We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Pelaez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I came from a family of entrepreneurs. My father was self-employed, and he created much of his financial reality. There is great joy in designing your own path. There are a lot of sacrifices tied to this, but you can go as far as you want to go, without false ceilings. In my late twenties when I started a family it felt like a natural progression. I liked the flexibility it afforded me and opening opportunities for myself became necessary as a minority woman in the early 1990s.
I have learned to be measured in my risk-taking now that I am older. I do more research before jumping into a new opportunity and there are a lot more paths for growth in my field right now. It is not only about growing the business but having a balanced lifestyle and living within my values and sense of integrity. Risk-taking is always necessary in business. It is necessary for growth and I start with the “why”. By being conscious of the values that I am satisfying and starting with the goal in mind, I follow it up with research and what others may have done. Small sustainable steps build into bigger accomplishments. I have made several risky jumps in my life and I have learned from all of them. I have failed in many of my endeavors and I am grateful that I have succeeded enough in them to have positioned myself here.
My number one job as a parent has been to provide a sense security, love and connection for my children. Your children want to know that they are safe, loved, and protected. Being present, having a good relationship with your partner, creating community, and practicing emotional regulation creates that sense of safety. This provides the foundation for secure attachments and the glasses they will view their world through. As a young mother I remember reading a book about raising successful daughters. I completed perhaps the first chapter before I put the book down and I started to work different areas of myself including how to be a better parent, partner, and human being. Raising successful children has everything to do with how you managed yourself and your life. Becoming aware of generational habits or traumas becomes important. Children see rather than listen. Resilience, perseverance, family, faith, support from my communities, and amazing mentors. A note on mentors; it was very difficult for me to find mentors and I first had to become one and later find my own.
Accomplishment is not linear. It looks more like a graph from an electrocardiogram. I have accomplished things in my life. Some have been successful, and some have been lessons. When you have clarity, purpose, and passion, success is a byproduct dependent on your own personal definition. Living in integrity with my goals and values is my brand. You get to know my character; you get to know my brand.
Winston Churchill had it right. Never, never, never give up.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs outlines what personal needs must be met to reach self-actualization. If your basic needs have been met and you understand your personality style, interests, values, and aptitudes then that is the motor and fuel that keeps you going. You know the why and everything else follows from that.
When you are self-employed you must be vigilant about burnout. It is important to recognize that work-life balance is not only nice but a necessity. It is not a sprint but a marathon and that requires a different set of muscles. Longevity can be accomplished through mindfulness. Through my journey, I have learned the hard way about balance. If I am not putting my own oxygen mask on, I cannot be of service to the fellow next to me.
Finding peace makes me happy but peace is not dependent on happiness. Being at ease with myself brings me joy as well as walking my talk with integrity. Spirituality is important for me because feeling connected to a higher power gives clarity to my purpose. It inspires me. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, inspiration has an unusual history in that its figurative sense appears to predate its literal one. It comes from the Latin inspiratus (the past participle of inspirare, “to breathe into, inspire”). Happiness is a momentary emotion that disappears with sadness, boredom, or success. You can still experience peace through all your emotions.
“You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you.” ~Joseph B. Wirthlin
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a leadership and executive coach for Fortune 500 companies as well as mid-size corporations. This is one of my passions. The rest of my professional time I spent in private practice doing psychotherapy, counseling and coaching for individual clients and couples. These occupations afford me the privilege of being of service to my community by elevating the human experience in all areas of life. I feel most proud that I offer a 360 full-circle approach to coaching and counseling. It’s a bottom-up, top-down methodology where all aspects of an individual’s life are taken into consideration while working through the process of growth and human advancement. It’s not only how you think, feel and sense your world, but how it interacts with your environment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
North Georgia is a gem. The wineries are a complete delight. Their food is marvelous, and the wine experience is excellent. They honor their state. A day at one of the wineries is a day filled with joy, relaxation, and life. Lake Lanier offers many ways to enjoy water sports and the lazy life. There are numerous spots for adventurous hikes, bird watching, and forest bathing. Dahlonega is a jewel of a town. It is charming and delightful. The Botanical Gardens in Atlanta and Gainesville and at the very least one night of dancing in the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My partner whose emotional intelligence and love have sustained me and my dreams. My family shaped who I am, my values, and my work ethic. My mentors, close circle of friends, supervisors, and teachers that I have met along the way. I stand on the shoulders of giants.