Entrepreneur Sarah ‘Sharky’ Harkness escaped death; now she wants to inspire billions
The Australian mother of 3 and successful business owner is launching a book and nonprofit to assemble the world’s greatest minds and visionaries.
Sarah “Sharky” Harkness likes to say she “was forced to the bottom of hell and found God … over and over and over and over again.”
The 38-year-old mom of three young children and visionary entrepreneur has survived 26 surgeries over a 3-year space.
She also come as close to death as one can (Glasgow Coma Scale of 3), suffered a stroke and spent almost 2 years in the hospital during Covid while fighting complications from life-threatening Autonomic dysreflexia – an overreaction of the involuntary nervous system to stimulation.
The Sydney-based Australian has survived the experiences and is now thriving – releasing a new book and new nonprofit while running a successful revenue optimization agency called Cattle Dog Digital.
“I have always known that we are given a choice in our lives, and I have made the same one over and over again: To get in and just get it done,” Harkness said. “I would not wish what I went through on anyone, and it’s been absolute hell every time. … But I learned what alchemy you can create out of suffering.”
The book will be called “Guided by Giants: A story of survival to thriving.”
It will debut in September and will discuss Harkness’ battle in the hospital, which included three brain shunts and several other interventions to save her life. In addition, it will reveal the inspiration behind the recently launched Project Lotus, the nonprofit that “aims to empower individuals and communities to break free from the constraints of scarcity and achieve greater abundance in every aspect of their lives.”
“Our mission is to bring together the brightest minds from various communities and leverage our collective expertise in RevOps, AI, and abundance theory to make a positive impact on millions of people's lives,” Harkness said. “We aim to create a platform that provides personalized guidance on how to optimize resources, finances, and investments to achieve greater abundance or impact, and to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among individuals who are passionate about helping others.”
Harkness has a deep background serving the SaaS and cloud computing industry while working a decade for Salesforce, Marketo and Gitlab before starting Cattle Dog Digital with her husband Luke in 2015.
While at Salesforce, her nickname became “Sharky” – a combination of the first letter of her first name and first four letters of her surname. She said the “Sharky” description is a perfect fit for her personality as sharks “look for whatever opportunity they can to survive that is available within the adversity.”
Even near death, especially on May 8, 2022, Harkness said “my will was so strong that it wouldn’t let me die.” That experience and others have been the inspiration for Project Lotus as a lotus flower is associated with rebirth and renewal through suffering.
“It grows from muddy waters and rises above the surface to bloom into a beautiful flower,” Harkness said. “This symbolism could be fitting for a project focused on using technology and collaboration to create a positive outcome that prioritizes integrity and cultivation-based protocols.”
Sarah has three children and having a son with some challenges with natural empathy meant she uses her experiences to help teach him how to connect with others.
For Harkness, there is a simple truth to her life and existence.
“Failure or succumbing to the emotion of my suffering,” she said, “is not an option. Mindset is a choice and I hope to share my story to enable others to activate the choice and will in them." Harkness believes that within us all is the possibility of transformation.
“I am so full of life now and so incredibly grateful,” Harkness said. “I have been humbled and brought to my knees in ways most humans will never experience. Now it’s time to share my story with the world to inspire and activate others.”
For more information, visit www.sharkyceo.com