Meet Nigerian businesswoman who doesn’t employ friends nor relatives
Lariat Alhassan never mixes business with pleasure. One of the success tips of the CEO, LarryGold Business Link Limited, makers of Larclux paints, is not to employ relatives and friends, except as consultants.
In this interview, she reveals that her determination to succeed in a male-dominated field has kept her going for years now.
How easy was it for you to start up your paint company?
It wasn’t easy at all. I had to put in an extra effort to make sure my dream became a reality.
Did you feel intimidated as a woman getting into that line of business?
I wasn’t in any way intimidated as a woman. In fact, I saw it as an added advantage to be a woman who was determined to take the lead in a perceived male-dominated business.
What criteria work for you when employing staff?
When I hire staff, I look out for their enthusiasm for the job. You can’t do well if you are not enthusiastic and passionate about your work.
What’s your typical day like?
My day starts with observing my morning prayers. I then take a cup of Chinese green tea with ginger and lemon. I also do 100 sit-ups, have my bath and go to work. I move from one site to another depending on how many sites we are working on.
I drop by first to supervise what the painters are doing and then proceed to meeting with my clients. After all the necessary meetings for the day, I head to the office. I do some work or have meetings if it is scheduled already. Then I go to the gym for at least one or two hours and then go home to face my home duties.
How do you scale through the challenges of your business?
God has been faithful in helping me overcome some of the challenges that come with this terrain of business. I usually think through every challenge I face in any particular moment. I brood on tactics to employ in overcoming it usually between 1am and 3am. At that time, I am able to think out solutions and so far, it has been working. I also pray a lot.
In addition, I commune and relate with other female entrepreneurs to brainstorm about certain issues. From their different experiences and perspectives, solutions could arise.
Would you prefer to see more women in your line of business?
I would love to see more women in my line of business and am also ready to encourage and mentor women who will be ready and enthusiastic about this business.
What are some of the success rules that keep your business going?
My success rules are no employment of relatives and friends, except as consultants, but never as permanent staff. For me, it is no mixing of business with pleasures. Business is business, I keep it that way.
How do you handle the unpleasant aspects of your business like visiting sites and engaging in some aspects that many consider reserved for men?
I am used to unpleasant sites because that is what brings the money. And there is usually no need for me to form a big woman when visiting these areas. What I do is just equip myself by wearing shoes or clothes that befit these sites and I just fit in without stress.
If you could change the world, what would you do?
If I have the power to change the world, I will place more women at the helms of affairs in this country. I will make all women see themselves as sisters, and there would be no need for envy. They will be so happy with themselves that there would be no need for one woman to be responsible for another woman’s tears but to be the cause of her laughter.
I will make things so easy that if two women were to share a man or share something important to them, it will be with so much love with one woman watching the back of another and not bringing her down. I will promote the true strength in womanhood and sisterhood.
What are your rules for living?
My rules for living life to the full is to take each day as it comes and live each day as if it were my last. Also, I try not to give up on things that are truly important to me. It is never over for me until I know I have achieved my aim for good.