Interview with Gabrielle Hayes, founder of Sequence Partners
Find out how Gabrielle Hayes’ experience working in the healthcare sector inspired her to launch Sequence Partners to help transform customer experiences with tech-enhanced workflows.
What’s your career background?
It took me a few career pivots to find my niche in the product space, but now that I have, I enjoy helping others discover theirs.
I started out in healthcare and carried many different roles from direct patient care to healthcare operations. All of my healthcare roles really helped build my empathy muscle. It is my superpower that turns out to be a skill that really sets apart amazing product professionals.
How did your career change after having children?
My career changed in quite a few ways after having kids, but all of them I believe for the better!
First, I decided I wasn’t willing to continue trading my value for hours to equal a dollar amount. I knew that I had a ton to bring to the table, and needed to have more flexibility to be the mom I wanted to be. This took some time, but moved me from hourly > salary > project based rates.
Secondly, realizing I didn’t want my kids stuck in the same corporate rat race I had been in opened me up to being creative with how I would support our family. That encouraged me to dive completely into entrepreneurship, and now my oldest is now wanting to start a tech company of his own!
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I have this intense passion for thinking outside the box and truly believe it is how companies go from providing mediocre to extraordinary customer experiences. When you are working in the daily ins and outs of your business, it can be hard to think beyond how you are currently doing things. I launched my businesses to be the brainstorm battle buddy to help product companies move the customer experience needle.
How did you move from idea to actual business?
Trial and error and just doing the damn thing! I am a perfectionist, so it was hard for me to get started without feeling like I had it all figured out. But I am a product person at heart, so I have looked at everything in my businesses as experiments that I can iterate on. It has been a fun journey watching the business ideas transform as we go.
Who’s your target audience?
High-achievers who aren’t afraid of innovation. One of my core values is helping teams and individuals find joy and passion in their work, so it’s important that my customers are open to trying new things to unlock new levels of success.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
I started out trying all the things: website, social, emails, networking events, etc. But the overwhelm came on really quickly. So after completing a Human Design program that helped me align how I show up in and for my business with who I am intrinsically designed to be, I am actively changing my strategy to be a “1 to many” focus where I can impact more people with the same energy.
My current focus is more public speaking and writing opportunities. Because even if those people don’t become official customers, I know I am helping them feel more empowered.
What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?
Talking openly with my network. Letting people know what I am working on (or want to work on) has led to many referrals and sharing of my information with people in need.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
The juggling of finances for sure. It can be hard to prioritize the new things I want to try because I am bootstrapping this business. So there is a realness to profitability needs that don’t always align with my creative desires.
And your proudest moment so far?
Speaking on stage at the Collision Conference. The younger me was so scared of public speaking. I would do almost anything to avoid it, but now that I have built a life in true alignment with my goals and desires, I want everyone to experience this feeling! So for the first time, I hopped on a stage without any fear and went for it. I felt like I was on cloud 9 when I was done!
Why is work so important to you?
It lights me up because I know I am really good at my craft. It is where I feel the most confident in myself. But the biggest reason – I help leave an impact on someone, every single day!
Who inspires you?
Oh my goodness, so many incredible women. But the one that has impacted me the longest is an Aunt who paved the way in my life for showing up authentically. She has an extremely accomplished career and an attitude of authenticity I have always admired.
How do you balance your work with your family?
I am not sure you ever really do balance it. I tell people I integrate them into one another, but that the scale is often off balance. The ways I try to keep it as balanced as possible though are through lots of road trips & vacations. We are a family on the chase of making memories every chance we get. So, I work hard so I can disconnect and travel harder!
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
- Getting started is the hardest part – You don’t have to have it all figured out. Go into it being willing to learn and iterate along the way.
- Find your tribe – I didn’t see real success until I started building my tribe to help me support me in so many facets of my life. I have confidants, I have coaches, I have experts, I have fun time friends, and most importantly people that love me enough to push back if they think I am not headed in the right direction.
- Enjoy the ride – building and scaling a business definitely has its ups and downs. If you aren’t learning from all of the process, you will easily forget that you are chasing your passion and you have a reason that gets you out of bed on the hardest days.
Find out more about Sequence Partners.