Sarah and Jordan of The Business Bar
To introduce The Honest Boss, we're going to kick things off with a mini interview with... ourselves.
We'll answer a few of the questions that we're going to ask all of our featured bosses so you can get an idea of how this whole thing works!
We're Sarah Heyl and Jordan Brantley. Our main gig is over at The Business Bar, a creative agency. We spend our day-to-day collaborating with amazing business owners and helping them make their dreams a reality. It's super dreamy, but it doesn't come without some seriously hard sh*t. You're a business owner (or side hustler or some-day-soon business owner) so you get it! Doing what you love is not always easy. So let's talk about it! Let's learn from each others wins & mistakes, make connections with other entrepreneurs who understand, and remind each other why the hard days are still totally worth it.
Tell us your story, in a timeline!
10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago.
SH: 10 years ago I thought I was going to be a professional soccer player – the next Mia Hamm to be exact. Then I moved a couple places, transferred high schools (*the worst thing to ever happen to a teenage girl in the history of time* so I thought) and then realized it wasn't so bad. At the new high school, I found a passion for meeting new people + community, loved art and somehow knew I needed to make things. Cue mom: "Things all happen for a reason, Sarah."
5 years ago – College. Parties. Marketing. Publishing. Communities. Working 2 jobs while being a full time student. That's where the hustle began.
1 year ago –Investing in love, moving to a new city, going full-time freelance and diving into what has become my passion: working with creatives, bringing dreams to life & partnering with wonderful people.
JB: 10 years ago – Highschool, man. I took collage classes early so I could panic about the decision of what I would do for the rest of my life earlier. At this point, I would have laughed at anyone who called me creative. Then I took a drawing class because I needed a few more credits one semester and, when I finally realized I had found something I was actually pretty good at, my life was changed forever! (omg, cheeeesy.)
5 years ago – Art school, first year of marriage, freelancing, finding my groove in design and starting to connect with a creative community.
1 year ago – Cuddling my then 1-year-old baby girl, working with branding clients and planning a re-launch at The Business Bar, and feeling crazy for dreaming so big as I filled notebooks with thoughts for the future. One of these dreams was bringing in another team member who specialized in social + marketing. The day after I voiced this dream to a friend, Sarah emailed me for the first time. (*actual tears*)
Give us a play-by-play of a (work) day in your life.
SH: In a perfect world, I rise at 7am, walk the dog, go to yoga, make an acai bowl, work in my lovely office and take breaks every 20 minutes. In my world, half of that happens and I don't leave my office space til 4pm. The day also probably consists of client calls, slack convo's, Instagram planning (and hours of scrolling). I absolutely love having flexibility because sticking to a 'structure' doesn't always go as planned.
JB: 6:30/7 – Wake up (whenever my toddler, June, wakes up); COFFEE, two fried eggs + avocado; get June and I ready for the day; Grandma or Gigi comes to play with June and work begins for me!
9-5ish – Work looks different every day because running a business with a small team (and having fun passion projects like this!) means doing all the things. Tasks include: Slack convos with my team at The Business Bar, branding client meetings, design work/providing feedback, writing proposals, sending invoices, and emailemailemail.
5:30-10ish – Hang with my people, make dinner or meet friends out, get June in bed and crash on the couch with Chris and Netfix it up. (Currently on an Office kick.)
Tell us the real sh*t that goes on behind the scenes.
SH: I often forget to eat. Like 1 or 2 meals a day is a win for me. But I do remember to walk the dog and that usually gets me into some sunlight where I can appreciate my neighborhood and not excessively be checking my email for the next thing a client will be needing *ASAP.*
JB: The realest of the real, for me, is the doubt. "Am I good enough for this?", "Will people be into this at all?", "Am I charging way too much?", "Am I charging enough!?", "It is even worth it!?". (& I always decide it's so worth it.)
How many bevvys do you consume in a day?
also, what are they?
SH: coffee, water, la croix or perrier, and does a smoothie bowl count? note: these are all on my desk currently. ew.
JB: 2-3 cups of coffee, water, and sometimes.. okay usually cab sav to end the day.
What are the systems you use in your business
that keep you sane?
We picked our top 3 because there are so many. (Pssst.. a resource page is in the works.)
Any words of wisdom for other bosses?
SH: Not everyone will get what you do. Stop trying to justify it and don't let them diminish it. Although they might help you find clarity in your ways to explain your business, surround yourself with the ones who GET IT and you'll constantly be fueled to do better and be better.
JB: The world needs what you do! It's so easy to get down on yourself - especially when you're working towards a goal alone (even if you're alone in an all white office surrounded by plants). Remember why you started in the first place. Find a tribe who will support you and remind you that you've totally got this.