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Exploring Life & Business with Sarah Magidoff of Canopy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Magidoff.

Hi Sarah, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I began my career in the world of architecture. It was a job I loved, but it was rigorous and highly demanding. Eventually, I burned out. And I faced a crisis point where I had to go on by deciding if I wanted to pursue a career that felt like my dream job but sacrifice my quality of life or if I wanted to let go of the dream in favor of designing a life that prioritized my well-being. I chose the latter.

For two years after leaving my architecture career, I tried on many creative hats. I cheffed a 4-course fundraising dinner in someone’s backyard, I started a local travel blog curating my favorite itineraries for a perfect Sunday in each neighborhood in LA, I wrote fictional short stories. None of it stuck. But by chance, I had a bunch of friends in my network starting new businesses (this was around 2013) and I offered to help them design things like their logos, print marketing, etc. I had learned how to use Adobe Creative Suite as an architect putting together design presentations, so I figured, how hard could it be to figure out “graphic design stuff”? My initial clients loved my work, and I loved producing it. And what’s more, I was able to capitalize on my creative skills while working in a way that felt good to me — bottom line, not overworking, determining a volume of clients that felt good to me, having slow mornings not rushed getting to an office, traveling with my husband when he booked work in other cities.

It felt and continues to feel so damn great to do something you love in the way that you love to do it.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
About two years after starting my business, I found myself, once again, in a place of burn out. I had stretched myself thin saying “yes” to every opportunity that came across my desk in order to make earning goals. I had launched my design business in order to be free from the constraints of an employer to avoid burn out, and it felt like a symptom that was just unavoidable.

I refused to accept that notion and reached out to a few women in my network to see if they knew of business coaches who might be able to help me achieve my earnings goal while taking on less work… it felt backwards, but I also figured that entrepreneurs are meant to innovate, so why couldn’t I innovate a strategy that accommodated this seemingly impossible goal of earning more while working less?

The brilliant Nada Jones guided me through the process of defining the amount of hours I wanted to work each week, how many weeks of vacation I wanted to take, how many clients I wanted to take on each year, how much I wanted to earn per project, etc. This eye-opening process helped me to see the work I was saying “yes” to didn’t support my earning goals, so we set-off on a brainstorming adventure to come-up with some ideas for high-earning offerings that allowed me to achieve my financial goals while not compromising my personal time.

This critical exercise changed the way I do business and also helped me to see that it is entirely possible to work less while earning more by putting effective strategies in place. As a passion project, I now pay that idea forward by helping hard-working entrepreneurs make the same changes in their businesses through the Slow Entrepreneur Movement (

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Canopy?
Entrepreneurs are bombarded by messages telling them to hustle, work around the clock, forgo mental + physical health, relationships, leisure, you name it. This puts tremendous wear-and-tear on a person’s mind + body and ultimately results in burnout. At Canopy, our goal is to dismantle our culture’s obsession with speed and burnout by advocating for practices of slowing down in the workplace.

With this vision in mind, we use our platform and process to advocate for practices of slowing down in the workplace. We help emerging founders ditch their DIY assets and up-level their brand experiences, so they can charge premiums on their goods and services, say “no” to work not suited for them, and spend more time focusing on what matters most. Our goal is to build unforgettable brands using a stress-free, hustle-free process of design.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
As you know by now, my goal as a business owner is to use my company and brand to create higher earnings while working less so that I can make more space in my life for what matters most to me. In order to do so, it’s imperative that I only say “yes” to projects that meet certain earning minimums and “no” to everything else. This is easier said than done.

Because life as a gig-worker can follow a feast-or-famine flow, it becomes much more enticing in moments of “famine” to say “yes” to work that doesn’t meet the criteria I’ve set out for myself. But when I do, it leaves room for the work that is meant for me to come through. When I don’t, that work ends up draining more energy than it’s worth and pulls away creative energy that I want to spare for the work I want. This being said, it takes a risk-tolerant mindset to say no to “good” work in times of famine in order to make room for “great” work that is on its way to you.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Sarah Shreves

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