Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Saira Gangji, Principal & Workplace Investigator of hrology, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
As an independent licensed workplace investigator, I work with organizations that have had allegations or complaints of discrimination, harassment, violence, misconduct, or a toxic work environment. I investigate the complaint, prepare a detailed report, and provide them with thoughtful recommendations to carve out a path forward and restore the workplace. I work with organizations of all sizes across all industries and sectors.
My clients are leaders and organizations who are committed to
• doing the “right” thing vs. the “easy” thing
• doing the work (even the hard, messy, and confronting work)
• making thoughtful, meaningful, and intentional changes to improve their work environments and workplace cultures.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been in the field of HR for 20+ years, and I’ve always been passionate about creating healthy, safe, and respectful workplaces. About five years ago, I went “all in” on the field of workplace investigations, as it’s the work that lights me up, challenges me, and stretches me. My work is so fascinating, complex, and layered. It can also be very intense, highly stressful, and all-consuming at times. But I love it. I feel so honoured and grateful that my clients trust me to do this work – to do it critically, thoroughly, and fairly, but also to do it thoughtfully, empathetically, and compassionately. What motivates me to keep going (especially on the hard days)? Knowing that I’m making positive impacts on people and helping to create meaningful and lasting change in workplaces.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Last year, I created The Workplace Investigation Bootcamp – a step-by-step, self-paced, online course to help HR professionals lead workplace investigations with confidence, ease, integrity, and the best possible outcomes. It’s a course that my younger HR self would’ve loved to have taken when I started conducting workplace investigations — one that’s practical, actionable and provides a clear roadmap without all the guesswork.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Figuring out how to operationalize and systemize all aspects of your running your business that you never thought about. You have to figure out everything from your marketing and sales processes to legal contracts, from your website to bookkeeping and taxes…plus you still have to do your “real” work. It’s a lot all at once, so find your community, ask for help, stay curious, and remain steadfast in the pursuit of your goals.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stay true to your values. They represent who you are, what you stand for, and what you don’t. They represent what you do and how you do it. They help you sleep at night. Don’t compromise them for anyone or anything. I truly believe what’s meant for you will never miss you.
- Don’t compare your chapter two to someone else’s chapter 22. Starting, running, and growing a business is hard, and “comparisonitis” only makes it harder.
- Invest in your own growth, learning, and development. As a business owner, you’ll grow and change in different ways at different times. Find a coach that can support you through the messy middle of these periods of growth and change.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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