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Ingrid Sanders wants you to take a sabbatical to refresh your thinking

*We’ll have the live stream clip of Ingrid’s talk up as soon as possible

Popexpert founder & CEO Ingrid Sanders shared the unusual story behind the founding of her company with Big Omaha Friday afternoon. She got laughs from the crowd as she opened her presentation with audio from a dial-up modem and explained that she began her career with Prodigy in the late ’90s. Sanders then advanced through the technology industry on the advertising and media side of the business.

After years of being career driven, Ingrid did something rare for a highly ambitious person: She stopped. She sublet her apartment, tapped into her savings and went on a six-month adventure where she did yoga, climbed mountains and did yoga on mountains. Not only that, she got certified as a yoga instructor, developed an expertise in nutrition and indulged a desire to learn to play ukulele. It changed her life and led to her current business.

Sanders asked the crowd if anyone had something they’ve always wanted to learn. Dozens – maybe hundreds – of hands shot up. Out of a desire to help others to learn the things that they’ve always wanted to learn Popexpert, the e-learning tool was born.  Sanders said, “What I realized is that we all have things that we want to get better at in life.”

The tips that Sanders shared with the conference attendees came from her experience on sabbatical and as a business leader:

  • Take time off: If you take a big break like Ingrid she recommends that you 1) Completely refrain from doing any sort of work related to what you were doing before. 2) Avoid expectations for what’s next. 3) Focus on what matters to you (your core values) 
  • Build your purpose: You spend a lot of hours building your company (she says it takes 61,344 hours to make a business successful). You’ll get better results and have a richer product and experience if you’re truly passionate about it. 
  • Find alignment: Mission focused company can go a long way to attracting people that are passionate about what you’re doing. In other words, your team will be emotionally invested in achieving your purpose. 
  • Know your values: “Understanding what you value is the starting point to understanding how you can bring those values into your work.” At Popexpert they have a “Zen Den” for meditation and will do quick interval exercise because they value health and believe it directly affects productivity and creativity.  


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