Meet Sarah Huntington, Director of HBR University
Tell us a little about your professional background, what work have you been doing the past few years?
For 17 years I served as a Marketing Executive in New York City at various financial services firms, living and working under stressful conditions. In 2016 I looked at my husband and said “I’m pretty sure the rest of the country doesn’t live like this and we don’t have to if we’re willing to make a change”. We decided to take a leap of faith in the direction of what we care most about and haven’t looked back. About a year of living a more balanced life with our son in Raleigh, NC, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although she initially beat it, her cancer returned and I again asked the tough question “Is this really what I want to be doing with my one wild and precious life?” I quit my marketing job to care for her. After she passed away, I took a look around and realized I had the time and space to build something I really desired as a profession, for the first time ever. In my heart I knew I had always wanted to be a coach, ever since I had gone to graduate school.
One day I heard Sarah Centrella on a podcast. I went out and bought her book, Hustle, Believe, Receive, and read it in a day. With it I created a new version of my life with me at the center, helping other women do the same. It has been an amazing experience being able to live my dream. And now I get to work with an amazing team to expand that dream to my former corporate setting, helping other people who feel, perhaps, like I felt years ago. If I’d had a program like this that enabled me to see a career path or find my purpose, surely I’d have been happier, more fulfilled, or found my way sooner. This is our goal. To guide people to their destination.
What attracted you to Sarah’s coaching or personal development in general?
Some of my strongest, earliest memories are of moments when I realized just how much impact humans and their behavior have on other humans. Like many 80’s latchkey kids, I can probably thank Ms. Oprah Winfrey for that. I distinctly remember watching an episode after school where the guest psychologist claimed that teenage boys wrestle because they crave physical touch but lack the language to ask for it. Five minutes later my brother took a break from homework and tackled me so I decided to put this theory to test. As I rubbed his arm, he stopped wrestling and sat quietly beside me on the floor! Since then I’ve read many personal development books and listened to plenty of speakers and podcasts but what caught my attention with Sarah is her focus on an intentional future state of being that we want to experience. Connection to the emotion is key. She was the first person I read that talked about this.
What benefits have you received from Sarah’s coaching, methods or your own personal development work?
Oh my gosh, too many to list! I think it is a monumental day in your life when you realize YOU are the one who is having the roughly 60,000 thoughts per day that rattle around in your head. And therefore, you can also be the one to CHANGE those thoughts, or at least the most problematic ones that no longer serve you. We do not have to be ruled by our mind. I often have to remind myself that there are people who don’t yet understand this concept. But once they get it, a whole world opens up where control over one's experience is suddenly possible, and that is exciting. Personal development builds from this foundational concept.
Something special about Sarah is that she is a ‘take no prisoners’ coach and mentor so she holds clients accountable. Part of making your life more fulfilling is taking action so unless you’re willing to put the work in, don’t expect big change. She has helped me push myself, when the task has felt overwhelming, to break it down into micro-actions.
How has your personal development work (reading books, listening to podcasts, practicing the #HBRMethod, mindset work, meditation etc), improved your work attitude or job performance?
One of the blocks around work that Sarah helped me get past was a pretty severe case of perfectionism. As a marketing executive for 18 years, nothing ever went out the door without multiple checks, tests and reviews. It took me a while to be ok, as an entrepreneur, with “just start” and you can iterate as you go. Sometimes good enough is good enough when it’s just you.
I’d also like to share that the HBR Method has helped many of my clients with their job performance. Very recently I had a client who had received a poor performance review and was struggling with motivation. I’m happy to report she is now her manager’s most trusted employee and feels a renewed sense of purpose, now that she sees a clear path and has direction in her life.
As a founding board member of Centrella Co, what excites you most about what the company is creating?
There has never been a greater need for what Centrella Co offers. Employees are feeling persistent overwhelm, burnout, and fatigue. Stress is high and motivation is low. Companies know they must do something to help their people define purpose and create a personal roadmap that feels fulfilling in ALL areas of their life, then enable them to make it a reality! We make it so easy for companies to do just that. They bring us in to facilitate the program and participants are given the tools to positively manage life, reduce stress, create a vision for change, set growth goals, and make actionable plans.
On a personal level, what is so exciting about this venture is that it feels very much like the culmination of all my life’s work and experiences-- early interest in human development, my master’s degree work which included some organizational behavior and counseling, years as a corporate marketer working on sales enablement and training materials, and now two years as a personal development coach seeing first-hand how this method helps people clarify their path and create more meaning in their lives!