Shamima Nyamekye: When you start a business, hire slow and fire fast
This week conversation with Shamima was so inspiring and has moved me in many ways! After listening back to the episode, I felt uncomfortable in a good way. Almost as if I've been complacent and needed a motivational push from someone from a different upbringing than my own. As a podcast host and speaker amongst other things, I'm surrounded by ambitious individuals and successful people. So subconsciously I became less inspired by what others were doing around me. However, speaking with Shamima helped change this as I gained a new perspective. In this article, I touch on why it is important to advocate for yourself. Also, in the exclusive Q&A, Shamima shares her practical hiring tips for new businesses that she used to scale her own business from 0 - 8 employees in under a year.
Closed mouths don't get fed
What strikes me about Shamima is that she is very open and confident in sharing her achievements. If you follow her, whether that is on Twitter or LinkedIn you will notice she is a trailblazer and not afraid to show it. She updates her followers about success with her academics, business and lifestyle. At first impression, you may perceive she is a bragger. However, after conversating with her, slowly peeling back the layers I noticed her humility and intentionality. Shamima brought up how back in Ghana, being quiet about your achievements is regarded as humility whilst being vocal is connected with being proud.
One of social media's core purposes is to connect with other people and share information about ourselves. So we should take this opportunity to share our interests, and post what we're desiring or in need of. Additionally, yes go crazy in sharing your achievements and do not let anyone limit your celebrations (of course take caution in sharing on appropriate platforms). Shamima reminded me that we need to be our own cheerleader because in the beginning when you are not 'winning' no one may be on the sidelines cheering you on. We live in a world where people only jump on a moving ship and arrive at the party when it is already 'popping'. So before anyone else realises your potential or value, start advocating for yourself early. This way you will start to command people willing to help you out or join your mission. If you keep your mouth closed in the name of humility, it may be a false sense of pride and cause you to lose out on great opportunities.
Q: How do you hire a personal assistant without them feeling below you?
Shamima: I believe it is about respect and just general human decency. As a founder or business owner, it is important to realize that the very act of hiring means that you need help and can't do it all. If that is true, then it follows that you should look at people helping you as your co-equals and not your subordinates. If I am being honest, I could never get on without the help of my assistant. The way she handles appointments and coordinates my calendar aids my success in so many ways. If anything, I am in awe of her.
Q: How do you hire and scale up a team of employees?
I am going to share a quote someone I respect shared with me. He said when you start a business,
"Hire slow, Fire fast".
When you start a business, you usually hire generalists to do a bit of everything but as I have begun to scale, I find that I am hiring more specialists who are good with specific services and can stick to that.
Training and re-training is also an important aspect of scaling and hiring employees. I am constantly teaching my new hires the ropes and helping my hired employees to improve. The bigger a business gets, the bigger the expectations customers have and a team needs to prepare for the influx of new business.
When hiring, especially in the early stages of a business, it is also important to ensure that beyond just salary, you need to employ individuals that seem genuinely passionate about the cause of your business.
Listen to the full episode on a platform of your choice: https://linktr.ee/valuablepodcast