Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Story Time - Brief business examples

There's a saying the elderly repeated when I was growing up, that to talk is to reveal. It is for these reasons that I constantly tell the youth that they should grasp their education with both hands and feet. It is because, even when you have qualification and experience, there are people within the workforce that will still try to take advance of you.

When you're young and full of energy that is the time that you should try to live your life to the fullest before family etc. comes on board. People go through challenges and when they do, it is important that they maintain the right mindset if not they can be easily led off course; that is assuming they had a course planned.

Nowadays, I have a greater peace of mind than when I may have worked for significantly more money. Though I frequently get my medical check-ups, they are more preventative than curative. I know what it is to have money and I also know the flip side of the same coin.

High paying jobs are not always as they seem. They have pressures that are associated with them that can be daunting if you don't have a strong support group coupled with strong resolve. I gather much of my strength from The Almighty God. It has allowed me to fare better with the storms I weathered.

Working with various teams, I have been blessed to have always been a part of a team of high performers. Standards have been set high and exceeded on many an occasion however to realize this required lots of discipline.

In the early days of my working, I was asked why I go to work early even though I'm in charge. Upon reflection, when I drove on the roads at that time I found that there was less traffic, and those who passed by in one direction or another often happened to be the well-known business leaders within our country.

This preparation meant that when those with whom I worked called meetings at seemingly odd times I was always prepared for the most part. Although, I do remember going into a meeting one evening that was so much pressure that when I caught myself, I had driven past my home without even realizing it and ended up by the airport. It was a meeting that almost left me bewildered for the most part, and I remembered the best revenge is a massive success, which I set about to have happen the very next day. I decided instead of going home to return to work and encourage my team of marketers to really excel, and so they did. The very next day sales were asking me to ease off the pressure from them; to which I reminded them what they said in the meeting and hung up the phone.

My first trip to The Cayman Islands taught me the importance of learning Geography. My orders were to catch the next flight out to meet the VP in Miami at American Airlines counter, I was not to be late. Upon arrival, I was bumped to first class, given my instructions for the marketing research on the flight over, and when going to collect my luggage once we arrived was told by the VP if I ever travel with him again don't have luggage, anything that can't fit within a carryon is not needed. These guys were high pressure but also high performance. The environment was one where we made things happen and though reasons were acknowledged, excuses weren't tolerated.

Whenever we hit revenue targets and exceeded them the celebration was short and the next target was set. If we missed even by a fraction, the target was reset and we strive to hit it again. There was no almost there. If we wanted anything, first we worked, then achieved, before we could realize the reward. I still use that approach to this day and therefore abstain from hire purchase transactions for the most part.

Doing without keeps you sharp! Your observation is then keen, and your strategies set on replicating success.

Sure we can realize goals on occasion, however, can you say you can replicate it 22 - 26 days per month?

Why am I telling you this? In our current environment, we are faced with challenges. Unemployment for some, inability to afford things by others, the opportunities that seem to be constantly escaping us by others. WE MUST NOT LOSE HOPE.  Faith is the beginning of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.

What I've learned is:

  1. You must write your goals and have pictures of them;
  2. A date by which you wish to achieve them must be on there;
  3. You must be committed to reaching that/those goal(s);
  4. Recognize you can reset the goal(s) if you miss it/them;
  5. You must work! They are not realized by wishing about them. 
There's a winner within you waiting to be recognized; not by the world but by you. YOU HAVE TO recognize YOUR INNER WINNER! 

Here's hoping you benefited from reading this. I am Richie B. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Entrepreneurial disconnect - 7 things that are noticeable

During the week of GEW2018, I reflected on entrepreneurship. I thought of the entrepreneurs and how they interacted with the following:

  • Technical Assistance
  • Access to Finance/Investment/Grants Funding
  • Information made available via research
  • Laws governing ages of entrepreneurship
  • Business education 
  • Statutory commitments 
  • and a whole lot of other factors that we encounter in business 
We are failing our entrepreneurs! There seems to be a disconnect that only serves to frustrate the entrepreneurs. Dreams become disillusions. Information is fragmented and impractical. We follow the instruction blindly of start small and grow it. Has no one ever sought to grow the business at the size that it should be from the outset? With access to greater planning tools and an environment where there are greater information stores, something is wrong. We are operating with archaic strategies to new world problems. We have not adapted to the necessary changes. 

Much of the information that we have is outdated before it even sees the light of day. Our observation tells us so, but because our new found information has not yet been published it isn't accepted as mainstream. What do I mean?
  1. With greater education being made available, why has the age at which a person can get into business still 18? What programs do we need to put in place to harness the creative abilities of those who have business ideas but have not yet attained that age? 
  2. Why are they still being told to check out their close friends and family when they can see that those same people are struggling within the same environment they are? 
  3. Recently, I said the friends that you currently have will change should you embark on the path of entrepreneurship and they are not of like mind. Your friends will become those with whom you do business. This is not to say that you won't have your old friends, but that the friendships will evolve. You will move towards the direction of your most dominant thoughts and as your needs and priorities change so will your friends. As an entrepreneur, there is no blank cheque waiting to be picked up by you. Hard work and discipline is required. If you happen to experience the early success you have to be even more discerning as to who your true friends, those who will be back to back with you in tough times and good, are going to be. 
  4. Teaching young people to prioritize needs to be taught in the home setting, it will not happen in school. What is the mentality of those who surround you? What are your goals? Have you carefully defined these goals for your business and personal?  
  5. Are you proactive/reactive? Do you plan ahead or face situations as they crop up? How do those approaches work for you and which gives the better results? 
  6. The financial houses are still looking for traditional collateral despite the fact that their market no longer possesses these traits. Many entrepreneurs are renters, not owners. No one is really placing an emphasis on valuing intellectual property [I.P.]. Actually, within our markets we have accountants, not a lot of professionals are qualified in valuing a business and many with these skills tend to come from overseas. 
  7. Some start ups can make money quickly, and if there is no plan in place can suffer from having excess cash that is not productive. The result is that they flourish like match heads, burning suddently bright and then vanishing as quickly as they appeared. They are no real instruments for making your excess cash productive without their being exorbitant. 
We need to stop giving entrepreneurship lip service and really put systems in place that give businesses in this area the opportunity to grow and flourish. One does not need to live in a metropolitan country in order to experience success that can be massive. 

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