First I owe every ounce of my financial success to my parents Victor and Souad Wahhab.
They backed me up when I got my “entrepreneurial seizure” to start my accounting and financial services practice 21 years ago.
I remember asking the bank for a $15,000 business overdraft to finance my business startup and the bank refused to give me the loan.
I ended up going with a female friendly bank but had to come up with security for the loan and my parents agreed to put their home up as security.
My parents taught me that I can always reset the button, make the most out of what I have and build it up.
The second person I owe my success to is my sister Wendy Kayal.
While she was at home looking after her baby, she was helping with tax return lodgements and some accounting work.
As the kids grew up she started coming to the office part time and then full time.
She now owns a part of the business with me.
She inspires me and supports me every day.
We all need efficient, loyal and honest managers in our business.
Wendy taught me that we need to be real and be ourselves in business.
The other person I owe my success to is the late Richard Vincent.
He was the CEO for a telco company in the 1990s and I used to do his tax return.
He mentored me to “be shrewd” in business and learn to ask more questions.
He taught me how to shake myself out of my rut and become more resilient.
Richard taught me the importance of resilience in business.
The biggest lesson I learned in business is that we need to ensure we make money from it.
The first 5 years I made none.
Since then I worked hard to build my practice providing financial services mainly to business and professional women.
I used my profits to build my property and share portfolio.
It took a decade to build my personal wealth, in the meantime Wendy and I helped our female clients grow their personal wealth.
The kind of people who can help women make money is first of all another woman who not only understands them but also lives similar lives.
You also want someone who walks their talk, someone who has the hard skills (technical knowledge, financial skills and qualifications) and also the soft skills (empathy, understanding and emotional intelligence).
Someone who can deal with not only complex financial and tax issues facing business and professional women, but also understands and appreciates the pressure women feel on a daily basis juggling the house work, children schooling and extra curricular activities and fighting for recognition at work.
That’s what we bring to work every day.