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Meet Sarah Anne Dordel of Conscious Business Consulting & The Conscious Business Chamber of Commerce

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Anne Dordel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Sarah Anne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always been a big dreamer, and because I am naturally curious and a little restless, I have travelled and lived in many different places. I also explored many different industries in my career and have experienced all facets of business development while guided by a deep commitment to always follow my intuition and turn my heart’s dreaming into a reality.

I’m a process girl, so while I’m highly intuitive, I also love systems and am very logical. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so salt-of-the-earth sensibilities a strong work ethic and were ingrained in my DNA early on, and I graduated from UW-Madison with a double major in Education & Spanish.

After graduation, I worked and played in South America for a year before making my way to New York City, where I lived for the next ten and very formative years of my career, and where I discovered that I also loved the process of dream-weaving in business.. As it turned out, I was quite adept in the areas of logistics, operations, and project management and I loved to execute on the visions of those who hired me.

My first job in NYC was on the startup team for Bluefly.com. I was one of eight original employees who helped to transition a $10 million golf apparel wholesaler into one of the very first online fashion retail stores. Bluefly is still a growing company, and I am very grateful for everything that I learned there, most importantly the value of a positive and supportive work culture.

When I started at Bluefly, it was 1998 and the internet was just about to explode. I was only 22, and I advanced quickly over the next three years there because I basically did and learned anything that was needed; I plugged numbers into spreadsheets, used my Spanish to manage staff in our warehouses, learned photography and graphic design to assist our marketing team, and eventually became manager of our in‐house, digital photography studio.

I celebrated three years of around-the-clock work with a three month summer hiatus in Barcelona. I returned to New York City in the fall of 2001, and one week later, September 11th happened.

That day in New York City changed everything for me, and I decided to do something more service‐oriented in my career. I traded a good salary in the fashion district to develop and direct an education program for immigrants at a non-profit organization in Washington Heights, infamously known at the time as the murder capital of NYC. To this day I am still very proud of the program that I developed there, but it was at this non-profit where I had my first disappointing wake-up call about the world of work. I found out that although I had made the switch to a philanthropic work environment, the women in my office were cruel and engaged in acts of catty competition and sabotage. I would encounter this unconscious behavior this many more times throughout my career and within a wide variety of industries and geographical areas. I came to learn that a woman like me, one who is passionate about creating positive change, would oftentimes be resented, if not harassed, by her female colleagues, especially if she is in management. I also found that if this same woman is attractive, the resentment will be more extreme, and she would also experience a different type of harassment from the men in her world of work.

These negative experiences, although I didn’t realize it at the time, caused me to feel quite inadequate and disconnected from others despite my high-level performance in business.

Fast forward to 2014… I was at the top of my career and living the dream in coastal north county San Diego, where I had always wanted to settle down. But instead of settling down, I had become a full-blown workaholic and had spent the last two years launching and building a very leading-edge and profitable aesthetic medical practice. My employer also happened to be one of my best friends, and the women who I had trained and nurtured at my company were like sisters to me.

But in early 2014 I began to know intuitively that something was wrong at work.

In May of that year, my worst nightmare became a reality. One day, while I was out sick with strep throat, I was terminated without warning, and in a very hostile way. In short, it was a very ugly experience, and I was devastated for a long time, but I am grateful for what happened because it ignited my passion to create a world of work in which leaders are applauded by their ethics and heart. This experience was the push that I needed to launch my own conscious consulting company.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been far from smooth! But like I always say, “only YOU can teach that which you have gone through in your life”. And I certainly have a lot to teach.

When I launched my company in 2014, I was determined to find my redemption and that success and abundance would come quickly. After all, it had always been easy for me to create fast wealth and success for others, so why not me?

I was more than confident that making money would be easy, but I was also aware of my desire to be in community with other professionals who would support me and my new company. I was a natural organizer, so I felt guided to create my own powerful community of like-minded entrepreneurs, and this seemed like an effortless way for me to find the support I desired while positioning myself as a leader. I had become quite skilled over the years at building businesses through event-based marketing, so I set my eye on mastering Meetup.com. Within a year I had launched and was leading a Meetup community of 2000 + members, the Conscious Business Network of San Diego.

I was confident that I would launch my business with ease and get rich quick. I desperately wanted to create a network that would support me and my business, and I knew that organizing a powerful community of like-minded entrepreneurs would be an effortless way for me to find the support I needed while positioning myself as a leader. I had become quite skilled over the years at building businesses through event-based marketing, and I set my eye on mastering Meetup.com. Within a year I had launched and was leading a Meetup community of 2000 + members, the Conscious Business Network of San Diego.

What I failed to realize was that I was building my network for all of the wrong reasons. I was looking for validation through numbers because I didn’t know how to promote myself. I had always been someone else’s cheerleader. I had always been someone else’s ambassador… I had always offered my shoulder for someone else to cry on. I had always been skillful with high-ticket sales, but I was struggling, like really struggling, to find the motivation to sell any of my own services. And I fell back into the trap of over-working and giving away my time, and I buried myself financially.

I also discovered that I had a debilitating fear of public speaking. but only when the focus was on me. I had always been the person of support in the audience rather than on the stage, or behind the camera and not in front of it. In fact, I found that I was actually physically unable to speak about myself. I would start shaking, lose my voice, and feel faint. So now I was spending all of my time leading a huge group, and supporting others who I allowed to take advantage of me, but I was unable to provide for myself.

My greatest challenge during the last few years has been to discover that there are just as many narcissistic and cruel people in the spiritual, holistic, and conscious business communities as anywhere else. Once I found the courage to create healthy boundaries with friends and colleagues, I also found myself abandoned many people who I thought I could rely on just as much as they relied on me. But once I understood how empathic I was and realized that my own codependent behavior was even more dysfunctional than that of the people who used me, I found incredible strength.

Today, I choose to turn the volume up on my truth, support others in doing the same. Through the Conscious Business Chamber, I intend to foster a space where all heart-centered leaders choose collaboration over competition and where they feel safe to be imperfect. I intend to foster a space where members can share, authentically, the wisdom that they have gained through their most unimpressive moments, knowing that they will not be abandoned.

Sarah Anne Dordel – Conscious Business Consulting & the Conscious Business Chamber of Commerce – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
On a more personal note, I have to say that I am very proud of my new podcast, “Redefining the Good Businessman”. The podcast will be launched on iTunes soon and is my platform for interviewing men in the conscious business community about the challenges of being a good man in the age of Trump and sex scandal crisis. I am hopeful that these conversations will lead to solutions that ultimately create a better world of work… one in which men honor, respect, and protect their female colleagues, and where women feel safe, valued as equals, and inspired to support their male colleagues from a place of mutual understanding and appreciation.

I’m also very proud of all of the positive impact provided through Conscious Business Chamber of Commerce since its launch just four months ago. Our mission is to empower good people doing good things, and I point this out because there is nothing really unique about the mission of the Conscious Business Chamber. Many thought leaders both locally and globally have been advocating for and spearheading conscious business initiatives for a long time. What sets the Conscious Business Chamber apart is that we are focused on DOING good things, meaning executing and taking action steps that provide assistance for our members today. We are not trying to do or say anything new, rather we are committed to being more impactful in what we do or say through innovative technology and through collaboration with those who are already supporting conscious business.

In my consulting work, I do believe that I provide unique value because I help my clients heal their businesses while healing themselves in the process. And I walk my talk. In addition, when my clients hire me they become very visible, as I am a professional promoter, and they also get instant community and support through the Conscious Business Chamber of Commerce.

In my consulting work, I do believe that I provide unique value because I help my clients heal their businesses while healing themselves in the process. And I walk my talk. In addition, when my clients hire me they become very visible, as I am a professional promoter, and they also get instant community and support through the Conscious Business Chamber of Commerce. I am creating everything that I needed but could not find during my challenging years as a new entrepreneur.

I recently received a lovely testimonial that I believe conveys the support that I hope to provide:

““I can’t speak enough to the hard work, dedication, and integrity that Sarah Anne Dordel pours into her speaking events and networking events in general. As the result of an event I attended a few months ago with her, my life shifted directions at such a fundamental level that I now have a different experience of what it means to be alive. I am not exaggerating. ATTEND HER EVENTS! “- Dave Kehnast, professional life coach

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To be honest, I don’t focus on the outward markers. Success is an internal experience, and what makes us feel happy or fulfilled can change from day to day. But I know with certainty that I have successfully transformed my clients when they can authentically and confidently articulate their signature soul gift, that one thing that they can do that no one else on the planet can do. It’s impossible not to succeed when one has this inner knowing.

For me personally, I become more and more successful as I learn to fully embrace what would normally be considered my most “unsuccessful” moments in life. One of the best talks I ever presented was called: “Make Every Wrong Your Every Right…..why shame, fear, and addiction can make you an unstoppable entrepreneur.” And the teaching points presented in this talk are what continue to ignite my passion for life and for my career every day.

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