As we settle into 2016, it’s important for us to continue to develop new and positive habits. Our fearless leader, S’well CEO and founder Sarah Kauss, attributes much of her ability to successfully run a thriving company to one daily habit: journaling. For those of you who have yet to give it a try, journaling can be a great deal more rewarding than the ordinary “dear diary” scenario. In fact, according to recent reports, journaling can provide you with countless benefits, including stretching your IQ, evoking mindfulness, helping to identify and achieve goals, improving communication skills, strengthening self-discipline and sparking creativity. According to Sarah, journaling allows her to reflect on company progress or capture positive momentum in a more proactive way. Check out what she has to say on the subject below.
“Journaling allows the opportunity to step away from an environment bombarded with emails, phone calls, and messages. With journaling you actually have that space to be proactive and say ‘this is what I’m going to capture from this experience.’ This practice has not only been vital to running my business, but critical to upholding all of the qualities I want my team to embrace. By taking time for careful reflection, leaders can assess their reactions to situations, the dynamics amongst the team, and the overall level of engagement as it relates to employee interactions and company morale. More than that, it has given me the focus to identify my strengths and the activities that bring me the greatest joy. Surprisingly, the least glamorous tasks of my professional career to date have been some of my career highlights. I have gleaned many lessons about where I can be most engaged and therefore most successful in the workplace. Journaling has also given me patience and sharpened my ability to plan. Although it can seem that I’m making only baby steps of progress — and, yes, sometimes going sideways or even backwards before moving forward — my journal is an independent arbiter (and a silent cheerleader). There will always be more progress to make, but for me it is important to know that I am moving closer to my goals. I am always encouraged to look back and know how far I have come in a year’s time, and how major obstacles seem to become minor speed bumps in hindsight. This record gives me great patience and perspective when new challenges come my way. Even now as a very busy entrepreneur, I can’t imagine not taking a few moments at the end of each day to record in my journal the progress made and my hopes and plans for the next phases of success.”
Speak no more, SK. You have us convinced. For more information on journaling in the workplace check out Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company. For more New Year, New You lifestyle tips, visit our Pinterest page.
“I thought I would be aloof in the foreign land. I see I will be home far from home”
These were Jacqueline Nyangweso’s warm words as she prepared to fly to the United States for the first time. Jacqueline owns a growing business in Kenya and is the award recipient for the prestigious Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentorship Partnership. The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership connects talented, emerging women leaders from all over the world, who are between the ages of 25-43, with members of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders for a month-long program. S’well CEO and one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Sarah Kauss had the pleasure of mentoring Jacqueline. The S’well team welcomed her into our home for the first two weeks in May, and she quickly became part of the S’well family.
Jacqueline is on a mission to change the lives of women all over Kenya with her microfinance business, Step & Fly. Step & Fly offers small loans to women so they can start their own businesses. She’s created a unique and successful system that includes small-business training and as a result, she boasts a 95% return rate. Through this program, she has helped single and widowed mothers to create businesses that generate enough income to allow them to feed and educate their children.
Having Jacqueline in our office has taught us that there are a lot of commonalities between Step & Fly and S’well. We have learned that businesses face the same challenges every day, whether you are a water bottle company from New York or a microfinance institution from Kenya.
S’well was able to support Jacqueline in her efforts to learn more about social media platforms, public speaking, data tracking applications, and human resources. But we had some fun along the way, as well. Our team was there with Jacqueline as she experienced her first New York slice, bagels, and even guacamole!
Jacqueline has definitely found her home away from home here at S’well. We just couldn’t resist her positive energy and addictive smile. We’ve learned so much about compassion and community while listening to her tell stories of her business. Even though our new family member is returning back to Kenya, she will always have a place to call home here at S’well.
Check out Step & Fly’s Facebook and Twitter pages and you can read more info about Step & Fly here.
New Year, New You 2015
Happy 2015! This past year has been a special one. Our CEO and Founder Sarah Kauss was on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list, team S’well almost tripled in size, and we moved into a beautiful new office. Team S’well is excited to be moving into the New Year full of lots of opportunities.
Of course, we have a few resolutions in mind for the year ahead. We understand that maintaining resolutions through the whole year is an almost impossible undertaking. We’re going to keep at least this one resolution this year (we really mean it!) to drink more water. We’ve been reading about the benefits of drinking hot lemon water (i.e. Lifehack) and plan on starting our days with a full bottle.
Of course, we’re going to try to be fit and eat healthier, which is why we are so excited that Julia Dzafic and Brendan Fallis have so generously provided us with a recipe and workout routine to help get us going in the right direction.
Check out our New Year New You 2015 edition Newsletter for more.