Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cheryl Sutherland, Founder of PleaseNotes, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
PleaseNotes is a line of affirmation-filled goods created to help you increase your confidence so you can maximize your potential and attain the success you desire. Grounded in Personal Growth Principles, our themed guided journals, workshops, and personal growth tools help you reconnect with your personal power, value your gifts and fuel you so you can create clear goals and feel great as you achieve them. The line also includes positive reminders such as manifestation planners, guided journals, mirror decals, affirmation cards, water bottle labels, enamel pins, and sticky notes.
PleaseNotes has been featured in InStyle, Huffington Post, Forbes, Stationery Trends, Fox LA, Fast Company, Thrive Global, Brit + CO, Oh So Beautiful Paper, and more. Our best-selling product is our Guided Clarity Journal which supports customers in gaining the clarity they need to determine what is really important to them and how to visualize their best life. It includes the built-in "Journal Juice" workbook and is filled with affirmations and motivational or inspirational quotes on each page. Our customers are millennial women who are looking for clarity in their life, business, or career.
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Tell us about yourself
My family motto is "Sans Peur," and I truly embody acting without fear. I was born in Calgary, Canada, and my adventurous spirit has allowed me to travel and experience life all over the world. It was when I discovered personal growth work that my life took a huge shift. After my move to California, I experienced something that many people feel, knowing that there is something more and having trouble discovering it. Taking a risk, I left my job and focused completely on building my self-confidence and nurturing my inner gifts through journaling, reading, and working with affirmations. It was then I re-discovered my passion was to uplift and support others in seeing and knowing the very best in themselves. I started my personal growth company, PleaseNotes, fueled with excitement and a drive I didn't know was possible.
I am a graduate and active participant in personal growth and leadership programs created by organizations such as PSI Seminars, the University of Santa Monica, Burklyn Global, and Motivating the Masses. My company, PleaseNotes, and I have been featured in publications such as InStyle, Huffington Post, Forbes, Fast Company, and I am a current contributor to Thrive Global.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment has been seeing the impact the products have made on the lives of others. I have received some really great feedback, and it is in alignment with the goal I had when I created PleaseNotes, so it makes me really happy to see that the company and products are positively impacting the world.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think it's figuring out where to allocate time and resources. There's 1 million different ways to be successful, and you have to figure out how to do it for you. There's also way too much testing you have to do, and there's a certain amount of patients you have to have with everything. Reminding myself to be patient, trust the process, and see things a little bit more like play has been really supportive for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a need and understand the pain points of the people that you are going to be serving.
- Design a business that is scalable from the start. If you build a business that caps based on how much you personally can put in every day, there's no way you can successfully exit the business or grow the business long-term.
- Ask for help and tap into as many resources as possible. Depending on where you live, there's going to be an SBA available, incubators, and grants. Try to tap into other people and their networks to accelerate your growth, and lean into using grants as a form of funding the business versus using your own savings or credit.
Where can people find you and your business?