This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a member, Sarah Maynard, about navigating the virtual world in a safe, healthy, and beneficial way. Sarah is the founder of The Start Effect and a mother of four. After leaving digital marketing, she created a business to help children and their guardians navigate the digital world safely. Now, The Start Effect works with nonprofits, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses, and more.
“I wanted to find a way to help build that bridge for people to say this is a communication tool, and how can we help remember that that’s what it is. Because we can get so consumed by all of the things and how do we fit in it, how do we fit our business in it, and how do we find balance?” said Sarah. From starting her business, Sarah learned a lot about herself and how children/teenagers use technology. Here are some of the lessons Sarah imparted in the podcast:
Technology is a Tool to Teach
Technology is a skill to cultivate and learn like any other. “You teach your kid how to drive a car. It’s a tool they use and there are a lot of ways you can use a car that is good, that is bad. It is part of the life that we live,” says Sarah. Unlike generations before them, technology is now vital for everyday living. From school to personal life, technology is how they communicate with the world around them.
No More Should
As professional women, to-do lists can become never ending with what we should accomplish. When the pandemic started, Sarah opened her business, and with limited experience, it felt like a mountain of things she had to achieve. “There were all of those shoulds. Well, I should have this package on my website, I should offer this, I should have this customer management software, and all of those things that I thought I should, should, should. I buried myself in those things and didn’t do anything for a while.” Sarah found prioritizing and seeking a community of support gave her the motivation to work through that to-do list.
Moments of Squirrel
Another way Sarah found the motivation to tackle her list of growing shoulds is by taking a moment of squirreling. “It’s important to allow ourselves to have those moments to squirrel a little bit. For me, the stickers were something I really actually enjoy doing, but they are not gonna be something that drives my whole business. On those days that I pushed so hard and haven’t felt like I had any wins, popping in to do something that gives me that much joy is really helpful. Because not everything you do has to be productive. We should do things just for the joy of doing them,” explained Sarah. Her business may have tons of stickers, but they give her something to be excited about again after all the hard work.
Want to listen to Sarah’s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited HERizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Sarah Maynard in the IAW Community!