Tips From The Top: One On One With Clea O’Hana

I spoke to Clea O'Hana, Co-Founder and CEO of Wishi, about her journey and best advice

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Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?

Clea: I almost got married at 19! 

Adam: How did you get here? What experiences, failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth? 

Clea: Hard work and dedication. Nothing comes easy and I don’t believe in shortcuts

Adam: What are the key steps you have taken to grow your business? What advice do you have for others on how to take their businesses to the next level? 

Clea: The key steps would be having a clear strategy, understanding your customer’s needs, and really creating value for the customer. I would also ensure a strong product market fit first and testing with a small number of customers before spending too much on growth.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level? 

Clea: The qualities of an effective leader would be a positive thinker, data-driven decisions and not ego-driven, ability to make quick decisions and tough choices, trusting your team, curious to always learn and grow. Leaders need to have really good mentors, and do some self-learning via books, online classes etc.

Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders? 

Clea: Make sure you are passionate about what you’re doing and know that you wouldn’t want to do anything else before starting an entrepreneurial journey. If you feel someone on your team isn’t right from the start, cut it short. And when you’re making decisions (hiring, firing, personal interests, etc.) only think about the company’s interest. Ask yourself – what is best for the company?

Adam: What is your best advice on building, leading and managing teams?

Clea: Make sure you are hiring “soldiers” that are ready to go through thick and thin with you. Especially the first hires. Make sure you are hiring “experts” in their own domain. Make sure you hire people that can take feedback – easier said than done.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received? 

Clea: Never postpone something you can do now.

Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward? 

Clea: Offer your time without expecting anything in return.

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