Building Opportunities for Sweet Success

Building Opportunities for Sweet Success

Are you a BOSS Lady?

The term ‘boss lady’, especially when used in the context of manipulative control, doesn’t appeal to me much if any. When used to represent a no-nonsense, kickass, and go-getter approach to attaining one’s goal surely, I’m all in.

It was bright sunny Saturday morning and I was exceptionally cheerful. Particularly because I was doing something outside of my routine on this day. Usually I stay home and do chores, business or simply sleep – the choice is all mine. This morning though, I was attending a business event. It wasn’t just a regular event, it was a BOSS Lady’s event (BOSS is Building Opportunities for Sweet Success). I was pumped up. The day didn’t disappoint either.

As I drove to the event I contemplated doing something which has become a bit too frequent – something that many other BOSS ladies are familiar with. I wanted to apply my makeup whilst in transit. I didn’t do it at home as I never wanted to be late to get to the Pegasus Hotel.


This was one of the times I prayed for the red at the traffic light. My prayer was answered on a few occasions but guess what? Each time I get the red, there was no one in front which means that there was much more pressure on me to be alert to know when the green comes on. As a side note, driving in Jamaica dictates that you move the very second (or before) the green comes on. Failing that, you are met choice words of varying colours.

I began to pray to get the red but to be behind other vehicles. And then something hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized how much of a metaphor for life this thinking was. Many times, we pray and seek after opportunities, but then when they come we begin to even second guess if we are deserving of it or whether we can handle the responsibilities that accompany them.

An epiphany came immediately. I was to recognize the season I’m in. If you grew up in church you know the song, “I’m next in line for my blessing”. We have been singing that song for so long that we are the counter ‘being served’ and we don’t even know it. Words are powerful. Don’t make the mistake of reversing your position by your own words.

The season I’m in is a winning season. One that dictates that my mask has to go on first so I can be equipped to bring others along to win too. It’s a season that recognize, that like the “Good Samaritan”, I have stop briefly to assist but then continue on my journey to take care of what I must so I can return and give extra assistance where necessary.

We cannot give from empty cups. As entrepreneurs, we take care of so many tasks, teams and everything and everyone else. We often neglect our own personal needs. We must stop to appreciate the season we are in and act accordingly.

I’d like to hear from you. What season are you in? Leave a comment below.

Heneka Watkis-Porter is a serial-entrepreneur, cultural ambassador, sociologist, author, speaker, fashion designer and podcaster. She wakes up every day with a grateful heart as she lives her purpose of “life transformation through inspiration”. She is the leading lady behind Patwa Culcha International, the company that owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel.
Losing your entrepreneurial fire? 10 Quotes that will supercharge your energy.

Losing your entrepreneurial fire? 10 Quotes that will supercharge your energy.

“Many rivers to cross, still I can’t seem to find my way over”. If you’re an entrepreneur, you will find yourself muttering or maybe even belting out the lyrics to this 1969 Jimmy Cliff classic.

The life of an entrepreneur is by no means an easy one. Another tune rings deafening in my head as I type this post, “It’s not an easy road, dem si di glamour an di glitta an dem tink a bed a rose”. Buju Banton knows this all too well.

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The ugly truth about being an entrepreneur – 3 things that will trigger second thoughts

The ugly truth about being an entrepreneur – 3 things that will trigger second thoughts

Being an entrepreneur can be exciting, fulfilling and exceptionally rewarding. The adrenaline rush that accompanies the ability to risk it all for the sake of that thing that you love gives life to your soul.

But is it all what entrepreneurs make it out to be? Is all that entrepreneurial glitter, really gold? Truth be told, the journey of an entrepreneur is not without its many valleys. Yes, they are peaks too but they can be short-lived.

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The One Thing 15 Minutes With Sir Richard Branson Taught Me

The One Thing 15 Minutes With Sir Richard Branson Taught Me

I could easily say that my experience belies the few short years I’ve been on this planet. For sure I have done much, seen much and visited lots of places the world over. I have met Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors and more.

From as far back as I can remember, meeting the business tycoon, Sir Richard Branson has always scored high on my list of people to see. Forgot the fact that he’s a very successful business and that he is such a wonderful philanthropist.

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Why Start A Podcast: 8 Reasons You Should Do So (Infographic)

Thinking of starting a podcast? Here’s 8 amazing reasons you should:

Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.

Podcasting is not only hot right now, it ie effective. Do not delay any longer.

Have you started your podcast yet or are you thinking about it? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below.

Heneka Watkis-Porter is a serial-entrepreneur, cultural ambassador, sociologist, author, speaker, fashion designer and podcaster. She wakes up every day with a grateful heart as she lives her purpose of “life transformation through inspiration”. She is the leading lady behind Patwa Culcha International, the company that owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel.

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Get Your Brand the Recognition it Deserves: Start A Podcast

It’s almost unthinkable that there are many persons who are still unaware of what a Podcast is. Yet so many marketers are building brands using this free, on-demand medium to communicate their messaging. It is one that has nowhere going anytime soon. It has come to stay, so we might as well get to know more about it and its awesome benefits.

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10 Top Industry Experts Share Their Favourite Social Media Software Tool to Help Entrepreneurs Win

10 Top Industry Experts Share Their Favourite Social Media Software Tool to Help Entrepreneurs Win

10 Top Industry Experts Share Their Favourite Social Media Software Tool to Help Entrepreneurs Win Click To Tweet

You probably didn’t know that there are well over 1,000 social media software tools to help manage your presence on the social media scene. Or did you? A few years ago, Lacey Ann-Bartley of Bartley’s All In Wood introduced me to the social media management tool, HootSuite and it has become my personal favourite.

Related Post: There’s An App fo That!

My Take:

I am a Podcaster, Entrepreneur, CEO of Patwa Apparel, Speaker, and Author. I need tools that will help me stay productive every minute of the day. The free HootSuite account, which is what I use, allows me to schedule posts to up to three different social media accounts. I use it often to schedule daily quotes to my Twitter account as well as daily general posts to my LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

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The 3 Skills That Will Help You Survive Your First Year of Entrepreneurship

Summary:

This month, we (my wife and I) complete 15 months into our entrepreneurial journey. During this period, we have learnt a lot, but there are three skillsets in particular that have been extremely helpful. In this post, I will describe what these 3… Click To Tweet

In December 2015, I left my job with Amazon, and left behind a life of a steady paycheck. We (my wife and I) launched Kamakshi Media, our venture in podcasting, a month later. What I did not realize at that time was that I would have to unlearn and re-learn a lot of skills that I had acquired during my Corporate career. On the plus side, if you have a co-founder, they may have skills that compliment yours very well. I would consider operations, planning, budgeting and setting up systems and processes as my strengths. Mrunal, my wife and co-founder, has worked in customer facing roles including sales and account management. Then there are some skills that we have acquired: audio recording and editing and social media marketing. But there are three specific skills that I believe have helped me (and us) survive the first year of entrepreneurship.

Related Post: Start a Podcast

  1. Have Patience

We did not get tens of thousands of listens for our podcast from day one like many podcasters do. There have been days when we have received single digit listens for MyKitaab Podcast, and it was very frustrating. The story was quite similar for the four other podcasts we launched in 2016. But being patient has helped- every single listener and every listen counts. Today we have over 200,000 listens for all our shows combined. This did not happen overnight.

In the first few months, a lot of things move at snail’s pace. Creating content is a long-term play, and it takes time to see large number of listeners for your podcast (or visitors to your blog, or viewers for YouTube Channel…). For example, it took us about five months to see tens of thousands of listeners for Baalgatha, our podcast of Children’s Bedtime Stories. Imagine how frustrating it can be, when you live in a country of 1.3 billion people, with over 400 million children who are your target listeners. But, you get only 3,000 listens in the first month.

The story is no different when it comes to getting reviews on iTunes. Sometimes, we literally had to beg people to leave a review, and we got poor results. Our lives are busy, and sometimes we have other compelling priorities. And leaving a review may not be a priority for the listeners. That is when you learn to develop your patience levels further. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. And another, and another….

Last but not the least, talking to advertisers really tests your patience. First of all, podcasting is quite new to India, and as a result, most media buyers and advertisers are not familiar with it. Those that are, are not able to determine whether podcasting is an above the line or below the line activity. Secondly, the listener numbers for podcasts are a fraction of what a web series on YouTube can offer. Even though the engagement level is higher in podcasts, since the base is small, advertisers are not particularly keen at this point in time. Which again brings us to listener numbers, which of course takes time.
I have worked in construction projects that had a long gestation period- sometimes running into years. Mrunal is aware of long sales cycles for B2B sales. Thus, we may have a higher threshold for patience, her more than I. But several times in the past several years, our patience has been tested to the limit.

  1. Be Rigorous

The hard part began when I actually started working on our first show, MyKitaab Podcast. Developing the theme for the show, creating the list of questions, finding a media host, cold calling the guests for interviews, setting up time for interviews, recording, editing, preparing the show notes, and finally, marketing are some of the activities in a workflow for a podcast. Some of them take time, a lot of time. My first episode took me about 10 hours just to edit, because I wanted to learn ‘on the job’. I spent two days finalizing it, and it was tiring, unsexy, and at times, boring. I often wondered,” Where is the glamor in this?” But having worked in construction, I knew that I was creating the foundation for the business. That is, setting up the systems, and developing the blueprint for future shows.

So if you find something boring, tiring or even overwhelming, just keep going at it. Over a period of time, you will get better. It still takes me an hour to edit a 45-minute episode, but I am learning to edit at 2X the speed (I heard recently on Mixergy Podcast that Alex Blumberg from Gimlet Media is really good at it). John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur On Fire, can do so in a matter of minutes. Heneka Watkis-Porter of The Entrepreneurial You Podcast is also learning to edit in a matter of minutes. On a lighter note, they say that misery loves company. As a podcaster, I was lucky to be in the company of so many awesome podcasters!

Standardizing the process and setting up systems will help in determining the time it takes for each task. In the long run, whether you hire someone full time, or hire freelancers, the amount of money you pay them will essentially depend on the amount of time they take to perform a task. This is Project Management 101. But this also helps you to determine whether the persons you have hired to do the job are doing it right, or they are taking you for a ride.

At first, I did it all by myself: I believe it is important to learn the entire workflow. Once I had that figured out, I began to delegate. Delegating can yield mixed results, by the way. For example, we failed miserably when we had hired a virtual assistant last year, but we found amazing translators, narrators and sound editors. Albert, the editor we work with, edits sound for Bollywood movies and has won National Level Awards.

  1. Network, Network, Network

I consider this quality as a work in progress for me. Networking does not mean only going to professional events such as seminars, or connecting with hundreds of people on LinkedIn. At the same time, it is not my natural instinct to be the first to introduce myself, or to reach out to people, or to call unknown persons. Over the past year, I have worked really hard to reach out to people, be it in the neighborhood, alumni meets, or simply talk to strangers about my work.

It was one such conversation last year that helped us find Sheerali, our narrator for Baalgatha Podcast. Biju, her husband, and I go for a run a couple of days every week. Last April, I told him

that we were planning a new podcast of Children’s Bedtime stories. “why don’t you talk to my wife?” He asked me. Sheerali had recorded audiobooks for children’s’ stories in the past. As a primary school teacher and mother of two young boys, she had the perfect background: and just like that, we found our narrator. We have recorded over 200 stories with her till date, and the listeners love her narration!

I won our first paid assignment through networking. I had known the management team of a nonprofit for several years, and they responded positively when I suggested to them that we should start an audio series for the nonprofit. This assignment led to the next one, and a third. This went on the time we decided that we needed to give our full attention to Baalgatha and other shows in the gaatha series. Networking is playing a key role in talking to investors- as many of you may know, angel investors do not respond to you unless you are referred to by somebody. So every day, I am logged on to LinkedIn, alumni portals and other sites from where I can find common connections, followed by phone calls, emails and finally a handful of meetings. This works just like a typical sales funnel. Networking has helped us in finding talent, customers, investors and listeners alike.

Not An Exhaustive List 

Like an arsenal of weapons that a warrior carries (think Aronld Schwarzenegger in Commando), an entrepreneur has to carry their arsenal of skills at all times. In my case, three of them helped me significantly in the first year. The three new ones I am working on this year are sales, perseverance and recruitment. Talking about them is a conversation for another day. But let me conclude with an example to show why I need to work on my sales skills: Last month, Mrunal and I went to an event in a school to promote Baalgatha. We had carried a few hundred handbills with us to give to parents. While I only managed to hand over about 100 of them over 3 hours, she had achieved 3X the number. This includes the time she spent engaging with parents.

Amar Vyas. Co-Founder, Kamakshi Media
e: amar@kamakshimedia.in   Instagram: @gaathastory_podcast         web: www.kamakshimedia.in

Oh, There’s An App For That!

In this ‘microwave’ society, we cannot deny that everything needs to be so much faster, easier and without cost in order to, not just get our attention but to keep it. Click To Tweet

This is in large part attributable to the ease of access to information literally at our fingertips made possible by the world wide web. It begs the question, though, how did we survive without the advent of the internet? It’s almost impossible to imagine. Since its onslaught in the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a more than a radical impact on culture and norms; commerce and trade; and technology and innovation, including the rise of near-instant communication. One of the reasons our lives have become so much easier is because there is an application program (application or app for short) for just about everything. For quick reference, an app is a computer program having the objective of performing a group of systematic functions with the specific needs of the end user in mind.

Related Post: 10 Industry Experts Share Their Favourite Tool

Notwithstanding the ease of access to information, there are many persons who may be unaware that there exists myriad of digital tools to make their jobs and daily tasks even easier. One only has to take a cursory scroll through the Google’s App Marketplace ranging from business to mindfulness, to health and wellness, project management and the list goes on, to realize that our already simplified lives can yet be made even more simple.

If you’re looking for a cloud-based all-in-one document and Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer and markup tool for example, oh, there’s an app for that. Let me introduce you to Kami, one of the most popular and highly rated document apps in the market. Available in the Google Marketplace, Kami works with Google Drive. If you don’t have access to the internet when you need to work on a project via the app, no need to worry as it can also run offline – all you need to do is to have it downloaded ahead of time and you can work offline at a later date.

It allows you to view, comment, share and collaborate on your files on Chrome. This is of great value especially if you have a team working with on a particular project. It works well too with Google Classroom, sending individual feedbacks to students or to collaborate as an entire classroom.

The product is poised to be the number one go-to option for persons looking to move their work to the cloud, “Kami will be the best alternative to traditional Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Reader applications”, says the Developers. Publishers give it the thumbs up too…”Kami is an affordable solution that makes collaborating on publishing materials viable within a national or international team” says Justin Steiner of Dirt Rag Magazine.

As alluded to earlier, one of the greatest benefits of this app is that it allows for collaboration with other users. The key features include: Highlighting, Adding, Underlining and Striking-through text; Adding comment; Voice annotation; Freehand drawing; Inserting Image, shapes and signatures; viewing PDF and documents, real-time collaboration; split and merge files; Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for scanned PDF files (detect text on scanned files) and Offline support.

There is a free 14-day evaluation where you can try the app to see how best it suits your need. After that, there are a variety of paid package options available depending on your need and budget. They offer 24/7 customer service support to paying customers and if you have a feature request they may also consider it. As of September 2016, they have rated the number 1 PDF tool on the Chrome Web Store.

As mentioned earlier it supports PDF; Documents (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, RTF); Powerpoint (Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides); Sheets (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets); Images (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif).

You never have to worry about your selected browser either as it works on all types.

So the next time you have a project that requires a remote team interaction, you might want to consider Kami as a viable alternative.

Heneka Watkis-Porter is a serial-entrepreneur, IBI Ambassador, cultural ambassador, sociologist, author, speaker, fashion designer and podcaster.  She wakes up every day with a grateful heart as she lives her purpose of “life transformation through inspiration”. She is the leading lady behind Patwa Culcha International, the company that owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel.

Email: henekawatkisporter@gmail.com
Twitter: @TheEntrepYou
Website: henekawatkisporter.com

Your Posture Determines Your Position: 3 Things you Should Know that will Change Your Outcome

Lately, every opportunity to visit the friendly island of St. Maarten/St. Martin brings with it a level of excitement that is only surpassed by that of a kid in candy store. Click To Tweet

The middle of November 2016 was no different for me. My visit on this occasion which I dubbed ‘work-cation’ was two-fold; it was work mixed with vacation.

I presented at an annual conference, Dominate 360 – led and organized by Ife Badejo where other high profile speakers from the Caribbean, the United States and other parts of the world were brought in to provide fodder in the form of inspiration, motivation and best practices to a captive audience of entrepreneurs, prospective entrepreneurs and executives.

I established some business contacts and strengthened others among other things business related. This was expected, as any serial-entrepreneur does, I look for opportunities to pursue everywhere I go.

My business that I run full-time, Patwa Culcha International ran from beaches, poolside, restaurants, the homes of families and friends, in cafes and so many other places in my absence from Jamaica. Wherever there was the internet, I was doing business – my computer and smartphone went with me almost everywhere I went.

Amidst all of that work (writing proposals, sending and responding to emails, meeting with business prospects, etc), which really didn’t feel like work anyway, I threw in some well-needed vacation time. With that comes more freedom to get out of bed, eat and shower when I wanted, if I wanted. It was great spending time with friends and family, meeting new people, going new places and soaking up the environment of the Dutch and French island. It was the best work-cation ever, Caribbean style.

It was a welcome break, all seven weeks of it.

But I’m back and need to switch into full work mode. I must confess, it has not been so easy. I found myself waking up later than normal as though I’m still on vacation; feelings of lethargy when it’s time to rise and shine have come to the fore at a time where I should be productive and should have put in hours of work; I’m laying in bed completing tasks on my computer. My whole modus operandi has been shifted.

On one of the mornings whilst I laid in attempting to do work on my computer, I felt as though I was hit with a ton of bricks. Immediately it dawned on me that my posture determines my position. I was feeling this way simply because I was in a laying position attempting to do something that requires much brain power, concentration, and a fully engaged mind.

Without any further ado, I got out of bed, took a shower, went downstairs, made breakfast and on my verandah I went in a sitting position and began working. My thinking shifted; I no longer felt lethargic; I could concentrate much more which made doing tasks much easier.

Our posture is an unconscious expression of who we are. Any change we make in this area can have a positive impact on our lives to shape our positions for the future. In 2012 Amy Cuddy did a Ted Talk encouraging us to Assume a “power posture” at least two minutes each day to improve our destiny or ‘position’. Open postures, those with our arms open, signify high power; closed postures denotes low power.

My light bulb moment forced me into research mode on the subject of posture. Here are 3 things I found and want to share:

Posture and Mood:

In an experiment, Dr. Erik Peper, San Francisco State University, tested subjects swinging their arms in an upward motion as they walked versus those who slouched. Most of the participants who walked upright reported feeling more energetic, happier, and positive. On the other hand, the ones who slouched reported opposite emotions such as feeling isolated, sleepy, sad, lonely and “zombie-like.”

Posture and Memory:

Memory recall is also affected by our posture. Subjects in a study also done by Peper, found it easier to recall situations of hopelessness, being helpless and powerless when sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward. Conversely, an upright posture improved memory in general. Maybe it is because of the increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Posture and Confidence

Another study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University in 2009 found that sitting up straight reinforced confidence. In this study, 71 students were divided into two groups and instructed to maintain opposite postures while answering prompts in a business questionnaire. Those who held the upright posture had confidence in their thoughts. -(Medical Daily).

It is clear that in order to get ahead we must assume the right posture, not only is it healthy, it puts us in the frame of mind to dominate every sphere of our lives. A good posture helps us gain control of our thoughts and emotions. The things we do on a regular basis quickly becomes habits. The habits we form determine our destiny. A good posture is necessary for our positions to be shifted to the next level. Our posture, therefore determines our position.

Heneka Watkis-Porter is a serial-entrepreneur, IBI Ambassador, cultural ambassador, sociologist, author, speaker, fashion designer and podcaster.  She wakes up every day with a grateful heart as she lives her purpose of “life transformation through inspiration”. She is the leading lady behind Patwa Culcha International, the company that owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel.

 

7 Hindrances to Growth in the Caribbean and How to Overcome Them

In the words of the English Poet, John Donne, “No man is an island no man stands alone”. Click To Tweet

There couldn’t be a statement more on point as it relates to building successful relations in business and in life generally.

Yet sometimes we allow our very delicate egos to get the better of us. These egos, when left uncontrolled, have a tendency to play deceive us into thinking we can accomplish mighty feats without the help of others. This is a lie – and I’ll add, as we say in church circles, ‘from the pit of hell”. Statements such as “we are stronger together”“unity is strength” and “together everyone achieves more” are not just fancy sounding and over-used cliches. Entrepreneurs must be in constant awareness of this to allow for excellence in the pursuit of our passion.

I’ve had several opportunities to work with a number of individuals from within the Caribbean as well as the developed world. While there are no perfect relationships – they are all works in progress -, and that working with persons in the developed world has its fair share of challenges, I’ve witnessed some unfortunate success-inhibiting traits that are evident whilst doing business with some of my Caribbean counterparts.

Suffice it to say, defining the Caribbean in and of itself is a challenge. Although not widely used as a definition, in some instances it is based on geology (Caribbean Plate) i.e. structural features and commonalities which allow for similar tectonic, seismic and volcanic features and processes.

The Caribbean is also defined in terms of geographical location which is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and is called the Caribbean Basin. This includes most of the islands in the Lesser and Greater Antilles as well mainland Central and North South America such as Venezuela and Colombia.

Then there is the Historical Caribbean which saw the impact of slavery, colonisation by the English, French, Dutch and the Spanish, indentureship and the plantation system. The commonality in this instance is the historical or cultural experiences that these territories shared at one time or another.

Politics also has its say in defining the Caribbean. Some nations are now independent – former colonies that are self-governing, some are Associated states – not independent and enjoy all the rights and privileges of the country that governs it.   Some are still colonial dependencies, governed by other countries but do not enjoy the rights and privileges of those in an Associated state. For the purpose of this discourse, the Caribbean takes into consideration all the factors that help to define it, making it unique relative to the other parts of the world.

To continue, the gains made by Caribbean nationals overtime in our outlook and approach to building effective working relationships should not be discounted. However, there are much more grounds to cover. I am positive we will be able to overcome any remaining barriers to growth, leaving selfishness behind.

Our success-inhibiting traits are sometimes subtle but in some instances, the ‘small island mentality’ is quite overt. If we are not careful, realising our full potential will be an impossible task if we do not take the necessary steps to shift our thought process to get to maturity.

While my observations are not scientific and may very well be applicable to other business folks outside of the Caribbean, for the benefit of this article, I will hold all other factors constant.

Here are 7 of my observations and possible recommendations for dealing with them:

The crab in a barrel phenomenon

Many times I’ve seen where persons could assist others in getting to their next level yet they refused to do so for a number of reasons. One is that they would rather keep that individual where they are thinking if I can’t have it, neither should you. The thought process may very well be that if they help them achieve success then said person receiving assistance may outshine them. Like crabs in a barrel, with every attempt someone makes to move forward, they are being pulled down by others who view them as a threat.

We need to begin to see others as partners rather than competitors. When we start doing this we work to collaborate rather than compete.

Lack of Transparency/Lack of Trust

As Caribbean folks, we tend to keep our ideas close to our chests in the initial stage for fear that someone will steal it. We want to wait until we have attained perfection before making a move. We must remember that ideas are a dime a dozen and it’s the execution that makes the difference.

In order to gain the trust of others, we must be willing to expose ourselves and become vulnerable. There is nothing wrong in making that first move to be transparent and open with others. The liberation that accompanies this action is worth the exposure.

This is how I’ve always done it

The theory of Relativity developed by German Physicist, Albert Einstein has changed life as we know it. But probably the most profound impact he’s had is to posit that “insanity is doing the same thing over and again expecting different results”. Yet so many Caribbean folks are unwilling to unlearn their way of doing things to in order to learn a better way even when their way has not proved any form of fertility. In theory, many persons agree with this but what they practice when the rubber hits the road is another matter.

I like Abraham Maslow’s ‘4 stages of learning’ theory. Unbeknownst to us, many of us are at stage 1 in the learning process unconscious incompetence’. This is where we have no idea that we don’t know. Next is the conscious incompetence were we become aware that we don’t know it all. Then there is the conscious competence where we have become more consciously adept at doing things. It is the fourth and final stage that we aim to reach – the unconscious competence.

In order to get to this stage of second-nature capability, we must have an open mind. It is very liberating when we are at the growth level where we can humbly accept that someone’s idea may be more effective in attaining the desired result than our own.

Superiority Complex

I’ve watched with intrigue how some Caribbean nationals from some countries operate with a preconceived notion that because we are from a particular territory then we are superior to others. This is usually accompanied by a feeling of rights and entitlement.

While some Caribbean countries may have more notoriety than others because of their size, economy, culture or other factors, in the grand scale of things the islands in the Caribbean are just a dot on the globe when compared to the rest of the world.

When we think of competing on a global scale, each country cannot depend on trade within itself to achieve above average level of success.

We must think bigger than we actually are; we must recognise that on our own we can’t make it very far.

Threat of Another Successful Person

Someone once said that “if you are the brightest person in the room then you are in the wrong room”. Yet for some of us, the moment we realise that another person is as equally or more talented than us, we quickly begin to strategize how to victimise and sideline that person.

Each of us is uniquely gifted; there is no need to be jealousy of others, we only need to stay in our individual lanes and watch the magic happens.

This issue is deeply rooted in insecurity. Daily affirmations can serve as confidence boosters. This allows us to channel that energy in affirming who we are rather than spend time feeling threatened by the strengths of others. Do this for a number of days consecutively and watch how a shift in mindset takes place.

Opportunistic/Parasitic Behaviour

This is evident in the way some of us network at business events. The minute we get connected to others, our main interest becomes what can they do for us.

We should consider networking akin to going on a date. Just as there are things you wouldn’t do on a first date, apply this same principle to networking.

We want to aim to find ways to provide value to others. It really is more blessed to give than receive. When we extend our hands to others, they will feel the need to reciprocate.

Let’s aim to become a river rather than a reservoir.

Burning Bridges

Physical bridges are built to facilitate passing over an obstacle with success. We sometimes treat others as bridges to aid in the achievement of our goal. No sooner than they’ve become accomplished, the bridges are burnt.

Before we burn bridges, we must consider that we may want to cross over again. Let’s instead aim to enhance our relationships with others through careful nurturing and sensitivity.

We must make a conscious effort to esteem others as we value ourselves. As we begin to do this, we will also begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

In the final analysis, there is no perfect human being but we must make every effort to be our best selves. As we consciously seek growth, not just in terms of our economic pursuits but in who we are deep inside, our productivity will increase. It is possible for all of us to collaborate and achieve much more than we could ever do on our own.

After the Caribbean is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people which are our greatest asset.

Let’s do it!

Heneka Watkis-Porter is a serial-entrepreneur, IBI Ambassador, cultural ambassador, sociologist, author, speaker, fashion designer and podcaster.  She wakes up every day with a grateful heart as she lives her purpose of “life transformation through inspiration”. She is the leading lady behind Patwa Culcha International, the company that owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel.