We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Cannon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is scary. It is much easier to stay within a realm of comfort. Small boundaries are easier because you can see the beginning point and the end point. In my life and career, I have always moved forward with the mindset that nothing ventured is nothing gained. Has it been scary to start a job in a field I knew little about? Yes. But was I willing to work hard, ask questions, and take constructive criticism? Yes. Has it been scary to move to a new city where I knew no one? Yes. But was I willing to meet new people? Get involved in my community? Find a new church? Yes. What I have learned is that with each new adventure, I grow more. The more I am willing to be uncomfortable, the more comfortable it becomes. I am so grateful that because I was willing to take a risk, I have been rewarded with some of my closest friends and best life-experiences. As the famous quote by Edward Teller says, ““When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a very eclectic background. My passion was always serving others in public service. I loved government and wanted to become a lawyer. Well, that didn’t happen. Through a crazy turn of events, I ended up with a degree in communication and left my hometown of Memphis, TN for New York City to work in cable television. I was thrown into a very hectic environment where one can either sink or swim. There was no in-between. It was not easy. But, I was raised to know that it would pay off to keep my head down and work hard. I was alone in a big city. But, I also knew that if I would look for a good church and good friends, I would find it. And the Lord blessed me abundantly. From New York City, I ended up on Capitol Hill working as a press secretary in the United States Senate. It was a job that combined my NYC production skills with a new academic angle constantly writing releases for a U.S. Senator. Eventually, I would go onto other rolls in politics and would end up back in network news before I settled down and got married. Now, I am a stay-at-home mom who works in direct sales. How on earth does this relate? In some ways, it doesn’t. But, because my passion is in service my new job allows me to serve others and utilize all the skills I have acquired over the years. The lessons I have learned along the way are many, but the main thing that stands out is to never give up on your dreams. The Lord has blessed me so much. I have lived my dreams in many ways. But, it took lots of hard work, focus, and intentionality to get there. In my new role as an Independent Consultant with Arbonne, I am surrounded by a community of mentors who are advising and encouraging me each step of the way. Is this job easy? No. But with hard work, focus, and intentionality, I know my new dreams will come into fruition.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Colorado Springs is so beautiful. If my best friend were coming, the first thing I would arrange would be a mini-road trip to the top of Pikes Peak. The drive is beautiful, and if it’s a clear day, the views from the top are stunning. Next, I would take her to the United States Air Force Academy. Our country is blessed with an outstanding military, and our city is blessed with one of the finest service academic institutions being right here on our doorstep! It’s a proud moment to walk around USAFA and see future officers in our Air Force! Finally, I would take my friend to the Garden of the Gods. Such a beautiful park that displays all the uniqueness only our Creator could create.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been so many wonderful mentors in my life from family to friends to co-workers to bosses that I could fill a book trying to name all of them. But one woman that I will mention who served as a mentor for me during a pivotal period in my life is Senator Elizabeth Dole. I well remember being at a crossroads in my career (and in life in general), and asking the Lord what I should do. And, I remember feeling like the Lord nudging me to reach out to Senator Dole. She was recently retired, but not slowing down. At that time, she was working on her foundation. I had zero connections with Senator Dole. But, I wrote her a letter and asked if she would be willing to offer some advice. I will never forget the day she called me on the phone and arranged a time to meet her for coffee. This would be one of a few in-person meetings over the next two years. Senator Dole was firm but fair. She generously offered her vast knowledge on every subject from constitutional law to international trade to dating! She gently pushed me to take the biggest career risk of my short life– and that was to participate in the 2012 presidential campaign. I listened to her and did it. That experience forever changed me for the better. And, Senator Dole cheered me on the sidelines. In all of this mentoring, the only thing she asked for in return was that if any young woman asked me for advice or help to take the time to do it. That stuck with me, and I have been good to my end of the bargain!
Linkedin: Sarah Haley Cannon