GRACE'S MUSINGS: In conversation with...Shaa Wasmund MBE

GRACE'S MUSINGS: In conversation with...Shaa Wasmund MBE

This month I was delighted to catch up with business woman and author Shaa Wasmund. Promoting Chris Eubank while still at university, managing the launch of Dyson Vacuum cleaners in the early 90s, multiple published books, 25 years of experience building and selling successful businesses, and an MBE for services to business and entrepreneurs, Shaa is an inspiration to all women, regardless of age, who are determined to succeed – and something she believes “we all deserve, whatever that looks like for us”.


As a renowned businesswoman, best-selling author and digital entrepreneur, can you tell us a little about how it all began?

I won a competition to write for Cosmopolitan Magazine at University. Interviewed Chris Eubank Snr the boxer, he offered me a job and the rest is history!


How have your own life experiences shaped your business philosophy?

Having started with nothing, and growing up on a council estate with a single Mum, I never forget my roots. I am grateful for every opportunity that I have been given and dedicate my life to uncovering the greatest human potential in everyone.


What are the main influences people draw from when starting their own business?

Most people I know didn't have any influences, other than maybe those they read about in books. They had to carve a path for themselves. Learn from their own mistakes. More often than not, as entrepreneurs, we start a business to solve a problem we once faced ourselves.


What’s the most important advice you would give to today’s young emerging entrepreneurs?

Hire a cleaner. Seriously. Understand the value of your time and where it is best served to grow your business. It is not on doing the dishes.

You’ve written a number of motivational books, including How to Fix Your Sht – do you think we have a natural tendency to believe “I can’t” before we believe “I can”?

I think there is a real, tangible difference between the US and the UK. In the US people are brought up to believe everything is possible – not necessarily easy, but possible. In the UK it seems like there are ninety-nine problems for every solution. Your mindset plays such an important part in any business success, and it is one of the few parts of life that we can actually control.


With over 25 years of experience in the business sector and building multiple businesses, what are the most significant changes you’ve seen for women in business?

Sadly, very few. I wish I could say something different, but I can't. Funding is still woefully inequitable, and we still juggle most of the mental load at home as well as at work. Childcare still falls on us even if we're the main breadwinner. The list goes on …


Do you think we are beginning to see an end to ageism, with more midlife and beyond female visibility in the workplace, or is there still a way to go?

I think ageism is the last bastion that we need to break down. As men get older, they become more valuable and demand higher remuneration. As women get older, they get less valuable and less visible. It's time for that to change.


Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My Nan. She's 98 and still travelling.


Hardest challenge you’ve had to face?

Losing my partner. A challenge that I still find hard to overcome to this day.


Proudest achievement?

Being a 3am friend.


How do you unwind and relax?

I'm not sure I do …


Favourite destination?

Barbados and Whitstable


Top beauty ‘must-haves’ in your makeup bag?

Delilah lip oil, Studio10 Skin Lift Glow-plexion, Gucci Gloss, Trinny Finishing Powder.


And finally, your favourite quote to live by?

“A rising tide lifts all ships.”

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