We speak to the Business Decoded founder Lubna Farham, who as a mother of two momtrepreneur who has previously revealed that good role models were lacking in her life so she decided to become her own. Needless to say, that this is a perfect introduction to her BEYOUROWN exclusive interview with us following her recent departure from this year’s BBC’s The Apprentice.
Thank you for joining us Lubna, can you tell us a little bit about your background and your journey as a chartered accountant prior to joining The Apprentice cast this year?
I was bought up on a Council Estate and lacked positive and ambitious role models while growing up. I loved studying and put all my time and energy in learning. I did well academically and went on to receive a scholarship at University attaining a 1st Class Hons Degree. I then secured a graduate training programme and qualified as a Chartered Accountant 3 years later. I have then gone on to work for different large retailers from TKMaxx to Costa to Tesco and have experience working in Audit, Financial Accounting Commercial Finance and Financial Planning & Analysis. I applied to The Apprentice while on maternity leave as was looking to work for myself to be the master of my own destiny especially after having a family.
Can you tell us where your passion lies for enabling business growth, maximise profit and the development of skillset for entrepreneurs?
My passion lies in doing what I love that will also add value to other people. You have to be very hands-on and do things you have never done before, be it branding, marketing, sales and develop your skills set as you go along. When you do what you love these new hats do not become a chore but a challenge.
How you are balancing the work/life strife?
I have recently taken the plunge and resigned from my full-time job to focus on launching my business. Being the main breadwinner, you can imagine there is a lot on my plate especially as I have two small kids and must admit it is very tough to balance business and pleasure. I do not get much time to myself and have not gone on a proper holiday for a long time but I know it will pay off as I have my eyes on a bigger prize.
Who is the team behind you currently at Business Decoded and do you currently have you gained any mentors since leaving the show?
The team behind ‘Business Decoded’ is just me at the moment but I will expand as the need arises as I am sure I will have to as I have some very big ambitious plans for the business growth of ‘Business Decoded’. Exciting times ahead!
What platforms are you using as marketing tools for Business Decoded?
I am using Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I find that a different demographic of the audience use each platform, although some may be using a combination. Once I establish the most beneficial platforms for Business Decoded then I will happily drop the ones less valuable as I would rather put my efforts where the results are. I am also very open-minded about new and upcoming social media platforms as I joined Instagram only recently after I came back filming for The Apprentice so want to ensure now I am keeping on top of the more relevant platforms. Things can change fast online!
Do you currently use any apps or tools to help the functionality of your business practice?
I don’t need to at the moment but there is almost an app for everything now so would not be surprised to find what I am looking for if the need arises.
Who is the most influential female powerhouse that you admire and why?
I absolutely love Michelle Obama. She is such a strong independent woman who has a mixture of intelligence, compassion and vision. I never saw her as a shadow of her husband, while she was First Lady, as she had her own presence. She had her own standing even then and that is a testament to her strength and calibre.
If you could tell your 18-year old self a solid piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t conform to the norm. You don’t have to follow a certain path from graduating to getting married at a certain age.
Humans are social animals so socialise, network, learn and don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t fail you are not even trying!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Be your best self and conquer the World. Be the role model to others that you once needed or looked up to….until your role models become your competition…
What does 2020 look like for you and how are you planning to expand Business Decoded?
I recently resigned from my job so seeing off my resignation period – there is no going back now! The year has started with me in the process of rebranding ‘Business Decoded Limited’ as I am crystallising the brand proposition.
I will be touring the UK primarily Universities and Colleges giving career talks as part of one of the services of ‘Business Decoded’ (i.e. Public Speeches). This is also open to companies where I will be coming on office away days tailoring the talk as required for the client. As you can imagine 2020 has kicked off with a great start. I have many new initiatives in the pipeline from launching YouTube channel, online Magazine and publishing my book, so watch this space!
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