Blog Image of the topic- Quick 5 w Basma 5 Quickfire Questions with General Manager, Basma Ashry

5 Quickfire Questions with General Manager, Basma Ashry

  • What did you want to be when you were little?

Oh gosh! I had no idea! I’m sure I had the usual little kid dreams as I grew up, but I guess I just wanted to be successful. I wanted to do something important and make a difference really. That was something I realized as I got older.

I knew that I had a strong set of personal values, and the ambition to use them. I guess I just wanted to go far. That was it.

  • What’s the key to being efficient as an entrepreneur, do you think?

I think you first need to have a clear aim. Without a North Star, so to speak, you don’t know where you’re heading, so you’ll spend your time on tasks that aren’t delivering the kind of value they need to.

You know, efficiency is in your micro habits. There’s not some big hack that everyone knows, otherwise, everyone would be doing it, right? It’s about taking care of the finer details.

Also, take care of your diet! Avoid carb-heavy foods in the middle of the day that will make you feel tired. Honestly, we spend so long talking about how you can do A, B, and C, but if you’re not fuelled up for the task, you’re already falling short. Plenty of vegetables!

  • How do you relax being a business leader?

I’m not quite so sure the words ‘relax’ and ‘business leader’ go in the same sentence really! No, that’s not true I’m kidding of course. It’s actually the most crucial thing someone in a leadership position can do, and I’ve seen that with my own two eyes throughout my career. The most successful people I’ve met are the ones who have hobbies, stay fit, they have a happy home life…they just seem to know how to juggle everything! 

You look at them and you think – how do you have the time to do everything?! But the key is, they make the time. Every day is a blank canvas for them, and if they want to carve a bit of running into their lunchtime and it takes 2 hours, well the world can wait. I love that attitude!

I am very lucky to have the most wonderful family life, and my fluffball Lucy (she’s a 10/10, honestly) reminds me that there are bigger things to think about in life than work 24/7. 

Some people live to work, and that’s fine! Good for them. I’m not sure they ever relax though.

Any time away from the laptop, the screen, business meetings, or deadlines, I try to jump all into relaxing. Just like I commit 100% to work, I commit 100% to putting my feet up and unwind. You should try it!

  • How did it feel to be noted as one of the ‘trailblazers’ for women in business?

Life is full of little moments where you think – while this wasn’t my specific dream, it’s pretty damn cool to experience this. It’s a moment where it proves, hey, maybe I’m doing something right!

It’s an incredible privilege to be recognized as a trailblazer particularly. Such a term is associated with high flyers, people doing something differently, making a real change you know. I’m just trying to be me, and live by my principles. If that makes me a trailblazer, I’m happy to go with it!

The thing that’s key for me is to set the tone for up-and-coming leaders. It’s pointless being a trailblazer if you don’t bring someone along with you in my opinion.

  • What’s one piece of advice you’d give to somebody looking to start their business?

The actual advice is more from a personal perspective than a professional one. Don’t expect to get everything right, and certainly anticipate some setbacks. The road gets bumpy, but if you believe in your idea and what you’re doing, you will be fine. 

Also, have somebody you can lean on who has been there before. Honestly, they don’t even have to be someone you know! I guarantee if you shoot your shot, send an email to 50 CEOs, and explain your story to them, at least 1 will hear you out and lend their ear. It’s probably because they have a mentor of their own, or they’ve made a product and found a solution to a problem that helps people. So they live and breathe helping people.

Oh, and relax from time to time! You’re allowed to 🙂 

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