Her World Woman of the Year 2005, Dato Wira Dr Maznah Hamid, executive chairman of Securiforce Group, passed away yesterday due to heart complications. We are saddened by the news of her passing, and would like to honour her memory by sharing her life lessons, as told to us in our February 2006 issue.
Also referred to as Malaysia’s ‘Iron Lady’, Dato Wira Dr Maznah will forever be one of Malaysia’s most inspiring women for her contributions towards the security industry.
9 Life Lessons by the late Dato Wira Dr Maznah
On being successful
I feel successful when I can inspire women to take control of their lives, to start a business and make a success of it.
On how she ventured into business
I was a teacher. One day, a student of mine said, “Teacher you can do better than what you are doing today. You’re made for better things… something in business.” That got me thinking seriously about some kind of entrepreneurship.I figured I had to take up a degree programme of some sort. But I didn’t need to – one of my strengths is people skills. So I just used that to my advantage and got into a
business that involved people.
On the biggest sacrifice
In business, there are so many sacrifi ces to make. You have to leave your comfort zone – especially at the start of the business, when we didn’t have money, no education, no role models and mentors. We had just gotten married and lived in a squatter area where there was no electricity (I think that’s why I had five children!). Because of this, we liked spending most of our time in the office, sometimes 24 hours! That’s why starting a 24-hour business worked for us.
On her road to success
It took a lot of perseverance and patience. I think that was the biggest lesson learned. When you lead a
difficult life, you tend to come off stronger than you were before. I was so poor I couldn’t even afford to pay RM700 for the delivery of my first child, and actually had her in my bathroom at home.
This humbling experience made me promise myself that I would work very hard. Life is what you make of it; the choice is yours to be rich or poor. I had a lot of ideas, but I didn’t know my potential. Little by little it surfaced, and here I am now. Sacrifice and a little bit of hardship can bring out our talents. No pain, no gain.