Name: Cheryl Sutherland
Business Name: PleaseNotes
Industry: Personal Development
Cheryl Sutherland is the Founder of PleaseNotes, a for-purpose company of affirmation-filled products. Creator Cheryl felt restless and underwhelmed at her 9 to 5. After spending over 1400 hours in learning and facilitating personal development, coaching, and reigniting her inner creativity, Cheryl created a company that inspires women to step into their own power by building confidence, clarity, and creativity.
As a women’s empowerment expert and entrepreneur, Cheryl Sutherland and PleaseNotes have been featured InStyle, Huffington Post, American Express OPEN Forum, Thrive Global, Youngry, and StandOut Publications.
Cheryl resides in between Los Angeles and Toronto, Ontario.
1. How did you get started in your field?
I hit a point in my life when I knew I was supposed to do something different, but had no idea what it was. After a couple months feeling restless, I quit my job and focused 100% on myself. I read, journaled, and started working with affirmations. As a result of my 1400 hours of internal work, I started to re-write my story. I became more confident, self-assured and self-aware. I started to value myself in a way I never had before. As a result, when I was called to do something, I learned to listen. The thing I love doing most is personal development because it impacts every area of your life. I experienced working with female entrepreneurs and saw the huge difference this work makes in their lives and tangible shifts they have in their business. I felt like sharing the things I had learned and applied from years of personal development courses was the most authentic thing I could do, and I love it!
PleaseNote’s tagline is “Affirmation-filled Goods for the Millennial Woman”. We have a special emphasis on helping women of color step into their power with creativity, confidence, and clarity. Our customers have expanded worldwide, including Spain, UK, Canada and the Philippines just to name a few. Our products have been endorsed by Les Brown and Monique Coleman.
2. Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because it lights me up. I experienced firsthand the changes in my own life and saw how other people can grow and transform. Most importantly, I FEEL good doing it. I think we don’t pay attention to how we actually feel doing things. Society tells us that struggle is necessary and happiness is rare. I believe the complete opposite. Whatever you choose to believe becomes your reality.
I wanted to create a new space where women’s message could be heard and people could have a platform and voice to accelerate their lives with confidence, clarity, and courage. PleaseNotes gives them the tools to do it.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you see any connections in what you are doing now?
I remember sitting in my Dad’s house watching TV in my favorite chair. I was one of those kids that loved surgery and birth shows. I proudly announced that I was going to be a plastic surgeon. It was an educated decision because there was less pressure than being an emergency surgeon, and it would be fun to help people feel better about themselves. That was quickly kiboshed by my Dad, however looking back and seeing the jobs and activities I really excelled in were all ones that were service based. I always loved helping people get what they want, and this business really allowed me to serve people in the biggest way. Not from a place of being underneath and giving someone everything they want, instead giving people the tools to find and create what they what. It’s the whole “give a man a fish, teach a man to fish” story and it’s so exhilarating!
4. Coffee or Tea? What is your go-to drink?
Ooh all the coffee! Usually for ease of use I like a regular coffee with almond milk, or an Immortal from Cafe Gratitude!
5. If you could only take 3 things with you on a remote island, what would they be?
A multi-purpose knife, a water purifier, and a case of good whisky.
6. Sweet or Savory? What’s your favorite dish?
Savory and then sweet, and back to savory lol. I love caribbean food, (my family is from St. Vincent), so right now my favorite meal is a vegetarian curry roti. Sooo good.
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I love Instagram. It’s super visual and it’s easy to stay away from negative conversations, news and debates.
8. What is one thing you use regularly that you could NOT imagine living without?
My iPhone. I am an Apple girl through and through.
9. Favorite TV show?
It’s a toss up between Insecure on HBO and American Gods on Starz. I am a huge sci-fi nerd and the visuals, backstory, storytelling and history in American Gods is amazing. Insecure is such an authentic representation of living as a black woman in LA. Friendships, relationships and overall just existing and figuring things out as you go.
10. What are you listening to when you are working? (music/tv)
Usually I listen to YouTube videos. It’s a mix of white noise, seminars, and entrepreneur interviews. I like to listen to them when I’m driving as well, I feel like I’m being being extra productive!
11. Favorite book(s)?
My top 5 right now are “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein
“You Are a Badass At Making Money” by Jen Sincero
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Tears to Triumph” by Marianne Williamson
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
12. Most people don’t realize that I am _______.
Canadian, except when they talk to me and comment on how nice I am.
13. One thing I want to do in the next 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
1 Year – Speak on/at an internationally recognized outlet.
5 Years – Be listed on an internationally recognized 40 under 40.
10 Years – Start a summit for like minded people to come together and hear speakers, get training and network. This would allow the space for people to explore new thoughts, concepts and practices for themselves, and to be able to have new experiences for growth.
14. Favorite female past or present?
I have a magnificent friend, named Dreamy. Dreamy is a unique person. No matter what I’ve gone through or what I’ve felt, I’ve never felt any judgement from her. I feel having a person in your life that doesn’t judge you, feel sorry for you, and always loves and accepts you in an amazing light-hearted way is a very rare thing. I feel like I’ve learned alot from myself because of my relationship with her.
15. In my previous life I was likely a ____________.
16. Growing up I was always the ____________.
Introvert. I for some reason made myself responsible for other people’s feelings at a very early age, so I watched people and their reactions a lot.
17. My biggest passion in life is ___________.
To feel satisfaction in all areas of my life.
18. Favorite cocktail (virgin or not):
Old fashioned with Luxardo cherries.
19. Favorite vacation spot?
St. Vincent and The Grenadines.
20. If I could live anywhere for the rest of my life I’d move to __________.
21. What is one thing you LOVE to see in other bossladies?
Women asking more questions, and women giving AUTHENTIC support. There are so many stories of women expecting other women to fail them, because of experiences they’ve had with other women saying they will do something, and then disappear when they do the follow up.
22. What is one thing you admire about someone you follow? Who is it?
Vulnerability. I’m still working on this because I’ve learned that vulnerability isn’t just showing or sharing the hard times, it’s also sharing and celebrating things your excited about or achieved. Brene Brown is amazing at sharing her stories and teaching others about why vulnerability is so vital to success in all areas of our lives, and in raising the next generation.
23. How do you maintain a balance in your work and life?
I attempt not to take anything too seriously. There is no separation between work and life as an entrepreneur. Instead, I create a dance between “work stuff” and “life stuff”.
Have a list of the items you would like to accomplish in both areas, and be cognisant of what activities call to you at a particular time. Forcing activities to happen is an indication that there is something off. Discover what that is, and then you can do everything you want really quickly with ease. Some people worry about being lazy, falling behind, or being not enough, however, if what you’re doing is on track for what you’re meant to be doing, you feel in flow and it happens with ease. If you’re constantly feeling negatively about things, you’ve got a bigger problem then the activity you’re struggling with. It’s never about the activity, it’s about how you feel while doing the activity.
24. What’s one thing you learned the hard way?
Don’t do anything for another person from a feeling of sacrifice. You’re doing both yourself and the other person an injustice. This can be small things like lowering your pricing, doing extra work that a person didn’t pay for or doing something out of a place of “they need me to help them” or “they will suffer without me.” You are making yourself responsible for other people’s feelings and subconsciously limiting their capability. This is a lose-lose all around. You usually feel exhausted, and the other person is usually upset with you anyway. When you act from a grounded, empowered place, the other person you want to support will subconsciously do the same.
25. One piece of advice you’d give someone starting out in your industry?
Be yourself. Make mistakes. Let your best be good enough.
Rest, play, remember this is all fun and games.
26. Give us one inspirational quote from the book of YOU:
It doesn’t matter what they call you. It matters what you answer to. Know your worth.