Employee stress is still high as a result of negotiating remote and hybrid workplaces as well as the ongoing health, economic, and financial uncertainties brought on by the epidemic. Talent attraction and retention are more difficult than ever. High rates of employee resignation and interview ghosting are both happening. Significant commercial issues are brought on by the dearth of competent personnel and a fiercely competitive industry.
Business strategist Sarah Seale has more than 15 years of expertise in the global market. With experience working with over 34 nations, Sarah has been a strategic business asset, offering small and big businesses solutions on practically every platform in company management and strategically assisting them in the areas of sales, operations, human resources, and recruitment.
Sarah Seale and her team have focused solely on the cannabis industry for the past five years, with over 47 cannabis companies in Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Sarah Seale is the CEO and founder of two people strategy, HR, and recruitment companies and works independently as a reputable consultant.
Among her numerous honours, Sarah has been named one of the Top 100 Canadians in the country, and her business was chosen by UK-based Corporate Vision as the “Best Small Specialist HR & Recruitment Consultancy in Canada” for its work in restructuring and developing market strategy in the cannabis industry.
In addition to serving on three worldwide strategic advisory boards and working actively with four developing markets, Sarah is a respected consultant.
The Luminary of the Cannabis Industry
Although Sarah was raised on the Caribbean Island of Barbados, she was born in Canada. On an island, organizational structures are quite different from those in Canada; everyone wears several hats, no work is too little, and customer service is of the utmost importance. When Sarah moved to Canada, she discovered that the abilities that had made her so successful in her position in Barbados weren’t ones that were appreciated there. She asserts, “Companies tend to keep you in a specialized box. You are either in sales or operations or finance.” She had the privilege of working with several excellent corporations, but she was aware that she was capable of so much more for a foundation. Sarah was captivated as a business strategist with the cannabis industry and after entering her first licensed producer and seeing the disarray she changed her purpose for being there and sat her HR Manager and the CEO down to ask what they need as a business.
The Inception Story
Sarah Seale Inc. is the development of a concept she conceived seven years ago. She claims that in order to get to where it is now, this firm had to change its course (and partner relationships) a few times. Her previous life had been incredibly exciting. She noted that while she was born in Canada, she spent her formative years in Barbados, a country renowned for its breath-taking scenery and warm, welcoming people.
The parents who instilled in Sarah a strong sense of work ethic and ambition also pushed her siblings to pursue their own interests and to follow their own routes in life. Her family all share an entrepreneurial spirit. The balance of organizational strategy that has come from her career development and having the hands-on experience of creating and developing start-ups has been invaluable to the clients that she works with.
The Journey of Gaining Experience
Prior to coming to Canada, Sarah spent 9 years working as the International Sales & Trademarks Manager for a large franchise operation. This role built the foundation of her expertise as a franchise is set up as quite literally the perfect operational model. She sates, “Franchise operation is a turn-key operation where all the logistics of how to make a company successful from business planning, sales & marketing strategy, material sourcing strategy, strategic partnerships, and your people strategy has all been set up for you. You follow the model and are pretty much guaranteed to have a profitable business.” She further says that on the international side of a franchise operation, one is selling the franchise rights for countries and then working with that franchise holder to develop regions within that country. She finds the experience was incredible as it gave Sarah a solid foundation in operational excellence at a global scale, as well as on a mom-and-pop operation singular scale.
Sarah thinks that she can be summed up in one word: Heart. In business, it’s simple to get desensitized, stop noticing the people, and only pay attention to the statistics. She constantly keeps a People First approach in mind while making decisions and giving advice because a firm cannot exist without its customers.
One of the reasons Sarah likes what she does so much is because each day is the same; it’s difficult to become bored! In order to give them her all, she attempts to limit the number of customers she serves to 2-3 at a time. She shares, “Some clients require in-depth me fully and physically on their site for a few months, and some just need one of my services.”
Sarah may spend a day working on hiring prospects at home, onsite working with growers, and attending board meetings to integrate the people strategy with the operational strategy.
Lead from your heart and never forget what’s truly important – Princess Diana
In her capacity as a leader, Sarah defines success as getting to the point where she has the freedom to select the businesses in which she wants to work rather than just seeking out clients to fill quotas. Because of the nature of her job, Sarah frequently interacts with the staff and corporate strategy of an organization. She discovers that it requires a significant commitment of her time and energy and is more about assisting outstanding individuals in their endeavours than it is about earning money.
Sarah Seale Inc
The size of the legal marijuana market in the world was estimated at USD 13.2 billion in 2021, and it is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 25.5% from 2022 to 2030. One of the main drivers of industry expansion has been the rise in demand for marijuana products that are legal. Many nations have recently allowed the use of medicinal marijuana to treat a variety of conditions. According to a number of studies that have been conducted, it has been effectively utilized to treat patients with chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders, among other conditions.
Well regarded as a valuable issue solver for the cannabis sector both domestically and abroad, Sarah is one of the industry consultants that one can either call on if they are a start-up looking to set themselves up for business success or when they find themselves struggling with aligning the organizational strategy to the fast-paced nature of this industry.
For the cannabis industry, organizing services are a specialty of Sarah Seale Inc. This market is still very new, and several of the initial LPs began as small family enterprises following legalization, which did not have the background in business to manage the massive expansion necessary to remain competitive.
By evaluating the business plan and strategy, Sarah’s team and network help position the client’s company for success. Sarah has been building them over the past seven years. She is frequently contacted either when a business is just getting started and wants to ensure that everything is set up properly, or when something terrible has happened and a significant reorganization and reassessment are required. She states, “We provide services from business planning, strategic partnership sourcing, and human resources foundational set up.”
Sailing against the Wind
Sarah believes she wouldn’t have the drive and the ambition that she has and would not have done many of the things she has if she hadn’t been a single mother at a young age. She says, “Having my son took all of the focus off of me and onto him.” Sarah’s prospects for employment on a tiny island were constrained because she hadn’t finished her education yet raising a family in Barbados is quite expensive. It sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in Sarah, enabling her to continually search for specialized areas where she could either have side enterprises or jobs.
Sarah believes that sharing her story may inspire others to think creatively and realize that their profession doesn’t have to conform to a single, easy model. She thinks that if one is looking for them and prepared to take advantage of them, opportunities are all around them. She adds, “Not everyone is built for a normal 9–5, and we spend too much of our lives working to not be fulfilled by what we do. Find your dream and, if it doesn’t already exist, create it for yourself.”
Struggle with Work-Life Balance
Balance has always been Sarah’s biggest struggle, but she is getting better at it. She discovers that the demands of her job and managing several clients necessitate great time management skills in order for her to perform at her very best both at work and at home. Since they had just moved to Canada, she did not yet have a social circle, and when she first started this company, it was in its original form, she was going through a separation from her husband, her son was attending university in another province, and she was going through a divorce. She threw herself into this industry, expanding her network and building this company. At that point, there was simply no equilibrium.
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that no one’s going to know that you did it – Oprah Winfrey
These days, Sarah works hard to arrange her downtime in addition to her work hours, and she strongly encourages the rest of her staff to do the same. Sarah has maintained the team’s motivation by building a learning atmosphere where everyone is strongly pushed to think creatively and is exposed to circumstances they would not often encounter.
“It’s always interesting!” – Sarah
Love for Family and Team
Sarah feels that her greatest achievement will always be her son. She says, “None of this would have happened without him in my life.”
Sarah worked two to three jobs at a time for the first six years of her life before starting a side company. Her creation of the island’s first food delivery service for speciality lunches—which included sushi, which was quite novel to the island and was regarded as a gourmet item—was one of her proudest accomplishments.
“The key to success is consistency”
When a team comes together and goes above and beyond to complete a seemingly difficult task, Sarah considers that to be one of her most proud moments as a leader. She asserts, “I lead with my heart and I encourage others to work with theirs so that they really understand how even simple tasks and executions help the company as a whole and their fellow teammates.”
Thoughts on Future Expansion
Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts – Winston Churchill
According to Sarah, the cannabis industry in Canada is in a state of flux right now and without a serious review of the regulations and taxation, it would be hard to say that its future is here. She has done a lot of work on the international cannabis market, and she is looking to broaden the scope of that work so that she is not only assisting businesses with their strategic plans but also assisting nations with the establishment of their legal frameworks in order to support and foster a thriving industry.
Her message to aspiring business leaders is to “never give up and don’t stop evolving.”