It’s okay to take on risks or challenges yourself beyond your limits. You will never know the full extent of your potential unless you do.

 

Sitinee Sheffert is a social entrepreneur, blogger and speaker with a passion for empowering kids to make a difference.

She is the founder of Giving Artfully, a platform to connect crafters with volunteer opportunities, and Giving Artfully Kids, a program that inspires kids to spread kindness through crafting-based service projects. More than 500 students have participated in her programs, donating over 3000 items to communities and charities worldwide.

Sitinee has been a featured TEDx speaker and has also spoken at several other conferences and parent education workshops. She has been a guest blogger for Scary Mommy and YFS Magazine and featured in Forbes. She has a social media following of over 10,000 people.

Sitinee has a dual Masters degree in Public Policy and Health Services Research and Policy and Bachelors of Science from the University of Minnesota. She is also a former Division I collegiate tennis player and still loves physical challenges by participating in marathons, triathlons and adventure races.

Sitinee is currently on a 15 month adventure with her family living in 3 different cities to figure out where they want to settle down next.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I started my company Giving Artfully when I was looking for a place to donate my hand-crafted items. When I searched the web, all I could find were blog posts with lists of organizations, but nothing really organized. So I developed the website Giving Artfully to connect crafters with volunteer opportunities.

Soon after, I was approached by our local elementary school to see if I could incorporate the concept of crafting for good as an afterschool program to teach/empower kids to help others and spread kindness. And that was the beginning of Giving Artfully Kids, a program the empowers children to make a difference by helping others and spreading kindness through crafting.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My family and I are on a 15 month adventure, living in 3 cities over the next 15 months. We are using this opportunity to research these various places to decide where we want to live next. As a result, I spend my days homeschooling my 3 older kids and being mom. My entrepreneur role starts after the kids are in bed, which usually starts around 9pm.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I love to-do lists and writing things out. When I have an idea, I jot down on paper the ultimate goal/idea and then break it down into actionable steps of how I want to achieve that goal/idea.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love how entrepreneurship is becoming more of a norm. You are seeing more and more people take the risk of starting something on their own instead of the traditional career path.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My husband likes to refer to me as the task-master. I love my to-do list and give me a task, I’ll be sure to finish it.

What advice would you give your younger self?

A quote from Ryan Levesque that has helped me tremendously in my business. “You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going”. You can spend days, months perfecting every part of your business. But, if you spend all your time perfecting and not implementing, nothing will happen. Take action even if its not perfect.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

It’s okay to take on risks or challenges yourself beyond your limits. You will never know the full extent of your potential unless you do.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be visible and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If people do not hear about you, how do you expect them to know about your business or purchase any of your products.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Focusing on action items that are revenue generating or leading to potential revenue. We can easily get lost in action items that are easy and forget to focus on the items that will directly help you grow your business.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I was afraid to talk about my business with friends and family. It wasn’t that I was ashamed, but I didn’t want to be that person that was always talking about themselves and their business. I had to change my mindset and realize that my family and friends did want to hear my message and that my message is definitely worth sharing.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’m not sure if this out there, but my children will soon be entering this stages of their lives where they will be using more technology. I would love an app or blog that helps parents keep up with the latest technology trends and apps that children are using and for what purpose. It is changing so quickly everyday that it is hard to keep up.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A dinner out with my husband. With 5 kids and 2 entrepreneurial businesses, we need that time to catch-up, unwind and just assess how we are doing as a couple and family.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I love Trello. It is my organization tool/cork board. When I have new ideas or a project with many moving parts, Trello helps me organized and visually see all the tasks at hand.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Built to Last by James Collins – an analysis of 18 visionary companies and trying understand what makes them special.

What is your favorite quote?

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow”

Key learnings:

  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The fear will prevent others from knowing the great things you have to offer and you end up not giving your business a fair shot at succeeding.
  • Be intentional about your work – there are so many facets to being an entrepreneur. You can easily get lost in all the different tasks. Make a to-do list and be smart about which action steps you choose.
  • Understand your audience needs and wants – just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean that it will become a successful business. It will only be successful if others find a need.

Connect:

Facebook.com/givingartfullykids
Instagram.com/givingartfullykids
Twitter.com/givingartfully