Mentor Moment: Entrepreneur Sandy Hutchison on starting a business, loneliness and living in the moment

This article is authored by Sarah Cohen and is originally published by Dear Paris.

Redundancy sparked Sandy Hutchison’s second life. Her pivot from HR director and partner—a role she had been working towards for 16 years—to business owner was, while not always easy, definitely worth it.

Sandy’s business, Career Money Life, aims to empower employees in the workplace, providing them with the tools to play a more active role in their career progression alongside employers and take charge of life transitions.

Sandy is also a board member for Women and Leadership Australia and the Australian Gender Equality Council, and previously was a member of the Swinburne Industry Advisory Council for their Entrepreneurship program.

Suitably impressed, we picked Canadian-born Sandy’s brain for an hour or so, gaining her tips for success and happiness in the long term. Businesswomen take note—her advice is invaluable.

Do: get a mentor, and be vulnerable

“I have had lot of great boss’s and mentors throughout my career, and they have been critical to my success. So the first thing I would suggest is to make sure you have great mentors, both male and female, that you can reach out to. These take time to build and you need to invest in the relationship, be willing to be honest and show vulnerability if you are going to get value from it.”

Do: play the long game

“Life is a marathon. You can do it all, but maybe just not all at the same time. When I was younger, I tried to do everything at once and sometimes found myself too stressed to enjoy any of it. I realise now there is more time than you think. So try to live more in the moment and enjoy where you are right now, without always worrying about what comes next.”

Don’t: rush into a new business venture

“If you are thinking about setting up your own business, that’s wonderful. But plan carefully before you give up your day job. Starting a business, is really hard, much harder than many corporate roles, you need to be able to back yourself emotionally, financially, and just in terms of workload.”

Do: take time out to connect with others

“Starting a business can be really lonely, so if you are an extraverted social person, which often make great business owners, you need to find ways to bring people into your world. Join business networking groups, create your own advisory board, of people you trust and value their expertise.”

Don’t: overlook the wins

“Achieving goals, hitting milestones, winning your first client is all worth acknowledging and will remind you just how far you have come.”

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