Shireen Walker

shireen walker

It was a pleasure speaking with Shireen,  founder of HubFiiiT, providing employee well-being through their digital Wellness App. An inspiring start-up story, Shireen lost her  job during the first lockdown and set about finding investment to start a boutique studio only to be advised by experts in her field to go digital. Two and a half years later, having invested all of her savings, she has built the content, hired the team and is now expanding into the corporate wellness market where her goal is to be the market leading App. Tailored to the individual she is creating an online community with home and gym workouts, menus and much more. Shireen is driven, ambitious and incredibly passionate about making a positive difference in the workplace. 


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? 

It’s a hard one for me as I don’t have much time to read, but I do listen to podcasts, Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO is great and I’d recommend listening to his conversation with Anne Boden, the Founder of Starling Bank.

Also check out Simon Squibb.

I can relate to these because I’m on my own entrepreneurial journey.


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? (Brand and model, where you found it?)

I attended the BritAsia Pitch It event in Birmingham in May. It was for entrepreneurs to learn how to pitch to investors. I was out of my comfort zone on stage, my heart was going a hundred miles an hour, it felt like it was popping out my skin. I realised investors are just people so now I know what to expect for future investment pitches. It’s really made a positive impact. 

I’ve put my life savings into this business, developing the content and the product. Getting investment will allow me to grow the business.


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours? 

I’ve experienced many failures and they’ve made me stronger as a person. It’s how I overcome them that determines who I am.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

Make the world a healthier place 💛

At HubFiiiT we’re trying to do that one company at a time, creating a cultural revolution, harnessing the community.


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

I bought a Whoop which is a wearable fitness tracker that measures strain, recovery, and sleep. It doesn’t have a screen, it doesn’t send notifications, it just collects data and analyses how you can improve. I care deeply about my health so this is really useful.

I have a no tech zone before bed and first thing in the morning I’ve also started journaling my achievements focusing on gratitude. Allows me to live in the present moment and appreciate the fine deal detail. The small wins.


What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? 

I love gaming. I’m a Playstation fan. My social life has taken a bit of a dive since starting my business, but my girlfriends and I dial in and then play together a few times a week. It really helps me switch off from work and have some fun.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Meditation by far.

I had an important phone call last week and I was feeling a bit anxious beforehand so I did 10 minutes of meditation which relaxed me and helped me to be calm, allowing me to be more analytical about what the conversation was going to be like. So it took a deep breath.

I’ve also started cold water swimming. It challenges me mentally even though I don’t like the cold!


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?”

Find something you love, invest time and energy into it, Identify problems and find solutions. 

Work for yourself. I really think more people would do this if they knew through school and college. 


What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise? 

Focus on your weaknesses.

No! Work with people who have those strengths are your weaknesses and vice versa. I surround myself with people I can learn from.


What frustrates you the most about your industry and the way companies are run in it?

The lack of understanding of how to offer wellness solutions to employees. One size fits all doesn’t work. For example, 32% of women feel intimidated to go to the gym, so why do lots of companies only offer gym membership?


In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realisations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

Technology and social media. I can get addicted negatively very quickly. So I have no tech zones. This allows me to focus on myself.

There is too much toxic, misinformation on social media and it makes me angry.


What does a balanced life look like to you? Has a work or a project you have been focused on caused you to neglect other areas of your life? 

Doing the important things I want to do alongside other areas of my life. Starting my business is a journey and it’s been intense, with lots of bumps in the road. I’ve been putting 100% into it, sometimes working too hard. This means I’ve neglected my physical side and it’s impacting on my sleep and then my relationships.


When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?) 

Getting into nature and having fresh air. I live near a pond so I leave my phone at home and go for a walk. This clears my mind declutter’s negative thoughts and helps me prioritise my workload.


What does leadership mean to you?

Setting an example to those who follow me and inspiring the team to work together to reach the ultimate goal.


Which people have most inspired you in your life and why?

I look at successful entrepreneurs who have built a brand from nothing. Every company has a story. Think of Ben Francis, CEO of Gymshark, Tommy Mallett of Mallett London.


What do the words principles and values mean to you?

Be honest with yourself and others. To me honesty and integrity are so important.


If you had a forum to speak to 50 leaders, what question would you pose to them, to get them thinking about and being better leaders?

Should it be compulsory for companies to offer well-being incentives to tackle the billions of pounds lost due to absenteeism and presenteeism? 


What one thing could you do that you aren’t doing now, that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?  What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

For both it would be focusing more on my well-being, not just on my brain but also my body. My health is so important.

If you only had one car for life, how would you look after it?


Have you ever engaged with self-help, mentoring or coaching? If so, how?

I have had a business coach which was great for my self-development.

I love having a mentor. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have without one. At the end of the day, they have your best intentions at heart. They work to see you succeed and make me think about things from a different perspective. I don’t know everything. I would recommend it to anyone.

I can’t wait to have the opportunity to be a mentor myself in the future. 

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Topic: 50 in 50