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Interview: Getting to know Sarah B.

With over 13,000+ Instagram followers, it's fair to say that replying to each and every single DM can be quite the challenge! Yet we know that many of you may have questions about Sarah and her journey to creating the Effortlessly Sarah brand. I had the lovely opportunity to interview Sarah and in this post you'll be getting to know a bit more about her. Grab yourself a hot drink and get comfortable because this is a long but well-worth-it read!


You've been posting on Instagram for quite a while now but what inspired you to create the "Effortlessly Sarah" brand?

My decision to create this brand was actually inspired by a conversation I had with a close friend of mine. She encouraged me to put myself out there and at first I thought "why not?", I've now realised that my online audience have helped me to discover the joy that comes from helping and inspiring others.

My hope is that "Effortlessly Sarah" inspires other women to discover what it means to be "Effortlessly You".

On Instagram you've previously shared that you grew up in Ethiopia before moving to the US, tell us a bit more about that journey

I grew up in Ethiopia and moved to the US with my family when I was around 9 years old; we lived in California. Adjusting to the American culture was initially quite difficult for me, as I was trying to fit in. With time, I eventually did adjust and went through middle school, high school and when I graduated high school, I went to university in San Francisco. At this point, I was craving freedom so I would travel around the US to places like Atlanta, New York and Miami whenever I got the chance.

What was your experience at university like?

I was initially studying to become a nurse before I realised that it wasn't for me, it was mainly for my family. So during my summer break, I worked for a tech company and they eventually hired me to work with them full-time while I study. I then switched my major and once I had graduated, I had a job waiting for me. I later transitioned to working for a small tech start-up and I've been working there since.

Taking the risk to work for a smaller company really helped me to live the life I always dreamed of living. It's part of the reason why I get to work and live in Europe now!

How did you find the courage to do what you're truly passionate about?

I realised that I didn't want to be miserable! I had to speak to my parents about how I was feeling, which was difficult. African parents dream of their children becoming nurses, doctors or lawyers because of the stability these careers provide.

I had to make the decision to put my happiness first.

Similarly, I remember when I made the decision to move to Amsterdam. I had no family or friends there but I knew that I wanted to move so I told my boss. I'd realised that my life in the US had become very routined and I asked myself:

"Is this what you want your life to become?"

Within 7 months, I moved to Amsterdam. I am now living a fulfilled life from that simple decision to use some courage and put myself first.


What was it like travelling outside of the US for the first time?

Travelling outside of the US has given me fresh perspective and the opportunity to see life and culture in new ways. Sometimes living in the US can feel like a bubble at times.

I felt strongly that in order to grow, I needed to travel more.

Many people struggle with being confident or certain about their desires. How have you developed a sense of certainty in your life?

To get to this point, I've had to trust my intuition. I've also had to learn how to separate the way my mind thinks from the way my intuition feels.

The mind is very logic driven but the intuition is focused more on instinct. Being able to separate the two has been so important for me. At the time I made the decision to move to Amsterdam I was around 26 years old, so I knew that I had to take the opportunity whilst I was young to try something new.

I also asked myself the question:

If I die tomorrow will I be happy with the life I've lived?

And right now, I can confidently say yes! However, it was such a loaded question at the time. Since then, it's given me so much perspective. I also believe discovering The Secret and the Law of Attraction at a young age, helped me to develop certainty in my desires.


What are some of your Law of Attraction practices?

Visualisation and scripting. I visualise and write down my goals like they've already happened and I speak about my goals in the same way as well.

I have a core belief that things will always work to my highest good, so even if they don't go my way I trust that they will go in the way that's ultimately best for me.

A prime example is when I initially wanted to come to London. It took me a couple of years before my move actually happened. When things weren't working out, I had to trust God that it would all come together. When I would take short trips to London, I would walk around a specific area and tell myself "This is the area that I'm going to live in". I now live there.

It took a few years between the desire to move to London and the manifestation. How did you keep a healthy mindset during the waiting process?

I told myself not to be defeated, even though I came pretty close at times! To keep my hopes up, I kept on telling the people in my life that I will move to London, it's just a matter of time.

I had to mentally condition myself towards my goal.

How did you adapt to the different countries you've lived in?

Well I now call myself a "global citizen" because of all the travelling. When I lived in the US, I was young so it was easier for me to adapt. As an Ethiopian you grow up with somewhat of a collectivist mindset but moving to the US helped me to develop a sense of independence. Moving to Amsterdam was somewhat of a culture shock, people were so direct in how they communicate! Over time I've learned to adjust the way that I live to the new culture that I'm in.

What's your favourite thing about living in London?

There's just so much to do! From events, to restaurants, to shopping - I just love the variety and the fact that if I want some quiet, I can just head over to the countryside.

You're a keen solo traveller. What advice do you have for women who want to take up solo travelling?

The first thing I would say is, don't let fear cripple you! Go out there and do it. It's not always easy but if you don't try you'll never know. When I travel alone people stare and wonder why I'm eating on my own but I always remind myself that I don't owe anyone an explanation.

Of course do your research into the area you're thinking of travelling to, to make sure it's safe but don't spend your whole life researching. You will eventually have to put yourself out there and book the ticket!


As a social media content creator how do you deal with comparison?

I realise that people don't show their imperfections online. My life isn't as seamlessly curated as my feed, my difficult days aren't on the internet so I just try to enjoy my life for what it is.

Even with not being married, or having children in my early 30's - I've found peace with my journey. I realise now that everyone's story is different and comparison is not a healthy way to utilise social media.

Ultimately when you're looking at someone's feed, you have a choice as to whether you want to be envious or be happy for that person. Comparison is a choice that you make.

When you look back at yourself 10 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?

1) It's okay for people to have different opinions to you, be open-minded

2) Embrace your flaws

3) Don't be defeated and don't take no for an answer

4) Have a healthy lifestyle, take care of your body, be aware of what you consume and how you talk to yourself

5) Educate yourself on financial literacy and be smart with your money!

How do you balance your financial priorities with wanting material items?

This was something I really struggled with during my early 20's. My dad would tell me to invest and I just wanted to live my life but I think, I've become more financially mature as I've gotten older.

I remember when I bought my first Birkin and felt so guilty for spending that amount of money on a bag, but a friend reminded me that it was my reward for reaching a major milestone in my life.

I had to write down my goals and learn the difference between my needs and wants.

When you learn the importance of building wealth and delayed gratification, you're able to live the life of your dreams in your 30s and 40s because you've done the groundwork in your 20s.

You've spoken quite fondly of your upbringing and your parents. What are the biggest lessons that they've taught you?

Growing up I was always encouraged to live a life of purpose and I remember two important questions that my Dad would ask me:

What are you doing for the world? What do you give back to humanity?

I would also say my determination and drive comes from my Mum. It's given me the courage to decide what I want and go out and make it happen.

What does being "effortless" mean to you?

Being effortless is about doing the things that you want to do, with ease and grace all whilst being kind to yourself and being kind to others.

Take action!

We hope that you've enjoyed reading this interview and that you're feeling inspired. Please do share what being effortless means to you, in the comments below!

***This interview has been lightly edited for conciseness.

1 Comment

lovely! You are an inspiration.

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