At Business Building Women we are all about empowerment. Our desire is to help women realize that the only limits they have, are the ones they place on themselves. When we come across a business that embodies those ideas to the fullest, we have to let everyone know. Girl Boss Sports is everything we love seeing in a business and more!
Sarah Wolfer began Girl Boss Sports as a way to support and encourage female coaches and athletes. She has done that and so much more! Her dedication to the women she leads is absolutely inspiring. The difference she is making in each of their lives spreads far behind athletics.
Today Sarah is taking the time to share her incredible journey with us all. You can find out more about Girl Boss Sports on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in California and raised in Newberg, Oregon where I lived until moving to Miami, FL for college at 18. I got my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work at Barry University where I also met my now-husband (Adriel) during a ping-pong match my freshman year of college – he was really good! In 2015, we decided we wanted to live elsewhere and moved to Seattle, WA where we live to this day.
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) here in WA – and this has been my primary career focus up until this point in my life. Adjacent to my social work career, I have also had a side-hustle for the last 15 years, where I moonlight as a soccer coach. I have coached all ages (2-22+), both boys and girls, from beginner skill levels up to the collegiate level. I have found tremendous joy in coaching primarily female athletes, not only on their soccer skill development, but also on their confidence, communication, and leadership abilities. My favorite moments involve helping the next generation of female athletes find success not only in their sports, but more importantly in their lives. That is why I founded Girl Boss Sports.
In addition to running a company, I am also a professional tackle football player with the Seattle Majestics. We are part of the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) and I love that I have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many badass athletes and that I have found a truly remarkable support system with these women.
How did you get into your business?
I founded my company in 2018 as a way of combining many of my favorite passions into one project – otherwise known as Girl Boss Sports. These passions include women supporting women, leadership, confidence and of course – sports! I have always loved sports and have realized the huge impact that it played in my life, as well as my personal and professional development. Equally important though, in the founding of this company, were many life experiences that built one on top of the other to help me recognize the need that there is for a company such as this.
Some of these experiences included the time I was screamed at by a male soccer coach from 2 inches away. I can still recall the many expletives aimed in my direction and the spittle that hit me straight in the face. There were also the many times I was the ONLY female soccer coach in an entire club or region (this happened way more often then you might think). Outside of the sports world and back in the workplace I experienced several other situations over the course of my career including sexual harassment, securing equal pay to two men after a 4 month battle and being labeled as “too assertive” in the aftermath. These experiences as well as many others lit a fire in me to create a company that is devoted to female athletes and coaches. One that sees the staff as humans first and employees second.
I am devoted to ensuring that Girl Boss Sports is a safe and happy place to work for the coaches and that we are providing quality customer service, sport-specific skill development and focus on helping our athletes become the best they can be in sports AND in life. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn by searching for Girl Boss Sports.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was initially starting Girl Boss Sports while still working a full-time job and trying to find the time to get everything done as a “solopreneur”. I am now focusing full-time on Girl Boss Sports (and of course playing football) and that has allowed me freedom to create a firm foundation as we have taken on additional staff and begun to scale up. To deal with the time-management challenges early on, I lived by my calendar and had to keep my life very structured. I still schedule everything, but there is less pressure at every given moment.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
I wish I had given myself permission to leave my full-time position much earlier than I did. Though I learned a tremendous amount about myself during that time-period, I knew I was ready to move on for a significant amount of time. My loyalty to my prior company as well as my own self-limiting beliefs held me back from diving head first earlier. There is a part of me that wishes I had listened to my intuition about where the company was headed.
On the flip side of that though were the key knowledge that I gained through these experiences; such as the real power that exists in using our voices to drive social change and the confidence that I gained in standing up for myself and other women at said company. Who knows though, maybe without those experiences I wouldn’t be where I am at today – leading a company that is devoted to all my favorite things and surrounded by powerful and ambitious women who are ready to change the world of women in sports.
If you could narrow your success down to one thing, what would it be?
I have learned that doing hard things is not simply about being “fearless” as I once had thought. Instead, I have learned that it is perfectly normal to be scared about doing hard things. Whether that is starting a company, asking for a teammate to pass you the ball, or asking for a raise at work. What is important in these situations is recognizing our feelings in the moment, being curious about why we are feeling that way and then actively choosing to step into the challenge anyways.
As Nelson Mandala stated, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave (wo)man is not (s)he who does not feel afraid, but (s)he who conquers that fear.” Whenever I am facing down a fear I have a routine that helps me overcome it – this includes blasting my “feminist playlist” (includes artists like Beyonce, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Ciara, etc), doing a power pose (think Fearless Girl statue if you are unsure what this is) and using positive self-talk to get my mindset right to step fully into the challenge with everything I have.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
I am all about setting and tackling huge goals (pun intended) – and focusing intensely on a few at a time. My current major goals involve setting a firm foundation for the Girl Boss Sports clients and coaches, and creating excellent content for the purpose of providing quality soccer lessons that focus on all-around development (in sports and in life) for our athletes. My second major goal is to become the best professional tackle football player that I can be. This involves working out daily, studying our playbooks, and watching training videos on all things football. I am a complete newbie at the sport of football but I am all about taking new challenges head (helmet?) on!
Over the next year, I see Girl Boss Sports expanding geographically (as we currently have coaches from Seattle to Kitsap County) and into other sports. I am reviewing several expansion options currently but those are goals for later in 2019. I am also working on a book centered around women in leadership and in sports. So you can be on the lookout for that near the end of 2019/ early 2020. I also hope to look back on my rookie season with the Seattle Majestics and be able to say that we were successful. Ideally this means us winning the championship in June, but beyond the wins and losses, to me it also means being part of a team culture that is positive, one where we constantly build each other up, and one where we push our limits to become the best women’s football program in the US.
What are your top three tips for women going into business for themselves?
- Just do it! If it is something you have been thinking about for a while now and your intuition has been telling you it’s time, then go for it! I waited too long to fully stand in my power and I would love to see all you other women step into your life with intention and start those businesses that you’ve been dreaming about. All it takes is one step at a time and eventually you’ll get to where you want to go.
- Structure your time! – The Pareto Principle says that 80% of our output comes from 20% of our input. This means that we make 80% of our profits from 20% of the tasks that we do, however too many of us (I’ve been there too), aren’t focusing our time on what truly matters. Find what parts of your business have the greatest impact and focus the majority of your time there. This does not mean to ignore the other parts of your business, as those will still need to get done; but don’t get caught up in only ever taking care of the “crisis of the week.”
- Multi-tasking DOES NOT WORK! There is a ton of research around this, but I have found it to be incredibly true in my own journey as well. If we are constantly switching our attention to the latest email, notification, or other distraction, then we won’t accomplish what we really need to. “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, and “The 1 Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan are excellent resources to learn how to get the most out of your time.
What is a typical day like for you?
For me, my day actually begins the night before as my nighttime routine sets the following day up for success. Every night, I ensure that my coffee timer is ready to go for the following day and that my workout clothes are ready. I am an early riser so I tend to wake up around 5 or 6am and start my day with a cup of coffee while I get myself ready to head to the gym. With my focus on getting my body ready for football as a wide receiver – my workouts alternate between weight training, sprints, and long-slow recovery runs.
After my morning workout, I sit down for breakfast and another cup of coffee while I review my main priorities for the day of work. I then spend a few hours on Girl Boss Sports before taking a lunch break. During this break I typically review the Majestics playbook and watch videos on YouTube of Football 101. This prepares my mindset for the season (first game is in April!). After lunch, I then work on Girl Boss Sports for several more hours until it is dinner time. When my husband, Adriel, returns from work we usually have dinner together. We chat about our days, watch some television, play in a soccer game, or take care of our two dogs – Ace and Roxy.
What is your business motto or quote you live by?
I LOVE surrounding myself with inspirational quotes and my Instagram and Pinterest accounts are full of them. One of my favorites though, comes from Teddy Roosevelt
If you were starting your business over again, what would you do differently?
Learn as much as you can before and during the launch of your business. Early on, I started to slip into the mindset that I needed to always be doing something and that learning wasn’t movement toward my goals. I have since remembered that continuous learning is actually key to my success. I regularly devote time to my own personal and professional development (books, podcasts, blogs, Facebook groups etc). The second thing I would recommend is surrounding yourself with a positive support system. As the saying goes “You become like the five people you spend the most time with.” Ask yourself if you want to be like those you’re currently spending time with. If the answer is no, then it sounds like it’s time to branch out and expand your social and professional circles.