com, and connect with her on Twitter & Facebook .
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