Suitcase Entrepreneur Interview–Natalie Sisson
We admire Natalie, from New Zealand, as someone who tours the world while operating The Suitcase Entrepreneur, a highly successful online business. Yet she inspires others to pursue their dreams and provides personalized coaching for start up entrepreneurs. Not impressed yet? Ok, she also won a world record dragon boating across the English Channel, won a gold medal at a World Beach Ultimate Championships in Brazil, and competed in Nationals body building after becoming a body building champion. Natalie self-describes herself as “a multi-faceted multi-passionate woman intent on changing my world, and yours for the better.” Thanks, Natalie, for the opportunity to interview you, truly an amazing woman!
1. What do you consider your number one accomplishment?
Really tough question to answer. I would say it was starting my business from scratch – or from a blog. Having the tenacity to stick with it even when it seemed like I was getting nowhere and turning it into a thriving online business in 1.5 years.
2. Most women would only dream of completing even one of your many amazing accomplishments. In your opinion, why don’t more women go after their dreams?
Another great question. I’d say it comes from not dreaming big enough and not believing in themselves. As humans we are inherently lazy. Many people talk about wanting to write a book, run a marathon, start and build their own business, but few do. I think this is because the effort required to reach these lofty dreams and the fact that they might not be achieved, causes paralysis by analysis. So nothing gets done because it’s easier to talk about something then do it.
3. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
The gender imbalance. I’d love to live in a world where we were all equal. Where sports on TV were just as dominated by women, where leaders of government, causes, and businesses were made up of 50% of women, where everything we’ve come to think is normal is not. I’d like to live in that world as I think it would be a wonderful one.
4. What’s next on your adventure list?
I’m biking 6,445km from Nairobi, Kenya to Capetown, South Africa as a personal challenge and to raise $10,000 to WomenWin.org – a charity that gives women and girls better rights through playing sports. I’m thinking this is going to be the biggest adventure yet and one that scares but excites me.
5. Of all the places you’ve visited, which has been your all-time favorite?
I find it really hard to narrow down to just one as they all hold special places in my life. My 3 top favourites are Spain, Laos, and Bali.
6. What is your top advice for women entrepreneurs?
Quit playing small. Don’t put your dreams on hold for others.
7. How do you find time to balance, work, travel, relationships, and leisure?
It’s a juggling act that swings in favour of one area over the other quite often- but that’s how I like it. The biggest learning lesson for me has been acknowledging that `work/life balance’ is a myth. It is possible to have it all, you just have to work at it. Build your ideal life based on a profitable business, healthy relationships and time out for you.
8. What’s your essential travel gadget or piece of gear you’d never leave home without?
An international plug adaptor, my smartphone, and a book. Sometimes travel gadgets and tools just don’t work and those are the times you like to lose yourself in a great book (whether in a customs line or on a beach, train or while waiting for your flight).