Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Mae Abji-Endicott, Founder of Rise with SMae, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is helping busy entrepreneurs intentionally create more work+life balance with mindful productivity. As an entrepreneur, you have more freedom and control over your schedule and where and when you work... but there isn't much work-life separation. You're working for half an hour, walking the dog, back to work, meeting the plumber, work, dinner, back to work. The days are like playing 'Whac-a-Mole' sometimes. So I work with my clients to intentionally create more energy, time, and focus so they can be productive when they need to be and "unproductive" when they want to be - no guilt or feeling like they're "wasting time."

Tell us about yourself

I'm a Mindful Productivity Coach, Furmum, ex-high school teacher, and co-founder of the Best Life Coach Collective. If there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I'm obsessed with MINDFUL productivity and biz+life balance!! I left teaching to become an entrepreneur entirely for the freedom to do what I want when I want, where I want, and with whom I want. However, on the journey to fulfilling my biggest dreams, I started to feel worn down by my productivity. I realized that when you look at productivity as just getting everything done as fast and efficiently as possible, you're missing the bigger picture. Fact is, you can't enjoy the journey when your focus is on the hustle, and that is where "Mindful Productivity" comes in.

This is the awareness of what's happening inside and around you. It's being non-judgmental and present at the moment as you move through your days. Most importantly, it involves being intentional with how you allocate your energy, time, and focus. Mindful productivity completely changed my life and how I do things. Now I help other entrepreneurs avoid the same "productivity trap" I fell into because I believe that entrepreneurs are the future.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

No matter what I accomplish as an entrepreneur, I will always believe that my biggest accomplishment was starting. Like everything in life, starting is always the hardest part, and I wouldn't be where I am today had I not taken the leap.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For my clients, the hardest part of being a business owner is having to juggle between their personal life, growing a business, and sometimes also working a full-time job. In my 1-1 coaching program, Freedom GPS, we work together to create a GPS Life Plan to go with their business plan, so they can rise above "busy" and finally have a life outside of entrepreneurship.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

If you're reading this looking to start… Just start! You'll figure it out as you go. Here are my top 3 tips to help you keep work+life balance while you do:

  1. Build Lifestyle into Your Brand - What lifestyle do you want to be living? Maybe you love to travel, want to live in a van, love sailing, or just want to spend as much time as you can with your dog. Incorporate that into your business, and you'll be able to do more of it while still "working."
  2. Let Go Of Fear - Today's hustle culture makes many entrepreneurs believe they need to work longer hours in order to get more done and not fail. Yet, working longer hours does not make you more productive. Plus, failure is a good thing; you won't grow without it. Success comes from persistent failure; embrace it.
  3. Plan Ahead (Realistically) - Make a list of everything you want to do at the start of the week in all areas of your life, and schedule them with realistic time frames. Underpromise and overdeliver with yourself. If you think it will take an hour, schedule an hour and a half. Once you get used to doing this, you'll get better at estimating your time. Then review the schedule at the start of every day, making updates as needed.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Since I got my puppy three months ago, I've been reassessing my priorities and shuffling my days around learning new routines. ⁣Thankfully, I know that it's TIME that needs my attention. This means I can be intentional with the productivity strategies I use. This is important because using tools to be more focused or have more energy won't help me much right now! I'd just be wasting more time.

I want you to have the same insight. So I created a free quiz to help you identify your biggest productivity roadblock. Once you know, you can turn that roadblock into an opportunity! ⁣

You can take the 1min quiz here (no email required):

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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