Balancing Act: Serial E-Commerce Entrepreneur Offers 4 Lessons on Thriving
For someone who planned on being a doctor from a young age, Sabina King has taken a very different route—starting several businesses and earning many stamps on many pages of her passport in the process.
A founder and creator of multiple e-commerce business startups, including most recently as co-founder and CEO of HempureCBD, King speaks to a life lived intentionally and without restriction by geography.
Born in Poland, King moved with her family to the Chicago area when she was five years old. She studied biology, physics and pre-med at Augustana College and after graduation in 1998, planned to try for medical school. She nixed that idea and went to graduate school for physiology at Arizona State University instead.
“I realized this wasn’t my game,” King says.
In 2000 she went corporate, in MRI sales and after two and half years decided she was done.
In 2003, King started a landscaping business, but realized landscaping in the Chicago area was limited. She moved to Colorado to launch Planks & Ponds, a water feature company, and built it to be a top installer in the U.S.
In 2006, she got her real estate license “for my personal curiosity,” King says, and when the economic crash came, she and her husband were down to an inventory of zero rental houses.
“It was a stressful tension point,” King says, “I could see it was a perfect springboard to re-evaluate everything.“
So eight months pregnant with their second child, King, her husband and their toddler son moved to Costa Rica in 2010. They had earlier launched an ecommerce company and they decided they could manage operations remotely.
After Costa Rica, in 2012 King and her family set their sights on Bali, deciding they wanted to live somewhere completely different than the U.S. They stayed there, managing their company and raising their family, for five years. Yet, and while there, King launched another online business, TaZa. It is a line of outdoor unbreakable wineglasses and accessories sold through Amazon.
In 2017, King says, she wanted her children to see snow. So they moved to British Columbia in Canada, where they lived for most of the year in 2017. Their children, who are now 11 and 9, were in school full time, so they moved to Ashland, Oregon in 2018.
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King says the move made her feel less than herself and with a friend’s suggestion, she tried CBD products, “I felt my normal joy come back to me,” King says.
In August 2018, she launched Hempure, with CBD products available in a few retail stores, but mostly online. As the CBD industry grows and encounters legal and marketing restrictions, King says it is a complicated business with many obstacles.
“Still, despite all the good it seems that CBD can do, there remains a lot of controversy surrounding CBD and CBD products because of misconceptions and confusion surrounding the compound because of federal and some states’ laws,” writes Joresa Blount in Forbes.
“As of 2016, consumer CBD sales totaled $262.2 million. That same data released by Statista predicted that sales would reach $1.8 billion by 2022; however, a 2019 CBD market report by Brightfield predicts that the industry will reach $22 billion in the near future. As mentioned above, the industry growth has already exceeded expectations, and for good reason,” Blount writes.
But more research is needed.
Blount writes, “Whether you simply want to learn more about CBD or are interested in trying CBD products, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not only will CBD research help you get the truths and facts about CBD amidst the confusion and misconception, but it will also help you find the products that are best for you and give you a better understanding of the industry.”
King agrees with the idea of extensive research. With a portfolio of businesses and startups she has created, and a list of past addresses from Bali to Oregon to Canada and Belize, King offers advice to anyone who wants to follow a dream of a business or even to live somewhere totally new.
Keep it balanced. “There is so much pressure on time, numbers and productivity. Get aligned with your mission. Remember why you are doing this.”
Know your purpose. “Starting a business is challenging. There are a million decisions to make and it feels like you have a million balls you are juggling in the air. Stay focused.”
Keep perspective. “This is important especially if you have a family. I can disappoint my teammate, but I won’t disappoint my family. You can say, this is enough, this is good.”
Take a step back. “When you are in overwhelm, it is not always best to hire it out and give it to someone else. Figure out what is the most simple thing to do with maximum effect. I have hired people I couldn’t manage. If I had stepped back, it would have gone faster and better.”
With these tips in mind, King says, being an entrepreneur is so worth it.
“As soon as you decide to do something for yourself, you find out your limiting beliefs. It is the best personal growth teacher ever.” That, she says, and parenting children.