Women Inspiring Women: Saharnaz Safari

This month, we’ll be hearing from inspiring women in our network and sharing their stories. We’re passionate about supporting women, especially in their health and wellness journeys. Read on to get top tips for living, working, and playing optimally from women trailblazers.

Profile: Saharnaz Safari

Tell us about yourself.

I am COO and founder of SpaceRyde, building the first taxi to space for small satellites (and the first orbital rocket in Canada). I split my time between my company, my 3-year-old son, and sleeping.

What do you consider as your biggest achievement?

Got the first rocket launch permit Canada issued after 21 years, for SpaceRyde’s first flight.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t worry about the field you are in or the day-to-day matters, you can shape your career in whichever industry/function you desire regardless of what you’re choosing to study at college!

How do you stay productive and be your best self at work?

My job involves very small and big tasks in different categories so on a daily basis, I am dealing with vendors, regulators, customers, and staff needs. I need to be very organized to remember all I need to take care of, big and small. For this reason, I have become the master of making lists. Every morning, I create a list of everything I need to do, put numbers beside it to prioritize, add to it as more tasks become available, and cross off the ones I finish.

On days that I feel exhausted, I tell myself: just show up, and do as much as you can, even if you are only productive at half the level you normally are, it is still better than zero! So I just go, and think whatever I do today is a bonus, and I end up being a lot more productive than I had imagined. This is the amazing power of the brain.

What’s your top mental health tip for when the going gets tough?

I have multiple tips, not just one because this is a complex issue, and one tip doesn’t work for every occasion.

When things go horribly wrong: I try to remember all challenges my team and I have solved to date. I also remember stories of founders going through big problems and coming out of them successfully. Then I automatically think: this is not worse than the problem that person was facing. If they could handle it, so can I. This calms me down.

When things go slightly wrong: I try to remember the big picture, and whether the stress-causing issue will affect us in 2 years? Normally, the answer is no. It’s a big deal now but will be forgotten in 2 years.

When little things go wrong (e.g. disagreement over how something needs to be done at work, etc.): Recognizing when stress is coming (signs of being stressed out), and going for a 5-10 min walk (physically removing myself from the stressful situation) helps me calm down and continue the discussion.

What are your top health hacks?

I don’t compromise on sleep, so if I couldn’t sleep well one night, I make sure the next night I go to bed earlier to catch up. When the weather allows, I do my meetings walking, and try to stay active on the weekends doing outdoor activities with my family.

Food hacks: I do a lot of cooking on Sundays for the rest of the week. Also, I bake a big batch of baked tofu, which I use for sandwiches, and stews throughout the week. Every day, I spend maximum 30 minutes for meal prep because everything is ready from the weekend.

What’s your favorite fun activity?

Travelling, reading, and watching comedy/true-crime/documentaries.

This month, we’re sharing inspiring women’s stories. Who inspires you? Leave their name and social media link in the comments below!

Read more Women Inspiring Women profiles here.

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