Trust the journey and stop putting so much pressure on yourself, she says.
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In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Sarah Pendrick, founder and creator of the GirlTalk Network, a nonprofit movement focused on women inspiring, supporting, and empowering each other. It was conducted and condensed by The Oracles.
1. What was a defining moment early in your life?
Sarah Pendrick: A classic case of “girl on girl crime” left me feeling inadequate. Being brought down and bullied repeatedly by other women for just being me shaped who I am today. I’ve seen this happen more and more because of today’s society and fear that there isn’t enough for all of us.
Those experiences could have ended sadly, as we see every day. But they inspired me to help others and make a positive impact. Those painful moments are the driving force behind GirlTalk Network and my life’s purpose—empowering women to support each other, find happiness, and be badasses in every area of their lives. It’s about being true to yourself and giving others permission to do the same.
2. What is one of your proudest moments?
Sarah Pendrick: As a kid, I wanted to be a psychologist or performer. Growing up, I was in every play and every sport. When I performed on stage, I was fearless. But then there was a time I was silent because of the painful moments I mentioned.
Because of GirlTalk Network, I need to speak to large audiences. To do that, I had to access my true self, the performer. I remember being terrified to speak on stage at my first event. Walking up the stairs, I told myself, “They don’t really need to hear from me.” Then another voice reminded me, “Access your power. Remember your mission. This isn’t about you!”
I listened to that voice and remembered who I was. I chose to stand up to those painful memories that could either hold me back or push me ahead. Overcoming that fear was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Now I travel the country, speaking to women of all ages, and it’s the most freeing and meaningful part of my work. I created my brand by being real and not following the trend. It became one of the original “women supporting women” movements (starting out as GirlTalk LA). We all have exactly what we need already inside us. Choose to create good from pain.
3. What are the core values that guide your business, and why did you pick them?
Sarah Pendrick: The core values behind GirlTalk Network are self-development, collaboration, integrity, uniqueness, and “walking the walk.”
Many entrepreneurs have a brand that’s misaligned with their everyday lives. They don’t put themselves behind their words or business, so they’re not bringing their full selves to their work. Walking the walk means not only saying you’re committed to a path but also really living it. I won’t work with anyone who doesn’t walk the walk and live with integrity, no matter who they are.
4. What’s your favorite quote? How do you apply it in your life?
Sarah Pendrick: “I’ll see it when I believe it.” To take our businesses and relationships to the next level, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves. Before a big meeting, I take a moment to visualize how I want it to go. Then I believe it will happen. Only through seeing and then believing can you manifest positive change.
This is also helpful when you’re having a bad day or feeling down. If you focus on negativity, it becomes all you see.
5. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Sarah Pendrick: Trust the journey, and stop putting so much pressure on yourself! Listen to yourself and stop relying on others’ opinions. That noise blocks out the real you.
Think about the most successful people. If they listened to naysayers, they wouldn’t be who they are today. If I’d learned that earlier, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time and exhaustion.
6. How do you define great leadership?
Sarah Pendrick: Great leaders inherently understand how to accept people on their terms and meet them halfway. How can you inspire someone if you don’t understand them? You can’t lead if you don’t have empathy.
Self-awareness is also key. Great leaders don’t insist on doing everything themselves. They do what they’re best at and rely on others’ strengths as well.
7. How do you identify a good business partner?
Sarah Pendrick: It’s funny, my mindset about this has changed. When I was first hiring or seeking partnerships, I would ask, “Whom do I mesh with? Whom will the team connect with?” While vibing with someone is important, sometimes you have to partner with people who intimidate you or even scare you, to bring your business to the next level. Consider hiring your opposite or someone who’s better than you at something.
Communication is also essential. If you can’t communicate openly with respect, forget it—the partnership won’t work.
8. How do you prevent burnout?
Sarah Pendrick: We wear so many different hats, it’s important to be disciplined with our time. The minute I’m off my routine, I’m a different person. I journal first thing in the morning. I write a “vomit page” with everything I’m fearful of, my worst-case scenarios, and negative thoughts. When I get it out of my system and reflect on my worries, I often realize they aren’t so terrible.
I write down everything I’m grateful for and my top five priorities. Then I get creative and take action, tackling the hardest task first. If I’m so burnt out that this doesn’t work, I make a list of what really matters and what I will regret not doing when I’m 80.
9. What are you working on right now?
Sarah Pendrick: I want GirlTalk to be somewhere every woman can go to feel empowered, safe, and creative. So, I created an online mastermind community for women around the U.S. called GirlTalk Life. It’s a way to connect and support each other as entrepreneurs and in all areas of life.
GirlTalk’s live event is also coming up. At this weekend retreat, 500 women come together for access to everything we need to create and live the lives we want—life on our terms. It’s such a life-changing event, people even call it a wedding for empowered women.
My goal for this year is to help at least one million women on a deeper level with GirlTalk Network. I’m also working on a book and another secret project—so stay tuned!
10. What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Sarah Pendrick: I want to help others feel seen and celebrated and that they are good enough. I also want to inspire people to be less judgmental.
If we can’t remind ourselves we’re good enough or if we come to new interactions with judgment, we all lose. But if we’re connected and leading with acceptance, we can achieve so much. My legacy will be helping people move beyond their judgments and connect with others—so we can all kill it, together.
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