Life List Women Series – Sam White

Sam White

Sam White has dialled in from the UK. It’s early morning for her and early evening for me. She looks fresh and energetic and has just been to the gym. I am at my beach house on my summer holidays and feeling super relaxed and excited to be talking to such an exceptional woman as my first work task for 2023.

A serial entrepreneur, Sam has been starting, running and growing big businesses – turning over in excess of GBP 18 million and employing over 200 people – since her early 20s. Because, as she quite simply states – ‘I don’t want to work for anyone else. The person who controls the money makes the rules.’

I love her already.

The Fuel That Drives Sam’s Life By Design

‘Don’t swim against the sea. If everything naturally falls into place then just swim with it.’

At a professional level, in 2023 Sam’s passion is Stella – an insurance company that is unapologetically just for women. Stella has one aim: to focus on levelling the playing field for women. They do this by delivering insurance solutions that are adapted and tailored to the needs of women.

Although Sam is a ‘Brit’, she started Stella in Australia – primarily because Australia allows insurers to offer cheaper insurance premiums for women because they present less risk. In the UK, insurers are not allowed to ‘positively’ discriminate in this way. I am astonished by this. It feels like women in the UK are being punished for having less car accidents and other insurance claims. Yes we want ‘equality’, but surely this is just taking the piss?

In any event, Australia proved to be a fertile, and perhaps less ridiculously politically correct on the whole drive for ‘equality’, market to test the Stella brand. And it has gone off. In just 2.5 years the unapologetically pro-women brand has attracted thousands of Australian women customers.

Interestingly, Stella has also become a bit of a target and has been labelled in some quarters as ‘discriminatory’ for not having male leaders at the helm. Sam is still pondering this, and like the Stella brand, is inclined to be ‘unapologetic’ about ruffling a few sensitive masculine feathers. In fact, it has created a dynamic of removing both toxic masculinity and toxic femininity (where women leaders often don’t throw the ladder down to other women) from the company – ‘When you get a group of women genuinely supporting each other,’ Sam states, ’you can conquer the universe’.


(On a side note, Sam has recently been invited to join a cohort of incredible business men to shoot the breeze about all things business. She describes herself as a (female) Trojan Horse. Gold.)

But it wasn’t just the better regulatory environment that drew Sam to Australia – to be honest, for me it is not about the dollars – I went to Australia for experiences and adventure because that is what brings me joy! (Well, if that isn’t just a nifty little segway to ‘The Life List’, I don’t know what is…)

Having just been through a jarring divorce (yep, know that feeling), Sam said she fancied a break. She and a friend jumped on a plane with the motto let’s just see what happens, and the whole experience was ‘magic – the best three week’s of my life’. The more people she met and spoke to, the bigger the Stella movement became.

‘The Universe will whisper to you if you are listening’.

2023 see’s Sam on a mission to grow Stella globally – and after basking in her energy over our 45 minute Zoom call I am seriously left in no doubt that this woman will make it happen.

What Sam is loving most about life today

‘The first step to designing your perfect life is to ask yourself – what do I really want? I am shocked to shit that most women can’t answer this question. Or that they don’t even tap in and ask themselves the question. You need to make the choice to tap in and listen to yourself. We are still putting women in a category where they aren’t owning their own future. No-one has all the answers. If they pretend they do, it’s just bullshit. But at least ask yourself the question.’

Apart from Stella, on a personal level Sam is all about growth, which she admits gets easier as she gets older. At 47 she is the happiest and healthiest she has ever been: everyone tells you that ageing is shit, but they are wrong. I am confident in my own skin – it has been a 20 year adventure – and it keeps getting better.

God I love this woman.

What’s next on Sam’s Life List?

Next on Sam’s To Do list is tackling public speaking. She’s terrified. Having suffered from panic attacks from the age of 19-30, the thought of speaking in front of an audience makes Sam want to vomit. Recognising that public speaking has been a barrier for her, this is the challenge she has thrown herself for 2023 – a whole load of keynotes.

‘It’s important to me not to turn away from the things that challenge me. I am tacking my internal narrative that ‘I am not good at it’.’

Personally I think she is going to have the audience eating out of her hand.

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Design & Deliver A Dream Life
With Kate Christie

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I am an executive coach and small business coach specialising in time management, productivity, goal setting and life by design.
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Grief and loss taught Kate—a top lawyer turned time management expert for global businesses—life is too short. You need to set then chase outrageous goals. Now.
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At its heart, this book is about sharing my story so that you know you aren’t alone – that there are many women just like you who are reflecting on what’s next.
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