Don’t succumb to failure, learn to rise instead

Leza Parker, CEO- SC Beauty Network, Investor, Speaker, Mother

A Business Obsessed & Enthusiastic Entrepreneur, Leza Parker started her journey six years ago from home and from there she has come a long way. Currently the Chief executive officer at SC Beauty Network that operates in six countries with over 350 full time and contractual employees, she is an active investor owning several startups in the banking, education, training, beauty and fashion industries.

Coming from a humble background Leza Parker has grown by leaps and bounds. Today is renowned all over Asia for her entrepreneurial skills, business philosophy and values.

Leza has authored several books, and appeared in multiple media newspapers & books. She has spoken at private events, universities and leading empowering women campaign with Singapore Committee of UN Women, and the face to Shiseido in 2014. She was a marketing ambassador to a SSA Consulting Group, and currently ambassador for World’s First Food Bank in aid to combat hunger among the poor, and ambassador for international travel portal ‘I am Battuta.’ At young age of 28 she was acknowledged as Singapore’s Youngest Business Guru and her story was told in a publication The Lady Boss.

Leza Parker is a proud single mother of three children and writes parenting blogs to inspire the love of motherhood and encourage entrepreneurship among mothers. A philanthropist, her charity organization conducts charity drives every month.  Here are some insights about her journey shared with the team of ABT.

With all the ups and downs in your life, what keeps you motivated every day?
We should, by now, already realised that most of materials and status do not last long enough. Happiness or sadness, lose or win – are temporary phases of our lives. So we need to seek for things that do not change despite everything else to keep us motivated i.e. family relationships, intention to change the world, love etc. In my case, my three children are the reason why I became an entrepreneur although I started with a very small business from home – and they are still the reason, why I keep going despite the ups & downs in business and life. My intention has always been about creating an environment of opportunities around them to tap as they grow up. Seeing them happy, healthy, learning and active keeps me motivated to give my best and drive powerful changes in the community on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to the aspiring Women Entrepreneurs?
The main important thing is to not expect a smooth sailing journey, and to stay on path no matter what. There will be multiple occasions where they come close to giving up with endless problems, distractions, negativity and losses – but they need to look at these experiences as guidance to groom them better. So they would be better entrepreneurs in time. If success is something easy to achieve everyone else would be successful. The price to succeed does not come from being right all along, but to keep going despite winning or losing. Don’t succumb to failure. Learn to rise.

What are the top three things that helped you succeed in your professional and personal life?
The three things that made me successful are firstly having the continuous hunger to seek knowledge. The interest to continuously learn; without the need for someone to remind me and without any promise of certification. This also means I keep my mind curious and inquisitive, to ask why and how things happen so I learn faster through experiences. Secondly, is practicing sensibility to everyone and everything around me. Managing expectations also means I consider the issues my team is facing, or the time frame others may need in compare to me. Understanding those factors makes me identify what other’s weakness can be so I can help them improve, and their strengths so I can further polish that. Lastly is keeping a positive mindset at all times because most plans do fail. But being positive helps me see beyond a failure or a disappointment, instead as an opportunity to learn and improve.

What are the business values you follow as a CEO and an Entrepreneur?
Being old school, I strongly believe that regardless of any contracts or laws – the best business relationships are forged on trust. With that being said, showcasing good character at all times as something trust worthy is important. I also believe in the act of giving to win a community which is why all of my companies carry social initiatives to create jobs, educate for free and raise funds for the less fortunate. Hence, one of my values before I started any projects or business ventures for monetary gain – is to start off by contributing and giving meaning, benefits and help to others who will come back to appreciate and hence, that relationship is built to last longer times.

As an active investor, what do you look in start-ups while investing in them?
I hardly invest in ideas that are already developed, but mostly at very early stage of incubation before an entrepreneur has a feel of building a sizeable company. The nature & profile of the Founder and entrepreneur is more important to me than the idea itself. I am always on the lookout for creative, positive, determined hard worker who is eager to learn, improve and deliver 100% every time. Occasionally, when I found amazing people, I influenced to start a start up with support so they can exercise their skills to their best ability and drive major impact in life.

If you were to do one thing differently what would that be?
There are many things I would do different, despite not considering my past decisions as mistakes but instead lessons that made me a better entrepreneur today. But one of which, would be to not let people stay longer as they should. From time to time, HR issues can be a hindrance to be successful because the company suffers keeping non-productive employees longer on the Payroll. As much as I encourage training and believe in room for improvement, for those who are not committed to learn and upgrade whilst deteriorate in their performance, they should made to leave the organization without delay so as the director, I can quickly go back to recover faster.