Sungage Financial co-founder, Sara Ross, shares her top ten lessons learned in a decade of providing consumer-friendly solar financing.
Share your story. Everyone has one to tell, be it big or small. Over the course of the decade, I’ve told the origin story of Sungage hundreds of times. Who we are, where we come from, and where we’ve yet to go. The power of a compelling narrative will never cease.
Know what winning looks like for you. Everyone has their own definition of success. Chart your own course, carefully choose your goals and make sure they’re ones you’re satisfied with.
Surround yourself with support. Whether it’s your spouse and family, the team you work with, or even your business partners, find a cohort that embraces you for you, gives support, emotional, logistical, or otherwise, and offers constructive criticism and even radical candor.
Make sure your North Star shines bright. What is your guiding light? Whether it’s your company’s mission statement, or your own personal goals, have a firm purpose with clear direction you can act on.
We wanted to start a financing company that we’d feel good about sending our moms to.
Find your compassion. What makes the sharp edges of our business more tolerable are the ways in which we retain our humanity and show our compassion. Look for opportunities to be vulnerable and compassionate with each other, it will make you feel more whole, and it will sustain you in the hard times.
Embrace that best isn’t always best. Many problems, big or small, are satisfied with a ‘good enough’ solution. Knowing what problems need the ‘best’ solution and what problems need a ‘good enough’ solution is a valuable skill. Giving yourself and your team the license to know the difference and pursue the ‘right’ solution is a form of freedom and self-care.
It’s ok to make mistakes.
Everyone is human, no one is perfect. What matters is that we can learn and grow from every experience we fail to succeed in.
Your colleagues and partners value reliability, and whether that’s establishing a scheduled product release, ensuring availability, or just consistent messaging, getting ahead of the curve and smoothing wrinkles is vital to success and peace of mind.
Get off the solar coaster. Make the capricious and unpredictable, predictable.
Don’t take your work spaces for granted. Relish the spaces you’re in, the ones with a sense of purpose in pursuit of a greater good. Fill that space with passionate, intelligent people.
Always align with the customer. Offering consistent support and prioritizing their needs goes a long way towards building that relationship. Constant collaboration and pre-emptive discussions to head off friction are essential.
We can’t wait to see what the next 10 years teaches us.
About the Author
Sara Ross is the co-founder and a Board Member of Sungage Financial. Sara continues to be a guiding voice in Sungage’s direction contributing to the clean energy transition while also connecting us to our roots.
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