7th February 2012

Partner Melanie Hamer was recently interviewed for the Cardiff Business Club website, as part of their series of features profiling Directors of the Club.

Melanie answered questions about the most important things she has learned in business, the people who have inspired and influenced her, and whether instinct is more important than analysis. Read the piece below:

Meet Melanie Hamer, a Director of the Club with a day job as a senior partner and co-founder of Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice LLP, established in 1996 as the first niche family law firm in Wales.

Melanie, what would you consider to be the single most important thing you have learned in business?

Always listen to your gut instinct! I’ve found in the past that when I listen to my gut instinct, things tend to turn out well, whereas on the odd occasion when I’ve ignored my natural reaction, I’ve regretted it and things haven’t turned out as well as they could have. Trust your initial reaction!

It’s also very important to always be professional, making sure you do the morally correct thing.

Are there any people/businesses you particularly admire?

I’m always impressed by what I’d call “true entrepreneurs” – people who have maybe come from a humble background, who perhaps don’t perform overly well in school, and yet have this inner entrepreneurial soul which gives them success in business.

Has anyone been especially influential in your business career?

One person that especially comes to mind would be one of my training partners from Eversheds, Roger Thomas OBE, who is now High Sheriff of South Glamorgan. He used to amend my letters when I was his trainee and I remember there was often more red on the page than black!

He made me justify every word in every sentence in every letter I ever wrote, and as a result he taught me what I think is a very concise, non-flowery, professional way of writing letters. He also taught me to always return clients’ calls the same day.

What best defines the reasons and opportunities open to business in Cardiff?

I’ve now worked in Cardiff since 1987, and it’s changed hugely during that time (in the right way!) It’s become a very vibrant city, and yet it’s still retained its friendly business environment. Business contacts in Cardiff always seem really keen to help you.

Instinct or analysis – which matters most?

Definitely instinct first and analysis later. If instinct tells you “no”, then don’t waste your time analysing it; if your instinct tells you “yes”, that’s when you should follow through with an analysis, to see if your instinct is right. Again, it’s important to trust your initial judgment.

Click here to visit the Cardiff Business Club website and see more details about Melanie and all the other Board Members, Sponsors and Members of the Club.