Second to None - Sarah Akwisombe
1. For those that don't know you, tell us a little about you and your career so far?
Ok here goes...
Started out making beats. No-one knew me as a producer so I started vocalling them. Used myspace to grow an audience and ended up with a publishing deal, my own record label and touring the world until I got sick of it. Started a makeup artist agency with a friend. Realised that working with friends wasn't the best idea so dropped the business and stayed friends. Got pregnant, Bought first home. Started a blog about how we were decorating the flat. Worried about money so took a 'normal job' in an office working for a tech startup. After 2 years got fired. Decided to blog full time (fuck it why not). Did quite well, started having people ask me how I did it inside of a year. Started an online school where I taught people blogging. Then they wanted to know about instagram, Pinterest and other things. Now run online business school teaching creative women how to kill it in business.
2. You have so many talents and your fingers in so many different pies - how do you stay focused? What's your biggest passion?
I get asked this a lot. Honestly I'm just obsessed with two things. One is being successful. The second is not being broke! Once you've been broke and felt that feeling of struggling to survive you'll keep the fire under your ass to never be back there again. The more great work I do the more my lifestyle improves. How can that NOT keep me motivated? My life is amazing and I want to improve it or at the very least keep it that way. I know I'm destined for big things so I'm just on the path to fulfilling my destiny really. I never ever have to talk myself into working or staying focused or motivated. I just am. I don't get it when people aren't. It's like don't you want to have all the amazing things that this world and this one life offers? 'Cos I do!
3. You recently spoke about confidence on Instagram, which really struck a cord with me - where does your confidence come from? Do you think you can learn to be confident?
My confidence comes from a few things. Firstly, confidence has a lot to do with your childhood and on numerous occasions I had my parents back me against authority figures. Little Sarah. They stood by me and often told me how amazing I was, so I owe a lot of my confidence to them. Also I'm a big risk taker and I think when you take risks and then see them pay off you can't help but have your confidence boosted. I'm actually not always confident, sometimes I'm just brave in my decisions. I'm not afraid of failing. Do I think you can learn to be confident? Maybe. Hard though. You need to go and have counselling or psychotherapy to understand where your lack of confidence comes from.
4. Do you think working world / business world is changing for women?
Yes. There is a hell of a lot more of us now! And more of us means more women getting to invest in more companies, more wealth amongst women... this can only be a good thing.
5. Which women inspire you?
Sharmadean Reid, Conna Walker, Mary Portas, Sarah Beeny.
6. What's the best piece of business advice you've ever been given?
Underpromise and overdeliver. Thanks to Russell Simmons for that one.
7. What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Please dear god understand what your USP is! Also in this time brand is everything. EVERYTHING. Being average won't cut it.
8. Can you tell us about any exciting projects you're working on this year?
Hmm not really yet ;) What I can say is that we are just focusing on growing NBBS and creating really useful and life changing content for our audience. Especially around women making money!
9. What interior design trends should we be looking out for in 2019?
I don't know, I don't care about trends.
10. One of your first jobs was in JD Sports - is this where your love of sneakers stems from? What do sneakers represent in your day to day life?
Yes it was! I loved working there so much. Every week when pay day came I would spunk my entire wage on trainers and sportswear. I think trainers represent to me a certain level of not giving a shit. It's still like, the way of rebelling from being an adult. I think after the age of 30 especially you have to decide to remain aware of what's cool, cultural and interesting, so wearing dope kicks to me shows that I still want to be a part of that culture, even if society tells me I should be wearing kitten heels, boho dresses and carrying a rattan bag. YUK. Plus, I love to be comfy allllll the time, so trainers help with that :)