Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Lifeon iTunes, and stay tuned. We'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
What happens when you leave an established finance career in NYC to open a nail salon in Los Angeles? Olive and June founder and CEO Sarah Gibson Tuttle has some answers. She had spent 10 years working as an equity sales trader at JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley when she noticed a white space in the beauty industry. Inspired by Drybar, Gibson Tuttle realized there was a need for affordable luxury nail salons and set out to run her own company without so much as a business plan.
Her finance career enabled her to save enough money to open her first location, which she proudly didn't raise capital for. "I funded the first location myself," she says. "I purposely didn't take money. I used all of my savings, 100%, and I worked the front desk for the first year to save money." Scroll down for three career tips we gleaned from Gibson Tuttle's podcast episode and subscribe to Second Life on iTunes for more.
#1: Passion is everything.
"If you're even hesitant at all, I think it's too painful," Gibson Tuttle says of being an entrepreneur. "I think that you will at some point give up because it's just not worth it. Owning my own business is the hardest thing I've ever done—probably second to being a mother—but it's so hard. And if you don't have so much passion for it, it's too hard."
"I didn't have a business plan, I just went for it," Gibson Tuttle says in the podcast. "I had modeled it out a little, but I think that you have to figure it out on your own. You're not going to know every answer—I mean I didn't go to business school. I didn't have any sort of preparation for this as a philosophy major. I just did it."
When asked what advice she would give to her younger self, Gibson Tuttle mentioned that she would invest in more training. "I would really lean into learning how to manage better," she says. "I think that we lost some great people on the way because I thought I could speak to them as I speak to my friends. I would give myself advice to really work on my management style. I think that the way you make people stay at a company is that you really cultivate that culture. I learned that, but it was not until a couple of years in."