Edition #18: Shazia Mustafa

By Stormy McBride On December 11, 2019 In Community Cultivators Blog Series

Here at GCUC we are immensely fortunate to cross paths and work with so many amazing people. Through our work, we’ve cultivated a global community of people we think you should know about.

Community of Cultivators is a blog series we created to introduce you to coworking game changers and connectors. Each month, we’ll release new interviews that we hope inform and inspire you.

This week we were privileged to interview Shazia Mustafa, one of the cofounders of Third door. For those of you who don’t know, Shazia and her husband are the OG’s in the childcare and coworking arena. You need to know her.

Shazia MustafaName: Shazia Mustafa
Title and space: Co-founder at Third Door

What in your life are you most proud of cultivating or creating? Why?

It has to be coming up with the vision for Third Door, launching it and then making it a sustainable business on its own.

Where do you personally feel the most sense of community?

I really feel that sense of community with our members here at Third Door who use both the nursery and workspace. Working in the same space as them really helps to form meaningful relationships. Likewise hosting regular supper clubs and events here at Third Door has really fostered a sense of community amongst members and my wider network. It’s great to make use of the space both day and night.

What podcast would you recommend to others and why?

If you haven’t heard it, try Holly Tucker from Not in the High Street ‘Inspirational Conversations. It’s great.

What is one piece of advice you give everyone that works with and/or for you?

My top piece of advice would be to live by your values and respect others. We have three key values here at Third Door; respect, curiosity and confidence. All three of these we like to instil in our team, our members and our children. Respect cuts across all aspects of our business from how we speak to one another, to how we look after the children, to respecting the environment. I think it’s integral in everything we do.

If you had $500 to spend- what would you buy?

I would put it towards my own self-development. I used to love calligraphy when I was a child. It was very relaxing. I am keen to relearn some new skills in calligraphy and of course, it will be wonderful from a mindfulness point of view.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?

One of the biggest things I have learnt from starting my own business and seeing others start theirs is ensuring you don’t jump in too quickly. My advice would always be, make sure you do your research first. Speak to people in your field, ask those who have set up businesses what it is really like to run a business and have a work-life balance. We did an awful lot of due diligence when starting Third Door and I am so glad we did. We even built Third Door in a SIMS game to see what the flow of people would look like depending on the fit out. It was a great way of seeing what it could be like. Ultimately, we launched back in 2010 when coworking was still very new in London, not to mention coworking with a nursery, so this type of planning was important! It is well worth the time spent.

What is the best habit you ever started?

I think that would have to be my habit of planning my week out in advance and prioritising a maximum of three big projects to complete no matter what. Also learning to say no and work on my own terms has kept me sane.

What habit do you want to start but haven’t yet?

I really want to start running on a daily basis.

If you had to put a quote on your gravestone what would it be?

“Be a first -rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.” Judy Garland.