We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Long and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
A college degree is essential or important for success. I’m a life long learner, so I am not against education, I just don’t believe it should be a screening device for employment opportunities. Asking someone out of high school to pick a major is so difficult without having work experience. It’s been my experience that everyone learns differently and our best learning comes from on the job training. The road to success is not a straight line, more like a crazy curvy road, trying to apply a one size fits all approach is unrealistic, oh and not to mention very expensive.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I provide executive coaching and business consulting to small to medium size companies. Specifically in the areas of leadership development, succession planning and organization design. My edge is due to my background, employee in a large corporation, part owner of a whole distribution company and presently owner of my own business. I got here by working hard, the road hasn’t been easy for many reasons, but I kept going. I took advantage of opportunities that weren’t glamorous but it gave me experience that has been invaluable. It’s important to have a mentor and support (friends/family) that can pick you up or give you feedback when you need it. What I have learned, smarts comes in many different forms. We all have different zones of genius. I connect really well with people, building trust and relationships quickly. Finance/Accounting…. not so much. Instead of beating myself up for those things that did not come naturally, I find those who are good and can help me. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who have the gifts you don’t and finding a way to support them. I want the world to know that I am here to make a difference everyday and if I can help you find your joyful job, your passion or your personal mission, I am here and I want to help. I do what I do because I truly love helping others and I want to share what I have learned so others can get where they want quickly and avoid the pot holes I’ve fallen in.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Santa Ynez Valley – Rolling hills dotted with Oak trees, a few cows and land as far as the eye can see. It’s a great escape from the concrete jungle. We would wine taste at: Sanford, Blackjack, Bridlewood, Andrew Murray, Petros take a picnic and enjoy the wine and surroundings. We would eat at: The Brother’s red barn, The gathering table, Garapalo and so many more….. While eating or wine tasting you meet the greatest people, it’s a fun communal feel. there are many local jaunts such as Los Alamos (Charlies, Bob’s Well Bread), Orcutt (Tratoria Ullavetto) or Jalama beach (incredible hamburgers).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and my late Father in law. I love business and still have so much to learn. These two men have always supported me and been my biggest fans. They believed in me when I did not believe in my self. They were honest when I needed feedback. They were my mentors, guiding me through tough situations. They celebrated my wins and pushed me back in the arena after the losses. Most of all they provided a safe space for me to be vulnerable and I knew in the end they would still love and respect me.