Feature Friday is back, and today, I am excited to introduce you to Sabrina Garba. This is an inspiring story about how she made the decision to leave an unfulfilling work environment, relying on her talents, and creating a very successful business of her own. Six months after quitting her job, she created Glass Ladder Group, and well, just look at her! To find out more about her story, click below.
1.What prompted the launch of Glass Ladder Group?
After working in communication and intercultural relations for a few years I reached a point where I was finally doing the work I loved to do. I was the Acting Director for one of the oldest intercultural training institutes in world at a very young age and I believed that I was making a true impact every day. Unfortunately my work environment was miserable. Each week I put in way more work than my fair share and each week I was told that my 13-hour workdays did not matter. My life’s work was not important. It was said to be a waste of the institutions resources. For me this was devastating.
At the same, I realized that while I loved the work that I was doing, it was retroactive. The field was stuck in the past and only targeted those who were already encountering challenges. I knew that the key to true mutual understanding across cultures was teaching future generations how to work together. With that in mind, I decided to do something different and focus on developing fun and interesting content to educate and train millennials on how to succeed in today and tomorrow’s multicultural society.
2.Tell me about the process of developing your organization?
I decided that I would take the big leap and within six months I created the Glass Ladder Group. Since I had already run an organization that was similar to what I wanted to do I had a clear understanding of the day-to-day operations that I needed to account for. Other than that I had no idea what I was doing. So, I just started planning. I researched and wrote everything down. I created a business canvas, budget models, cost structures and anything else you might need to operationalize your business. I talked to everyone who would give me a moment of their time to learn about the experience of an entrepreneur and next steps to take.
Eventually, my mentors had no next-step suggestions. That’s when I realized that I’d been so busy planning that I’d already passed the time for me to start actually doing. From that point, I began developing content and booking speaking engagements. It was beginning to all feel real. But I still didn’t have any big clients. I was less than three weeks from leaving my job, I had ZERO big clients and my company wasn’t even official. So you know what I did? I kept doing. I did any and everything that I saw as scary or unlikely. I picked up the phone and called the big names that I’d worked with in the past and told them that I was going out on my own to take the intercultural field into the future. You know they said to me? “Great! We love your work and are excited to work with you. Wait… do you have an LLC.” Immediately I scrambled to get my LLC, thus birthing the Glass Ladder Group and my motto, “we can plan to succeed, but we only succeed by doing.”
And that was the beginning of the most exhilarating experience of my life thus far.
3.Nowadays, it seems like everyone has an organization that claims it can help you-what makes your org. different?
Glass Ladder Group is in a league of it’s own in a way. We don’t do what is very common and popular right now like branding or life coaching. We are a very niche organization that only works with people and organizations that want to expand their understanding of culture and their worldview so that they can overcome societal barriers. In today’s global world it is imperative that we learn to communicate effectively and respectfully across culture so that we can succeed both personally and professionally. Glass Ladder Group prepares all our training participants and clients by increasing their awareness of very nuanced cultural norms. This gives them a competitive edge that quite frankly can’t be found in too many other places.
4.What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best advice I ever received was to keep moving and keep doing. We often find ourselves clouded in anxiety after we have created a big plan in our lives. We plan and plan, then we plan so more, but we don’t take action. Eventually all the planning feels like a far off dream that we aren’t sure we can accomplish. Instead, I implore all aspiring entrepreneurs or anyone who has a goal at all to put done their pen and journal (for just a moment), close their laptop and get out there. DO. Actually start doing the things you want to see come to fruition.
5.What’s been what you consider your biggest accomplishment thus far?
In less than a year I was able to gross more than six figures and help hundreds of people with the Glass Ladder Group. But quite honestly, that was not my biggest accomplishment thus far. My biggest accomplishment was getting up from under myself and all my fears and doubts. The moment that I realized that my measurable success wasn’t some fairytale thing I should by in awe of or surprised by was the moment that my life changed as a whole. It was that moment that I realized that my ability to accomplish great things had no boundaries. That’s when I joined the “big girls table.”
6.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Jeez, what a question?! This question is so hard that there are Youtube videos about how to answer it! My most honest response is, I don’t know exactly. As a perpetually over active planner I am working to “be present” and not drop down the rabbit hole of time. The future is a scary unknown abyss. With that said, what I do know, is that I still see myself at the helm of Glass Ladder Group. I see myself continuing to increase my impact on the millennial and future generations’ understanding of culture. I envision myself as more vocal commentator on issues of multiculturalism and globalization, leading to the NAACP Image Award I have my eye on. And of course I see myself increasing the scope and profitability of work done by Glass Ladder Group. But overall, I see myself as truly happy.
Is she a Boss Chic, or WHAT? For more info on the Glass Ladder Group, click here.