In Defence of Shame - can this book provide some guidance to Advisors of small business? With special guest Dr Tanveer Ahmed, Psychiatrist, columnist

| Tuesday September 15

Small Biz Matters – #176 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 15 September 2020

I enjoy having authors as guests on Small Biz Matters. They’re great talent having researched for their publication and really knowing how to articulate the issues explained within; often drawing on their own experiences to bring the book to life. Much like a small business owner does with their baby.

One could argue that the emotions associated with Shame are common amongst new small businesses; being concerned about what others think, previous failures which follow us around like the Black Dog … but do these ever really leave us?

Today’s guest brings with him a wealth of media and small business experience plus a more personal viewpoint on the topic of shame. And he’s not ashamed to talk about it.

From a book review: ...make (ing) a compelling case for the rehabilitation of the "ugly emotion". The book is rich with arguments and examples from literature and ordinary life. Although demanding, the reading pays off, especially by providing clear and refreshing distinctions between shame, guilt, embarrassment and humiliation.

Welcome to the show Dr Ahmed.

Topics we’ll be covering:

  • Let’s begin with your latest book - In Defence of Shame. Tell us about the process of writing and the concepts behind it.
    • Is there something to be learned here for small business owners and their advisers?
  • Let’s talk about the small businesses in the Health sector - what are the flaws of the current system and what could be done to support doctors, essentially emerging small businesses start a practice?
    • Being a doctor is spending many years as a wage earner in hospital systems, learning nothing about business or money, then suddenly being thrust out in the private sector and essentially having no idea how to run a business.
    • The changing nature of consumer preferences and the concept of democratisation of this information as clients (patients) seek you out in other ways apart from classic GP referrals
      • the doctor is the traditional "professional" but the nature of doing business has changed significantly and reflects trends in society and economy.
  • You’ve written several books, why is this another potential stream of growing your brand as an industry expert?
    • A wage earner part-time in public hospital and writing (which is its own business of building yourself as a brand)


  • You’ve chosen to lead a public life; balancing politics, journalism and psychiatry in private and public practice. Can this public life affect my brand as a psychiatrist? how might I protect it or do I try and keep them separate?
    • media business is the toughest of all and effectively requires subsidising from my doctoring.
    • What publications’ contributions have been the most challenging for you?
    • the Fin Review column has been useful for me; forceing me to apply ideas I have relating to social issues, but to business. ask about how the workplace, both in small and big business, has become the site for a whole lot of modern clashes in values eg diversity, mental health, gender wars etc.
  • Advice regarding good mental health, maintaining boundaries between work and life especially during Covid.

To find out more go to their website:

About our Guest:

Dr Tanveer Ahmed is a psychiatrist, author and columnist for the Australian Financial Review, writing about social issues. He is a former local government representative having served in the City of Canada Bay. His private practice is at the Hills Clinic in Kellyville. Dr Ahmed's most recent book is titled "In Defence of Shame".