Pop Quiz, Monday with Ayda Shabanz

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ayda Shabanz

What is your job role?
I am the Co-Founder of several multimillion-dollar Property and Finance companies. Which include Grow Consulting Group (Development Management, Investments, Buyer Advocates), Money Genius (Finance Company), Newstead Realty (Sales & Rentals), The Feature Enterprises (Marketing Company) and Ayda Shabanz.

Tell us about your company?
Grow Group is driven to become Australia’s leading property organisation. Providing expert knowledge and industry-leading customer service, we help people to achieve their financial goals through the medium of buying and investing in property. Through offering buyers access to a vast portfolio of available property, as well as investment opportunities, we continually work towards satisfying the needs of our clients.

Ayda Shabanz the coaching and educational platform that I created to help Gen Y as well as the younger generation with investing, money education, coaching and mentoring.

What do you love most about your job?
I am passionate about helping as many people as possible achieve their goals faster. I love being able to use my experience in business, money and also just life to help inspire other people that it is possible for them too. I also love seeing my clients grow and my staff.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Helping as many people as possible. I have been doing this for over 16 years and still each day I look for ways that I can make a more significant impact.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I am always inspired by seeing their growth and progression. My co-workers are my extended family, and I love to watch each of them grow through life and expand their reality. I am huge on work culture and have worked hard to create a group of people that share the values and also love coming to work. I think it’s important to make sure you like the people you work with. We spend the majority of our times in a day at work.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
One of our work values is a Positive attitude. As a group, we ensure that the workplace is a happy and positive environment and we don’t tolerate any less. We have weekly department meetings for each area of our business and then each week on a Friday we combine all our companies and have one group team meeting. At this meeting each week a different team member runs this to show their leadership. We also request each person share their weekly wins. We also do monthly team building social activities together. For example, we close the office after 12 each Melbourne cup and take all our staff out for a long lunch and let them all have fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
HR is always an ongoing challenge. Finding the right staff and managing the current staff. Over the years I have learnt to manage this well. I have an HR consultant and also an employment lawyers on call. The HR consultant not only assists with new recruitment but also makes sure that our current staff is meeting their KPI’s and also assist in proper career planning and progression. I also have an Office manager that takes a load of day to day office staffing requirements. So learning how to get really good people to delegate some of this detail to has freed up a lot of time and also has helped create a growth culture.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the biggest lessons that I learnt is not to trust a handshake. When I was in 20, I trusted business associates on a handshake and in my naivety this got me into trouble later. I learnt that ensure every meeting held is followed up by a confirmation email and the importance of getting agreements signed.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Well, I am across a few industries so I might give a few tips across business and property. If you want to enter the property industry, I would suggest that you really become an expert one area and be the best in it and then expand from there. Don’t try to be everything to fast, I started in Finance, and after 16 years I am here. Decide what area you want to specialise in and completely immerse yourself in everything that is to do with that. Regarding business two things, I would suggest that you get clear about your values and then base all your decision making on these, hiring staff, what clients and projects you take on, etc. 2. Know your numbers a lot of business fail because they do not know the simple numbers around what it costs them to run the business and what they need to do be in profit.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Social media

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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