THIS week’s High Flyer is Ann Trueman, general manager at StepSpace
What was your first job?
I worked in a mobile phone shop. I started off as a part time sales assistant, and became assistant manager within six months, moving onto running my own store shortly after.
What qualifications do you have?
I graduated from Ulster University with a degree in English and Philosophy.
What do you attribute your success to?
I think for everything in life you need to find that drive within. When you find a job you are good at you no longer see work as a job but as something you love getting up in the morning to do. That’s how I feel right now, having just launched StepSpace. We have introduced an exciting first-of-its-kind flexible and scalable office space concept aimed at fast scaling tech companies to Belfast. I get to take potential companies around the creatively designed space and show them an attractive option which can grow with them. It’s space without stress providing support on funding, recruitment and network, all things fast scaling companies require.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I think if I can be the best version of myself, that should be enough for other people and if not, then that’s something I can’t control. If you asked my six year old daughter, she would say a kill joy as I’m always saying no to her request to put chocolate spread on her cereal.
Who do you look up to in business?
One of the people I admire in business is Sarah Friar at Square. She has built a hugely impressive career as a female in a male dominated industry in the US. She’s also someone who gives back to her roots as a Strabane native, supporting female entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
Everyone has value and it’s important to empower them to make decisions. People always perform better when they believe they’re contributing something of value.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Take more risks. One of the things about working with Causeway Asset Management is that they think big and back themselves to make things happen. It also helps that they always deliver.
What website or app could you not do without?
Instagram! I need my daily intake of ‘Cats of Instagram’.
What was the last book you read?
Scott Kelly – Endurance. I love all things space related and found his book both fascinating and inspiring.
What car do you drive?
A Mini Cooper.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I am about to embark on learning to fly, I am currently taking horse riding lessons and I am keen to join a wine club.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I love my animals. I’ve four cats, a dog and a lot of fish. I have volunteered over the years at various animal sanctuaries, but finding time to fit everything in is a challenge.