Miranda Isaakidis has been involved in international trade for over 20 years as a strategic research specialist and during her career has covered a comprehensive range of sectors. She has worked for international organisations including Accenture, Barclay’s Bank, the US Embassy and British Consulate. In 2005, Miranda co-founded Indulgence Spa Products, a wholesale distribution and manufacturing company which specialises in the supply of high-end products for the spa and hospitality industry. She has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement in International Trade and Investment award by the D Group/British Foreign Office and was recently appointed Chair for WPO Johannesburg, Chapter 2.
My Definition Of Success | Success is the ability to be content with your life and to have the skill to appreciate your talents and what is good in your life. People have vastly different outlooks on life and provided you gave it your all, you are a success. I definitely changed my definition over the years and material things a far less important than they used to be. I realise now that you really do need balance in life to feel happy and surely happiness is success?
I Am Driven By | I cannot bear the thought of looking back over my life and feeling I did not give it my best shot. Every new day is a gift, the opportunity to do something meaningful in any area of your life – have fun whenever you can and recognize the fact that there is no rewind button – this is it, make the most of it.
My Highlights | I have done some truly amazing and unexpected things in my life but without any hesitation, clichéd as it may be, my boys in are the absolute highlight in my life. Nothing else comes anywhere close to the joy and pleasure my husband and two sons have given me. I know for sure that I would never have achieved what I have without the support of my husband and my children, who make sure I stay on current and make me feel much younger than I am.
The Difference Between Good And Great | It’s all about going the extra mile and taking the risk of failure. If you play it safe all you life – it could be good, but without some risk, it’s hard to be great. If you get involved, volunteer, do more than is required – you might still fail, despite your best effort but you still won’t be a loser because you got in and played the game. Embrace change – so often things turn out better than you imagined.
A Key Talent | I will only do something if I believe in it – even when I had junior selling roles, I worked hard and would never sell something I knew would not do the job, just to make a quick buck. I still apply the same principles to my own company decades later. Don’t cheat or be underhand – that quick win will not be worth it in the long run. Treat you employers and colleagues decently, so that you never have to cross the road if you see them coming in the future. It’s a small world and you never know how what you today might influence your life in the future. I did a stint in Executive Search and it was truly an eye-opening experience to see how people remembered candidates and commented in ways that swung the opportunities completely for them – with the candidates never knowing why he or she got or lost a prime position. The third-party comments we sought on how people operate often far outweighed the long lists of academic achievements candidates believed would open doors for them.
The Characteristics Of Success | I inherited my father’s positive outlook in life – best gift he could ever have given me. Although I am analytical and seek perfection, I have learnt to relax over the years and always expect to find a solution. I Iive by the motto “It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right”. It not always easy to apply –everyone has days they want to give up, but there are so many worse case scenarios all around us, it’s hard not to feeling positively blessed to have your own set of challenges. My boys ensure that our Spotify app is always paid for, so when the going gets hard, the music goes on and I am eternally grateful to the talented people who make great music and make life more fun.
Principles I Live By | It’s important to be fair and honest in you relationships and business dealings. I believe in Karma and try to put myself in the other person’s shoes – not getting right 100% right all the time, we all have to deal with call centers and it’s hard not to lose it with the poor individual on the other side who has to start the conversation “this call is recorded…”. I always worry about what comes after this life – maybe next round, I will be the one making those calls.
My Future Dreams And Ambitions | My most serious goal would be to always be a positive role model and part of my children’s’ lives. From a business point of view, I would like to keep growing my company to enable me to reward my staff in a way that will allow them to also build a legacy and improve the lives of generations to come. In South Africa, the knock on effect of helping even one individual out of the poverty trap has huge implications for all the people they support in their extended families
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Came from my mother – based on an old Greek saying which says – since you have come to the Ball, you might as well dance! So much more fun and rewarding to participate in the game of life, rather than sit on the sidelines as a spectator.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I would like to think that there are people out there , who have travelled part of this journey with me and have fond thoughts about our time together. That I have helped or influenced them in a positive way and that their lives are better for having met me – there are so many people who in turn have helped and mentored me along the way, I hope I have done my bit as well.