Sian Young, an International Speaker, Health Coach, Founder of Sustainable Success Coach, Co-Founder of ©Centre for Sustainable Action and ©SDG – Assessment App a UN and TEDx a Multi-Award-Winning entrepreneur and published Author with her book Teenage Kicks.
Sian believes in a world where businesses are sustainable and profitable where cooperation helps us excel in competition. She calls it the “interconnection” between planet and profit. She’s on a mission to turn small businesses and entrepreneurs into profitable and sustainable enterprises ‘humanizing’ business and decarbonizing supply chains through research, technology and cooperation.
Sian combined her expertise and experience after 25 years in business and thriving despite 7 years of homelessness, and then being bedridden for 2 years. Sian created a proven formula for ©Sustainable Health & Wellbeing (SHaW Model) extrapolated from Dr James Sustainable Strategic Growth Model (SSGM).
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Sian Young. I am a Powerful fast-thinking, smart working, passionate, female founder, wife and mother. My son is 24-years- old and my daughter is 3.
I’m a multi award-winning entrepreneur and I am very passionate about our planet, its Inhabitants and the health of us as human beings. I know that if we cooperate and collaborate we can create great change together.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was born in Hong Kong in a military hospital waiting room after my mother disembarked the ship that had taken her from the UK to Kowloon. This really set the tone for my life. After 4 years the family moved back to the UK, my childhood had many happy moments until my step father decided to change that. When I was 15 I was made homeless and lived 7 years fighting for survival on the streets of Scotland, then I experienced a further 2 years bedridden with malnourishment and mental health issues. The birth of my son transformed my life as for him I knew I had to create a better life and I decided to thrive in life and reach my full potential. I am well on my way to this dream now and every day is filled with excitement and joy!
As mentioned I had some hard knocks growing up and then became a single mother, I had been trying for years to get into a water sports academy and was refused every time. One day I closed the brochure for the academy and I could see HRH Princess Royal’s picture on the back of it as she was patron of the academy.
So I wrote to Buckingham Palace and asked for support!
I got a scholarship to study watersports in Australia and I had to raise my own money for childcare and travel so I pole danced to raise the funds.
I hit my target and completed the course then realised that the water in Scotland was freezing and that I would have to rethink my career. I looked at my skill set and said, I can pole dance & I can instruct and I built my first business, after several awards for excellence I realised I was burning out badly and was hospitalised twice with exhaustion so I decided to train as a health coach so that I can have a career that will not harm my health.
I had always been an activist for sustainability and equal rights so it just made sense that I used this expertise to create the Sustainable Success Coach. The Centre for Sustainable Action was born of a dream that is now a reality and the SDG Assessment App grew from the need for our members to have an easy to use tool to start sustainability and ESG reporting.
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
This is an easy question to answer. It’s a big resounding yes my business model has shifted and refined as I have grown as a woman in business. The more knowledge I acquired the more refined my model became. Through listening to my audience I have learnt more about what people need and what my expertise and strategic partnerships can provide. Everyday in business is a learning day so your business model will improve. Although the structure and the core is the same it is a flexible way of doing business. The core of our business model is based on over 25 years experience and 12 years case study research.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
One of my favorite quotes is: “When the student is ready the teacher will come”
I have been blessed with many mentors from many different areas of life and business. Each mentor has arrived at a key point when I’ve needed them both personally and professionally. Success attracts success, it depends where you are in your life and the mentors that you need tend to show up if you are open to learning. So look out there’s mentors everywhere for you, some are in business and some for your private life and some are there for a season some stay for life.
What outlets do use for marketing?
You will find me predominantly on LinkedIn, we have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but I like the vibe on LinkedIn there is a lot of people doing amazing things that are looking to work, are looking to collaborate and look to take action. I also am broadly published in articles such as this one or reply to #journorequests, live interviews, podcasts and sometimes local or national news and radio both TV and written. Collaborations with other leaders in your industry is another way of bringing value to your audience and theirs thus expanding both of your reaches. Staying connected with your current network and really being of service to them can bring so much back to you and your business
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
Our team at the ©Centre for Sustainable Action and SDG Assessment inspires me everyday.
Dr James for being an amazing husband and father and for his level of commitment to quality and research driven actions in sustainable business.
Talal Baloch for working tirelessly and juggling a family in a flood zone to build our dream together to make a difference to the global crisis to make a difference to the suffering that he sees right outside his door.
Veronica Ebanks for her time I’m in building the ©Centre for Sustainable Action and being a leading woman.
Olga Geidane for making sure that we all stay on track and reach our targets and leading a fearless life by example.
I’m inspired by all the people that we are collaborating with because together we are making global change and this gives me hope every day and the inspiration to keep on building and keep on serving our community.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Work as smart as you do hard, we can try and say that business is not hard work but when you’ve got a bunch of projects running at the same time and your team is minimal and you strive for excellence every day then sometimes this makes hard work. To work Smart and hard means you put in the hard work to the smart activities so that all that hard work doesn’t burn up in working in your business instead of on your business which moves your mission forward in and leaps and bounds.
That’s how we have managed to be finalists in two top global accelerators in Smart City and Fintech industries, our app hasn’t even been open one year yet!!
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
As I mentioned, I have a 3-year-old and I run a lot of my other businesses with my son growing up and the best advice I can give for work-life balance is to take a breath and be in the present moment. If I’m with my children or child I could waste my energy thinking about what I’ve got to do in work but then I’m not present with my child and I’m not doing tasks, that’s just stressful and you can’t get the years back with your children. The art of being mindfully present with your child and really disconnecting from work is both powerful for how your child will build their sense of worth and value and for reducing your stress levels as well as boosting creativity.
Another tool that works for me is making sure I have a hit list of things I want to do to celebrate my wins to mark the moments and inspire me to keep achieving. Being very aware of my energy levels is key, when I feel like I need to lean back I listen to that, I mean I am my own boss right! If I want to build a work life culture that is smart and healthy for us and the planet I need to walk my talk. An example is I was on my task list to do a live but something unsettled my energy and so I listened to that and instead of forcing myself to do the live I took time to look inward and understand what was happening for me emotionally, guess what! The world did not fall apart, the collaborations and contracts that we have did not suffer in anyway. When I came back to work and completed 4 days work in one day because Ilistened to the ebb and flow of my energy, I honoured it and creativity flowed, it’s hard to walk this line when the world want some major hustle and consumption but I hold space for the new way of doing business, come and join me in it….
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
I would say here becoming an #accidentaltechpreneur was a surprise, us releasing SDG Assessment app and achieving such high levels of recognition with such a small team in less than 10 months has been amazing
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Ultimate career satisfaction is being my own boss, changing the landscape of business for the benefit of human beings and our planet is me living on purpose. I didn’t die on the streets so I’m here to make global positive change and I’m doing this. I’m super excited everyday I work but I also know to build in the work life balance.
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?
Ether Alali from Automedi for his groundbreaking technology and his strength to push forward even when the world did not understand just how world changing his technology is. We are happy to be in collaboration with him and an amazing permaculture farm called Sol Haven. More on this soon so follow me!
Mike Lake from leading cities for being a man with exceptional knowledge, compassion drive and experience all wrapped up in a grounded humble approach to SmartCITY collaboration to make global change. Also very excited to be in collaboration with the Leading Cities team to bring you an even more pioneering sustainable business strategy tool in the meterverse with our Cities4SDGs tool and events!
Lovelda Vincenzi for being an amazing MC and event facilitator who brings class and engagement to any event. I love watching her reach great heights in her carrera and will be watching as she hits more!
Michelle Raymond for being an inspirational entrepreneur who’s bringing real Diversity and inclusion solutions to work places and businesses. And sharing with her audience the power that God has in her life and business, her ability to lead by example of how to be a successful entrepreneur and inspire the next generation is commendable.
How do you define your own success?
I had this conversation with my son the other day and I said if I don’t achieve anything else but to have had the privilege of co-creating an amazing young man and now a powerful young girl I am wholly successful.
I’ve also won several awards and achieved successes I was told I would never have obtained due to the social economic background I have come from. I’m alive and making an impact and I have made two beautiful human beings along the way with a successful marriage too.
To love, be loved and live enacting your purpose everyday of your life is my definition of true success.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
Our metaverse tool is coming out to support business collaboration and Industry wide change for a sustainable future. We have some groundbreaking collaborations projects that will offer a real solution to greenwashing and plastic pollution that will create jobs and revenue streams within NGOs.
We have just announced a Chief Securities Officer at SDG Assessment and we have another important announcement coming soon as more highly experienced leaders join our team because we are doing the right things and we are attracting the right people.
You can expect me to keep reaching for my aim of building a way of doing business that has 0 negative impact on the planet and the people. If you want to come and join this journey check my social links, let’s collaborate. The world needs us all to take action now, and with entrepreneurs and SMEs being 99% of business, it is time we all came together cooperated and created change for the benefit of us all.