“I found through studying the science behind successful management, I could offer a new perspective on what effective and successful leadership is.”
Sabrina was born in France, but after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics she moved to America and started various jobs in the business and finance world. In 2013 she started working at Holcracy, a management consultancy that was designing a new management practice. The idea focused upon self-management, meaning hierarchical titles like “manager” and “CEO” were no longer useful and were instead replaced with role descriptions.
The innovative method of organising a company proved successful and sparked Sabrina's curiosity, leading her back to a classroom.
Sabrina completed a certification in development psychology at the Harvard University. “Whilst there I enrolled in additional courses in psychology and neuroscience, which helped develop my views on the value of self-management in business and the limits of most approaches towards self-management adoptions. I was intrigued about the psychology and neuroscience behind resistance to change and the capacity to shift the individual perspective.”
After the course Sabrina pursued ways to make her knowledge profitable. It took her a year to clarify what she truly wanted to do with her business. Once she had found a practical application for her skills, Sabrina knew she wanted to move forward. Although Sabrina was excited about where she could take her personal expertise, she faced many challenges when starting out. She recalls: “Most of the administrative aspects were totally new to me. There was an enormous amount of red tape, legal and administrative challenges. In the end I chose to move back to France.”
This also presented challenges, forcing Sabrina to look for help, she was put in contact with Positive Planet France, Youth Business International member in France, in partnership with the Citi Foundation. This enabled her to get the assistance she needed to make her dreams a reality.
Positive Planet France supported Sabrina in numerous ways. They helped her overcome administrative issues and put her in touch with legal partners who supported her with the bureaucratic pressures she faced. They provided her with financial and administrative support, in order to help her gain the discipline needed when managing a business.
Staff at Positive Planet gave Sabrina a fresh perspective on her business ideas, providing valuable feedback or highlighting opportunities that she might not have considered. Finally they gave her the chance to network. “Having the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and discuss my ideas and experiences was an enormous boost. It gave me a lot of psychological support. It was kind of reassuring, just being aware that you are not alone and that there are others experiencing similar challenges. It can be the difference between going on or giving up.”
Despite the challenges, Sabrina finds her entrepreneurial success immensely rewarding. As a business owner, she gets the chance to fully explore her own creativity and abilities. “I love the freedom and the ability to create what I truly believe in.”
Given the nature of her business, this creative freedom is something she can pass on to her customers. She finds her biggest motivation is helping customers unlock their full potential. Sabrina tailors her skills-training to individuals, empowering them to see past their limiting beliefs, as well as supporting the development of their businesses.
As the founder of a company focused on supporting people as they broaden their horizons, Sabrina has some very interesting advice for young entrepreneurs.
“You need to have a dose of craziness. The most successful entrepreneurs are a little eccentric, relying upon unconventional thinking to discover opportunities or ideas that others might have missed. And remember no one can believe in it more than you.”
On the other hand, she advises that every entrepreneur needs to reach out for support and utilise the skills of others whenever possible. Sabrina’s success relied upon knowing when to trust herself and value her independence and when to draw strength from a network that allowed for cooperation, support and self-belief.
Positive Planet France is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.