025 – An Important Lesson in the Unpredictable Nature of Individuals and Staying Focused in the Midst of a Business Breakup, with Damon Nailer

Damon Nailer is known as a “Renaissance Man” and a “Multi-talented Inspirational Communicator”, He is mentor, motivator and educator, addressing people’s mental, spiritual, and emotional needs through various means. He writes inspirational books and blogs, speaks, coaches, and produces inspirational music. As a result of his tremendous accomplishments, he’s been featured over 100 times in or on the following: various online publications including The Huffington Post, TV shows, podcasts, radio shows, newspapers, and magazines.

#PeakPerformers, Damon shares his story on #TheEntrepYou today! @daril1 Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

Here’s a fun question for you…If you could choose an imaginary friend, who would you choose and why?

I would have to choose a super hero and it would have to be Superman. We could fly, we could do all sorts of things. We would be enabled and empowered to do a lot.

What was the entrepreneurial journey like for you when you started?
I’m a former elementary educator and I taught for 7 years. About the 4th or 5th year in my teaching tenure I began to lose the passion for teaching. At that time, I began to dabble into song writing, music production and artistry. In 1999 I put out my first single and in 2000 I put out an LP. I really love the music and I was getting a favourable response to it. As a result, my desire for music began to increase and my desire for teaching decrease. I was able to hang in there a few more years.
Is there any similarity between teaching and what you’re doing now?

A lot of the concepts that I learnt as a Teacher, I apply to my speaking. I’m not just an inspirational speaker, I’m an educator. My objective is to provide direction, inspiration and education. I’m able to give content that really challenge the intellect, challenge your mind.  Teaching was really relevant to me today in what I’m doing.

How much was fear, if any, a factor in the timing of your quitting teaching?

No, I felt divinely inspired. I thought God was letting me know I can do this and it’s time to do it because I’ve just gotten to that place where I couldn’t do another year of teaching. I was just frustrated. Those emotions overshadowed any fear that I had. I had faith in it.

Just imagine me not knowing what was going to happen. A lot of people had that same question, “Damon how you’re going to make it?” “What are you going to do?” “How is going to play out?” My spiritual leader at the time had a meeting with me, he wanted to know what was going on. He said he would give me 6 months to see if we had the conversation again and thank God, we never had the conversation again. I was in faith and I wasn’t having any distractions; I wasn’t losing focus. In my spirit I had settled it, that this is what I was going to do.

Ups and downs?

When we first started the janitorial business, things were booming. We made close to 6 figures in a year and a half, 13 employees, racking up contracts all over. The music opened up the door to speaking and the book sales were good. Everything was going well. All of a sudden, things shifted. I went through a period of testing. Opportunity kind of stopped. We had to break up the partnership for the janitorial business. It wasn’t an amicable breakup. He (business partner) took some of the business, I took half.

The key is sticking with it, being faithful and committed to what you’re doing.

During the moment of the business breakup what were your thoughts and what lesson have you learnt from that experience?

What I’ve learnt is that it confirmed to me how unpredictable people are but you have to remain focus, you have to be resilient, you have to bounce back and you have to adjust to things like that. It taught me to be flexible. Don’t give up although there is a break up. Stabilize yourself and focus on your journey and what you’re trying to accomplish.

How to manage expectations?

To set realistic expectations. Make sure your goal setting is reachable, measurable. Be honest about what you’re trying to do. Go after your passion. Keep yourself accountable, constantly look at our goals.

Main Take-Aways:

  • People by nature are unpredictable but you must always remain focus.
  • Trust that things will work out and they will.
  • Once you’ve settled an idea in your spirit, act on it in faith knowing that it will work out.

 

RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE

A Greater Taste of Success (FREE eBook)

50 Inspirational Proverbs

Connect with Damon Nailer

Twitter

 Facebook

Support our sponsors:

Bookophilia

Patwa Apparel

 

 

Law of Attraction: Lessons Learned from Building my Blog and Business (That Apply to Anything)

I am so passionate about educating people about the law of attraction because learning about it changed my life dramatically. My experience has shown me over and over and over again, that by directing our focus on what we want, and away from what we don’t, we can let in more of the former and less of the latter.

By engaging in some self-reflection, teasing out the beliefs that weren’t serving me, and shifting them, I created a whole new reality. Like anybody else, I am on the proverbial journey and I’ll never be done. And for the most part I have made peace with that…I’m human just like the rest of ya.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I often share experiences from my own life to show how I apply this knowledge and how it has helped me. Like many other people, my ‘professional’ life is one area in which I put a lot of energy manifesting-wise.

It is an area that occupies a lot of my time and attention. It is an area where we have learned a bunch of ‘stuff’ that really doesn’t serve us well, and can bump heads with the wisdom of conscious creation.

So I wanted to share some insights that I think will be helpful for people, but not just for people concerned with their business. These lessons are applicable to anyone wanting to manifest anything, as the basic tenets of attraction are the same no matter the type of manifestation.

I started writing this and realized that I had gone to my usual post length and hadn’t even covered all the points so there will be a part two.

I hope you enjoy it.

DON’T LOOK TO OUTCOMES TO SEE IF THINGS ARE ‘WORKING’

Let’s face it…we don’t fully trust in this whole LOA thing, and this is true no matter how much we manifest to show us, in fact, there is something to it. When we are contending with a situation that still isn’t to our exact liking, there is that niggling fear that things may not work out. We haven’t totally stripped our conditioning away.

We really want that ‘proof’ our efforts are bearing fruit. We want to see movement. We want those results. We want feedback. We want validation.

And this tendency is understandable. But, at the core of this need, is a lack of trust in the process, a fear we won’t get what we want. Again, understandable to have this.

But while we may not be able to eliminate it completely, we do have to work on it.

I may be one of the few bloggers who doesn’t check their ‘stats.’ I have no idea how many people read my blog. I have no idea where my traffic is coming from. I don’t do any sort of ‘analysis.’ When I first had my blog, I did check this information.

And I didn’t like how it made me feel. I was basing how I felt on outside circumstances. When I had a lot of visitors, I felt good. When I didn’t, I felt badly. I wondered if my stats were ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for a new blogger, blah, blah, blah.

Knowing what I knew about the law of attraction, I realized this habit was detrimental…looking to the outside will always fuck with our energy. By looking to the outside, we lose touch with our inner voice that provides the most effective guidance and feedback of all. We diminish our power. We chip away at the positive momentum we have built through our ‘inner work.’ We forget the law of attraction is not ‘magic’ and most things don’t change immediately.

I knew that if I kept creating the content that I felt compelled to create, if I kept doing something that was making me feel good, which was writing the blog itself, I would get to where I wanted to be. I knew I would be led to inspired actions that would draw ‘my people’ to me. I knew it would lead to all sorts of opportunities that would allow people to find out about me.

I recently started my ebook series about the law of attraction. I have no idea how many books I have sold. When I get my first royalty check, I suppose I’ll get some clue. But, I don’t check the sales because ultimately it doesn’t matter.

It feels good to write them, and people will buy them. I haven’t set any sort of goal income-wise with the books, because I really can’t control that. And know why I can’t control that? Because there is nothing I can do to make people buy them.

Maybe it will turn out to be a really solid source of income, or maybe I was inspired to write them because somehow this will open up some other opportunity of which I can’t conceive in my mind right now. At first I checked to see if I got reviews, and they were all really good, but I don’t anymore.

Maybe people are leaving more positive ones, or there are people who are leaving negative ones ,because they don’t buy into the law of attraction, they don’t like my writing style or a dozen other reasons.

Naturally I want people to like them, and find them helpful, but again, can’t control that. If there are people who don’t like the books, so be it. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.

While validation in the form of positive feedback is always nice, we can’t rely on that. If we feel good about what we are doing, or we know it is the right thing for us in the moment, that is all that matters.

Of course, we may get feedback that can be helpful for us, and taking it into consideration can be of some benefit. This is surely the case at times, but often this feedback isn’t helpful, it’s just someone else’s opinion and nothing more. You’ll know if there is something of use in there, and you can make the necessary adjustments to whatever it is you are doing.

Our energy is our point of creation, and as long as you are aligned with what you want, and are feeling good about getting it, you’re going to get there. The path may not look like you think it is supposed to, or the manifestations may not be the exact ones you have in mind, but you’ll get there. But I digress…

Don’t always be looking for the ‘proof’ you are on the right course. Don’t look for others to validate you, and tell you you’re doing good or you are ‘right.’

If you are aligned, you’ll certainly get that feedback, so don’t worry…we all like it, and need it sometimes, and it’s okay.

I ,like anyone else, enjoy the comments, and emails, from people saying they like my work and it is helping them. I enjoy my clients telling me our work together has helped change their life. But I know that ultimately I can’t always be on the lookout for that.

FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION AND FEELINGS

This is easier said than done, and we may not always succeed. The difficulty in doing this is one of the things that slows our manifestations down big-time, but it just is what it is. We weren’t encouraged to operate from this space, and we just won’t go full bore, simply because we now know more about the law of attraction, and how our feeling is our point of creation.

But when we do operate from this space, boy, does it feel good, and boy, do things come together nicely.

When I first started my blog, I read very little about blogging. It really didn’t interest me. This wasn’t from a space of feeling like I knew everything and had nothing to learn. It was more from a space of just doing things in a way that felt right to me.

I didn’t care about what words I should include in a title to pique interest, the different styles of blog posts, doing outlines or whatever. I just got an idea about a post and wrote it.

That’s not to say we should never seek out advice from others who are traveling a similar path or working towards a similar goal…there are times when it will be very helpful. Again, when that is something that will be helpful for us, we’ll know it.

But I didn’t feel lost or stuck in any way. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, and I just did it. My feelings let me know I was on the right track. And at times when I did feel stuck about certain things, I managed to attract the very information, that was perfect to help me.

While I was obviously writing my blog for other people to read, I wasn’t overly concerned with how other people might perceive the topics, my style or whatever. I was writing what felt good to me, and what was interesting to me.

My idea to write my ebook series came to me during a silent meditation retreat, and it felt so good and right. I was excited. And when I got back, I started writing the books. I don’t know how many I’ll write. I am really enjoying it and people seem to really like them.

One day after Ryan and I did an audio interview on my blog, I felt inspired to start a podcast, and I just did. I really enjoy doing it and people seem to really like them. Will I do them forever? Don’t know. Right now I like doing them and I can see myself continuing for the long-term. But who knows what will happen?

By doing things that make me feel good, I am aligning with the energy of what I want, and as we all know, that is the most important thing we can do to reach the goals we have set for ourselves, and manifest the things we think will make us happy.

There is a tendency to really overthink our inspirations. We consider the impact over the ‘long-term.’ We let our mind get in the way and start questioning and picking things apart. We try to see 50 steps ahead when we just can’t.

If you follow your feelings, you will always be led down the right path, and the next steps will be revealed. The next inspired actions will surface. What are you being led to do right now? Do your best to just stay in the now, and heed those nudges.

DO THINGS YOUR WAY AND BE YOURSELF

If you were to have a conversation with me in person, you would find I sound much like I do in my posts and podcasts. I am totally myself. I never considered what sort of ‘image’ I wanted to project when I started. Like anybody else in this world, there are people that will resonate with me, and people that may not, for one of a million reasons.

Let’s take my tendency to curse. This isn’t to purposely craft some ‘edgy’ persona or to provide any sort of shock value. I simply don’t censor myself if the next word to come out of my mouth, or that I want to type, happens to be such a word.

I think cursing can be a great way to emphasize a point or to inject some humor. It’s not excessive, and I don’t think it makes me sound ‘rough’ or unintelligent. I actually don’t curse all that much in my day-to-day life.

Now many people would say that’s a big fat no-no when it comes to blogging and podcasts, because you may offend people. And that’s true…some people may find it offensive. But I don’t give a fuck. Ha, see what I did there? That’s their problem, not mine. You can’t please everyone.

My authenticity is what allows me to help people as best I can, and share what I have learned in the most effective way. It is what makes what I do fun and what makes me enjoy it.

If I worried all the time about presenting myself in a certain way, or I suppressed who I was, not only would that totally stilt my creativity, it would be a huge manifesting block, because it’s really hard to get exactly what you want, when you won’t let yourself be who you really are.

Living authentically means getting comfortable with the idea not everyone will gel with you, that not everyone will ‘get’ you, that people will most definitely make all sorts of inaccurate assumptions about you. It also means getting comfortable with the idea not everyone may like you either.

One of the reasons we are so reluctant to be ourselves is fear of people not liking us or criticizing us. But the great thing is, once you get more comfortable being who you really are, there is less insecurity and doubt within to be mirrored back to you, in the form of people criticizing and judging.

Remember our interactions with people are a manifestations of our energy just like anything else.

These people either won’t come into your orbit at all, or they won’t feel compelled to say anything, and will just turn their attention elsewhere—there will be no nasty remarks, blog comments, emails or whatever.

The people who do gel with you, and do ‘get’ you will find you. These are the people you are more likely to start encountering in your daily life.

Being into personal growth, and the law of attraction in particular, often calls for making really big changes in our life. It may call for doing things in a way that is the polar opposite of what you may have been taught to do.

And this can lead to a lot of fear about not getting the results we want. We worry that truly being ourselves is not appropriate, given a particular goal, or will hinder us in some way. If the way we feel inclined to do things, is not the way we have been taught we ‘should’ do them, this causes a lot of discomfort, and we are reluctant to trust ourselves.

But that all stems from limiting beliefs that contain within them very strong ‘declarations’ of how things are, that are just not true;or are based on the experiences of other people who have decided things have to be done a certain way, and there is no viable alternative, and again, is just not true.

Again, our energy is our true point of creation, and when we are aligned with what we want, we will get it. We can do things our way and we can be ourselves. We don’t need to conform.

Just because other people have done things a certain way to get certain results, doesn’t mean that is the only way to get those results. The perfect clients, friends and romantic partners will find you, and totally vibe with how you are.

IN CLOSING…

I hope you enjoyed the post and found some helpful manifesting lessons within that are applicable to your current situation, no matter what area of life you are trying to improve. Have I applied this wisdom perfectly each and every time an opportunity to do so presented itself? Um…no.

But, I applied it enough to make really awesome changes in my life, and over time, it gets easier and easier to act in a way that is more ‘LOA-friendly,’ if you will.

There is certainly a learning curve with this whole conscious creation thing, but like I always like to remind you…thank God you don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to let in any of the good stuff.

YOUR TURN…

What did you think of the post? Anything in particular resonate with you? Have you found any of these lessons to be helpful in your own manifesting journey? Would tips would you offer? Looking forward to your comments as always.

 If you want to learn more about law of attraction, you can also find my Making Sense of the Law of Attraction series on Amazon. If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, they are free…sweet. And if you aren’t, no worries..they are super-cheap!

Kelli Cooper is a coach who specializes in the law of attraction. She concentrates on dispelling misconceptions about the teaching, and bridging the gap between the theory and reality of manifesting, two issues which she hopes helps people more easily tap into their innate powers of conscious creation. This teaching was a linchpin in changing her own life, and she has applied these principles with great success in her personal and professional life. Since 2011, she and her husband have been running their location-independent businesses from all over the world, calling all sorts of exotic locales home, from Thailand to Fiji. To learn more about her, her work and services, visit her site at https://www.livelifemadetoorder.com
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.

(more…)

012 – How to Make Money Online, Engage with Your Audience and Build Your List, with Andrew McCauley

Andrew McCauley is ranked #17 ‘Most Influential Social Media Marketer“ by BuzzSumo in Nov, 2016; he is one of the top 100 Most Influential Twitter Users by Forbes, He is an Amazon best Selling Author and consults all types of Businesses on their Social Media and Online Strategy.  His customized strategies have continually seen between 300-500% growth in traffic to business websites.  He is also the Co trainer and founder of the Digital Traffic Institute and AutoPilot Your Business, helping businesses make money from their websites.

Peak Performers, Andrew shares how to make money online on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet

Show  Notes:

What is your hidden talent?

I used to be able to put a bunch of coins on my elbow and flip them off and catch them. In fact, I think I have the Australian record for it at one stage (unofficially).

How do we make money online?

There are a lot of ways to do that. The first thing you want to have something that is valuable that people want. The next part is getting people to know that you’ve got a product to sell. It seems easy but it is a lot more complex than that.

Would you say it is more challenging to operate a business online rather than from a physical space?

I would agree. If you’ve got a shop, you put it front of a certain foot traffic. You know that there is a certain traffic that goes up and down on a regular basis. Whereas online you could be in the middle of nowhere or you could be in the middle of busy main stream. It all depends on how you get your message out and how people find you.

Product versus service, which is easier to build online?

It depends on the service. As long as the service is one that people need all the time. There are a lot of products that people want all the time. A product can be a little more challenging because you’ve got to build the product in the first place whereas a service is what you know, the knowledge is in your head. If you’re a great dancer you can teach people to dance; if you’re a great plumber you can teach people to do that sort of work because it’s the knowledge in your head. Whereas in creating a product you need to get that knowledge out of your head ad create it into a tangible thing that people can touch whether it’s a video or downloadable PDF sheet, something that people can touch. You either got the knowledge in your head or out of your head.

How do you build awareness by building your list?

Make sure you’ve got somewhere to collect that list from. It should be on every page on your website to collect that email address for people that are visiting your website. Once they visit your website, they could disappear and you never see them again, you’ll never know who they are. Always be collecting an email address from somewhere. You’ve got to make sure that you are getting out to as many people as targeted as possible. You could be out there and getting on Facebook and saying there’s 1.7 billion people on Facebook and I’m out posting every day but nobody is coming or I’m going to the local Chamber and I’m speaking. But maybe you’re not speaking to the right people, maybe the people at the Chamber are not the right people; maybe the people on Facebook are not the right people.

It is very important to know exactly who your target market is and where they hang out. If they don’t hang out on Facebook don’t waste your time on Facebook. Maybe they’re on Snap Chat, maybe they’re on Instagram; maybe they’re not on any of those platforms. Maybe there on specific niche platforms that only that industry hang out on. You really got to do your homework and know everything about your own Avatar of your favourite customer.

How do we begin to narrow down our Avatar, and get detailed?

Your service is not for everybody. You’ve got to really niche down and ask specific questions about the group that you’re trying to help. Then you start to know what they like and who they are, by doing polls and questionnaire and looking at Facebook groups. When you do that go to their profile and see what they like. Once you start to understand the mindset of that customer you can start to build an avatar around that person. Something like a case study as if you were speaking to them face to face. Every time you do your marketing, you want to have an imagination of that person in front of you and you are talking to them every single time.

Some inexpensive ways to gather data?

Join groups and see who’s hanging out there. If you have a page, Facebook gives you a lot of insight into the people that are coming along. The analytics gives you demographics and other pages that people that like you, also like. Twitter is the same thing that can give you an indication of people who are coming to visit your profile and people who are following you. There are lots of free tools to use and you don’t have to spend any money to find out who is your perfect avatar.

Do we just post and leave?

There’s no free lunch any more. You can’t just post on your Facebook page and expect people to see it. It’s been a couple of years now where Facebook changed the rules. You’re likely to get about 3 or 4 people out of every 100 people that like your page to actually see your post organically. You have to boost that post or pay Facebook to put that post in front of people. It can be a little bit expensive but if you target it right it won’t be that expensive, as you would turn those people into customers.

How do you keep your audience engaged once you’ve connected with them?

Give them stuff that they are looking for. Make sure you’re giving valuable information. It doesn’t have to be all your information. In fact, it’s probably better if it’s not your information. If they’ve joined you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, they are following you for a reason. They want to see what you’ve been learning. You can share other people’s post that are relevant to them. Make sure you’re sharing valuable information because if you’ve got a following that is all into marketing and suddenly start talking about politics or irrelevant stuff, they’re going to say I think I was following you for a reason but now you’re off on a tangent on some other topic. Make sure you stay on topic and on point, that you’re giving them what they want.

How do we manage our time on social media?

This is like a big black hole that sucks people in and next thing you know is that it is 3:00 in the afternoon and what have I done with the day? I like to make a specific time on my calendar every day to jump in a do bits and pieces of work. I usually do it twice a day. I go to Facebook in the mornings to make sure that I’ve got to answer any questions from my Facebook page, I go through Twitter and Instagram spending 5 or 10 minutes on each, connecting with followers, answering some questions, making some points, putting comments on other people’s posts so they get to know who I am. I usually target influential people on my Twitter account. Twitter has a lot of influential people. I find the ones that are influential that I want to connect with and make sure I’m adding bits and pieces to their feed on a regular basis.

I come back late in the afternoon to wrapping it up. I’ll go through and find other questions that would come in throughout the day that I can answer. I don’t spend much more than 30 minutes per day on all the platforms combined. Once you get that narrowed down it’s not that hard to continue doing it like that. It’s when you get stuck into all those videos that someone sent you something about a cat and it’s funny and you end up in a black hole. Keep away from that and do it during watching TV or something like that.

How about social media scheduling platforms?

There are plenty of those. I use Hootsuite, Buffer. I use Buffer to share other people’s content to send out at the next appropriate time. In Hootsuite, I make sure that I’ve got some posted tweets everyday going back to my content. Once per week I’ll write 10 or 15 tweets for the week and direct people back to a post that I’ve written, a podcast that I’ve done or some other post that I want to promote. I’ll schedule them into my Hootsuite account to make sure they go out every day for the next 10 days. That way I know that there is something going out about me. Most of my work during the week is just interacting with people so I’m not trying to build a case or get people to go to my site during those times, I’m just trying to interact and engage people.

Is there ever a time when we need to outsource our social media activities?

I’ve never seen a lot of successful people outsource their social because people aren’t living and breathing that brand. I’m a big believer in doing your social yourself. It’s hard to outsource your passion and that’s what social media is about. In instances where this happens, it is usually dry and boring without engagement.

What’s the future of email marketing?

The one thing they asked for across all platforms is your email address because they know it is the most important thing. People, in general, are getting a better result from their email marketing than they do from their social media still. It’s vital that you have some sort of connection with people and email is the best thing. We get several emails every day. We are getting better systems to control the emails we get. If you can deliver something that’s valuable and people want to read it then you can continue to do really well if you get a list of email addresses. Email isn’t going anywhere. There is nothing that is even close to replacing email and the service that are offered as far as these other websites go.

What were some of the hiccups you had along the way before you became successful?

Lots. We didn’t concentrate at looking at our financials. We had a lot of money coming into our business, we thought we were doing really well. We had an outsourcing company with about 40 staff. We had lots of work going on. We were busy being busy; the money came in and went straight back out to pay all these people and this busyness. We looked and said what happened here? As soon as we started looking at what was working, what was costing us money, all of a sudden, our business changed. We were lucky that we saw it in time or else we would have been in a lot of trouble.

Final piece of advice for online marketers?

This whole jungle can be overwhelming but there is a lot of place to go and get help. Remember that you’re dealing with people on the other side of that tweet or post. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just make sure that you go and do something. Now is the right time even if you think you’re so late to the game. Just jump in and don’t be afraid of it.

 

Main Take-Aways:

  • It is very important to know exactly who your target market is and where they hang out.
  • Find influencers on social media to connect with and adding bits and pieces to their feed on a regular basis.
  • If you can deliver something that’s valuable to people, you can do well if you get a list of email addresses.

 

Resources to #PeakYourPerformance:

*5 steps to triple your traffic…

 Connect with Andrew

 Twitter

Instagram

Faccebook

Question of the Day:

How do you ensure your audience stays engaged with your message? Do leave a comment below.

Please show some love to our Sponsors and Affiliates:

Bookophilia; Hostgator & Blubrry

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.