Starting small is beautiful, says Meilan

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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Faauluuluga Papalii, Masina Fepuleai with the owner of B.S.L. Meilani Meredith and Aliitasi Faumuina.

Faauluuluga Papalii, Masina Fepuleai with the owner of B.S.L. Meilani Meredith and Aliitasi Faumuina.

Meilan Meredith is a living example that women can do anything.

Over the 40 years that she has been heading Business Systems Limited (B.S.L.) and becoming the successful woman she now is, Meilan shared her experiences on how it all unfolded.

“We know and believe that men are physically strong but my mother has taughtme one thing that I will never forget.

That is, women can do all things (E au le inailau a tamaita’i) which is true. I believed in it and worked extra hard which is how I was able to reach where I am now,” she said.

It was then and there that a solid foundation was created which shaped her into becoming the hard-working lady she continues to be today.

Her mother didn’t only instil these life lessons in her, but she also gave her a clear understanding that no matter how smart or unwise a person is, everyone is equally the same.

The 64-year-old started her business at a tiny corner at Taufusi and through her perseverance; it developed into the large company she presides over today.

“I did not go overseas to be taught how to run a business. II just looked around at what was missing in our country. I am certain that this is my gift from God. I started very small, that tiny shop at Taufusi. 

“Over the years I was honest and committed to my work, I was then able to build what I now have here,” she said.

“The most important thing that I learned was to never rush things, always take your time and think things thoroughly before you make a decision.

 “Sometimes in life we are tempted to want too much and it is not good because it will lead us into a situation that you do not want to be in. Making a decision is very vital. Starting off small is beautiful,” she added.

Now as she looks back, Meilani is grateful to all of the people who have raised their hands to help Business Systems Limited to reach this far.

“Searching for victory started from my humble beginnings. As I look at how many workers I now have and how long we have been serving the people of Samoa, I am very thankful to all my business partners, the government of Samoa, friends, families and especially God. 

“Forty years is a very long time and it was not easy climbing this far.”

Despite the many other thriving businesses there are in Samoa, it did not discourage Meilani from working and pushing her plans for her company.

“There is a competition among businesses and everyone is doing so well which was one of the challenges I was facing. One thing for sure was that I had to focus on my own and what was in front of me. 

“You should never look over your shoulder. Just be honest with your work and serve the people of this nation faithfully.”

Being a mother of seven children and grandchildren is the greatest blessing and the driving force behind the successful career of Meilani.

“I could not have made it this far without my children. The development of the business is mostly from them. All those times they were studying overseas they were able to gain ideas on how to better the company. I am so proud of all of them and my grandchildren are my greatest happiness.”

Even though her children are more than capable of running the business, Meilani is still keen to work despite her age.

“I am still a strong lady. I don’t want to stop working, I love working. I started off young and I am so used to it. There is a saying that goes if you stay home you will quickly age but it is important to always be active and for your mind to be always vigorous.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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