Shadi Kazeme was born in Perth on the western coast of Australia. After completing her secondary school education, she earned separate tertiary degrees in biomedical science and pharmacological studies, respectively. Shadi Kazeme then rethought her career path and completed a diploma in construction and building management. Upon entering the professional world, she started work as a contracts administrator. Now a veteran of the industry with more than 8 of years of solid on-site experience, Shadi Kazeme works in Melbourne, Australia as a project manager in commercial construction and demolition.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
After completing my degree, I found a job but realized I was working in a field that wasn’t for me anymore. I wanted to change industries, and so I spoke to some friends and did some research and realized that construction potentially might be more suitable for me. I decided I would take a short course first before I committed, to see if I liked it. I finished that and it ended up working out.
I’m more of an interactive person. My initial job had me sort of hiding behind a counter as opposed to being interactive and having a constantly changing environment. I now work for a commercial builder and it’s made a big difference for me. There’s a lot to do in construction and your day-to-day environment is constantly evolving. One day you may be on site doing a walk-through with a client and the next you’re doing contracts and negotiating packages for subcontractors, then you’re working on a childcare project, and the next day you’ll be building a hospital. The nature of the job is just always changing, and you constantly deal with different types of people, which I really enjoy. My ultimate goal is to end up in property development. I’m trying to build up my experience and make relationships so I can make the shift to property development in the future.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My morning starts off at 6 am with a swim at the local sea baths. Then I grab my morning long black and get ready for work! I’m usually in the office by 8 am. After that, my day could go off in any number of directions depending on the quirks of the job site I’m working on. But I like that. I like the variety.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Plan. Plan. Plan. Market research is everything.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me in construction is how a lot of people are converting old warehouses and storage facilities into split-level, industrial design, residential homes. That’s something that I find really interesting and you see a lot of it happening in the city suburbs, as well.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I spend a lot of time networking with others in my field, ensuring that I keep an ongoing conversation going in order to learn what has worked for others, as well as what mistakes not to make.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t rush things. Everything in life comes exactly when it needs to.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe 95% of technology malfunctions can be resolved by rebooting. I hazard to say that almost no IT technicians would agree with me on that.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I think it pays huge dividends to be consistent. The compounding effect is a real thing. Chip away consistently and daily at large tasks.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I find that having a good business development management team is incredibly valuable. Also, I find reaching out to network with clients and other players in the industry really helps to increase the chances that I convert the jobs I’m pricing, estimating, or quoting into actual working projects. Both of those strategies have paid off immensely for me.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There was a time early in my career when I tried to juggle everything on my own. All the construction duties, accounting, billing, supply management—everything. But that situation was totally untenable. One man shows don’t last long. The best thing I ever did was assemble a good team.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think home businesses are great. I would advise any would-be entrepreneurs to use the vast pool of personal technology available out there to buy and sell widgets. Find out what items are hot and in demand, then conduct thorough research to get the best price, buy some up and sell them online!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on a massage for myself which felt fantastic and did wonders for my disposition—not to mention my back! Self-care is really important to me. Allowing the body to rest and reset is vital.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Google Calendar. I like reviewing my calendar at night before I go to sleep and making sure I know what my day ahead looks like; what appointments, meetings, and tasks lie in front of me. It helps me feel prepared for what’s coming up.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty. I found this book really helped my perspective! The author is a former monk and self-described ‘purpose coach’, and the book offers a whole host of great advice on reducing stress and improving focus. It’s fantastic.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
- Be consistent.
- Take care of yourself.
- Never give up.
- Make sure to always review your perspective.
- Stay organized.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.