1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to get into media / entertainment. Stories are such powerful things, I wanted to be a part of that.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
When I moved to New York, it was super defining. I think more than that though, there was a time when I went through a really bad breakup with a former fiance that I was ill prepared for. The business I was working for was also shutting down at the same time. I also had a serious health concern. I moved into a cruddy apartment so I didn’t have to move back home to Texas, and so I could save some money. There were just a few things in my life that weren’t going my way at the time. I was so distraught in general during that time, a woman on the subway platform stopped me to tell me to stop worrying so much and to give things up to God. I knew things must’ve been bad for that woman to say something out of all of the characters in NYC she came across that day. I was trying so hard to control things that I had no control over. I took everything way too seriously. I became more open to my feelings and to opportunities after that. I embraced the idea of possible failure on many fronts. Later that same year is when I was asked to start and lead Bookstr. I wanted to throw in the towel so many times, and I’m really glad I didn’t. I didn’t expect to be here, and am so glad that I am.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
My immediate concern is nuclear war. But my non political, and general concern is that women will not have the funding, platforms, or the audience to tell their stories. Also, I worry that women in the United States, and around the world, won’t have the courage to tell their story to start with — let alone the platform. It’s really brave to write down, or film something and put your name on it — fiction or non fiction. I hope to encourage men and women to invent, discover, and create.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
Being asked to lead as Bookstr’s CEO was a successful moment for me. I think though we’ve had some really stressful moments over this first year of business. Being able to put my nose to the grindstone, not completely caving in discouragement on tough days has really been what has mattered the most. So really, it hasn’t been a moment for me. It’s a lot of little moments on a lot of days that add up over time resulting in my career “success” today. Getting back on the horse so to speak. My career is also the culmination of all of the people who have supported me. We did have a moment where I had to let go of the majority of my staff at Bookstr. It was terrible. After that I learned a lot about my leadership style and of ways I could improve. I learned about things I had been doing wrong once the dust cleared. I learned about people who I let down or missed an opportunity with — I consider that now a pretty successful moment only because I learned so much from it and it was so difficult to recover from personally and as a business.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Be honest with your problems, set goals for yourself and talk about them to people who support you. Find friends, mentors, and strangers who are smarter than you who can talk to you wisely about what you’re doing. Dismiss haters. Look to the good women and men before you, and the men and women coming up after you for inspiration on a daily basis if you need it. Don’t be scared, and go for it.
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
I collect books, and precious moments with incredible people I am lucky enough to interview / work with. I have a nice budding collection of “power” dresses and tennis shoes. In general though I am not much of a collector.
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
I’m really active on Instagram and Facebook. Feel free to message me there! I have an outdated website at Sarahelizabethhill.com that will hopefully be updated by the time this is posted. As far as my career… I don’t know. I am seeing through Bookstr right now. We have some incredible partnerships that are in the works. After that, I will probably keep working in the media industry or could possibly move to the investment side of venture capitalism. I definitely can also see myself initiating another startup down the road.