Sara Olsher on building Mighty + Bright and finding creative solutions to help through difficult times

Sara Olsher_Blog Header

Sara Olsher explains how her professional and personal backgrounds led her to her mission of helping children understand difficult times, the importance of routine and prioritizing mental and physical health.

Describe your business in a few words?

Mighty + Bright supports families through super difficult things (like divorce and cancer) using unique kids’ books and visual calendar sets.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I went through a really difficult divorce when my daughter was two, and I created a visual calendar to help her deal with shared custody. It helped her so much that I wanted to provide the tool to other families. Then, three years ago, I went through cancer treatment. My daughter was seven and I realized that visual calendars — especially when combined with a kids’ book — can help relieve kids’ anxiety in all SORTS of situations.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

My background is in psychology, and rather than working with individuals one-on-one, I really wanted to help large groups. I am thrilled that my business allows me to do that.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Definitely not! I come from a family of doctors, lawyers, and nurses. The idea of forging my own path was terrifying. I believed you had to have a “job” to make money. For some reason I thought very few self-employed people made enough money to support themselves.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

In the beginning, I ran my business as a side gig while I focused on my day job (ironically in marketing). SEO served me really well and most of my sales came from organic search. I always felt very shy about promoting myself, until I realized that this company is bigger than just “me.” After that, sharing with everyone I met felt more natural and less like bragging — and that’s when things really started to take off. I needed to get out of my own way.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

For me, it was never one big mistake as it was remaining committed to my cause and tenacious about making it work, even when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I always asked, “how can I make this work FOR me, instead of thinking something bad is happening TO me?” This has helped me see opportunities when something goes wrong, rather than just panicking. Just recently someone contacted me with a misprinted book, and I was able to share three other ways we could work together (in addition to fixing the misprinted book problem).

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Knowing that hundreds of kids feel better because of what I created is what keeps me going. Parents send me emails telling me what a difference they’ve seen in their kids. Hospital professionals call to tell me that my books are truly helping kids with cancer. I can’t imagine a greater accomplishment than knowing that something I put out into the world has eased kids’ suffering.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

During lockdown, divorce went way down because parents couldn’t separate and were stuck at home together. I worried less about my lack of sales at that time than I did about how hard it must have been for families in that position. I focused a lot on creating free content to help — I ended up writing and illustrating three books I provided as free downloads on my website.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

My goal is to create more book and calendar kits for kids dealing with all sorts of hard things, like kids in foster care, military families, and kids with health conditions like Type 1 Diabetes or epilepsy.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

How much we truly need structure and routines to thrive.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

How important it was to learn how to sell, and not think of it as slimy.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Honestly, I think I have coped really well — in part because I have my business as a sense of purpose, and also because I have already survived cancer. Once you’ve gone through chemo, it’s a lot easier to take things one moment at a time.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Work/life balance is absolutely necessary for me. Cancer is a disability. I have become very good at listening to my body and realizing when I need to take a break. I get more done in a shorter amount of time because I am intent on maintaining my focus; that way, when I hit a wall, I can lay around and watch Netflix guilt-free. Sometimes it is frustrating, because I’m excited to work on a project and I don’t have the energy. But the truth is, there will always be more to do in my business. I will never be “done,” so there’s no point in working my tail off to try to make that happen. It isn’t worth missing out on my family or my health.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I created a little quiet space in my closet and spend a lot of time in there (ha!).

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Always get dressed, even if you don’t plan to leave the house. 
  • Meditate or take quiet time where you try not to think about anything. 
  • Take walks. Inspiration comes in the times when your mind is quiet.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being unapologetic in your quest to make a difference in the lives of other people.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





How to achieve a life of financial freedom with Alisha Pennington of ATvantage Athletic Training

Describe your business in a few words? Empowering, Dynamic, and Comprehensive. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been a business owner in a very niche industry (athletic training) for almost 10 years, so I have experienced the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a business owner. My…

How Jenny Strebe used positive affirmations and crystal healing to create her modern haircare brand AIIR Professional

Describe AIIR Professional in a few words? A modern haircare brand that is focused on well being through positive affirmations & crystal healing. What made you take the leap to start your own business? As I was driving every aspect of my stylist business and social media facets, the peace and relief I found in…

How FLyQuest CEO Tricia Sugita is using the esport platform to affect real change and make people happy

Describe your business in a few words? FlyQuest is an esports organization competing in the franchised League of Legends League Championship Series (LCS). What made you take the leap to help transform FlyQuest into the organization it is today? One of my primary goals throughout my career in esports has been to create a community…

Lauren Montgomery, founder of Monty’s, on making simplicity the new sophistication through her line of plant-based dairy products

Describe your business in a few words? Monty’s makes clean and craveable plant-Based essentials like cream cheese and butter that nourish your mind & body. With simplicity and nutrition at the core of the brand, Monty’s selection of cream cheeses and butter are made from real-food ingredients and crafted using time-honored techniques like fermentation. What…

How Maradith Frenkel turned bamboo into pajamas for the whole family with Little Sleepies

Describe Little Sleepies in a few words? We make buttery soft bamboo sleepwear that your whole family will love. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I saw a white space in the market after I had my son. I absolutely could not find a sleeper that checked all of the…

Erin Coles couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for in a band for her wedding so she launched her own — The Metropolitan Players

Describe your business in a few words? The Metropolitan Players is a wedding band collective based out of NYC – so we provide incredible music for weddings! What made you take the leap to start your own business? When my husband and I were planning our own wedding, we couldn’t find exactly what we were…

Azora Zoe Paknad on creating a new entry point to sustainability with Goldune

Describe Goldune in a few words? We make sustainability less beige! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was into the sustainability world, personally and professionally, but I didn’t see myself in any of the dominant narratives I saw on Instagram or online in general. On one end of the…

Elisa Marshall on creating warm, French-inspired spaces with Maman, a collection of NYC-based cafés and venues

Describe your business in a few words? Maman is a New York City-based collection of cafés and event venues, offering family inspired recipes with French influences in a warm and welcoming home like environment  What made you take the leap to start your own business? Before I opened Maman, I had many passions and there…

Kim Hehir, co-founder of Brutus Broth, on enhancing your dog’s health through specially formulated bone broth

Describe your business in a few words? Brutus Broth is the latest innovation in pet health, made with human-grade bone broth that has been specially formulated to enhance any dog’s existing diet by adding beneficial nutrients, amino acids, and joint protecting supplements. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Sue’s dog…

How a lack of female empowerment in the real estate industry lead Marina Shiferman to create her business, The Real Estate Academy

Describe your business in a few words? I teach women how to buy and own real estate correctly so they can be the bad ass queens of their own lives. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was a realtor for 10 years, I loved it but something was missing.…

Carla Olivia on revolutionizing the beauty bar experience with DashBar

Describe your business in a few words? DashBar is beauty made efficient! We are one stop beauty and wellness for the modern woman. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been an entrepreneur since I was 22 years old. I started my first business because a great opportunity was…

Christina Matteucci (a.k.a TeucciMama) on her 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Christina Matteucci, Executive Director of David Beahm Experiences and proud “Number Two” to celebrity event designer David Beahm. I’ve produced legendary soirées all around the globe, but it’s my unique, 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two that qualifies me as a sought-after speaker and coach. In…

Niki Shadrow Snyder on coining the term “givefluencer” and making an impact with the Project Pop Drop foundation

Describe your business in a few words? My husband and I started the idea for the Project Pop Drop foundation on our first date. Our business sponsors a monthly drop off at a different homeless shelter each month. We spearhead these donation events with our children, and with local businesses and schools. We call this…

How Natasha Case of Coolhaus is disrupting the dessert space with cutting-edge ice cream creations

Describe Coolhaus in a few words? We are an innovative dessert company, specializing (for the time being) in ice cream/ice cream novelties. We are known for thinking outside the box, super unique partnerships, a truly cutting-edge brand identity and an inventive way of entering the marketplace with our trucks, brick and mortars, and now national…

How Jennifer Jolorte Doro used strategic partnerships to build Nouri from the ground up

Describe Nouri in a few words? Supporting people to feel their best. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I wanted something of my own. I’ve worked for many successful entrepreneurs and I knew I could do “it” my way and really enjoy it. What was your background prior to starting…