Suzannah Scully – Founder of

[quote style=”boxed”]Be the Advil, not the multi-vitamin.[/quote]

Suzannah believes in finding your purpose. A sought-after lifestyle/career strategist, Suzannah Scully created a program to help people find meaning in their work. For Suzannah, it isn’t just about helping her clients get better jobs, it’s about changing the way people work.

With her extensive experience in the corporate world, she knows a thing or two about the burn of golden handcuffs. Suzannah believes in creating possibility. She empowers her clients to live authentic and intentional lives by working in authentic and intentional ways. Suzannah has been described by her clients as being supportive, positive, energetic, focused, a wealth of knowledge, invaluable, fun and fulfilling, and simply amazing.

Suzannah doesn’t just make you believe in possibility, she is living proof of it. She spent ten years climbing up the ranks of Gap, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in design and merchandising, and was the director of marketing for The Wine Group before deciding to forge her own path.

In addition to her real-life experience, Suzannah earned her B.A. in sociology from UCLA and has her certified coaches training (CPCC). You can find her on her blog, and on Facebook and Twitter. Suzannah is also a writer for The Examiner in San Francisco. She can often be found speaking at organizations throughout the Bay Area. Not only was she nominated for 7×7 magazine’s Hot 20 Under 40, but she was also profiled on Daily Candy and was the first in their history to lead a live Facebook chat offering career advice.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on re-launching my brand. I’ve realized that it isn’t about me and that my intuition keeps saying the same thing to me: “Get out of the way.” I translate this to mean that I am part of a movement that’s changing the way we approach our professional lives. The old way of doing things doesn’t work, and people are rotting away at their desks. Potential is being wasted. People are getting sick and their relationships are disintegrating, and I truly believe that being out of sync with who you are personally and professionally is one of the greatest factors leading to that.

Where did the idea for come from?

I was one of those people who was climbing up the corporate ladder and doing what I was “supposed to do.” And I was miserable. I was sick all of the time. I complained and did nothing about it. I didn’t know where to turn. I knew I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do, but I didn’t know what that was. I needed a guide. And from there, my business was born—out of my unmet need. I figured if I felt this way, I couldn’t be the only one. I was right!

What does your typical day look like?

I leave my house around 9:00 a.m., after spending the morning with my kids, to go to Starbucks for my grande soy latte (did you want this much detail?). I head into my office and have around three or four clients per day. When I’m not seeing clients, I’m writing for my blog, doing social media and business development, creating partnerships, and strategizing new programs and opportunities.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I get my ideas when I am listening to music—usually Mumford & Sons–and I am alone. I also get them when I’m on a hike, in a café or driving in my car. But it always happens when I am not distracted; I am present and inspired by the music.

Bringing ideas to life is always the hard part! Most importantly, I have a coach that I meet with weekly. She holds me accountable and sorts through my ideas so that they can become actionable. And then it becomes a matter of time-management and making sure that I prioritize putting ideas into action. If I don’t do that, no one will, so that’s my motivation!

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The movement I see happening all over the world of people rising up and seeing that there has to be another way of working and being. Blogs like IdeaMensch, Live Your Legend, Rework, Chris Guillebeau, and Escape from Cubicle Nation are all a part of this movement.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

My worst job was when I had a terrible boss. She was a woman who was so insecure with her own capabilities that she had to micro-manage, steal credit for ideas and make my life miserable. What I learned from that experience (other than the fact that I never wanted to work for anyone again) is that it is never about me. It’s not personal. Everyone has their own issues, and if you view difficult people from that perspective, the your anger turns to love because you realize they are simply trying to heal and don’t know how to do so (and you are caught in the cross-hairs). But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

As cliché as it sounds, nothing. Every mistake and misstep lead me here. Had I not been miserable in my jobs, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m happy I listened to my intuition; it told me to quit my job and move to Italy when I was in my late 20s. All reason went against it, but it was the best decision I’ve made. It was a game-changer for me.

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

The best piece of advice I received was, “Be the Advil, not the multi-vitamin.” In other words, you don’t want to have a business that people think they should use; you want to have a business that people go to when they have an awful pain and need an immediate fix.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

In the beginning, it was picking a niche. I knew how important it was, but I just couldn’t do it! I now realize how important it is to try it all at first and then see what resonates with both you and your customers. It takes time to figure out your niche.

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

Could someone please start a great gifting website? It would be great to have one where you could track all of the birthday gifts, wedding gifts, baby gifts, etc. that you have to buy, and it would be fantastic to then have someone curate creative ideas. Ideally, this platform it would be linked to Etsy so it could feel original and so you’d be supporting entrepreneurs. I always forget who I need to buy a gift for, and then it feels like such a drudgery to find something interesting within my price range.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

That’s not an easy question to answer, but I always wonder what the world would be like if everyone was truly using their natural gifts and strengths, and earning a living doing so. What would that be like? What if every person was in the flow of their being and contributing to the world in totally unique ways? And what if that was valued?!

As for how I would go about it? I’m working on that now. I’m open to ideas!

Tell us a secret.

I worry about a snake jumping up through the toilet. And have worried about that for years.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. Dropbox. I can access any file from any place, and I never worry about losing something or crashing a computer.
  2. Evernote. It’s the same idea, but for my notes. I keep all my email templates, strategies, processes, and great quotes in there.
  3. Pandora is my music inspiration everywhere I go. I never listen to the radio (thank god!) because of it. I listen to what I want, when I want—and I’m always introduced to new music.

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

The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo. I’ve read it multiple times. Everything you need to know is in that book.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. @MastinKipp is a great inspiration and source for quotes.
  2. @HarvardBiz offers the best articles out there.
  3. @Pandawhale. I am loving the community they have built, which is full of powerful Silicon Valley people all chatting about interesting things on the web. It’s very accessible and authentic.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Reading @honesttoddler on Twitter. I die laughing when reading that feed.

Who is your hero?

Oprah. I could try to make up a more original answer, but then I’d be lying.

What are the traits you look for in people whom you hire?

I look for someone who is:

  1. Passionate
  2. A self-starter and driven
  3. Detail-oriented (because I am not!)


Suzannah Scully  on LinkedIn:
Suzannah Scully on Twitter: @suzannahscully
Suzannah Scully ‘s blog: