How to Scale Your Business As An Ethical Entrepreneur?

Today, with us we have Murshidah Said (International Trainer, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian & Traveler).

Murshidah has training clients from Hewlett Packard (Singapore), HDB (Singapore), Ministry of Higher Learning (Malaysia), Ministry of Defence (Singapore) and many such. Her social enterprise has been doing humanitarian works to eradicate poverty around the world.

Murshidah has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur adding value to the society. In case you want to learn how to serve high profile clients, to scale up while staying ethical and to get inspired by her story. Read on!

Me: Hi Murshidah, It’s indeed an honour to have you with us today!

Murshidah: Pleasure is all mine.

Q1: Okay, let’s start off by hearing about yourself and your family first!

I have an 11-year-old daughter and one husband! ūüėĬ†My husband Zeal and I have been in business together since we got married in 2004. We met in Kuala Lumpur. He is Malaysian and I am Singaporean.

 

Q2: So as a family you all have been going through the Ramadan fasting, right? So for you what’s Ramadan? what is it that all of us can learn from Ramadan?

Ramadan is about fasting not only from food and water – which helps us understand how people who do not have much to live. Especially those living in poverty all over the world.

But Ramadan also helps us to fast from negativity. Negative thoughts, words, and actions. 30 days is a good time to instil new positive habits. Actually, new habits take 2 weeks of consistency to be created.

 

Q3: Awesome! Now, let’s shift gears and jump into business, so you said you and your husband are working together on your venture, tell us more about your business, and what are the achievements so far?

We run a corporate training company which educates government officers and corporations on the values of LOVE & RESPECT. So for the last 10 years, I am the principal trainer for corporations and he runs the public workshops for teens and people who want to learn to be trainers in accelerated learning.

While we educate corporate executives on values of LOVE & RESPECT, we also bring them along with us to GIVE to others like the homeless, orphans and low-income families.

So our training company has a One Help One Business Model. Every paid corporate training contributes to the mindset change and skills-based training to help those living in poverty to come out of poverty.

So recently, one year ago, another social enterprise was born out of that business, called LOVE & RESPECT Transformation Centre which focuses on providing long-term solutions to help refugees, homeless and low-income families out of the poverty mindset. Just as I had helped corporate executives come out of their limiting beliefs.

So far, our message and work have gone out internationally from Singapore and Malaysia to Brunei and Cambodia. Our work has reached out to poverty areas in the Philippines through those who have met and learned from us.

Me: Very interesting and truly praiseworthy efforts you are doing.

Murshidah: Thank you!

 

Q4: Tell us more about your LOVE & RESPECT project, how love and respect connect to poverty eradication?

LOVE & RESPECT eradicates the scarcity mindset. When your mind is focused on abundance, you will see possibilities and opportunities instead of limitations.

In my corporate training, when the values of LOVE & RESPECT is instilled within the SELF, there will be less office politics, free riders, back stabbers – these resulting from only on short term thinking. With the values of LOVE & RESPECT, people will think more of long term solutions, being collaborative to work together towards a purpose.

Now bring that mindset and values into our daily lives. People will start to give more, share more, respect each other more, willing to help more. Imagine what a whole community with an abundance mindset can do for the world.

Me:¬†That’s great. The first step towards any worthwhile outcome starts from the mind. Salutes your mission.

Murshidah: Thank you so much.

 

Q5: As I understand you are a passionate traveller and adventurer too. Tell us more about your travelling experiences and share us your thoughts on how travelling is important for entrepreneurs.

Travelling opens up minds and you see and understand actual situations instead of what the media portrays.

As entrepreneurs, we are seeing what possibilities we can serve a certain market. So it’s important to get to know the locals, understand their mindsets, lifestyles and what we can do to add value and be of service in their areas.

I have travelled to Europe with a backpack. Did some travel around the Middle East like Egypt, Jordan, Jerusalem, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. Every community is different and special in their cultures, yet our humanity is the same.

So as entrepreneurs, we learn to understand what people want and serve that need.

 

Q6: Interesting. So you have travelled to Europe as well, as you know there are news of frequent terrorist attacks in the region. Unlike never before people out of frustration are saying bad things about Islam for the stupid and unfortunate actions done by terrorist groups with their own unjustifiable agendas.

How do you feel when people generalise things and blame the religion you follow?

Again it’s all about the energy that is out there in the world. Unfortunately, humans are in such a state of imbalance right now there is so much hurt. Hurt people will hurt others unless they know how to release and instil LOVE back in their hearts.

The people who use the name of my religion and twist the words out of context to justify the evil they do to others have to deal with their own consequences. I believe in the law of Universe and they will get what they deserve for taking lives of others.

For those who hurt others back again using the name of religion and putting blame on my Faith obviously do not know or understand much about the religion. Hence, although I do feel hurt too being human, that people accuse without understanding…at the same time, I realize how uneducated people are about Islam and what Islam advocates which are peace, love and living the best life.

Goes similarly to all that is uneducated…whether Muslim or non-Muslim. They take words out of context without understanding and use it to hurt.

It’s about getting oneself educated…then there will be Peace.

Me: Learn about Islam first then you will understand every other great religion Islam also stands for peace and love for the humanity. Interesting point there.

Murshidah: Like what Abraham Lincoln said. If you don’t like somebody, get to know them. Get to know someone, ask questions, don’t assume. As entrepreneurs, we understand that as we do our needs analysis before selling to someone. We get to know our customers first¬†ūüėÄ

 

Q7: Very true Murshidah, seeking to understand then feel understood is the key. Now, back to the business topic, I see that you have a large and respectable list of clients from HP, Singapore to Ministry of Science & Technology, Malaysia.

How do you manage to stick on over 20 years and scale up to this level? Your insight would be helpful for many entrepreneurs who have been seeking to go to the next level in their business?

It’s all about giving value to the client and word of mouth marketing. When you deliver your products and service, do not underdeliver. Give more and then some more of what they do not expect. It’s not about freebies. It’s about the value they get over and above when they expected after they pay you.

Then the money is also in the follow-up and building connections and business relationships.

In my business, I invest a lot of time in building relationships, connecting my clients to what can help them in their work or business and sharing knowledge.

So I would say, giving value and also word of mouth helps in growing my business

Me: Thank you for sharing that Murshidah. Valid point, when we keep adding value we will naturally scale up.

 

Q8: Next question, I ask most of the guests. My favourite one too. Your personal definition of ethical business and ethical entrepreneur?

I will share my take on the business as well as the person operating the business (i.e, the entrepreneur).

To put it simply I would say ethical businesses work on a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN model. Business cannot just be Win-Win as often talked about before.

  1. WIN-WIN in business is important though. Entrepreneur makes profits. The partners they work in the business makes profits. But as in the case of Sanlu milk powder incident, the business fulfils its business mission. Profitability for the company and their partners. But it’s win-win-lose.Customers are not considered in the model.
  2. So next we have WIN-WIN-WIN.Business and shareholders win. Customers benefit and enjoy the product.
    But it’s still not enough. Just take the example of illegal DVD production business. Entrepreneur and their partners win. Customers win as they can cheap pirated movies. But the original maker of the product loses. The whole business is just wrong. It’s unethical. It’s stealing.
  3. So to me, ethical business and entrepreneurs work on a win-win-win-win model. The fourth win is the values behind the business. IE no stealing, it’s not hurting a community or the environment, fair-trade, no hidden ingredients that are not disclosed to the public.That is my summarised definition

 

 

Q9: Well explained. Loved it. Now let’s dive and talk about your city Kuala Lumpur as we are reaching the end of the conversation. Tell us about the opportunities and the places we must see there.

The food is just awesome! Come experience the local food and best if you go with a local to bring you to experience great local food.

There are many interesting sites you can visit like the KL Tower, KLCC and the Petronas Towers, the Museum, the Bukit Bintang shopping areas, Batu Caves, Chinatown and Masjid India areas if you looking for more culture and handicrafts and fashion.

As an entrepreneur, I am happy to say that I notice many businesses operating here in KL. If you are an entrepreneur looking to meet more entrepreneurs and networks, Kuala Lumpur has many business networking events and I would recommend that you visit a Rootwommers business meeting where entrepreneurs meet to word of mouth market each other.

Entrepreneurs grow their businesses and some became millionaires through word of mouth marketing.

Me: RootWommers РI take note of that. Hope those are reading also will explore the same. Thank you for recommending the places as well.

 

Q10: Do you have any offer to those who have been reading this long yet very insightful interview, should I link them to anywhere they can further connect with you or any other offer you can add further value to them?

Do send me an email at msaid@murshidahsaid.com introducing yourself and what you hope to achieve in your life or business.

I would be happy to work with you or connect you to someone whom you may learn or benefit from.

So email me, and I will give you my FREE video on what is TRUE SUCCESS and you can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram for updates on my programs and projects that you may want to be involved in.

 

Final Thoughts:

We have gone through many stages in economy and business. We are in the stage of Disruption.

For entrepreneurs to grow, stay focused on the natural laws of the universe which include the laws of giving and reciprocity. The laws of gratitude. In this age of knowledge too, despite all the chaos, a new level of awareness has risen.They are the Ethical Entrepreneurs who practice Conscious Capitalism.

Let us aim to grow big in our influence worldwide going back to values-based businesses. Work together to collaborate and give value to the world.

In other words, let our businesses and entrepreneurs grow worldwide to spread more LOVE, RESPECT and more GOOD around the world.

Me: I have really enjoyed talking to you. I have a lot of takeaways from this interview hope those who read also must have had the similar experience. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. Deepest gratitude for investing your valuable time with us.

Murshidah: You’re welcome! Thanks for your time too.

 

Please comment below in case you want to ask anything to Murshidah which I missed asking.

P.S. In case you believe that businesses should be run ethically, do join this group of ethical entrepreneurs who want to inspire each other. Join the Global Ethical Entrepreneurs WhatsApp community here: https://chat.whatsapp.com/05GkKyRNn2F7UWfe0U1aCq 

P.S.S. Hope this article has been helpful to you. In case you think one for your friend would love to read this, go ahead and share this article with that person by clicking the below buttons! Sharing is caring!

How To Start Your Business with Zero Capital and Grow Your Business While Staying Ethical!

Today, we have Jennifer De Leon with us. She is the CEO & Founder, Staryard Logistics Services. She started her business with no capital. She trusted her vision and started off with 5 clients in the logistics and customs brokerage industry. Her company has grown now to 75 clients and is serving successfully in Manila, Philippines.

Hope her story of running an ethical business will inspire you and will help you learn some insights from her experiences.

Jerin: Happy to have you with us, Jennifer.

Jennifer: My pleasure Jerin

 

Q1: So let me start off by asking you to do a quick introduction about yourself. Tell us, more about you?

Well I am the mother of 4 grown kids and a grandchild. I’m 45, started my business 6 years ago with a handful of clients, 5 to be exact.

 

Q2: That’s nice, tell us more about your business? What exactly is your service?

Staryard is a logistics and customs clearance company handling imports and exports of different products.We have partner warehouses all over China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I started with no capital. Having spent most of my career in the industry, clients would tell me why not set up your own? So with their trust and a lot of guts. Staryard was born. It was actually born out of a crisis. It is the classic case of turning crisis into an opportunity then to a blessing.

 

Q3: Oh! that’s truly inspiring. Starting off with no capital and sustaining and growing for more than 6 years. By the way, Jennifer, what kind of crisis you are talking about?

Jennifer:¬†Well, ¬†I was working with my sister, ¬†who was the original “broker”. We had an argument and we decided to part ways. I was there, ¬†wondering how I was going to survive and feed 4 kids.

I was working 3 jobs at that time… sleeping only 4 hours per day for 2 years. It was a very challenging time. My friend, who later joined me as my co-founder and my ex-husband encouraged me to venture into my own.

Believe me Jerin, I was so scared at the time. But I figured, hey I don’t have anything to lose as it was already rock bottom. And who knows, it might work.

Jerin:¬†That’s right. When we are in the rock bottom, the only way we have is to go up.

Jennifer:¬†There’s no other way but up, ¬†correct.

 

Q4: Okay, so during this 6 years journey, in the initial days you must have really struggled as most entrepreneurs do. How did you manage the stress?

Jennifer: With a lot of prayers. In my country,  there is a holiday called Holy Week. In those weeks, I would go to as many churches as I could and offered prayers asking the Blessed Mother for success in business.

Stress is a part of every entrepreneur’s life. We need to deal with the uncertainty of not having a stable paycheck. For a single mother that was really scary. We need to deal with the stress of the competition and the challenges of being innovative and keep our clients happy.

My faith is very strong. I lean on no one but God.

Jerin: Prayers do deliver miracles! I am also a strong believer in prayers (regardless of which religion or God we believe in).

Jennifer: Yes prayers = miracles.

 

Q5: Superb! Your point made me ask, how do you make your clients happy and I see you have 75 active clients, how do you make them stick to your business than go to your competitor?

Jennifer:¬†We go the extra mile for them. It sounds cliche’ but really in this business of rock bottom prices, our only way is to innovate.¬†We offer complementary services that make their life easier. So they can completely rely on us and focus on growing their business.

Jerin:¬†That’s a cool way to make clients happy – complementary services. I think many of us can use this advice.

Jennifer: For instance, a client prefers us not for our fast releasing services, but the way we take over coordination with his suppliers, and stripping/stuffing to transport it to another area of the country, making it an end to end solution. All they need to do is choose their goods, pay and we take care of bringing it here and getting it to them.

 

Q6:¬†Cool, there are two crucial stages in the entrepreneurship journey. One is starting up and another scaling up. You have shared with us how you started up turning your crisis into a blessing. Now tell us what’s your secret sauce to scaling up?

Scaling up for us involves adding more to the team and adding more services. We have also started building a fleet of vans‚Ā†‚Ā†‚Ā†‚Ā†.

From me and my co-founder, we are now an 8 person team. We have also added services like:

  • LCL consolidation – we pick up shipments from anywhere in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and consolidate release, deliver to our different clients’ doorstep.
  • ¬†Through our global trade partner, we offer exporters funding to ship their products to the US, Europe, Middle East, Japan and Singapore.

We scale up by adding more services as we go along, as we feel out the needs of our clients. If they need something,  we build a solution even if it is not within our scope of service.

I am passionate about taking our business to the next level. We recently signed up to a business mastery program called Industry Rockstar, they are business growth coaches.

 

Q7: Awesome. how important has been the business development and personal development training for your entrepreneurship journey? What programs and books do you recommend?

Very important, I am passionate about continuous learning. Now that my kids are grown, I spend Saturdays just attending seminars and learning something new. Keeps us feeling young.

I listen to podcasts basically – from Robin Sharma and Tony Robbins.

I read biographies of Steve Jobs and Oprah. I love Oprah’s story and legacy, she is my champion.

 

Q8: Super cool! I too love Steve Jobs like most entrepreneurs. Now, this is my favourite question, what are your personal definitions of ethical business and ethical entrepreneur?

Jennifer: I knew you would ask!

I am sure you are aware, our industry is laden with corruption. It is prevalent in my country but our government is already taking steps to improve it.

As an ethical conscious business and entrepreneur, I have encountered offers to earn easy money Рbig enough to secure my future and that of my children. I choose though, to stay responsible and avoid it. What if that was my son who gets hurt by a drug addict? Or uses it?  I would rather work hard and earn money with a clear conscience than be filthy rich with the blood of drugs on my hands.

An ethical entrepreneur is one who stays true to her values and beliefs, knowing that what I am building is for my children and the next generation.

Jerin:¬†That’s truly a wonderful sharing which inspires many entrepreneurs to stay ethical no matter what. When we can think about the long-term consequences than the short term gain, we can choose to be an ethically conscious entrepreneur.

Jennifer: When you are in business, you go a long way by thinking long term in every relationship, and see how you can add value.

 

Q9: Cool, so we are about to wind up the session, let us know why we should visit Manila, Philippines, other than to meet an awesome person like you?

Haha!  My country is beautiful Рwe have awesome beaches,  our people are very friendly and welcoming. Filipinos are perhaps the only race in the world who smiles through adversity. Check the pics after Yolanda (was one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record. On making landfall, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines)

 

Q10:  Awesome! So for those who have been reading this interview, do you have any special offers for them?

  • For the readers, ¬†it has been my pleasure. If you need a logistics and customs clearance agent in the Philippines, please check us on our Facebook page: Staryard Logistics.
  • If you also need funding shipping goods to the countries I mentioned, please let me know!
  • Lastly, we are also open for BPO companies doing services for multinational companies as clients, we can fund through our global trade partner, present in 17 countries

 

Final Thoughts‚Ā†‚Ā†‚Ā†‚Ā†

Jennifer: Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Every business has a story to share.  Just remember it is about the journey, whatever the challenges there is always something to be grateful for.

Jerin: Jennifer, I have personally learnt a lot from you. Hope those who have been reading this would also benefit from this conversation. Thank you so much for your time with us!

Jennifer: You are welcome!  Pleasure is all mine Jerin.

 

Please comment below in case you want to ask anything to Jennifer which I missed asking.

P.S. In case you believe that businesses should be run ethically, do join this group of ethical entrepreneurs who want to inspire each other. Join our Ethical Entrepreneurs WhatsApp community here: https://chat.whatsapp.com/05GkKyRNn2F7UWfe0U1aCq

P.S.S. Hope this article has been helpful to you. In case you think one for your friend would love to read this, go ahead and share this article with that person by clicking the below buttons! Sharing is caring!