Henry Mascot co-founded Curacel in 2017 and today, it enables insurers across multiple insurance verticals in Africa to automate claims and detect fraud using AI.

Besides Curacel, Henry is an Angel investor in Playjoor and Roqqu. 

He describes himself as passionate about building things, solving problems, and learning about exponential technologies.

I picked up on some wisdom from Henry on the Fuse Show and would love for you to know…

1. Hire people for their passions…

When I hire a designer and want him to do marketing, he’s gonna get tired and want to go back to his designing…”

If you choose a team based on their passions, the job will come easy to them. 

These individuals will be doing something they love and won’t see it as work.

There is a debate out there as to whether passion matters when hiring. The answer is a resounding yes!
Hiring passionate employees sounds like a tall order but you can do it! Try asking for referrals from your existing employees, ask team members why, not what, and deliberately build a culture of passion.

Henry gives the perfect analogy…hiring a designer to do your marketing may not be a good idea coz this person will be coming to work but looking forward to his designs. They will get tired in the long run!

The Takeaway

Passionate people are invested in their job, care about the outcomes, don’t fear risks, and are excited by new challenges. Passion keeps them looking for ways to improve both themselves and the company. 

They’ll be living their hobbies daily…

2. Be deliberate about self-care

“Burnout is doing work for a long streak, spread yourself, and give yourself breaks…” 

Founders wear many hats and may easily get lost in the work, leaving them no time to focus on themselves. On this matter, Henry advises us to block out personal time in order to recharge!

‘Don’t work all weekends’. Instead, he suggests that you choose one day to binge Netflix (or do whatever you like) and relax from the job. Such relaxation keeps you sane and supercharged enough to face another long work week. It prevents boredom and burnout.

Many think that overextending gets you closer to your and therefore keeps you happier. Taking NO time off from work has more negative effects on YOU than you could ever imagine. It could mean you’ve neglected your family or health. If you think about it, working too hard might not be worth it!

The Takeaway

Founders can easily get burned out in the process of running the startups. Take time off for yourself. It is important to deliberately reset and gain more energy to keep you going.

3. Building culture 

“It would take a long time to train people who aren’t intrinsically leaders…In the beginning, hire people who are like that, don’t train people who are not like that”

The trick is to hire people who ALREADY  have the traits you’re looking for. It could be empathy or proactiveness.

Do a soul search of what’s most important to you, then hire those who are already like that.

You may need to teach a few things to such new hires but traits like proactiveness and empathy cannot be taught.

When you hire the right people the first time, they will rub off on those who come on board later on. 

Inculcating the culture early on is a useful strategy for founders who’d like to hand over the hiring reins at some point. 

The Takeaway   

Culture trickles down. Founders had better make their intentions known early on, else it’ll become harder to impart. Imagine trying to align hundreds to company culture when you could have started with your first hire? 

4. A Sense of Purpose 

“When I’m trying to hire somebody in my company, I try to figure out, what are you passionate about so I can hire you for that? That way, I won’t have to make you work coz you love to do that.”


Companies have a mission and vision…so should you! Pick something and do it for the rest of your life!

This doesn’t mean you should remain in the same business all your life. You can venture into many things as long as the discipline and end goal stays the same.

It is wise to play the long game, especially in business. Don’t fall for the temptation to bail because some aspects of your startup didn’t work. If you’re passionate about something, focus on it to the end. According to Henry, you should only abandon a business when you feel less passionate about it.  

The Takeaway

Your long game is interwoven into so many things. Among them are purpose and passion, which have to intermarry for a founder to have an impactful life.

The Wrap Up 

Henry Mascot talked for nearly an hour about culture, leadership, and playing the long game. If you’re interested in more of what we discussed, feel free to watch the full episode of  Fuse.Show. It was a candid, insightful podcast with many lessons for founders.

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