hen she reflects on her last four years, Sabrina
Simpson couldn’t have dreamed a bigger dream, not in terms of dollars and cents, but in terms of experiences.
The business she owns with her husband, Anthony, has allowed her to be part of some amazing organizations: Pensacola Women’s Alliance, IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area and multiple business networking groups where she has met amazing people. Simpson, chief operating officer of Something Old Salvage, stresses the importance of building relationships.
“Sales and marketing mean nothing if you don’t build relationships,” Simpson said. “Relationships have been the X Factor in our business.”
Building those relationships has helped her to understand that she is not alone. A product or service may be unique, but running a business is based on a formula.
“Have a lot of people you feel comfortable talking with about both wins and struggles,” she recommended to entrepreneurs. “Struggles help you grow and get to the wins. It’s OK to say, ‘I’m not OK today.’ You are not alone, we all have those struggles. Growth involves knowing when you need help and asking for it.”
Asking for help hasn’t always been easy for Simpson.
As the oldest of eight siblings, she was in a leadership role naturally and had to learn to delegate to siblings for family event planning. Personal growth has allowed her to recognize she can’t do everything and to understand the value of collaboration and delegation both in her personal and professional lives. Before, she looked at the bottom line in revenue, not in terms of her own time and energy. Now her ROI is measured on her time. That change freed her to do activities where she excels and allowed her to be strategic instead of tactical in planning. She and her husband divided chores, and she now asks for help from him; before he didn’t know she needed help because she just did everything.
Simpson has worked with family members and friends in the past, so when opening SOS, she knew she needed separation and accountability.
“Things need to be black and white - gray areas cause trouble,” she explained.
She finds that working with her husband is both a blessing and a curse. Each have different roles, but a unique understanding of the business and the work the other does.
She and her husband have different work styles and strengths that make the business better and more successful. They do find it hard to turn off work on date night or vacation, it’s their livelihood so they have chosen to embrace the blending of work and personal life.
Simpson’s youngest sister, Kineka Durr, also works at SOS. Durr goes above and beyond because she sees the vision for the business and wants to see it succeed. Simpson trusts her sister, but holds her accountable, provides a formal job description and has the same expectations for all employees. Familial relationships can cause friction, but Simpson believes she has stronger relationships with both her sister and her sister-in-law, Kimberly Simpson, because they work together.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is prioritizing,” Simpson said. “My to-do list used to be massive, it became so overwhelming I would just want to stay in bed and not do anything, but the books ‘Eat That Frog’ and ‘The 12 Week Year’ have been instrumental in helping me change how I approach to-do lists. I don’t put offhard tasks, I make a list of three top things to complete for the day, and I set weekly, monthly and quarterly goals to help knock out goals more efficiently and I have a sense of accomplishment.”
One priority for her is to take time away from business to step back, renew, refocus and come back with different energy. She plans time away so she has something to look forward to.
The Simpsons have plans for continued business growth, too. Services at SOS will soon expand outside Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
“Our junk removal company afforded us the opportunity to begin real estate investing two years ago. We met clients who were burdened with a property, and we were able to help them sell the asset. This led me to become a Realtor with Service Matters Realty to provide our clients with an even more seamless process when buying or selling.”
Simpson describes the evolution of another business venture in technology.
“Things I learned in running a business led me to form a technology startup designed to provide business owners with actionable insights based on in-depth analyses,” she said. “The goal is for a business owner to not only be able to allocate every penny in revenue but to forecast expenses and invest in real time. I majored in Elementary Education in college and always had a passion for teaching, so I enjoy mentoring other business owners.”
Simpson advises women to believe in themselves.
“I think taking a chance on yourself is one of the best things you can do for you. Believing in your mission, idea, goal and calling is so fulfilling. Look for resources to help you and always be willing to become a resource to someone. I believe we should have a giver mindset and always be willing to reach back and help someone. Trust the process. Tmst yourself. Trust your plan.”
Magi Thomley Williams is a corporate consultant, writer, speaker, and trainer at Thomley Consulting. She can be reached at Magi@ThomleyConsulting.com.