Q&A with Sarah Gulbrandsen, Forty Under 40 Winner 2020; President and COO, RingPartner, Age 39
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
My parents impressed upon me that if something is worthwhile, then it’s worth working hard for it.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Instagram. I have a home design and renovation account where I spend too many evenings and weekends glued to my phone.
What is the best book you would recommend?
Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies.
Now that you’re entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?
I have an outline for a book that I would like to write in the next few years. I would like to continue to mentor other young professionals and to make a trek on the Camino de Santiago.
Choose one of these five childhood career dreams: Rock star, star athlete, prime minister, astronaut, detective.
None of the above – I secretly wanted to be a movie star.
Name your happiest place.
On my back deck with my family and a great book.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Deciding six years ago to leave the San Francisco Bay Area and a solid career with a Fortune 500 company for B.C. I didn’t have concrete career plans but I knew it was the right decision for me and my family.
Advice you would give your 20-year-old self?
Career paths do not have to be linear. It’s a lot more enjoyable to widen your options.
What is your best habit?
Exercise is a daily outlet.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I was homeschooled for much of my childhood (before it was normalized).
Best piece of advice ever received?
Health, family, friends and work take our time and attention. At any given time you can only do three really well. Your focus on these different areas will fluctuate and that’s OK.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
It’s been amazing to see people I have coached at RingPartner shift into leadership roles of their own and make a big impact.