Meet Sarah Kirkpatrick, founder of Jumping Elephant. After 6 years of full time school, Sarah has received certificates in Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Digital Marketing, and Marketing Management, a Youth Leadership diploma, and a degree in Creative Advertising majoring in copywriting – from various institutions around Canada.
While the core of Sarah’s job is project management, she specializes in social media management and content creation. Sarah is well versed in all things social media and enjoys keeping up with the trends in the forever changing industry.
Not only is she an academic and devoted worker, she is a world traveler. Aside from her various living arrangements throughout the country, she has traveled around Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States.
…and with this, Sarah labels herself a creative writer, deep thinker, and motivated entrepreneur.
If you could be any animal what would it be and why? Obviously an elephant! They are the most powerful and majestic creates that walk the land, while still being some of the most gentle and emotional mammals on earth.
What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list? Would put? I HAVE put “Visit 60 countries before I am 60 years old! ”
If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you? It would probably be similar to the Netflix original ‘Girlboss’ – but with a little more boy drama and family heartache. I hope Blake Lively would play me.
What is your favourite hobby? I’m sort of an old lady at heart – so probably scrapbooking… that is if I can’t choose travel as a hobby.
What is one thing that annoys you the most? When strangers send me unsolicited facebook messages (1) selling something off the get go or (2) opening with, ‘hey beautiful, how r u doin’. There isn’t enough room on this sheet for my rant.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? When I tried to order sushi in Paris I ended up with giant snails. I am used to escargot… but these were a whole new level of snail eating!
What do love most about what you do? Is it professional enough to say “stay in my pajamas?” I’ll say it anyway. That, and the ability to work from anywhere. I can travel the world and still help small businesses achieve their goals and dreams.
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already? How to run a business! There are so many budding entrepreneurs out there with great ideas, but the basics of business management and finances are lost! I am one of those people who started something up and figured out the ‘business-side’ after.
How would your friends describe you? Quirky. Bouncy. The ‘class clown’. And at the same time – ‘respected’. Is that an oxymoron?
Name a gift you will never forget. (1) My iMac – It was a gift from my parents and really what got me started in my business full time. Sometimes you need the professional tools to really settle into your craft. (2) My Canon DSLR – Without this I never would have found my passion for travel photography and blogging – or been able to save the memories of each and every amazing trip and opportunity I have had.
What was the first thing you bought with your own money? My mini cooper. It was $18,000 and I had been saving up. I sold it only a year later and lost $6k… not the best purchase… but fun while it lasted! Now I have a older Cadillac and it makes me happy every day.
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? I was a chatty Cathy. I think I got sent to the principal every day for talking in class – and never got to sit with my friends. I also was terrible at doing homework so I saw very few days on the playground during lunch – Detention. If only they could see me now!
Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? Some say I am the love child of Sarah Jessica Parker and Blake Lively. I’ll take it!
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Does build a teleportation machine count? If not… I think it would be great to fly. Or, more practically… be artistic enough to be a graphic designer… who can code… from scratch. $$$$$$
What is one thing you wish you could be better at? Networking. I am an introvert and chatting online is my Jam – but the moment I am in a room with strangers I become the girl in the corner cradling her drink until someone talks to her. And sales… sales skills would sure be an asset.
One word to describe your business? Playful!
Do you think women feel intimidated in business? Absolutely not, or at least they shouldn’t. Business should be about something you are good at, or at least passionate about – so there should be nothing to be intimidated by.
How do you achieve work-life balance, does it exist? I have my own version of it. While I have my phone on me almost 24/7, I allow myself to sleep in, stay up late, take trips, etc. Whatever I need to maintain my sanity. Then I can be flexible with my work time. I consider that a balance.
How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way? I can give credit to nobody as much as I can my mother. She was an entrepreneur herself and was my inspiration and rock during the entire starting of my business. She supported me both financially and with love and is the only reason outside of myself that I am standing where I am now. She was the most amazing woman and there are not enough words in the English language to thank her.
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success? To be myself and not let people get away with unprofessional behaviour. When I first started I thought I had to let men hit on me in business meetings to make a sale. I would then try to be who I thought they wanted me to be – and I simply was not happy. The moment I turned Jumping Elephant into an honest, playful, casual, and silly brand (while maintaining professionalism) was the day that it started to take off. I also now respond very sternly when receiving inappropriate compliments and I have yet to lose a client (at least one I’d want) because if it. Dignity intact.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup, what would you tell yourself? Don’t post non-business related posts on your professional (personal) page. There are too many trolls to put any sort of opinion out there and it can tarnish your reputation. Stick to marketing and you’ll be fine!
Oh. And DON’T WORK FOR LESS THAN YOU ARE WORTH! Losing a client who refuses to pay your worth just makes room for one that will. And you deserve that.
When budgeting and building your business, what is one thing you spend or spent money on that you believe is “worth the money”? Marketing. I may be biased, but I have recently invested in things that will help me market my business in more creative ways (lighting for live videos, banners for trade shows, etc). I also just got incorporated – there are many pros and cons but for me it was about safety of my personal assets, and reputation building.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with? That I am the best dancer this side of Beyoncé’s left hand.
What habits help make you successful? Giving free advice. Some say I give away too much, but I find that helping a person when they ask leads to referrals and trust. It also allows me to show what I know on a public forum. I will never stop helping small business owners.
Do you feel working with a business partner is a good idea or bad? At this point it would be hard to profit share, however I can certainly see the benefits of pairing with someone who has complimentary (but opposite) skills to bring to the table. I would certainly have lawyers involved though – as my goals would be lofty and with that can come conflict.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the women of the world who are thinking of entering into business for themselves? Nike got it right! “Just do it”!
I am a huge advocate for lifestyle living. And in order to truly live you have to do something you love. Work so you can live, don’t live so you can work. Kids, money, husband, time… stop making excuses and find a way to do it. Hire a business coach and build a business plan. Start part time if you need to and make it your second job until it can become your only job – and at that point you may not even consider it a ‘job’ – because it will be something you love to do.