This interview is with Sally Sampson, cookbook writer, food critic, gardener, loyal friend, unbelievably wonderful mother and a darn good cook!
Q: What is your name? Sally Sampson
Q: Company name and website? sallysampson.com
Q: We launched the website in: August, 2008
Q: What is your business or what do you sell?
I am a cookbook and magazine writer and recipe consultant.
Q: Who or what was the inspiration behind your company?
When I was in my early 20’s I used to get very late night phone calls from a childhood friend who was deeply conflicted about the career and life choices he had made. Newly divorced, he had been a teacher and dreamed of going back to teaching but had succumbed to the external pressure and lure of being a Hollywood talent agent. In the meantime I dreamed of owning my own business but figured I would do it later, whatever that meant. When he died a few years later, I decided there would never be any waiting for me: that if I wanted to pursue something I would. I opened a little take out shop which I owned for 10 years. My first cookbook was written at the end of those 10 years, when I realized I preferred writing cookbooks to running a business.
Q: How did you get started?
I had a small take out café where I became well known for my soups. I wrote a soup cookbook and found that I loved being at home, cooking and writing, rather than interacting with customers all day.
Q: How long before your business was profitable, or when is it projected to become profitable?
My shop was slightly profitable right away, in the sense that I was able to support myself. Same thing with cookbook writing. However, I live in line with the amount of money I make: when I am earning little, I live carefully and when I am making a lot, I spend and save more. Either way, I don’t sweat it too much.
Q: Do you ever feel like giving up at times? If so, what keeps you going?
I often feel like there are too many cookbooks out there and that I never want to write another one. As soon as I say that, somehow someone comes to me with an idea or I have an idea and then I just write another one. Plus, it’s really fun.
Q: What qualities (i.e., family support, discipline, time management) do you think are necessary for a women entrepreneur? I think they are probably the same for men and women: focus, discipline, independence, resilience, a good idea (s), the support of family and friends.
Q: What is the one thing (book, website, coach, mentor, tool, blog, service, etc) that you value and can say has contributed to your success? Great parents.
Q: What was the worst advice someone gave you?
I am sure I have been given lots of bad advice but I quickly blocked it out!
Q: What are your business or personal goals for the next year?
Have my 100 Calorie Snack Cookbook be really successful. Get my anti-obesity project up and running. Fall in love. Lose 10 pounds. Plant a lilac bush.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business or thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship? Be really honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.
Q: is there anything else you wish I had asked? No, you’re brilliant!
Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!
I wanted to say thank you again to you for helping me connect with the Notanonymous showroom in NYC.…
With Sarah’s help and guidance I was able to get my product into the hands of 5 hot TV set dressers …
Working with Sarah has been an amazing experience. Her knowledge about everything is mind-blowing a…
I’ve been getting Sarah’s Instantly Famous notes for years. I’ve been listening to her, reading her …
When I first started working with Sarah I had a garage full of my Bathroom Bagonia’s and didn’t know…
“I came to Sarah with just the seed of an idea, a pile of sketches, and a bundle of nerves. I left w…
“In just one hour on the phone, Sarah gave me clarity in my pricing and bottom line… Our new product…
Sarah Shaw is like Google, the entire How To section of Barnes and Nobles, Consumer Report and Yoda …
“With just one little tweak of Sarah’s expertise, I amplified the results of this new launch by 60…
“If you have dreamed of hitting it big, and your product has any kind of ‘it’ factor, as Sarah often…