We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah J. Bohnenkamp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah J., have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Just a few days ago I shared a post on Instagram where I proclaimed I was a recovering “work-a-holic,” and it kind of surprised me. I acknowledged the fact that it’s likely easier for me now that my kids are older, which means less super early or late days because I’m getting more work done during the actual “normal” work-day, because both my son and daughter are now in elementary school, but I think it’s way more than that. Our culture is changing. I’ve been seeing a stronger narrative around NOT glamorizing over-working and I’m thankful because as a young professional I thought I HAD to work 80-hour weeks to show my loyalty and value. Then, I’d beat myself up for doing it…and for not being “smart” enough to get all my commitments done in a standard 40-hour work week. I was rewarded for the results I garnered, further feeding my need to work like a mad-woman. It was an ugly cycle, and my health and relationships suffered. It breaks my heart to see people who wear their non-stop work ethic as a “badge of honor” instead of seeing it as massive sign something is wrong. Balance is a total joke for people who are achievers like me. I will likely ALWAYS have a VERY full plate and more ideas than hours…thank god…but HOW the work gets done doesn’t have to be that the cost of things I value like my mental health, my closest relationships, and my trust in the fact that if I surround myself with a wonderful support system, I CAN and will blaze epic trails. If I choose to work 80-hours this week, cool. But I won’t be doing that EVERY week.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a hope dealer, leadership coach, and horse-crazy keynote and workshop facilitator. I know most people have given up on being more than mediocre, and I’m here to help those who have chosen to blaze epic trails, even when the cards may appear to be stacked. I’ve had the pleasure to work with wide-variety of leaders on special projects and initiatives that touch some of the most important issues of our time: antibiotic resistance, sustainable beef production, and bringing more love and leadership into the world. I’ve learned communication is code for leadership and that curiosity and empathy are two of our most powerful tools for building strong relationships, and that no one wants to be “educated” unless it’s their own idea. I’ve also learned many people will call you “lucky” when you win…and that’s ok, because you know the real truth is linked to discipline, passion and creativity. I want the world to know leadership flows from the inside-out, everyone was born to serve in epic ways, and you WILL because you CAN. I also want them to know that if you’ve got a big vision laying on your heart…it matters and it’s possible, with the help of your community. We were all born to be anti-average! Will you decide to remember this today?
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?
We’d start with breakfast at Rory’s Diner in Parker (my favorite is the Chicken Fried Steak with Jalepeño gravy and an over-easy egg on top). Then we’d head to the barn for a little dose of sweet horse time, since it’s not too far from downtown Parker, and all the minutes you choose to spend with horses pays huge dividends. From there, we’d head up to Red Rocks. Seeing live shows here is a MUST and the location feels special, no matter if a music legend is on the stage or not. We’d travel up the road from Morrison to St. Mary’s Glacier for a hike. If we are lucky we will find some fresh wild strawberries along the trail and we can dip our toes into the creek for a quick refresh. To end the day, we’d enjoy dinner downtown. We’d stroll through Union Station, grab a quick cocktail and watch the glorious sunset behind the Rockies, and then make our way to The Vesta Dipping Grill for creative dishes and desserts. Depending on the length of your stay we could then consider: A trip to Garden of the Gods, The Denver Art Museum, or if it’s January, the National Western Stock Show (In a non-Covid year).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I agree it’s through the support of our communities that we thrive. This is a hard question for me because I’ve been blessed by so many wonderful humans and organizations along the way. The first groups that come to mind are the National 4-H organization which fueled my love for horses and learning, and the American National CattleWoman. They reminded me of the power of women coming together in circle, around something they’re passionate about, and creating a life that is YOURS, work, family, world-impact, the whole deal.