Leadership3Sixty

More from this series

Pamela Permalloo-Bass

Meet Pamela Permallo-Bass Head of Equality & Diversity at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

In Conversation With…

Nana Churcher

I had the pleasure of interviewing the dynamic Business woman Nana Churcher, who says that "We can have work and a balanced life". Nana is living proof that if you follow your dreams, they can come true! Be Inspired!

Nana, based on where you are now in your life, what would you consider to be your greatest achievement? Have there been any recent career highlights?

My greatest achievement is being a mother to four amazing children, a wife and a business woman at the same time. In terms of highlights I am looking forward to going back to LA to film more shows which is very exciting, and earlier in the year I was in Ghana and a bus went past and a poster of me was on the side of it advertising the show! It was a crazy moment and it reminded me that dreams can come true!

Is there anything that you’ve learnt over the last 5 years that you wish you’d known earlier?

The one thing that I wish I’d known about was the power of social media: I would definitely have included it much more when I was planning to launch. Based on hindsight I am using twitter and Facebook much more now. The other thing is that although I have a background in sales, via my work with Mary Kay, it’s not the same as having  PR company behind you; I think that if I had, my progression would have been faster.

What did you dream of becoming when you were little?

When I was a little girl, I always dreamt of becoming a Talk Show Host. As far back as I can remember, I used to love telling stories at school, in front of the class, so you could say that my dream came true!

Do you think that your parents have influenced the business woman that you have become?

Oh yes my parents did influence me. As you know, African parents and their rules, then I didn't understand then, but now I do. Discipline, how to treat people and respect them were some of the values my  parents instilled in me. They also didn't take no for an answer. My parents were 'go getters' and I saw how my dad worked hard to make life better for us. Learning from them has made me who I am today. 

Nana your business is in the media ...always having to put your best self forward... meeting new people all the time…do you ever have moments of doubt or fear?

I am naturally curious about people, so I am always looking forward to meeting the people that I’m going to be interviewing. The only time that I’m a little anxious is when I’m thinking about the initial introduction or how my questions will be received…other than that I am more excited than anything else.

Who are your cheerleaders, those people that you turn to when things are great but also when you need support and encouragement?

My husband Alfred is my No.1 cheerleader, because he is there on my good days, my bad days, every day. My family are also a great source of support and encouragement.

Can we have 'work /life balance'? What does it mean to you? Do you have it?

Yes we can have work and a balanced life. To me it's all about knowing what you want and then deciding how you are going to Prioritise and manage the various elements of your life. For me there are work routines and home life routines, without which, I wouldn’t be able to cope. I’ve put boundaries in place so Work is work and when I am at home that is my focus: whether its family time, school runs or just me time. I am lucky that I have a level of flexibility and am not constrained by a 9-5 job.

Are there any individuals who have inspired you whether you know them personally or just by reputation?

Oh yes, there are many but just to mention a few there’s My dad, Oprah, Larry King and Chris Gardner.

What quality/behaviour would you like to have/develop?  What behaviour of yours would you like to get rid of?

I would like to continue to develop my presenting skills so that I can be the best in my field: I am inspired by Oprah and Larry King so my goal is to improve every season.

Being too nice is the behaviour that I’d like to get rid of: I am working hard on developing my ability to say ‘NO’, which I find very difficult, but with an increasingly hectic schedule, it’s impossible to do everything.

Basesd on your journey, what advice would you share with aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is know what you want, love what you do, be prepared to work hard and give 120% to what you do! Don't be afraid to take risks, ask for help and advice, learn from those who are the game changers in your field, set goals, set deadlines and plan, you can never plan too much. Remember that it takes time, so don't quit if you don't see results, always have a positive and a winning attitude and lastly always make those around you feel important.

Apart from quotas etc how else can we effect a culture change in business towards more diversity and less tokenism (in some)  

In my opinion, we need more role models and mentors who will reach out with a selfless attitude to support others and  bring the best out of them.

Do you support networks that are geared towards supporting/empowering women or ethnic groups? 

Yes I do support the right networks ie. The ones that do truly promote and encourage diversity.

Do you have any motto or quote that you particularly like?  

My favourite quote is 'If you don't quit, you will win' and 'See you at the TOP'