Sabrina Noorani is the co-founder and CEO of ClearForMe,the first-of-its-kind, ingredient database for retailers and brands.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I was born and raised in East Africa and moved to Miami, FL with my family when I was eight years old. I graduated from The New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business with a Bachelor of Science of Finance and Information Systems, and a minor in Mathematics.
I was one of the very few female derivatives traders at NYSE, the only specialist for index options and later, on the founding team for the institutional desk at the now illustrious Citadel hedge fund.
During my time at Citadel, my lips started to puff up, itch, and the skin started to peel. I found out I needed to avoid fragrance, and then learned that there are 32 different synonyms used in ingredient labels.
I quickly realized that there was no standardization in ingredient labels , making it hard and confusing for consumers like me to find what we’re looking for. That’s where the idea came to build ClearForMe, I wanted to make it easier and personalized to help consumers make confident, informed product choices.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Like all working moms, my day is jam packed. I wake up at 5:30AM and have an hour of self care which includes a workout, breathing exercise, and quiet time in the living room.
By 7AM, the house is awake. My husband and I tagteam to get all three kids ready, fed and dressed for the day. We sprinkle in a few laughs, and then we’re out the door by 8:15AM for school drop off.
My “work” morning starts with a team stand up and depending on the day a mindful exercise to share positive stories with each other.
Right now my days primarily include 1:1 check-ins with leadership, working closely with the sales team to formalize our repeatable and scalable sales process, business development with current and future clients, guiding strategy for our ingredient database, and building our brand awareness through marketing efforts.
After that, it’s making it home for bedtime with the kids, finding time to connect with each of them individually and watching Curb Your Enthusiasm with my husband.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, it does. It has always been a priority to me and as a mom to young children in the middle of a pandemic, it’s mandatory. It’s incredibly challenging and also amazing at the same time.
Challenging because each day looks and feels different in all areas of my life and that comes with its own balancing act but amazing because I have the opportunity to be there for the big moments and really celebrate life.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, being intentional about what part of my work and what part of my personal life are most important is how I strive to achieve balance. My sister in law, who’s a mom and CEO of a unicorn fin tech company, told me years ago, pick three things.
Only three and re-evaluate them each quarter. Right now, my three things are family, ClearForMe, and self-care. Having these priorities outlined allows me to let go of chasing other things and focus on defining what balance means to me, always going back to the three items on my list. It truly sets me up for success.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Stepping away from the day to day to scale the business. I love being on every call with our brand and retail partners and talking through the needs they have, the trends they see, and problems they need to solve.
But, to scale, I have to remove myself, build and trust my team to own it while I invest time on strategic opportunities to pursue. I find building the processes to systemize our workflows, at each stage we enter, to be a new learning curve for me to master.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My favorite book right now is, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. I have been loving the podcast: The World’s First podcast by Sara and Erin Foster. A newsletter I love to receive is, The Future Party.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
A calendar – I have to be able to keep track of mine and my family’s schedule so I can clearly communicate everyone’s needs and day to day organization. .
Team Planner – This organizes and shares ClelarForMe’s team goals and milestones.
Instacart and Amazon – These tools give me the ability to squeeze in extra time with my family because I can order online without needing to spend time in a store.
Theragun – Going along with a self-care, this is a substitute at home massage that’s meditative with percussions.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Dr. Lara Devgan, a full-time surgeon with a popular beauty brand, and mom of six. .
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Find ways to let go – literally, figuratively, and spiritually. The practice of surrendering, when intentionally practiced, can be so freeing. Lastly, spend a few minutes reading about The Overview Effect. It’s a perspective my husband and I always try to anchor each other to when things feel stressful – zoom out.
Before you go…
If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here.
Join our community and never miss a conversation about work, life & balance – subscribe to our newsletter.