Whare and Hohepa Isaac-Sharland - Co-Directors, Tai Huki Consult

Whare and Hohepa Isaac-Sharland
Co-Director, Tai Huki Consult
Learning and Development, Napier

Kim: Whare and Hohepa have earned their success by putting in the long hours to meet increasing demand. In Tai Huki Consult’s case, that success has also meant managing huge growth, which for many business owners is a challenge in itself.

When we first began working together, it was the ideal time to assist them to stop, take a good bird’s eye view of the business strategically, to prioritise, and dive into how to capitalise on that awesome acceleration.

I spent the majority of my time working with Whare, who was looking for a way to reorganise in a few key areas to work even smarter to identify what was required to scale the business. I took a real multi-view approach to meet their needs, which required a top-to-bottom review of current and future strategies. Often successful owners just want good, solid and actionable advice with accountability.

Developing the idea that they are the product and what sells, was a momentous shift in the business, and I am thrilled to follow them so closely in their journey. I absolutely love working with Whare and Hohepa. 

Whare has an incredible work ethic, and her 2022 MWDI Māori Businesswoman Award is well-deserved recognition of that. We just click with absolute respect, adopting my whole-person concept with solid, sage advice that Whare embraces. One of the many joys of working with Whare is that she is open to all ideas – because she knows I care about them and the business.

Whare and Hohepa: We began working with Kim in early 2021. I (Whare) went for a check-in at my local regional business hub, and they asked if I wanted a mentor. I thought, ‘yes, actually that might be quite cool.’

It was important to us to have a Māori person because I didn’t want to have to over explain the business, the style that we want to follow, what our products are and so on.

I knew straight away that I wanted Kim, but I had also did my due diligence. I know some of the people she mentors, and they all said, ‘If you can get her, do it!’ because what I noticed about all of Kim’s clients is that they’re all smashing it in the areas that we want to be smashing it in. So I had a positive feeling about her. 

She was very quick and knew immediately what we had to build on. We had initially been concentrating on the products that we created, but she showed us that we're the product. Those things are just happening because we're doing them – but we’re ‘the thing’. That was really awesome for us.

We've developed our mission and our vision under Kim. The mission itself hasn't changed, but the vision to get us to the mission has. What she gives us just amazing. Kim knows what she is talking about; about Māori people in business, that we needed to put ourselves forward, that we would need marketing and branding.

We’re in a competitive market and we’ve got a longer-term plan among ourselves, but with Kim, we try to work on the yearly plan and make sure that we're on track. 

She’s very agile. She’ll say ‘you need to do this’ and if I’ve done it, she’ll say ‘great, so what's next on the list.’ You don’t want to have to wait for your mentor – that’s not how I roll – she’s gives us her attention.

She also guides us to make us feel more comfortable – sometimes doing the things we find difficult, such as selling ourselves by putting ourselves forward as the product.

Her advice keeps us more focused on the things that we want to do beyond the busy professional space that we live in, and she has been really awesome at supporting us in that as well – decluttering, almost – so that we can have more time to ourselves. I would have just kept pushing myself and pushing myself and pushing myself to get stuff done. I can talk to Kim when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

She’s also a super-networker. One of my biggest dislikes is having to introduce myself to people, but at the MWDI Māori Businesswoman Awards, (Whare won the Te Tai Rāwhiti category in July 2022) she was dragging me around, introducing me to people, telling me ‘You need to talk to this person!’

We wouldn’t have got there as fast without Kim. We would have got where we are, but it would have taken us longer because I wouldn't have had her.