LAUNCHING: STEPHANIE NEWPORT-BOOTH
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Everyday is so different as we build and develop the GoSweat site. One day I might be speaking to Sports Providers, listing their activities. The next day I might be organising a Marketing event, to attract more Users. The next day I might be working with our tech team, tweaking the website designs.
The only consistent thing between each of my days is sweat. I make sure I do some form of exercise every single day - and have for the last 235 days (see @GoSweat365). Whether it’s yoga or quidditch, a 10k run or rock climbing, football or netball. Making that time for myself, means I have a chance to switch off and enjoy what I preach.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
I’m not sure my childhood aspirations went beyond wanting to run, jump, cartwheel, rollie pollie, slide, climb, fly, etc. over anything blocking my way. I’m not sure much has changed.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
When I was 16 I got offered a hefty bursary to do the International Baccalaureate. It’s an alternative to A-Levels, where you study 6 subjects instead of 3, and is recognised worldwide by Universities. The possibility of being able to study anywhere, made it a no brainer for me!
Fast forward 5 years and I graduated with a First Class Degree in Human Geography - after writing my dissertation on the sitcom Friends. I then paused my ‘academic’ education to travel China and South East Asia, before starting on the infamous Aldi Graduate Scheme.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
‘You don’t have to be anywhere, you don’t want to be.’
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
My Mum, for saying the above. Between leaving Aldi and starting GoSweat, I worked for a company where the management and organisation was horrendous. Their staff turnover was through the roof and the culture seriously flawed. My role lacked direction or purpose and I hated it. It was my mum who pointed out if I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t have to be.
That day I quit my job, and brought the domain name for GoSweat.com.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
Flexibility and structure. A contradiction but true. I love having the flexibility to choose what GoSweat is focusing on and when, but I also love structuring my week so I’ve got a routine to stick to.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
I’d make more time to talk to people. So often time just runs away from you, and you’re left chasing tasks. I’d love to make space in my diary to just talk to people and learn from them.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Professionally, myself and GoSweat are interlocked, our fates entwined, as we grow and move in the same direction. In 5 years’ time GoSweat will be the biggest international Sports Marketplace, and I’ll be there every step of the way.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
Yes and no. GoSweat is all about helping people discover their perfect way to sweat. It’s about recognising what sports you like and where you can do them. That means I end up trying out a lot of different sports, which requires energy, enthusiasm and commitment. But like everyone, there are always times when I’d rather be sat on the sofa, watching First Dates with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
GoSweat has two co-founders, myself, COO and Alex, CEO. As well as a growing team of dedicated individuals. We're still a young start-up but as we grow we are committed to creating a diverse workforce.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
I love all chocolate, but given the preference I’d always choose a bag of Revels. The different shapes, sizes, textures, flavours make for a diverse mix that compliment each other, to create something unique (and yummy).
Does that answer your question?
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Honestly? Crap! But for me, that’s fantastic. I never wanted to do a job, where I was constantly clock watching - wishing my life away. Now I work for myself, running my own company, and have made my work my life. When it’s yours and you’re passionate about it, ‘clocking-off’ doesn’t seem so important.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
The most important thing, is a willingness to learn. As GoSweat is a young start-up, we’ve still got a very small team. Which means when jobs need doing and we don’t have the resources to hire someone, someone has to learn how to do them. Google is an incredible tool, but it’s important to know your limits and know when you need to hire a professional.