Take a moment to pause and think about managing your team and personal well-being.

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Dear Entrepreneur,

I hope this message finds you well.

Recognize the value of every team member, including your new hires and interns. Treat them with respect and offer great working terms. A happy and well-treated team is crucial for a winning workplace culture needed to grow the business. When you support your team with the right tools, conducive working space, mentorship and ongoing training and opportunities, they do their best to make the business win.

As you support your team, don’t forget to look after yourself first.  Your health is key. No matter how much you work, there will always be more to do. While working at a Big Four audit firm, I was part of the newcomers that practised some form of unhealthy childish competition –trying to be the last person seen leaving the office. Can you imagine!

Some people would leave as late as 11 pm! And the following day arrive at the office by 6:00 am! Work in an audit firm never gets finished, if you are not serious about what is critical. After six months of torturing myself, my immediate senior colleague, who had been noticing my self-torture, asked me out for lunch and gave me good career lessons that transformed my life.  He said:

“Mustapha, working late is not a sign of seriousness or hard work. It is a sign of a lack of priorities. Focus your time on what is important, go home early, relax and come back tomorrow ready for what is important for the day.  Staying late means you are probably working on tasks, not priorities. Otherwise, you would have accomplished it during the day or planned to finish it on time. The firm rewards people who focus on outcomes, not the input. Get to know how much revenue you are expected to generate, and the resources you have to deliver. Make a list of daily or weekly priorities to win. Share the list with your supervisor and execute. Focus on outcomes and make timely updates.”

It worked. I changed gears. Took time to understand the key priorities of the firm, and aligned my efforts. Stopped working late. It’s essential to find a balance, ensuring you don’t compromise your health in the process. Taking adequate breaks and managing your work hours will not only sustain your health but also enhance your productivity in the long run.


Keep these important insights in mind as you grow your business.


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