How I Get Sh*t Done: Sarah Laird
Back in high school, Sarah Laird created what she called her ‘Thanks Journal,’ to help her practice gratitude and to train her brain to think more positively. She wrote in it every night before bed, being thankful for what she had in the present, expressing gratitude and affirming who she wanted to become as if she was already there. Fast forward to 2017, this idea lead her to create her own business called ‘Thanks House.’ Here she creates products, such as ‘Thanks Journal,’ and content that would bring some soul into modern life. Sarah also shares tips and tricks of the e-commerce world on her YouTube channel! Healthy is Hot caught up with Sarah to chat everything from her upcoming ‘Thanks House’ projects, to her go-to binge-watching show when she wants to unwind!
Why did you create 'Thanks House?'
Being the product of entrepreneur parents, I had been interested in entrepreneurship my entire life. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University I felt it was the perfect time in my life to take a little risk and try something on my own.
A gratitude practice was something my dad instilled in me during my early teenage years and that was when I started developing a deep interest in both positive psychology and self-improvement. I made my first homemade version of Thanks Journal when I was in high school to set myself up with a gratitude routine that I could practically implement into my everyday life.
After using my homemade Thanks Journal for years and seeing the positive impact it had on my life, I thought Thanks Journal would be the perfect product for me to share with the world. In short – I created Thanks House so that I could create products and content that would bring some soul into everyday life. I’ve been quoted before saying, “I like Buddha, but I also like Beyoncé”.
What other projects are you working on for 'Thanks House'?
Up next for Thanks House is some Thanks House merchandise and some honest content. I want to share everything I learned while creating Thanks House from scratch. Some of the topics I will be speaking on include business lessons I didn’t learn in business school like how to automate fulfillment in Canada - to more personal lessons like how to move past the fear of failure and how to consciously create a positive mindset.
What are some of your favourite ways to cultivate positivity in your everyday life?
In addition to writing in my Thanks Journal, I try to meditate for 10-15 minutes each day. I am not perfect with this but I am being more and more intentional about making it happen. There are so many meditation styles and apps, I practice TM.
I also love a sweaty workout, deep “soul chats” as I call them with friends and family, and daydreaming about what’s to come and where I want my life to go.
It's your average day, what's your morning routine look like?
Currently, I work for Google and have Thanks House as a side hustle so Monday – Friday I am up at 6 am to get ready for work. A typical morning:
6 am – First alarm
6:10 – The real alarm and time to do Thanks Journal/browse on my phone (love looking at funny Instagram accounts for a few minutes – why not start the day with a little LOL)
6:30 – Make a tea or coffee while I do my skincare routine
6:40 – Spend a few minutes on my balcony with my hot drink - I find some natural light and fresh air helps wake me up first thing.
6:50-7:30- Hair, Makeup.
7:30-8:00 – Get dressed, pack purse, have a mini dance party (I always play music or listen to a podcast/interview while getting ready – when in doubt Beyoncé is always a good choice)
8:00 – Walk to work. I always listen to music, a podcast (my favourite is how I built this), or audiobook on my way there.
8:30 – Have breakfast at work and then get to work!
What's your favourite way to get your sweat on?
Lately I’ve been getting into running, cardio just feels so good! Equinox has a great class called precision running that has challenged me physically and mentally. Basically it has kicked my butt in the best way!
How do you stay scheduled on the busiest of days?
Prioritization – staying on schedule to me doesn’t always mean keeping a perfect schedule but more getting the most important things done. I don’t expect everyday to be perfectly balanced or to go exactly or even close to as planned so when something unexpected comes up I find it helpful to remind myself to be kind to myself. Being busy all the time is not a badge of honour. It’s important to know when to work hard, when to pull back, and to look for ways to work smarter so that you get the most out of your effort!
How do you like to unwind?
A glass of red wine with either a good friend or an episode of Greys Anatomy.
What's your bedtime routine like?
I like to shower at night, I feel like it somehow washes away the day and creates a nice transition from being “on” to winding down. I usually get in bed and read an e-book on my phone until I get sleepy and sometimes I like to watch a quick episode of something light like Friends on Netflix. As I’m drifting off, I like to think of 3 things that went really well or made me happy that day.
Do you have a favourite mantra you say out loud every day?
I do believe in affirmations and speaking things into existence by saying them out or writing it down. This is a component of Thanks Journal that I believe is instrumental when it comes to setting and achieving goals. It’s like priming your mind for the things you want and enforcing the belief that it is possible.
You’re a young entrepreneur starting out, what advice would you give to those looking to be their own boss?
The hardest part about starting my own business has been letting go of what others may think about me, my product, or my business idea. The advice I would give is the advice I took from an interview Sara Blakely (the creator of Spanx) did on the podcast “How I Built This”. Sara explained that she kept Spanx a secret until she was essentially ready to launch and was too invested to turn back. The reasoning for this is that it is so easy to let other peoples opinions (well-meaning or otherwise) talk you out of a great idea. I kept Thanks House to myself and looking back I think I may not have gotten to this point if I had shared my idea earlier on. So, believe in yourself, don’t let the fear of being judged get in your way, and keep your idea to yourself until its ready to roll!
What does Healthy is Hot mean to you?
To me, Healthy is Hot is a movement to encourage everyone that will listen to live their most full life. It means putting in the effort to have a healthy body, healthy mind, and to thrive in our professional and our personal lives. It’s being intentional about the life we want to create for ourselves and putting the petal to the metal to make it happen.
Ready for a quick Q&A, Sarah?
What do you prefer..
Zumba or boxing?
Skincare or makeup?
Coffee or tea?
Your favourite quote?
“The best is yet to come”
Your go-to on the go snack?
Fill in the blank
I'm happiest when..
I’m with the people I love having inspiring life-giving conversations about what’s to come.
I feel myself the most when I with...
The people that get my soul; My dad, my friends, my family.