Sarah Willingham Talks to ALL by MAMA | All By Mama
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Sarah Willingham Talks to ALL by MAMA

Sarah Willingham Talks to the ALL by MAMA Network

This week in the ALL by MAMA Network, we have a very special interview from the incredible Sarah Willingham. Sarah is best known for her management in high street restaurants such as Planet Hollywood and Pizza Express and as an investor in growing businesses on the BBC's Dragons Den.

I (Gemma) was lucky enough to meet Sarah around a year ago. It came about after I saw via Instagram that Sarah had embarked on a year of travel with her husband and two children (also wow!) I sent her a beautiful Louisa Elizabeth map, so the family could pin the places they had visited. After a little while, Sarah sent me an email to say thank you. It was honestly so overwhelmed. I did something that felt quite scary and asked if she would consider meeting for a drink and to my amazement she said yes.

Sarah has been so supportive every since and I am incredibly grateful to her for taking the time to answer our questions. Hope you enjoy the interview!

Tell us about you… 

Ha! How long have got?!  I can go.. on as you know!  I’m from Stoke, a mum of 4 kids (Minnie 13, Monti 12, nelly 10 and MArly 8) and married to a great bloke – Michael or The Dane to everyone who knows us (yes he’s Danish).  We have been travelling all over for the last 3 years and just moved back to the UK and settled in Brighton.

What’s your proudest moment in business?  

It has to be the day I got the keys to The Bombay Bicycle Club,

How do you deal with the hard moments in business? a lot better than I used to! I learn and move on. It’s only if others are hurting that I struggle now.

What are your two top business tips? 

1.  There’s always a way.  My moto in life and it’s never let me down.  When everyone else is going right then go left. Find another route, a quicker easy route and HUSTLE. 

2.  Love it or don’t do it.  Honestly I know it’s a cliche but life’s too short to waste all those hours, days, years of your life doing something you don’t enjoy

How do you define success?  Freedom and happiness

How do you manage work alongside family life? With great difficulty.  To be honest it’s the hardest thing I have to do in my life.  I’ve learnt the hard way and got it wrong many times. But now I say NO ruthlessly. I never try to do something important for work whilst being a mum – I separate them completely. Even if I have to lock myself in a room for an hour I will.  I also married the right man – he shares everything and has the same family values.

Did you ever have a plan B?  Always. I always consider my ultimate downside and would never do anything if it wasn’t something I could live happily with.  Therefore there’s always a plan B and C and D and and and


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