Failure doesn’t automatically predict the outcome of our future. Just because you failed doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try again. Rise up after every fall. Your dreams are achievable. Don’t stop now, keep pushing. Today on Exclusives with SammytheAuthor, an Inspiring Ghanaian – Netherland based Serial Entrepreneur, shares with us, her life story and career as an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist . Checkout the Interview Below.
1: For the benefits of the people who might not know you, tell us a bit about yourself. (Background, Education, Career, etc.).
I was born and raised in the Netherlands by my Suriname mother and Ghanaian father. I have always been an advocate for self-education and lifelong learning. So after studying marketing and communications, I set out to educate myself on other topics that interest me such as, digital transformation, Design Thinking, Business strategy, and finance through programs from Boston University, Harvard Business School, and Oxford University.
I spent a few years in the banking and insurance industry until I moved to Dubai, where I started my consulting career. A few years after that, I traveled a bit in Europe before moving back to the Netherlands as an Entrepreneur. Aside from my businesses, I now work together with an amazing team at ScaleupNation on a mission to increase the odds for startups to scale successfully through research and innovative tools.
2: What’s the story behind your personality?
I think a lot of different life events and environmental factors play a role in one’s personality. At the core, I believe I am as much a dreamer as I am a realist, allowing me to approach life, relationships and decisions more holistically. It’s probably the reason why I connect well with different people and on all levels.
3: What has been your go-to-source when all hell is breaking loose in your life?
Reflection. I try to take time to reflect daily but, sometimes life gets tough. I usually decide to retreat, spend some time alone to clear my mind, write things down and re-energize. It’s such a powerful thing to meet your obstacles head-on with a clear mind, knowing exactly; what you’re going to do about it.
4: What triggered the idea to commence Growth Lab? Give us an overview of what you do.
Growth lab was born out of the idea to help more growth-stage startups to scale by focusing on specific elements of the scaling journey. Unlike an accelerator that tries to get everything patched up a bit and all at the same time we focus more on the successful execution of sprints on strategy or leadership; for instance, through growth programs. We are currently pivoting, however, and I’ll be able to share more about that soon.
5: Being a Woman Empowerment Enthusiast and Growth Strategist, what are some of the necessary steps to take as a young lady looking to build her brand? Anything shareable?
It’s funny, I never saw my personal brand as a thing to work on; Up until 2020, and I was happily doing the work on the background. It wasn’t until I had to face the fact that in the world of business, the same rules do not apply for (black) women as they do for men, I decided something had to change. I think the biggest insight for me was how powerful sharing your unique story is. It’s something so uniquely yours, that it will attract the right audiences in due time if you just keep showing up authentically.
6: What is your take on Social Entrepreneurship?
I am a strong supporter of social entrepreneurship initiatives. It will be great if we start to hype and support these initiatives as much as we do with new tech solutions that don’t necessarily solve any real-world problems. There is a shift happening, however, and I believe we will see more startups with a social impact focus in the next decade or so.
7: If you had the chance to turn back the hands of time, what would you have rectified in your business life?
I would have allowed myself to fail more. Try more things, involve more people earlier, and ask for help. However, it’s those elements of the entrepreneurial journey that you can only find out by learning. So in as much as; it would be nice to see where that would have taken me, I know for sure I wouldn’t be who I am today had I not done things exactly the way I did. So this is definitely not a summary of regrets, just lessons learned.
8: What has been your greatest fear ever since you started this walk?
The fear of failure. Funnily enough, not towards others by failure to meet my own expectations. I tend to set the bar for myself very high, and I think that’s good. I also know that not being able to meet my own expectations is something that I still find hard to deal with. The lesson for me in this is; about finding the balance between aiming for the moon and giving myself grace sometimes.
9: How can one transition his/her team to remote-working times of crisis.
Although it is always preferable to establish clear remote-work policies and training in advance, in times of crisis or other rapidly changing circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible. Recent developments have left many employees and their managers working out of the office and separated from each other for the very first time.
4 steps to remote work
The first thing that I recommend managers do is to establish daily check-ins or daily huddles. The morning huddle is a great way to get the team aligned on individual and company priorities for that day. The huddle is a really short meeting to share your number one or two priorities for that day, it is not a place to go over your to-do list. You will share your definition of done on those set priorities so that everyone understands exactly what you will be working on today and when this is considered to be done.
The huddle also functions as a way to recognise hurdles or bottlenecks that may get in the way of progress for that day – which then can easily be resolved on the spot by making use of the collective intelligence present – avoiding people getting stuck for hours trying to fix something all by themselves (which is killing for productivity). And I recommend doing this via a video conferencing tool always to keep that sense of human connection within the team.
Secondly, provide several different communication options – because you will find that email alone is insufficient. When it’s time for deliberation, strategy sessions, team collaboration sessions or any type of meeting that will take on more than 10 minutes by the rule of thumb – use a video conferencing tool. Being able to see the visual cues of meeting participants allows for increased mutual knowledge that can be tapped into, and will help make meetings more effective.
Of course, there are other circumstances when quick collaboration is more important than visual detail. And for these situations, provide mobile-enabled individual messaging tools like Slack, which can be used for simpler conversations as well as time-sensitive communication. And then you can make use of project management and tracking tools such as Monday, Trello, or Asana.
Click on this link: How to transition Your Team to Remote Work in times of Crisis
10: Any challenges faced coming up as an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It is a long and hard journey that will stretch you on all levels. I personally found being patient and trusting the process when you are building your business the hardest, part, especially when you are the only person who believes this is going to work. They say it’s lonely at the top, and at some points, it truly is. That’s why it’s important to be careful who you surround yourself with; your circle plays a big part in how far you will go.