Interview with Sarah from Caffeine and Conquer

I recently spoke Sarah Fournier, a blogger in the personal development space. Sarah runs her blog Caffeine and Conquer.

Sarah is a Pinterest Manager and a content creator. On her blog she shares her experience leaving the 9-5 lifestyle and starting her own business online to empower other women interested in pursuing similar passions.

She is a mom of two senior cats named Serious Trouble and Spookie. 

The interview:

Maxim: Tell us about your blog. What made you start writing about Self Improvement?

Sarah:

Caffeine and Conquer started out as a self-improvement blog in February 2018 and has since branched out into self-improvement and online entrepreneurship.

In late 2017, early 2018, I was dealing with a lot of health and life issues. I was diagnosed with a football-sized cyst on my ovary, had very invasive surgery to remove it, and my anxiety/panic symptoms were higher than they had been in years. This all led to me leaving my job to focus on myself and my mental health. I ended up on social assistance to get by and decided to launch a blog to keep myself busy since I wasn’t working anymore.

Writing about self-improvement felt natural at the time considering the position I was in and the things I was trying to work on for myself, my health and well-being.

It became clear to me really quickly that writing and having a creative outlet was beneficial to me and I wanted to share that with other people. I began writing about what I was learning through my own research and life experience in the hopes of helping others and connecting with people dealing with the same issues.

By focusing my writing on self-improvement I also felt more accountable and that I was actively working towards living my best life.

Maxim: Tell us about your personal journey in self improvement. Give us some examples of how you improve yourself regularly.

Sarah:

I large part of my personal journey in self improvement has been figuring out what I’m truly passionate about, blocking out the fears from other people that might otherwise influence my decisions, and moving forward with intention.

There are several ways I improve myself regularly, including:

  • Having a reading routine and goals so I’m constantly learning and nurturing my creativity. In fact, each year I’ve been able to read more and more, increasing my goal every January.
  • Learning the word “no” and managing my time efficiently, prioritizing my goals and values. It’s important that I set boundaries in my life or the things that are important to me would take second stage to everyone else’s priorities.
  • Being self-aware and finding different ways I can make improvements in my daily routine. I like to reflect a lot, which might be the introvert in me, but it’s helpful to identify where you’re able to make changes to move closer to living your best life.
  • Taking calculated risks that lead to big rewards. If I had listened to everybody when I decided to quit my job and launch a blog, I would not be where I am today. My journey into self-improvement and blogging about it has led to me growing an online presence, launching my own services as a Pinterest Manager and earning a 4-figure income in less than 2 years.

Maxim: Among all the articles you have written, which one is your favorite? Why?

Sarah:

My favourite article is my self-discovery journey “How My Poor Mental Health Led Me To Make The Best Career Change In My 30 Year Life“. I have always been an open book about my mental health and love that people are resonated with it and reaching out to me.

Maxim: Self improvement has various aspects. However, if you had to give only one single piece of advice to your readers, what would it be?

Sarah:

Always put yourself first! We’re only here for a short period of time, so set some boundaries and focus on what’s valuable to you.

Maxim: What advice would you give to a young person just starting his/her journey of self improvement?

Sarah:

Self improvement can lead you to think you have to be perfect. That’s not the case. Rather than “fixing” yourself, or trying to change a dozen bad habits at once, have compassion towards yourself and make smaller changes. Over time small changes lead to big results!

Maxim: If you had a time machine that sent you 10 years back in time, what self improvement advice would you give yourself?

Sarah:

Good question! This is a hard one because I don’t really regret anything and see every failure as a step closer to success.

However, if I were to give past Sarah self improvement advice I would tell her to stop trying to do everything perfectly. I now know perfectionism can hold you back from success AND cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. I held myself back because I needed to finish everything to my standards.

Maxim: How has your blogging and writing influenced and transformed you? Do you think you have changed as a person since you started blogging?

Sarah:

I’ve been blogging since February 2018. Since then I find I’m more inspired by what I see online, what other influencers in the self-improvement niche are doing, and like to explore those topics myself. I’ve also become a self-help book junkie during this time. While I don’t take the advice of all authors, there are some I’ve found really resonate with me.

Maxim: What makes you happiest as a blogger?

Sarah:

Honestly, it’s having this creative outlet to share with others and explore topics with. It’s a great space for reflection, which might also be compared to a journal, but in the blogging world, it’s written in a way that can be absorbed by others and less of personal writing.

Maxim: Who are the other self improvement bloggers that you’re a fan of?

Sarah:

I tend to spend my time watching self improvement YouTubers rather than reading blogs. Some of my favorites are Amy Landino, MuchellB, Rachel Aust, Erin May Henry, Samantha Hearne, Liezl Jane Strydom, The Financial Diet, and Matt D’Avella!

Maxim: Where can the readers contact you?

Sarah: People can reach me on my email at sarah.fournier@caffeineandconquer.com

Maxim: Thanks a lot Sarah. It was wonderful knowing your thoughts. All the best on your future as a blogger.

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