That’s what happened to Sarah Nolet. She never really considered working for herself. She’s still finishing up her grad degree at MIT. She’s researching private sector approaches to innovation in agribusiness.
However, her research combined with a move across the globe to Sydney, Australia 8 months ago inspired her to start her own consulting firm, Agthentic. She helps startup agribusiness firms helps with their product market fit, investment readiness, and communications strategy.
So how does writing a major thesis plus moving halfway around the world inspire someone to start working for themselves?
Let’s just say Sarah is very open to new opportunities as you’ll discover in her interview.
Toward the end of my conversation with Sarah, she shares one of the most amazing definitions of curiosity and how you can develop your own curiosities.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Plan your actions.
- Tell your story.
- Embrace new opportunities.
- Build community.
- Self-directed learning.
How Sarah Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 5:13am (not a typo)
- Core work habits: Writing in the morning when she feels freshest, planning and organization.
- Definition of Success: Doing work she believes in while being on a steep learning curve and having the flexibility to have control over her schedule.
- Self-reflection practice: She runs, walks, practice yoga, meditates and likes to get outside to get away from her computer.
- Podcast recommendations: This American Life and Gastropod
- Book recommendation: The Decision Book gets her unstuck.
- Favorite productivity tool: Quip.
- Unproductive habit: Balancing how she schedules meetings with her focused work time.
- 90-day goal: Wants to make her first hire and write a strategic plan to create a platform as a potential second revenue stream.
“People are willing to pay for things they find valuable.”
“I don’t think of it as networking, I think of it as an interesting person I can learn from.”
Can’t find your passion? Sarah offers two simple exercises to cultivate your curiosities!
1) Read. Find books, magazines or blogs about topics you are genuinely you want to learn more about.
2) Talk to people. Find people you are genuinely interested in learning from. Attend meetups, ask your friends to make introductions and dive into social media conversations.
Sarah advises not to be afraid of doing cold outreach. Her trick for contacting someone she doesn’t know is to show interest in their work and ask to learn from them. She almost never asks for any economic benefit because then she says it makes her feel too “schmoozy”.