Meet the Founder of Forest and Sage LLC, Mai Tran
Mai Tran is the founder of Forest and Sage, LLC., a Florida-based company that provides systems integrations, consulting, and training to other entrepreneurs and service providers. Our signature framework helps our clients discover which tools in CRM, Project Management, and Communication work best for their company. Our mission is to define, document, and refine operations within a business in alignment with both internal and customer experiences.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Mai, to know a bit more about her journey as a business consultant.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Mai: I have always been a multi-passionate person. I wanted to build a business so that I could combine my love for technology and my expertise in operations and systems. Becoming an entrepreneur to me, meant having the freedom and being able to create a business that completely aligns with my vision and passions.
Q. How did you get started?
Mai: Many years ago, I started off freelancing for a local digital marketing agency for $12/hr. I used this as an opportunity to learn and discover the world of working in the online space. I found that I had a knack for making things more efficient and creating a structure for everything that I did. I fell in love with design and the aesthetics of branding, learning through trial and error of each process. I was inspired to combine these two passions by developing a framework to help other businesses build their systems with a heavy focus on internal and external user experience and design.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Mai: My biggest startup challenge was overcoming the fear of messing up and disappointing my clients. This is why integrity is so important in a business. If you own up to your mistakes, change, and do better, that’s all that it really takes. You soon realize that nothing is perfect in its early stages. It takes time and iterations of changes and pivoting for something to start to really shine. What drives me is watching my clients have those “aha” or taking a breath of fresh air kind of moments. That’s what matters.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Mai: My most memorable moment was my first official client. It was a small system integration that took place over the course of 4 weeks. She was my ideal client; kind, smart, and in the wellness field. What made this so memorable was the excitement we both shared as we started to get things into place. On one of our zoom calls, I hopped on the call while sitting on the patio facing the canal at our Airbnb. This was when I knew I was heading down the right path. Everything just came with ease and flow.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Mai: Atomic Habits by James Clear. It really is the little things that make the biggest differences.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Mai: ClickUp for project management. You won’t find another robust system like this one. Although there is a steep learning curve, it is definitely worth it if are working with teams and extensive projects. Notion for personal use, notetaking, and brain dumping. As an entrepreneur, you will most likely have a slew of ideas for business, content, visions. I love using Notion to help organize all the thoughts in my head. I recently came across this app called Scribe and it has been a complete game-changer for me. It is a browser extension that records your actions in a step-by-step process with instructions and screenshots. This is an incredible tool for training employees, creating SOPs, or giving instructions for clients.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Mai: I believe kindness and integrity are contagious. If my actions create a ripple effect, then I choose to be kind, helpful, and gracious. The world needs more of that. Oh, and by the way, you can still be a badass and all of the above.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Mai: Hold your vision and don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise. That’s the whole point of being an entrepreneur right? So that you can do things the way you want. Hold the vision.