In our special column this month, we are glad to host an interview with Dr. Luiza Shahbazyan, Co-founder, The Pivot Company, who suggests us not to be afraid to say ‘no’ to things that don’t give us value; as she explains, this attitude allows her to say “yes” to important things and allocate time to do them well, improving her productivity, morale, and sense of satisfaction.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined the shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Luiza Shahbazyan: I got into shipping by chance. I started as a product manager developing a competence assessment platform for crews. As the industry is evolving and getting hungry for digital talent and outside expertise, joining in the middle of one’s career, has become quite common.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
L.Sh.: At The Pivot Company, we are on the mission to help small and medium businesses succeed through strategic focus and innovation. Working with each customer to grasp the very reason they do their business and to find new, improved ways to serve their market is a unique and facinating journey.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?
L.Sh.: I need to stay true to my values and beliefs to feel I am successful and accomplished. So, the worst advice I heard is that you should go with the flow. The best advice I received, and I try to pay it forward is that building on your strengths will make you much happier and more driven than overcoming your weaknesses.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
L.Sh.: Completing my doctorate was a huge investment, but it was worthwhile. You learn a lot of information, but knowledge quickly becomes outdated nowadays. More importantly, you learn to understand complex content, solve problems and exercise good judgment. You approach issues from multiple angles and cross boundaries between disciplines. These are extremely valuable skills in academia and business.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
L.Sh.: I would quote George Addair: “Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.”
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
L.Sh.: I learnt to say “no” and this helped me a lot. This allows me to say “yes” to the things which are important to me and allocate the time to do them well. It improved my productivity, morale, and sense of satisfaction.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
L.Sh.: There is an explosion of software solutions, but many are plagued with outdated interfaces, glitches, or frequent periods of downtime. I would like to see better digital applications designed with the user in mind.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
L.Sh.: Choose happiness.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.