Karren Brady’s career advice on how to sell your boss on a passion project | The Sun

APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.

Here she gives a reader advice on how to sell your boss on a passion project

Q) I enjoy my job as a manager in an independent coffee shop, but I’d love to challenge myself a bit more.

My boyfriend is in a band and we’ve chatted about how great it would be to have gig nights in the back room of the shop.

I floated the idea with one of the owners and he wasn’t keen as he said it sounded like too much extra work.

I am so passionate about the project, though, and feel like I could make it my own.

How do I get him to see that this is a good idea and that I’d be capable of taking on the extra responsibility?

Phoebe, via email

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A) The first thing to think about is whether the coffee shop is actually the right venue for your boyfriend’s music.

If he’s in a heavy metal band then maybe the owner is actually trying to be polite, as he doesn’t fancy that kind of gig in his cafe!

If you genuinely think the band is a good fit, and could create some decent revenue for the shop, then you need to put your case forward from a business perspective.

If you can show him he will need to make zero effort yet make a profit, then it’s a no-brainer.

Be ready to tell him everything you will do to make the event a success, from promoting it and selling tickets, to making sure there are enough staff and organising the layout of the room both on the night and so it’s ready to open again the following morning.

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Reiterate that you will take full responsibility for the event and that there will be no extra work for him.

If he still says no, then why not look at any other venues you could hire to host band nights?

I love your passion and ambition, so continue to persevere – resilience is key!

A Day In The Life Of…

Arti Halai, 52, is a media and presentation consultant. She lives in London with her tech entrepreneur and financier husband Zafar, 53, and their seven-year-old daughter Maya.

I wake up at…

6am-ish. It’s “my time” until Maya wakes at 7am. I like the stillness of the morning. Sipping a chai, I take in the river views from our apartment and think about things I’m thankful for.

Then we’re on a military time schedule to leave at 8.10am for the half-hour walk to school. On the way, we play a game where Maya quotes Disney films and I guess the title. I start work at around 9.30am in our study at home.

A normal day involves…

As a consultant, trainer and adviser, I help high-level business clients – usually CEOs or MDs – to sharpen their presentation and media skills ahead of a pitch, an important speech or a media interview, so they come across as confident, authentic and on point.

I do most executive coaching sessions over Zoom, during which we’ll work through career obstacles or other issues. I worked in TV for 15 years and so much boils down to communication – I always advise to keep things simple, as clarity is key.

My day might also involve designing and researching a keynote speech or training programme I’m due to give. My workload can range from heavy to light, so I don’t knuckle down every day if I don’t have to.

After co-founding two businesses in the Noughties, now I work completely for myself and variety and flexibility are everything. I stop at 3.30pm to collect Maya from school.

The best part of my job is…

Sharing knowledge. I love it when people can see the difference our work together makes very quickly.

And the worst…

I love the flexibility, but if Maya’s sports day falls at a time when I’ve locked in a coaching session, I prefer not to reschedule a client. And, yes, I definitely suffer from mum guilt! 

I wind down by…

Reading books about culture and relationships.

I watch The Chase when Maya’s doing her homework – unless I’m helping her!

Then, before Maya’s bedtime, we listen to an Indian prayer on my phone. By 10.30pm, I’ve got nothing left to give!

  • For more information, visit Artihalai.com.

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