Sacha Cornford is a Director and COO with over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. She was an electrician before leaving full time work to focus on her family. When she returned to the workforce it was outside the construction industry, but chance brought her into sales and traffic management. Over the last 10 years (or so) together with her business partner, they have worked together in various roles culminating in this venture as business partners and joint directors of Traffic QLD & NSW.
1:40 What were some of the pivotal moments that led Sacha to starting and running the business:
- Influenced by people around her, and unlike many entrepreneurs, Sacha is not attached to her business ventures.
- She recognises the limited lifecycle most business opportunities have determined by technological innovations rendering products and services obsolete.
6:08 Sacha explains the importance of self-awareness for success.
- As someone who gets bored quickly, she says a business with a short sales cycle suits her well.
- In a world where management is seen as an eventual transition, Sacha believes not everyone is cut out to become a manager.
- She points out that most people would not choose to become a manager if they understood what a management role entails. Therefore, she suggests a company may be better off paying a high performing employee well to retain talent, rather than promoting them if they are not suited for management.
14:00 Sacha reflects on the journey of becoming a mature age electrician.
- With her partner away in Africa, she had to juggle training and courses with parental responsibilities.
- She had to compete with 17-year-old candidates for an apprenticeship.
- She says the key to getting her apprenticeship was reaching out to everyone she knew and encourages everyone to overcome hesitation and reach out to people.
24:30 Lauren asks Sacha how she has been able to juggle her business and her personal life.
- Everybody in her business takes time off between the end of the financial year and September to prepare for the busy period.
- Having suffered two nervous breakdowns, the cost of recovering from such an experience is not worth it.
29:00 Lauren asks Sacha how women and people in general can be authentic at a time where social media perpetuates unrealistic expectations in life.
- Sacha says you need to define what a successful life looks like to you, and make your own choices.
- She says doing everything is just not feasible, so pick the ones that make you happy.
40:30 Lauren asks Sacha about her mentors in life.
- Lauren says for businesses to push through new boundaries requires new knowledge and external opinion and having a mentor can help businesses achieve that.
- She reiterates the importance of asking for help when you need to.
53:40 They discuss what legacy she would like to leave:
- Her business trains and employs people with autism, ADHD and anxiety, and she says they make some of her best traffic controllers.
58:00 Lauren and Sacha discuss diversity at the workplace.
- Sacha acknowledges the importance of diversity and says more than 50% of her business workforce are women.
- Sacha shares a story about one of her staff who went from living off the disability pension, to getting trained and employed, gaining his independence, and eventually pursuing his dream job.
- Sacha acknowledges that not every business can do it but encourages businesses to consider it if they are in a position to do so.
You can connect with Sacha Cornford on LinkedIn.
About your host:
Lauren Karan, Director and Founder of Karan & Co.
With over a decade of experience as a recruiter and development coach, Lauren Karan found that her priorities rapidly changed after the birth of her two children. In 2022 she founded Karan & Co flipping the out-dated recruitment model with a focus on retention through career coaching and development.
Lauren believes that If opportunity doesn’t knock, you have to build a door – and it’s this same philosophy that inspired her to create the Building Doors podcast.
The Building Doors podcast is for anyone undergoing a transformation in their life. Regardless of whether you feel stuck in your current role, need some inspiration on what steps to take next, want to learn how to level up as a business owner or simply want to listen to the experiences of successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals, the Building Doors podcast is all about unlocking your potential.
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