We speak to Sancti solo founder Georgia St John-Smith on how she went from scraping by as a fresh graduate to changing her narrative about money to live her dream life. Today she is a highly successful Qualified Mindset Coach & Meditation Mentor for CEOs and founders, hosting retreats in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Georgia, what was your primary driver to start your own business?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to create a positive impact in the world. It wasn’t until I’d experienced burnout in the corporate world at a point of “success” that everyone would have thought I should be happy, but in reality, I wasn’t.
I then started my own journey of discovering how to balance my ambition in business, with a zest for life!
It started with a trip to Bali to study for my yoga and meditation training. That changed everything. I’d discovered a new way to work hard towards your dreams without burning out.
When I look around at CEOs, founders and corporate leadership, it’s often a hard graft with little room for well-being. I see people burning themselves out, being driven by anxiety and it reminds me of how I felt before I started creating a new way. That’s what makes me so passionate about guiding other CEOs, founders and leaders to create a way of leadership that actually serves them.
For me, it’s not really about the money. I’ve found my why, and it took a lot of personal self-discovery. That’s what Sancti retreats do for leaders. Because it’s not always easy when you feel you’re alone in the world of business!
Is that still the same driver today?
1000x yes! I feel inspired to take action and drive toward my goals of making the corporate world more human, and sharing exclusive and unique techniques for other leaders to feel happy, excited, inspired, and balanced whilst going toward their dreams, too.
I’m a business person, yes. Strategically minded, yes. But I also host and run the retreats myself. That’s where the magic is, there’s no better feeling than when I’m seeing leaders have such huge positive breakthroughs, and there’s no going back from that!
Who are your typical clients (job role) and why are they coming to you for your services?
My clients are CEOs, founders and corporate leaders. They come to me / Sancti when they are aware that they know they can be living and working in a more fulfilling way, and they’re ready to take action. They’re curious, they’re go-getters, future-shapers. People who are also creating a positive impact in the world.
They are sometimes burnt out, other times they’re simply inspired and curious about how meditation and other techniques from the retreat can positively impact their life and business.
They know that when they are at their best, their business will be, too, and they’re ready to dedicate themselves to that.
Can anyone afford your retreats? They seem to be on the luxurious side. What is the average cost?
The Sancti retreats are specifically designed for founders, CEOs and leaders.
There’s definitely a luxury edge to a Sancti retreat. It’s about being in paradise-like surroundings, taking in new learnings and exploring / adventuring. Feeling comfortable and relaxed makes this process much easier!
Pricing starts from £3.5k per person.
Sancti also has a collaboration partner Slingshot. Together we host Executive Leadership retreats for leadership teams and boards. These retreats are taking it to the next level and start from £10k per person. The programme is specifically to enhance intellectual, mental and physical wellness in a way that enhances business strategies and methods.
What have been some of the a-ha moments of your clients on your retreats? And do they keep in touch?
They always keep in touch, it’s one of my favourite parts. The connection created between people who come to the retreats is honestly incredible to see and be a part of. We’ve got group chats, we even do meet-ups and sometimes the same group comes back the next year so it becomes an annual thing!
Ah-ha moments wow there’s a lot!
I was coaching someone who ended up coming to our October retreat 🧘
In the coaching programme, we were working on getting the best out of her mindset, and ultimately creating the life she wanted.
By the time we had got to the retreat, I hadn’t seen her for a while and when she turned up to the retreat. All I can say is WOW 😲
She was going through a tough time while we were doing our coaching, but when I saw her she had completely transformed. She had implemented all the mindset things we worked on into her life.
So the retreat was just an accelerator for her 📈
She had a massive epiphany.
After a reiki session, she realised that drinking alcohol was masking the true fire in her belly 🔥
The fire fuels her business. Fuels her passion. Fuels her growth.
That realisation changed everything for her.
She went from:
📉 Losing motivation in what she was doing
⏱️ Not turning up
💡 Not being inspiring or inspired
To enjoying what she was doing again, now she has really found her fire again ❤️🔥
That’s some powerful stuff.
Because when one person in a business does this, it can inspire a whole business.
Are you close to achieving financial freedom yourself? If so, what does that look like?
Yes. I am financially free. It starts in the mind. A money mindset is a huge thing for entrepreneurs at all stages. Without working on this myself, I wouldn’t feel this way. But I’m so grateful to have worked with a coach myself to be strategic in creating the life of my dreams, but also make sure my mindset helps me to thrive rather than holds me back.
I used to be so worried about money. When I started my career I was barely scraping by, living on a council estate in London as a fresh graduate, it was hard. But honestly, I think this drove me so much to change my situation and to change my narrative around money.
It’s a constant work in progress, but I’m very happy with it now. Especially considering how anxious it used to make me!
What it looks like for me is having regular coaching sessions, meditating, reading books on the power of a money mindset and putting all of that into action in my life to keep me on track.
What would you say was your biggest risk-taking experience? How did you try to mitigate that risk?
I had an opportunity to receive well over £500k in investment. I turned it down because I knew the investor wasn’t right.
It felt like a huge risk to turn down such a significant amount of investment that could propel my business. But I know I made the right decision. I’ve got some big goals, and anyone who I work with has to be 100% aligned. Including investors!
Mitigating risk for me is an all-around awareness of yourself and of your business.
Taking time to be super self-aware takes work. I spent a lot of time coaching, journaling, and meditating. This helps my day-to-day to create a heightened awareness and feel really confident with each decision/risk I take.
Do you do your taxes and personal investment yourself or do you call in experts?
I have my dad to thank for that. He does that with me and honestly, I’m so grateful! If you can get family involved, great, if not I personally find outsourcing works best for me. Although everyone is different!