As you dive into 2019, you may stop to reflect on the past year. Perhaps you took some missteps on your leadership journey. Fret not! The dawning of a new year gives us the opportunity to start afresh. It is time to assess and gain clarity about where you are currently, and develop the courage to make the necessary changes that will catapult you to your wildest dreams as a leader.
Here are three important things to consider as you navigate your path this year:
What’s Your Purpose?
Without a clear purpose, your leadership will be ineffective. As Mark Twain succinctly puts it, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Speaker and leadership consultant Myles Munroe expounded a bit further when he also said, “The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose.”
Purpose dictates the direction of your life. It’s when you establish your underlying and overarching why. Are you excited about getting up in the morning to do what you do? The late Apple founder Steve Jobs said, “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
If what we do every day doesn’t align with our purpose, it’s time to make a change. And if you have a hard time doing so, try the 5 second rule proposed by Mel Robbins, which says: “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.” I say, the longer the distance between ideation and execution, the more likely it is that no action will be taken.
What’s Your Plan?
As you embark on your journey in this new year, it is important to lead yourself by making plans and assessing where you are against the goals that you have set out to accomplish. Revisit the plans you made last year and compare them against what you accomplished to see the outcomes you had. Before creating any plan, you must have a clearly defined purpose; a solid and firm why must be established in order to make and execute plans for the future. I want to underscore the importance of setting goals. And not just goals, but goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). Taking it a step further, set SMARTER (exciting, relevant) goals for yourself, a concept put forward by Michael Hyatt.
What’s Your Positioning?
By positioning, I mean: What is your mindset? It is important to develop the right way of thinking that will give you a leg-up to win in leadership. What does it mean to have the right mindset? It means your intention must be set on what you need to accomplish. As we have been reminded time and again, thoughts become things, therefore whatever you focus on gets magnified. As you set your intention and focus on the things you want rather than the things you don’t want, you begin the see them manifest. Whatever you want you have to put your energy behind it.
Identify what you value most and prioritize that over what you want now. At Leadercast Live 2018, Michael Hyatt put it this way: “Don’t let the ultimate suffer as a result of the immediate… Sometimes you have to delay gratification for the greater good,” he said. For example, if your ultimate goal is to lose 5 pounds in three weeks but your immediate want is to indulge in a heaping bowl of ice cream—no! Sacrifice the ice cream for the greater good of losing the weight.
As you position yourself to be the excellent leader you are, know that only you can determine the direction of your life. While you contemplate your purpose, make plans and position your attitudes, be sure to celebrate your successes and heed the lessons from your failures. Life is more about how you handle your circumstances rather than about the circumstances themselves.
What are your plans for this new year? Tell us on Twitter at @theentrepyou and have an amazing 2019 as you lead in your sphere of influence!
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Heneka Watkis-Porter is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and host of The Entrepreneurial You podcast. She is founder and CEO of Patwa Culcha International, which owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel. Heneka is also creator of the Caribbean’s first virtual conference and expo: The Entrepreneurial You Virtual SME Conference & Expo and Host Site leader for Leadercast Kingston.
As a leader, there was a point when I struggled immensely with the idea of having a routine for anything at all. Being so free-spirited, I prided myself on being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. In doing so, I was devoid of any form of structure or system in place to guide my modus operandi. That seems like eons ago.
Fast forward to now and what you have is someone who no less values freedom, but also recognizes that liberty doesn’t have to be at the expense of a system to help me navigate my obligations. They are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, because of my free-spirited nature, it is necessary for me to have a system in place, which gives me more free time to just be me in an authentic way.
This leads me to these questions for you:
- Are you confronted by exasperating and menacing challenges as a leader?
- Is your day to day tasks taking longer than you believe they should?
- Are you constantly asking yourself, “where did the time go?”
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, chances are you may need to conduct a systems audit.
Let me clear the air, when I talk of systems, I am not talking about the elaborate, large-scale, complex constructs that require millions of dollars to implement. I am simply referring to structured set of procedures that allow us to flow quicker and easier in routine activities, allowing us the time to become more effective leaders. They can be as simple or as complex as you’d like; the choice is yours.
Think of your favourite fast food franchise. Notice that when you order fried chicken in one restaurant in your neighbourhood, you get the same thing when you go out of town. Franchises are the perfect example of what a system is and can be. This creates consistency — a necessary feature of quality.
As a Host Site Leader for Leadercast Events, a podcaster, among the several other things that I do as a leader and entrepreneur, I can truly see the value of having systems in my business. For example, we all can relate to how daunting it can be trying to set up a meeting with someone in our office. This is multiplied ten times over if the person is in a different time zone than us. Instead of going back and forth to determine what time might be convenient for both parties and calculating time difference, I simply use a scheduling App called Calendly.
Then there are times when I need to send emails with the same content to multiple recipients. Rather than sending a Newsletter from an eMarketer, I simply used Mail Merge for Gmail. Not only does it saves time, it also creates a sense of personalization for the recipient.
A few months ago, I had a conversation on The Entrepreneurial You podcastwith Kate Erickson, an expert in implementing systems,’ As a strong advocate for systems, she reiterated that “There is a beautiful thing about setting up systems…which gives you freedom.”
And freedom is what we can all do with more of.
Kate’s simple 4-part strategy which you can implement right away will take the pain out of developing those well needed systems to help you win your day.
- Take inventory in your organization by writing down everything you do in a day
- Write the steps for each activity
- Look at steps and find efficiencies to identify what you can automate, delegate to others and batch
- Document what the processes are having done steps 1–3.
These steps can be followed across all elements of your systemization process such as accounting, hiring, lead generation or lead conversion. Some examples are below:
Accounting (tracking your inflows and outflows) — A quick way to manage your accounting is by implementing “QuickBooks”. It is both budget and user friendly.
Hiring & Performance Management — if you a have a small to mid-sized team, BambooHR is an integrated system that frees your Human Resource from information processing spiral to become more effective, more efficient, and more human via their onboarding tools, e-signatures, time-off tracking and more.
Lead Generation and Conversion — a simple Excel Spreadsheet can be used to collate data about how your clients heard about you and calculating the rate at which those leads convert. Excel spreadsheets have the capacity to give you robust information from the formula you put in.
Systemizing our daily activities enable us to measured what we are doing so that it can be improved. It was Management Consultant, Peter Drucker who says, “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”. I have found this to be quite true.
Not only does having systems beneficial and an asset for proper management and effective leadership, it allows what we do more scalable, giving us a chance to watch our efforts multiplied. Simply put, systems allow us to achieve more with less effort.
Start to constantly think about weaving the idea of systems constantly as you lead, before you know it, it becomes the fabric of your culture. As you look around your organization, what are the activities that you can systemize to eliminate inefficiencies?
I first contributed a variation of this post to the Leadercast Blog.
(L – R) Dr. Angus Friday, Advisor, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, Luis Alfonso de Alba, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, Jorge Familiar Calderon, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Christy Butcher, CEO & Founder, Writing Legends, Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, The Honourable Usain Bolt, 8 Time Olympic Gold Medallist, H.E. Didacus Jules, Director General, OECS, Dr. Neville Bissember, Adviser to the Secretary General, CARICOM, and Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Agriculture, Belize (Credit: Garrick Communications)
I was procrastinating (somewhat). I wanted to write this post from the day I attended the launch of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator initiative on August 9, 2018. Of course, reality presented itself. Of the several things competing for my attention on my ‘to-do’ list, I just thought writing a blog post wasn’t at the top of my agenda. I simply went on to doing other things.
But then during one of my ‘refresh’ times on my schedule, I was scrolling through Twitter where I was led to this article written by Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn, Kamilah Taylor (she is Jamaican, gotta throw that in there).
Anyway, that, coupled with the memory of one of my previous morning reflections about being a better steward of my environment and just the pure guilt of not completing a task I had given a timeline of ‘soon’, led me to start writing.
This – as it turns out – is priority. It is priority because, whether or not we believe it, climate change or global warming (whatever term you are more comfortable with) is happening right before our very eyes – at an accelerated rate. We are no longer able to ignore it, passing it off as ‘not our business but that of generations to come.’
While there are still varying schools of thought about what is causing the severe change of weather patterns the world is a witness to, one thing is sure, it’s that the activities of humans have weighed heavily on these changes, with very negative implications.
If Irma’s savagery which brought about desolation of catastrophic magnitudes taught us anything, it’s that the Caribbean needs to be concerned about the implications of the actions of its citizenry.
Here comes the great news – one we wish would have come sooner (anyhoo, better late than never) – the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator programme has been launched. “Since the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes, twenty-six Caribbean government heads and some of the largest global companies, financial institutions, and foundations have joined the Accelerator”.
The Accelerator is “the first high-level commitment coming out of President Macron’s One Planet Summit.
During the launch event, “Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Keith Mitchell of Grenada, Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson articulated a far-reaching vision for the world’s first climate-smart zone.”
It is “an entrepreneurial engine that catalyses and fast-tracks priority initiatives towards a “climate-smart” zone, delivering resilience, social development and broad-based economic growth for the Caribbean. Over the next five years, it will do so by identifying and uniting commitments to building a more sustainable and resilient future for island nations through collaboration between national governments, regional and international institutions as well as public and private sector organisations. Twenty-six Caribbean government heads and some of the largest global companies, financial institutions, and foundations have joined the Accelerator since the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes.”
As I read the article by Taylor and reflected upon the launch event, some questions came to mind:
- How can we become doers rather than simple hearers, practicing what we preach?
- What will be the strategy to include ordinary Jamaican entrepreneurs to shift their thinking, recognizing this initiative as being very relevant to and for them?
- What can we stop doing, starting doing or continue doing to show respect for our environment?
- What are the practical ways that the man on the street can be involved in as part of the solution?
- What, if any, will be some of the national-level initiatives that will be introduced to incentivize persons to take action?
- What is the plan to educate the populace about actionable steps to be taken to care for the environment?
While there is no need to emphasize the points above as they are meant for self-examination and reflection, point 1 is worthy of a little commentary. The irony was not missed on me that while Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Honurable Andrew Holness, stood at the lectern to give his address, it was Sir Richard Branson (the only person who dressed climate-smart) that had to partially disrobe the PM. It was quite funny that at an event promoting climate-smart activities, our culture of dress stared us squarely in the face and says, “time for a change”.
I continue to be baffled by the way we dress in our tropical, island home. We complain bitterly against the price of fuel, yet we dress uncomfortably so that we have to blast our air conditioning. If we are to have any success with this initiative, our way of life must be changed; a paradigm shift must take place and there must be a top-down example to be followed.
Steps must also be taken to ensure that Jamaicans, in this already classist society, don’t see this initiative as one for the ‘uptowners’ but extreme care must be appropriated to get all hands on deck.
In the same manner that we promote the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) plan for entrepreneurs and leaders, there must be extreme care in communicating a SMART plan for this very important climate-smart initiative.
Play your part in becoming climate-smart by making a commitment to doing at least one thing differently that will have a positive impact on the environment.
What is the one thing you will do today to positively impact your environment? Leave a comment and let me know or send me an email at email@example.com
The former American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn once said, “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.”
But how do we know which ideas to trash and which to keep? Ideas are a dime a dozen; there seem to be no shortage of them. But sometimes we can get so caught up in their pursuit without taking the time to eliminate the bad ones, leaving room to go after the ones that will spread.
Just listen to the ‘idea generation machine’, best-selling Author and Thought-Leader Seth Godin, talks about how he processes his ideas to select the best ones. In a recent episode of The Entrepreneurial You podcast, Seth broke down his fairly simply process.
“It is fair to say that most people have had ideas. The only difference with me and them is that when I have a bad idea, I say it out loud. If you say enough of your bad ideas out loud, sooner or later you’re going to have a good idea.”
On the matter of getting your ideas to spread, “Everyone knows or has the attention of ten people who trust them. Once you build your project whatever it is, share it with them. They will either say something nice to you or tell other people. If all they do is say something nice to you then your idea isn’t good enough. If they tell other people, the idea begins to spread. It doesn’t spread to everyone because it is not for everyone, it is for some people. If you build it for SOME people, those people will tell SOME people. One by one it begins to spread.”
“If you make something for everyone, you will make something boring and safe, that isn’t worth spreading. You only want the small viable amount of people.”
Listen to the podcast to hear Seth’s views on generating ideas and leadership.
I first shared this on the Leadercast platform.
A typical day in the life of a leader can vary depending on whom you speak to, but there’s one thing all leaders have in common: hectic schedules. As leaders, we are constantly bombarded with dozens of competing priorities every day. Oftentimes, our daily to-do lists can get the best of our emotional states, leading to anxiety, stress and even a deep-seated, abiding guilt—guilt because we spend time focused on one activity when there is a myriad of other things to do.
With every trade-off, there is the phenomenon of opportunity cost: What is the cost of the opportunities we don’t pursue? Are we willing to give up one activity in pursuit of another? What opportunities matter most to us?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
I like to follow former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principles, which state you can prioritize your day by classifying tasks as either 1) important and urgent; 2) important but not urgent; 3) not important but urgent; and 4) not important and not urgent. But even when using this as a guideline, there can still be an amount of uneasy tension that comes with balancing priorities.
This rigid constriction happens for many reasons, one of which comes from a difficulty in using a simple, two-letter word: No. Many people are desperately uncomfortable saying no to things. It could be because they have a case of FOMO (i.e. a fear of missing out, which is a term coined by Patrick J. McGinnis who recently discussed this phenomenon in an episode of The Entrepreneurial You podcast). For others, saying no goes against their very nature as a person—they are genuine people-pleasers who hate to see others unhappy and always desire to lend a helping hand.
But it is critically important for leaders to master the art of declining others and learning how to say no to tasks. For people-pleasing leaders, there are ways to lower the discontent saying no causes. Applying sensitivity and tact when saying no should be a consideration. For example, we can say, “Thank you for thinking of me. However, your opportunity is not aligned with where my focus is right now, and as such I won’t be able to give this project the attention it deserves.” Giving the why behind the no and explaining why saying yes would be a disservice to the person or project cushions the blow and allows the person to be more receptive to our response.
No matter how you deliver your no, the benefits of turning down opportunities that are too much for you to handle far outweigh the cons. The more we develop this art of saying no, the more confident we become and the better we are able to stick to what’s most important. When we say no, we protect ourselves from overextending, which can lead to mental collapse and burnout. And when we decline opportunities that are not aligned with our priorities, we remind ourselves, and others, about what is most important to us.
Resources for Prioritizing Your Time
Some months ago, I had a conversation with John Lee Dumas, host of the of Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast. We spoke about mastering productivity, discipline and focus, among other topics. During our conversation, John said that in 2015, he took a year off from his routine activities to study goal setting and everything related to it. This eventually led him to create a step-by-step resource, The Freedom Journal, that guides leaders in accomplishing their No. 1 goal in just 100 days. By starting with one goal, it will start a “chain reaction of awesome and amazing,” says John.
I recommend this resource in addition to John’s The Mastery Journal, which is another guide leaders can use for the sole intent of developing a mastery of productivity, discipline and focus. By setting and working toward a specific goal, you’ll quickly increase your productivity.
Admittedly, setting and sticking to one specific goal is a long-standing challenge I’ve encountered. But when I started using The Mastery Journal in 2017, I saw a vast change in how much I got accomplished in one day. The result increased exponentially over the 100 days the journal led me through and I was way more productive with my time.
As you move forward in your leadership, increase your chance of success by setting goals and saying no to the things that are not in alignment with your vision—trust me, your future self will thank you for it.
I first published this article on the Leadercast blog
There are many things that compete for our attention, dragging us into a dark hole and leaving us feeling unaccomplished. At the end of the day we may ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I accomplish what I set out to do today? How did I get here?”
With this glaring reality, we need to be able to use tools that will increase our productivity and, ultimately, our bottom line. Time is money, and we can leverage the currency of productivity to make our daily lives richer, fuller and more accomplished.
Leaders, use these 11 awesome online tools to win your days in the workplace:
Setting up meetings with colleagues can be challenging. This difficulty is multiplied if you’ve ever had to schedule a meeting with someone in another country with a 12-hour time difference. Take the hassle out of scheduling by using Calendly. This app allows your party to see the times you are available so they can opt for a mutually convenient time. This reduces the back-and-forth emails of trying to find a time that works well for everyone. The free version provides basic scheduling features, but there is also a premium version with more advanced features like webinars, customizable email notifications and more.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get tasks done with a quick turnaround time, Fiverr is a viable option. This global online marketplace for goods and services got its name from the fact that for as little as $5 you can freelance out tasks to a pro who will get the job done for you, allowing you to focus on the work that requires your undivided attention. There is no sign-up cost.
With all the opt ins we fall prey to, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by our many email subscriptions. Making our inboxes all the more cluttered, we are also sent emails we never subscribed to that continuously inundate our inboxes. Lessen the number of emails that come your way by joining Unroll.me, a free service that pools all your subscriptions into one email. This tool identifies subscription emails and lists them for you.
- Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of when you send and receive email messages, Boomerang is your new best friend. You can write an email now and schedule it to go out at a time when the receiver is most likely to respond. There is also a follow up option that will automatically reach out to the receiver if you haven’t heard back from them within a certain timeframe. You can also pause your email, which essentially puts your inbox on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode until you hit unpause. This allows you to focus on a task without being tempted to respond to emails. Studies show that we are less prone to stress when we check emails less.
Trello is a free web-based project management software that allows teams to stay informed on the status of a project. It makes collaborating with team members easy and fun for any type of project you’re working on, whether it is creating a blog post, planning a product launch or something else entirely. Essentially, each board has a list of lists to organize and keep track of everything. You can add comments, create checklists, upload attachments, and add labels, due dates and more for convenience.
Buffer makes it super easy to share articles from the web to social media. By simply logging into Buffer and connecting your social media accounts, you can schedule content to go out whenever you please. Buffer is free, available on mobile devices and lets you have up to three social profiles.
I use a number of visuals for my podcast and other ventures. Canva is my go-to graphic design tool for basic design requirements. I use the free version that allows me to design anything from social media artwork to book covers to flyers, infographics and a host of other elements. Its drag-and-drop feature and layouts allow me to design, share and print my creations. I use the free version, but if you need to do more like add team members, a premium version is available.
If you are into event management, Eventbrite is for you. Organize, plan and sell tickets to your events by using the platform. Share them across social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter. Attendees are able to purchase tickets, and you have the ability to collect payment all through your Eventbrite account. If your country isn’t listed, simply opt to collect via PayPal. It is free to set up, but there is a fee levied on each ticket sale, which you can reflect into your ticket pricing.
Speakers who want to keep track of their appearances will love this one. Capture and share images and videos to mark as highlights from your featured TV appearances or any other video that you consider important. Jing takes a picture or video of your computer screen and uploads it to the internet, a clipboard or your computer. Jing is free to set up and you can also add basic visual elements to your online conversations.
Zoom provides a viable option for video conferencing, online meetings and webinars into one easy-to-use platform. Schedule a meeting and invite guests to your meeting room anytime you’d like. This is a more professional alternative to Skype. You can choose to set up a basic or pro account.
- Mastery Journal
So many of us struggle to master productivity, discipline and focus. The struggle has always been real for me until The Mastery Journalby John Lee Dumas came around. This step-by-step guide helps you focus and become disciplined and productive over 100 days. The book’s plan guides you on a path to find and put into action a focused productivity mindset. This journal is available for $39 and is well worth every penny.
That’s it for my list of 11 tools to increase your productivity. If you have an awesome tool that you cannot do without as a leader, please share it with us and your fellow leaders on Facebook or Twitter.
I first published this article on the Leadercast blog
The world we live in today is different from the one our grandparents grew up in. In our fast-paced environments where everything seemingly happens at the speed of light, our current era can be, at best, described as a rat race and, at worst, seen as downright crazy.
There is nothing inherently wrong with fast, calculated movements and action. However, when such actions cause us to neglect simple courtesies and manners, that’s a whole new game and cause for concern. Many of us grew up with parents, grandparents and guardians who taught us about the importance of expressing gratitude to others. “Manners will carry you through the world,”my grandmother used to say. I didn’t quite understand what she meant at the time, but as I got older, I understood that being polite to others can bestow significant favor upon you.
Somewhere along the journey of being focused on becoming a person of success, we forget the fundamental principles on which we grew up. We can drift so far from the essentials of our upbringing. It surprises me when I go to some parts of my beloved country—beautiful Jamaica—and get blank stares when I say good morning to others.
Despite what is happening around us today, good manners and kindness will never out of fashion. There are those of us who insist on keeping it trendy. I spoke with
engagement and retention expert Lisa Ryan on the idea of Grategy, a term she coined from the words gratitude and strategy, in a recent episode of The Entrepreneurial You podcast. In it, Lisa revealed that it is scientifically proven that grateful people are happier, healthier and nicer to be around, plus additional benefits.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EXPRESSING GRATITUDE?
> It builds and strengthens relationships. When others know we need them in our lives and that they are contributing to our success, our relationship with them deepens.
> It improves health. Gratitude positively impacts our health, making us happier and healthier.
> It increases self-esteem. When we are grateful, our self-esteem heightens as it improves the way we feel about ourselves.
> It makes us nicer to be around. We can all do with a little more social capital; expressing gratitude to others makes us more appealing to others.
> It creates optimism. Gratitude shines the spotlight on the things we have, rather than complaining about the things we don’t have. This fosters a culture of abundance within us, making us optimistic about the future.
> It causes us to be more people-centered. Gratitude shifts attention away from ourselves and directs it to others.
> It feels good. When we express gratitude, it helps our mood and allows us to feel better about our circumstances and ourselves.
> It eliminates negative emotions. With a focus on positive energies and emotions, room for negative thoughts and feelings such as envy and jealously becomes smaller and smaller.
> It reduces anger. A practice of gratitude makes us more open to receiving negative feedback and strengthens us overtime.
HOW CAN WE CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE?
> Force yourself to look for the good in everyday situations and in those around you. “When you force yourself to look for the good, you can always find it. Start where you highlight the things that are going well. That’s when the magic happens,” says Lisa.
> Make a list of what you’re grateful for. Make it a habit by writing down the things that you are grateful for throughout the day, giving details about them.
> Develop a culture of appreciation for the people and things in your life.
> Verbally express your appreciation to those who have had a positive impact on your life.
> Write thank you notes and letters of appreciation to others. “When you tell someone you appreciate them, you create a beautiful memory; when you write it down, you give them a treasure,” explains Lisa.
> Meditate on the things you are grateful for.
> Start having positive conversations with yourself and others, focusing on the good. What you focus on gets magnified and manifested.
Give yourself the gift and power of gratitude. It will foster good manners and politeness. These qualities are essential to getting ahead and for being a great human being. The world needs it.
I first published this article on the Leadercast blog
“Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.” — John F. Kennedy
That’s how they opened the Auto Water 2018 Conference on Saturday, 10th February at Pragmati Maidan, New Delhi Indi. These startling statistics followed:
1. India has 4% of the world’s fresh water yet 16% of the global population. India is water-stressed.
2. Nearly 50% of the rural population have a mobile phone yet only 20% has access to fresh drinking water.
3. More than 20% of death & diseases in India are water based.
4. Agriculture accounts for the bulk of water consumption (70%); Industry 20%, & 10% Auto consumption.
The auto sector accounts for the majority of water consumption (washing, cooling, broiling, etc). The sector accounts for 50% of India’s manufacturing side of the GDP. Overall, 10% of GDP is from the auto sector.
Ironically, as a provider of worldwide mobility, the congestion on the streets of India is incredible (Incredible India, I guess).
The discussion pointed in the direction that the problem of water is not of availability but rather distribution similar to what obtains for the world’s food supply. India has the highest precipitation in the world. Mother nature has been kind. The problem isn’t natural but man-made, requiring a mind-set shift. For example we pour a full glass of water yet only drink half and more often than not, throw away the rest.
Lest we think this water challenge is just happening in India, Cape Town, South Africa has been having water restrictions for a while. If the situation doesn’t improve, come May, 2018, they will be the first city in the world to not have water.
What has been my response to my awareness of the situation and will be even more so since the statistics are so glaring?
- I brush my teeth using water from a recycled bottle rather than allow the tap to run while I brush
- I turn off the shower while bathing instead of letting it run constantly
- I fetch water in a bucket and wash by hand instead of using the washing machine which takes more water for 1 cycle.
- I don’t change my clothes everyday unless I need to, that reduces the amount of water used to wash.
Loving my friends from Bhutan
Of course, I’m from Jamaica – the land of wood and water and even us have been faced with significant periods of drought.
Let’s play our role in making development sustainable for those who will come behind us.
One love @ Noida, India
Being a good leader is a very difficult yet rewarding task. But what makes a leader a good one? It doesn’t matter whether you are a veteran or just starting out, knowing the main traits of a good leader is integral for you to do your own litmus test as to whether you measure up. After all, if you don’t know what it entails then you won’t be able to work towards getting better at it.
As you focus on leading yourself, here are eleven leadership skills that you will need to develop.
When we think of all the leadership traits, rarely does humility come to mind. In fact, humble leaders are often seen as soft, push-overs and gut-less. This has probably stem stemmed from our narcissistic nature as human beings with its vestiges of pride and pompousness. We love the display of over-the-top persuasion power which often lead to a win-lose outcome in negotiations. But Stephen Covey in his ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ encourages a win-win style of engagement. Humble leaders seek feedback, focus on the needs of others and as a result get buy-in from those they lead.
More than ever before, leaders are faced with a myriad of shiny objects vying for their attention on a daily basis. Ideas come at the blink of an eye. It is easy to become distracted from the vision. As such, it is very important for leaders to keep focused on the mission. When you are easily distracted you don’t earn the respect of those you are trying to lead. Your team need a strong sense of direction to carry out the mission. If they can’t count on their leader to be focused, this will affect outcome in a negative way. Staying focused is key.
Some leaders are good, some are great. What separates them is usually discipline. While being flexible, adaptable and fluid are necessary traits of a leader, being disciplined must form part of the ingredient mix in order to win. Disciplined leaders get things done and they stand out as a result. The ability to stand your ground and not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine and idea that blows your direction augurs well for your success as a leader.
“The quality of a man’s life is proportional to the commitment it takes to excellence” – Ignacio Aranguren Castiello. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. Have you heard this before? If you have, then you’re hearing it again because it is true “whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well”. When leaders work to be extremely good and outstanding in their mission, they will stand out. Fitting in is easy but it isn’t quite as rewarding as being different. And this doesn’t have to be in what you consider big areas, it is the seemingly little things. It could simply be standing up for the voiceless or taking a stand against injustice.
The ability to put yourself in the shoe of others is a gift. Leaders who display such qualities are able to build rapport with those they lead. This goes way beyond sympathy. It is a rare quality of being able to experience the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others without experiencing them in a literal way. This allows you to give the relevant support and sensitivity that is needed. It shows you care and that is critical if you are to lead effectively.
Albert Einstein reminded us that doing the same thing over and again expecting a different result is insanity. This same old same thinking can’t resolve critical issues. In fact, challenges cannot be resolved by applying the same mindset in which they were created. The onus is upon leaders to find innovative solutions to issues. How one treats with especially structurally complex situations determine their effectiveness as a leader. Whatever is necessary to find answers must be done. The leader who is able to do this increases his influence.
Without vision the people perish. You may not physically die from a lack of vision but then again, this may very well be the case since we are spirit beings housed in physical bodies. You must have a compelling ‘why’ to motivate others to want to follow you. Do you have a vision and are you able to be able to get buy in from team members? Get clarity on it and communicate it to your team so they can appreciate that they are part of something bigger than themselves and you as the leader.
So many people put forward one persona to the public and have a totally different one when they think no one is watching. Though it is important to have a solid character, few have come to grips with its impact. If you are perceived as one that others can trust to do the right thing regardless of the consequence and who is watching, you’re eons ahead of the game. When all is over and done, it is your character that will last.
As a leader have you ever felt uncomfortable? Scratch that. The question ought to be, when was the last time you felt uncomfortable as a leader? Stepping into leadership is an open invitation to discomfort. They go hand in hand like coffee and cream, milk and honey, bacon and egg, peanut butter and jelly (you get the picture). Stepping into the unknown takes courage. It takes a certain level of boldness to go against the grain and be the lone voice crying in the wilderness. But it is expected of you, even from those who criticize your actions. You must show up with ferocity, inadequacies, insecurities and all.
Are you able to work for an extended period towards a goal even when all the odds are seemingly stacked up against you? If the answer is yes then you no doubt you have what is called grit, a necessary trait of solid leadership. We need leaders who will keep going when the going gets tough. Team members need to be assured that you won’t bail at the first sight of a challenge. As a leader, you are most certainly judged by your willingness to push through the thousand ‘nos’ to get to the one ‘yes’. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Anything that is worthwhile will take enormous amount of time to build. Your ‘sticktuitiveness’ or grit can set you apart and win you more than ‘brownie’ points with your team.
Leaders need crocodile skin to withstand the test of time. They must be willing to put their egos on the line, to publicly apologize for misgivings. In fact, they should be willing to go further, to not only apologize but to be able to say, “I was wrong”. This level of vulnerability isn’t weakness, it is strength. It takes guts to do but when done, is met with great admiration and acceptance. This vital and non-negotiable trait lets others be aware that perfection is not required but a willingness to learn and try and experiment with new ways of thinking and doing things.
How would you rate yourself as a leader? Comment below.
“Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits” is a revolutionary book written by Robert Townsend published in 1970. This book was on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list for 28 weeks.
In the book he tells tactics to winning the competitive race by putting people first and how to obliterate bureaucracies. The leader who leads effectively by putting people first is usually an assured individual who is emotionally intelligent and have mastered self-management.
From as far as I can remember there has been debates about what makes a good leader. When you analyze leaders across industries and cultures, you will find that leadership styles vary from one leader to the next.
Based on a study of over 3,000 Executives, Daniel Goleman identified six different leadership styles:
- Coercive (or Commanding)
What is clear however is that to be in the running as a ‘good leader’ candidate, there are some basic soft skills that are necessary.
As it turns out, there is no one right way to lead in all circumstance. In fact, one of the main characteristics of a good leader is their ability to be flexible enough to adapt to changing tides. They must be able to ride the wave of the moment. Whether the environment be that of church, school, government, non-profit, or the home, leaders must be able to exercise some level of fluidity.
Being flexible in your approach, allowing your team to feel at ease will win them over on your side. When persons are at ease they perform at their best. The converse is also true, you may get persons to respond to you in the short run by driving fear in them but you eventually limit their long-term output using fear as a driver for action.
If you are a Coercive leader, think about flexing your style to improve your relationships and become a better leader. For me this is personal. As I look back at how I was as a leader when I operated a ‘brick and mortar’ I realize that I was quite coercive in my approach. My firm demeanor would often be interpreted as bullyism. After a while, I had little or no impact on those I lead. Though that was never the intent, my retrospective look tells me that is exactly how it came across.
I’m thankful for those experiences as I am in a better place to understand what I did wrong and the things I must improve upon to be effective. I also assess the styles of others to see how they operate and note critical take-aways and of course acknowledge style differences and work to meet half-way.
Suffice it to say, I’ve always been open to new ideas (or so I thought). But even with that, I held on closely to doing things how I believed it should be done without much room for what others thought (I never admitted this though). I was rigid and stubborn. I have learnt well.
Now, I do things that no one has ever done before and have a willingness to ‘first seek to understand then be understood.” This is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people, a book I recommend that everyone especially leaders ought to read.
Flexibility is essential to maintaining productivity during periods of confusion and uncertainty. When you become skilled at being flexible, you become open to new ideas and get to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. The more flexible you are, the more effective you are at leading others.
Have you been holding on to your ideas and way of thinking without allowance for the viewpoints of others? If you are feeling resistance from your team and those you work with, your flexibility meter may need readjusting. Do this and watch things change in your favour.
If you have comments or reactions, we’d like to hear from you. Comment below.
In territories like Australia, Brazil, Europe and the UK and USA, podcasts are quite popular. In many developing countries, not as much. Ever since I came into an awareness about the awesomeness of a podcast, I feel head over heels in love.
A podcast is a digital audio file available via the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, which can be received by subscribers automatically. There are, to a lesser extent, video podcasts. A llive video stream is sometimes confused with a podcast, which is not quite correct.
To access a podcast, you have the option of downloading the file straight from its website via an RSS feed. The Entrepreneurial You is available on henekawatkisporter.com for example. You may also use media software to automatically download podcasts for you like iTunes that checks for new podcast episodes when it detects an internet signal coming from your feed. This download the podcast automatically and syncs it to an MP3.
Streaming on the other hand is to listen or watch content directly from the Internet without actually downloading the file to your computer or other device. The file is downloaded from a host server in real time instead, requiring only a web browser and high-speed internet connection.
The Entrepreneurial You started as a traditional radio show in 2014 on a local radio station in Jamaica. It was profitable, running for three seasons with corporate sponsorship. BUT I knew there was more. Deep inside there has always been a drive to have a global impact – “I must move from just desire to action”, I thought. There has to be a way.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, podcasting presented itself to me. My love affair with this convenient form of content started from a conversation with Damar Hutchinson whom I met at a conference which continued with a Caribbean technology trailblazer, Ingrid Riley, who was also at the said event. I stated what I wanted to accomplish having a radio show. To cut a long story short, she recommended gong digital as a viable option. That would help me achieve my objective of wanting to reach more people to live my purpose of life transformation through inspiration. Eventually, it would become easier to garner sponsorship if I still wanted to do traditional radio, after I would have developed a large enough online following. The digital choice was podcasting.
Hooked, doesn’t begin to explain what happened since I started listening John Lee Dumas. That was in 2016. By end March 2017 with equipment in hand, research on tools software training done and guests booked and interviewed, I successfully published my podcast in iTunes.
Seth Godin – Photo Credit: Brian Bloom
The sense of joy and peace I get from sitting behind a microphone, having a conversation with the most global, high-impact entrepreneurs is inexplicable. I don’t see me stopping anytime soon. Why would I, when it has afforded me the opportunity to connect with persons like Richard Branson, Les Brown, Seth Godin, Jim Kwik and so many established and phenomenal entrepreneurs changing the world as we know it? During Global Entrepreneurship Week, a special edition episode was produced with a select six. This is the episode that Richard Branson is on. I’ve been able to leverage The Entrepreneurial You to achieve bigger things such as hosting conferences (both on and offline). On May 4, 2018, I will host Leadercast in Jamaica. Podcasting has enabled me to do that – it gives me life.
I get to reach people from scores of different countries including Japan which is 3rd on my list of listenership. Not only am I personally connected to my guests, I also feel a sense connection to my community of listeners as well. I’m grateful for this opportunity.
Interestingly, my stats tell me that mobile devices are where most of my community of peak performers listen from. This is very telling as it is in line with where the trend is. This easy access speaks to the amazing opportunity open to marketers. There is so much to be said for this (but imma leave it right here for now).
As podcasts form part of my personal growth strategy, there a few others that I listen to including John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire, Kattie Couric and several others randomly selected. I find this to be a great way to increase my knowledge and awareness in general – a great way to learn.
What was the first time you learnt about a podcast? Share your response below.
It’s one thing to talk about being different yet. It is quite another to live the truth that will see us sticking out like a sore thumb.
We live in a world where everyone seems to want to fit in even if in a very small group. It is uncomfortable being the lone voice or the odd one out. We struggle to live authentically; struggle to be true to our core. As a result, our masks become part of our garb that we put on from day to day. What happens when we forget to put on such charade? What will people see? Would people be surprised?
If we are to be the leaders that we truly are, we have to commit to a shift, making a resolve to surprise even ourselves and stand completely in what we believe. Invariable, we will offend, undoubtedly, we will cause some discomfort and surely, we may even turn the status quo on its head. BUT whatever the cost, it is worth it. It is quite liberating.
So how are some of the ways we can be true to ourselves? Let’s look at 5 simple ways.
Silence is golden
Living your authentic self, starts with an understanding of you are and your values. In the silence of your heart, what belief do you hold to be true? Begin to reflect on this by praying, meditating and locking yourself away for a moment. It is in these moments that the answers to life’s many questions usually come, including what your purpose really is.
Evaluate your relationships
This can be a tricky one, I know. However, in order to live authentically you, you must be willing to sever ties or at the very least, minimize contact with those who no longer serve you. This is easier to do when we recognize that everything has its seasons, including those energy-draining relationships. The key is to be able to know when a season has come to an end. Interestingly, the end of a season signals the beginning of a new one – such is the cycle of life.
Find your voice and use it.
I have been through some really challenging times. There were times when I really felt it would have been better to just die. I couldn’t understand the reasons behind such disillusionment. I’ve felt abandoned, rejected; being abused and felt unwanted. I’ve had moments of deep loss where it seemed at the time that the feelings of deep-seated pain wouldn’t go away. I have had very disappointing experiences including a failed attempt at in vitro fertilization (this feeling you will never understand if you haven’t been through it). Toxic relationships have visited me. Business failures – well that’s another story for another time. Nevertheless, I’ve come to realize that it is in these lows that I find my strength. Now I share my story with ease. I am no longer ashamed of what I’ve done and where I’ve been and the things that happened to me (correction – the things that happened for me). I know my triumph from the valley is an inspiration for others, and that gives me life.
Live in gratitude.
There is something magical about giving thanks that allows you to be present in the moment. It removes the sense of entitlement which usually harbour resentment when we don’t have what we want. When we are grateful and appreciative of the things we do have, we open our hearts to receiving more of what we actually want. It triggers a mentality of abundance rather than scarcity.
Choose love and life.
It can be a challenge to love others especially those we think are just too difficult. It becomes easier when we make a resolve to see things from their point of view. We must also recognize that not everyone has the capacity to reason and interpret what we believe might be obvious. Choose to love them in spite of. Accepting the differences that exist in others is part of the beauty of life. It helps us to relax and to live each day as if it were our last.
Let’s commit to shedding our masks and live and lead from our core. How are you leading from the core? Comment below.
Jamaica pride itself as a leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) location with sixty-one (61) companies offering call centre and BPO services. Named a priority sector for the Government of Jamaica, it is no wonder this Caribbean destination was the one of choice for the inaugural Outsource to the Caribbean Conference (OCC), themed “Leveraging the Nearshore Caribbean for Outsourcing Services”. Jointly organized by Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), it was funded by the European Union via the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). CEDA is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
The 18 country-strong event which ran from 5th to 7th December 2017 at Iberostar Beach Hotel, Montego Bay, opened with a Welcome Reception and Regional Investor of the Year Awards. The awards recognized regional investors who have made extensive contribution to the region’s development and growth. Attendees took the opportunity to network, highly anticipating the day that followed. The tour of the Montego Bay Free Zone, home of Yoni Epstein’s itelBPO, a major sponsor, was a fitting climax to an informative, content rich event.
Iberostar Beach Hotel, venue of the inaugural Outsource to the Caribbean Conference 5th-7th December, 2017
At the start of the OCC, the Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands boasted, “Now is the time to do business with the Caribbean”. She gave in her defense, strategic location; skilled labour force; competitively priced labour; labour retention; environment that supports businesses and high quality of life.
The deafening cry heard time and again for better data collection and analysis within the Caribbean was echoed by Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, CEDA’s Director. “We need data to support what we do. Without the data, we cannot make sensible decision”, she added. Notwithstanding, she provided an informative overview:
“Given the existing contribution of the outsourcing sector to job creation in the region and its potential for expansion, we believe that it must be given priority. In 2010, the sector provided employment for 47,000 workers and by 2015, this number had increased to 74,000; this is an average of 5,000 workers being added annually. BPO and other professional services generated over US$2 billion in revenue in 2014. Calculations show that companies in the region generate close to US$25 million in revenue for every 1,000 agents.”
After the main remarks, a number of panel discussions ensued. The discussion on ‘Caribbean Talent’ was a highlight. Professor Paul Aiken, Head of the Engineering Department, University of the West Indies spoke of the opportunity for Jamaica to leverage ‘Reverse Logistics”. The idea is to establish a local facility that would repair broken parts/products bought on Amazon for example and sell them to other territories as refurbished items.
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Audley Shaw, when asked about the kinds of viable opportunities available to prospective entrepreneurs within the current BPO landscape, had this to say:
“It is clearly a great area for growth, not just in jobs but for entrepreneurship. A lot of the people abroad are not themselves wanting to set up their own operations but to contract their work to an independent operator. It is an area that I would commend to JAMPRO in its promotional programme, both in terms of identifying potential entrepreneurs, making sure they are getting trained as well as including that into the market overseas to say, we have the entrepreneurs, we have the market place and we have the people.”
Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Audley Shaw and The Entrepreneurial You’s Heneka Watkis-Porter after an interview at the Outsource to the Caribbean Conference.
In response to the same question, Coke-Hamilton had this to say:
“It is an incredible landscape for the downstream opportunities of the sector. If you have a set of persons answering phones, there is also the opportunity for offering transcription services, training on how to answer the phone, cultural sensitivity training, transportation services, security services, legal and medical facilities. These are all things that can be done around the ecosystem of the BPO.” She further hinted at the opportunity for students leaving university for example to start writing culturally sensitive scripts for companies. There are various levels of entry but some things are low barrier, making it more accessible to startups.”
She continued, “There is an opportunity to improve on our customer service to train people in understand value. If people understand why they need to be nice to people it will make a difference. Understanding that being nice is not being subservient. This is true for many of us post-slave societies – moving from this post-slave, rebellious nature to an understanding of our end game. A mind-set shift is needed.”
President of Jamaica Promotion (JAMPRO) and CAIPA, Diane Edwards elaborated:
“The best example of entrepreneurship I can give right now is Yoni Epstein. He started his operation with 7 people in a small room and who is now at 1,000 plus members of staff. There is entrepreneurial opportunity available but you have to know the industry. Spend time to research it. It is high-performance requiring you to be close to your customers and satisfying them. Choose which niche to get into, which may not require a vast number of people. Legal process outsourcing is a great niche one can enter into. There is an opportunity to create entrepreneurs in this space.”
It was a commendable first initiative, with obvious room for improvement. It is unfortunate that many of the tables allocated for the various countries were without a representative even provisions were made for them to be there.
Now that the discussions have been elevated, we can now examine how the model can be improved upon, impacting not just the employment challenges within the region but that of underemployment as well.
It was November 4, 2017 – a Saturday morning like none other, at least like no other Jamaica has ever seen. In a flash, the room at the Jamaica Conference Centre began to come alive, quickly filling up with hungry people.
Les Brown engages a hungry audience at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine
The anticipation on faces told a story of deep yearning and longing, probably even desperation. But nothing physical could satisfy that gaping void. It was a hunger that goes much deeper than the bottom of the stomach. After all, the weeks of obvious intense planning by a hard-working team could not afford to yield disappointment. Greatness like you’ve never seen before, was about to be unleashed.
Elegantly garbed in a powerful red long-sleeved top complimented by a flared, quietly-sexy black skirt, host Amita Persaud-Webb shouted exuberantly to the audience in waiting at 9:11 AM EDT, “Good morning and welcome to the Unleash Your Greatness Conference”. Moments later, co-host Oliver Mair joined in getting a room, which was full to capacity, even more euphoric about what was to come.
A pre-conference chat with some of the attendees revealed the expectations of many. They range from ‘killing the enemy within”, to “eliminating fear” to “getting inspiration to take action”.
Clearly, everyone was ’hungry’ to hear and see the main speaker, the legendary and highly sought-after, Les Brown. This, they had to wait for until the other scheduled speakers presented. But lest there was any doubt about the caliber and aptitude of the other speakers, they never hesitated to dispel any such myth through the demonstration of their mastery and competence. Delivering with gusto and sincerity, they rose above the obvious pressure of presenting on a platform with the man of the moment.
Les Brown and his son Patrick shares lens as they departed Jamaican soil at the Norman Manley Internation Aiport after the Unleash Your Greatness Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine
Patrick Brown, son of Les Brown, was the first one to serve up the appetizer. He came on stage rapping much to the amusement of an audience in waiting. “Greatness is your heritage”, he posited. “program yourself for success”, “we all start from somewhere and nobody starts at the top”, he continued. He went on to share his experiences growing up in the shadow as ‘Les Brown’s son before poignantly ending with a poem entitled, “It’s Time”. It’s time to step into your greatness, he charged, to the applause and approving cheers of a gathering whose appetite has clearly been whet.
Next on was Paul Bryan who spoke of his experience thirty (30) years ago with Les Brown via his mom’s cassette tapes which she played incessantly. “You’ve gotta be hungry”, was the main message that stuck like a glue to Paul’s memory. This was to make the point of the importantance of feeding your children’s minds with positive messages from an early age. Against the backdrop of the fertilization process where from a possible four billion sperm, only one will fertilize an egg, “You are, by your mere presence, extra-ordinary”, Paul emphasized before segueing to his roadmap to greatness which went like this:
- Get pregnant (with an idea) and give yourself over to an idea that excites you;
- Create environments for your success;
- Establish partnerships;
- Develop yourself;
- When greatness calls, answer, ‘YES’ knowing you have everything it takes to succeed.
With an American accent, Jon Talarico emerged next, shouting what seems to be the catch line for all visitors to the Jamaican shores, “Wat a gwaan Jamaica?” to an already steaming gathering. He started out by saying his turning point came from hearing that he has greatness within from a Les Brown conference he attended years ago. Jon went on, sharing his irrefutable Laws of Greatness – all ten of them.
- The Law of responsibility;
- The Law of motion;
- The Law of goals and planning;
- The Law of conduct;
- The Law of value creation;
- The Law of reciprocity;
- The Law of being unique;
- The Law of infinite possibility;
- The Law of education;
- The Law of attitude.
Sheree Martin, in her down to earth presentation style, put forth the idea that everything in life stems from two emotions, love and fear. When we live from a place of love we can never fear. She continued, “Measure success on your own terms…nothing has meaning except the meaning that you give it…you are a co-creator, the universe is conspiring to give you what you want. Live in appreciation of everything and bless others who are living in abundance even if you are not there yet”. Sheree’s model for success is based on Experiences, Beliefs, Actions and Results.
Kevin Ingram, representing sponsor National Commercial Bank (NCB), shared the secret of how the wealthy unleash their greatness. “Let your money stay in the bank and borrow other people’s money, create a vision, define what you want to be; practice good habits, keep focused and stick to your plan”, he said.
Keeping it ‘positive’. International Gospel Recording Artiste shares lens with Les Brown after his riveting performance at teh Unleash Your Greatness Conference at teh Jamaica Conference Centre on Saturday November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine
In keeping with the positively charged atmosphere, the internationally acclaimed Gospel Recording Artiste, Rondell Positive, took the platform just before the lunch break. As he belted out hits like ‘Overcomer’, fans sang along while being feted to a dance off by Patrick Brown, son of Les Brown, host Amita Persaud-Webb and the man of the hour, Les Brown.
Host Emprezz Golding causing the attendees to erupt in laughter at the Unleash Your Greatness Conference with Les Brown at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine
After lunch, there was a shift, a changing of the guard as it were. A new host had taken the platform. The vivacious media personality, Emprezz Golding with her infectious personality, stopped short of bringing the audience to tears through laughter. Her energy set the stage for what to come. Giving out prizes after prizes, she brought audience members on stage to get their moment of fame. Many just had to merely open their mouths and a prize would be theirs.
When Internet Income Jamaica and Pow Social’s Alicia Lyttle, graced the platform, it wasn’t to train participants how to make money online but to let them in about what she has been through. She shared her powerful story of being a two-time Cancer survivor who had to overcame several other odds to be where she is at now. She charged everyone to:
- Understand responsibility
- Shed your past
- Hit decline when the calls from the naysayers and ‘waste’ people come in
Duane Lue-Fung, in his usual debonair style which is known to sell ice to an Eskimo, asserted that we must have a strong ‘why’ in our quest for greatness. He charged the twelve hundred strong participants to:
- Read the biographies of successful people;
- Express gratitude for everything, everyday;
- Stay away from average, it is the biggest enemy to success;
- Be intentional about your thoughts as they create your reality.
UK based, Online Marketer Danny Walsh added his flavor to the diverse pool of speakers. “Conversations is the key to success”, he pointed out. He further went on to state that, “If you are fishing in the wrong pond, you won’t catch the big fish.
Standing tall and strong at age 72 Les Brown at the Unleash Your Greatness Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre November 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Involve Magazine
Then it was time. The moment everyone waited for had arrived. Time for American motivational speaker, author, radio DJ, former television host, and former politician, Les Brown, to appear. The man of 72 years, appeared on stage to a standing ovation and cheers from a hungry crown. He invited everyone to be seated and for the next 1 hour and 40 minutes he held the attention of everyone. “Seated in this room is greatness and I’m honoured to be in your presence”, he started. Les went on to share his story of being labeled ‘educable mentally retarded’ while in grade school. His story is nothing short of resilience, telling the narrative of overcoming, through the help of his adopted mother and high school teacher – a tale he tells with pride.
As Zig Ziglar once said, “some people say motivation doesn’t last, neither is bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily”. A motivated and inspired audience was the result as was the objective of the conference. The stage has been set for the next event of this kind to take place because the motivation has to continue.
The Unleash Your Greatness Conference is the brainchild of Inspire Me Events, managed by Internet Income’s and Pow Social’s Alicia Lyttle, Lorette Lyttle and Andrew Reid, and Think Grow Lead’s Duane Lue-Fung and Paul Bryan.
There are a lot of people, maybe even you, that have worked hard building their speaking, training, consulting, coaching business. You’re at a point where you’re making good money. Better yet, you start your day off energized looking forward to all you have to do.
After years establishing the business, you are the recognized expert. You are satisfied that you have transformed your expertise into what is now a REAL business.
What is your problem now?
It’s that you’ve done too good a job filling your role as the highly-valued face of the business. Removing you from the business is like removing someone’s liver. Your business dies. You’re the one people request. You’re the one people see. You’re the brand people want.
You have to plan a way to detach yourself from this critical role. Otherwise, your business, which is doing fine now, leads to a dead end. You can’t ever take paid time off. You can’t sell the business. It’s worthless. Paid retirement is not an option.
You’ve considered the obvious option which is to recruit, hire, train and groom a successor. You know it’s more than just finding someone who’s qualified. It’s the time-consuming training. It’s the re-branding work so everyone looks to them instead of you. It’s introducing them as the new front person of your business. I’m sure you can see how risky an option this becomes.
Here’s an option to consider. What if instead of looking for someone to replace you, you replace yourself with an Online You. What if you deliver your in-person presentations, your training, and your coaching via an online e-learning, coaching, consulting platform.
- You continue in your role as face of the business.
- Your business offers the same expert service you offer now.
- You extend your business with online offerings that eventually replace you.
A HUGE benefit of this approach is you do NOT change how you attract customers and sell. You are selling them the same thing that makes you valuable today. What changes is the medium
That medium is a membership website. It’s a website, but it can only be accessed by members with login credentials. You control who’s allowed or not allowed in.
Let’s go over what this Online You site contains. Let’s cover what content you can publish so you consider the possibilities.
#1 – Online Courses
If what you do is educate, train and coach, your membership site publishes your programs as an e-learning course. You make learning materials available there.
It can be a course covering any of your current speaking, coaching or training topics. There are best practices for converting in-person presentations into an online course. It’s too long to cover here, but I do cover it in my www.ThePerfectOnlineYou.com e-course if you’re interested. The point is, this Online You is another way for your audience to get to the information you deliver in person.
#2 – Publishing Timely Industry Updates
Many people make a living sharing information updates with their audience. They are the expert and their clients pay them for these updates on a specific topic. Think of someone that updates stock traders on trends in a specific area of the market.
Before membership sites, you might have sent these out as email updates or email newsletters. A membership site is a better option. Not only is it harder for members to share your content with others, but it enables you to easily update content and quickly correct mistakes.
#3 – Offering Office Hours
Courses and updates like I just describe work well. You can enhance those by packaging “Office Hours” along with them. Remember when your college professors made themselves available set times of the week. You do the same.
You publish the times and use a private conference line that only members can get access. You show up at the announced times and allow members to ask you questions. It requires very little prep time and all your members see you as accessible.
I highly recommend recording these calls. Then you publish them on the membership site in an archive. That makes them available for those that could not attend live and provide them as searchable content for all your members.
#4 – Building an Online Community
Building an online community provides members with lots of benefits. A big one people over look offers benefits that complement office hours. If a member has issues, they can certainly wait for your next office hours’ session. Alternatively, they can pose the question to you via a community forum. You can of course answer the question, but what often happens is others chime in and answer for you. The Entrepreneurial You Facebook Group provides a great example.
Many membership site owners that provide forums have members stick around longer (paying monthly membership fees longer) because they want to stay connected with their peers in the group. They see the relationships with other members as a benefit you provided to them.
#5 – Providing a Connector Service
If members are coming to you as the expert, they will likely come to you for guidance in the general area where you practice. Why not provide a resource section with recommendations and assets your members want?
For example, my team and I build membership sites. Many people ask us to recommend copywriters, search engine experts, etc. Providing these resources for your members on the site can be a real benefit.
There are so many other things you can add to your membership site. It’s all a matter of making what you offer today available to your followers and replace what you do today in-person with an alternative – the Online You.
Hope this helps!
Long ago, I came to the realization that my gifts, talents and abilities were never given to me simply for my benefit alone. Ever since, it became abundantly clear that I must live my life to its fullest potential in a way that others may be uplifted and empowered through me and the actions I take from day to day. I must set my intentions carefully and clearly.
My purpose, ‘life transformation through inspiration’ motivates me to get out of bed every day with a level of exhilaration, expectation and enthusiasm to accomplish that which has been vested in me to do. It warms my heart as I see others who would otherwise be disillusioned, disheartened and disenchanted, living vicariously through my eyes.
It wasn’t long after I started my first business, Patwa Apparel, that I recognized it isn’t an end in itself rather a means to an end. Means, which provide platforms locally, regionally and internationally for me to share my story. The immeasurable value of my story provides fodder for others. I see hope in people’s eyes when I speak; I get a sense that through me, many recognize the power that lies deep within them. That gives me life.
Having released my entrepreneurial spirit to grow wings and soar, I also recognize how unstoppable I am. This great bug bundle of potentiality was never comfortable with remaining in a state of ‘potential’. That potential must be transformed into kinetic energy. But alas! Even as I am unstoppable, so too are you and the community that I serve. That is why I do the things I do such as write book, speak, blog, podcast and plan and execute uplifting events.
All my projects provide for me, a sense of accomplishment and even joy. I’m particularly heartened by The Entrepreneurial You podcast, a podcast for passionate and dedicated Caribbean entrepreneurs seeking inspiration. Each week a global high impact entrepreneur is featured to motivate and inspire our community of peak performers. This allows me to reach the entire world with my message of entrepreneurship and purpose. I’ve been blessed to have had guests such as Dr. Vernet A. Joseph, Malcolm MJ Harris, Dr. Will Moreland and many others who are doing amazing things around the world.
Having had all these amazingly talented guests on the podcast, I had to think of a way to get them back to one event where they can provide even more value to my community. That’s why The Entrepreneurial You Virtual SME Conference and Expo was created.
Over a course of four (4) days, September 25-28, 2017, eighteen (18) world renowned speakers (including digital marketers, coaches, accountants, software developers, copywriters, motivational speakers), will take you through the ins and outs of doing business successfully as we share our expertise with you over these 4 days. Our speakers include John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire, Malcolm MJ Harris of National Care Financial Group and Dr. Vernet A. Joseph of Live to Produce. These are Oprah, CNN, CBS, ABC, Fox News, Huffington Post, etc. featured experts who can’t wait to expose you to their wealth of knowledge to change your game.
Do you have a vision of running a successful business; to do amazing things and do great work? You know that doing this will change your life, you family, and your community. BUT you feel stuck and aren’t sure of the steps to take to have a successful launch and create profits quickly.
Register for The Entrepreneurial You Virtual Conference and Expo by going to henekawatkisporter.com. Experience a wealth of information from the comfort of home, office or wherever there is wifi.
Exhibitors are also encouraged to make contact with the organizers to display their products and services virtually.
This new game changer platform will empower all exhibitors and sponsors to:
• Showcase special promotion and deals or new product announcements through virtual booth (exhibitors)
• Engage with attendees with live chat, Google Hangout, Skype or Web Conferencing
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• Conduct online breakout room for live chat or on-demand discussion board
• Nurture customer relationship and trigger marketing automation from seamless integration with customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing campaign.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit henekawatkisporter.com to learn to learn more.
I wish I would have started my online business sooner. I was so intrigued by the idea of having an online business that makes money while you sleep. The problem was that I didn’t know anything about it. Heck, I knew very little about computers or the Internet until 2008. I was quite late to the party. My family didn’t have a computer when I was growing up in the late 90s to early 2000s. I felt I had a disadvantage for being so behind the times. I thought, maybe I should leave that to others who are far ahead of me, and I’ll do something else. Boy, was I wrong! Now I hear people tell similar stories all the time. If you find yourself in this boat, here’s my advice to you:
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t feel like you’re not ready. It’s not ready, aim fire. It’s fire, aim, ready. Be bold and take the first action step towards your dreams.
My train of thought began to change after I joined a network marketing company that gave me an excellent book in the starter kit. That book was called The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. It took me from being a person who hated to read to someone who couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next piece of information that would change my worldview. It didn’t take long before that happened. I began reading anything I could get my hands on that would help me improve my life.
I went from struggling to read a single book to being addicted to learning, reading and listening to audiobooks. I knew I would write a book…one day. But I thought that day was far away. After all, I still had so much to learn. I thought I wasn’t worthy. I thought it would be something I’d do late in life. It’s actually kind of strange because that’s not really how I felt in other areas. For example, I was 18 years old when I was dressing up in my uncle’s old suits and shopping for 4-unit apartment buildings. That’s because after reading The Cashflow quadrant I started reading books about investing in real estate. I knew that four units would still qualify as residential property and therefore would be easy to obtain financing for. Anything over four units would have been considered commercial property and would have been much harder to get.
My Dad thought I was crazy because I still lived with him. He said things like, “Boy, you need to rent an apartment first. Then you can buy a house one day.” But I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to throw my money away towards rent. I didn’t even want to throw my money away on a single-family house where most of my mortgage payments went towards paying interest. I wanted to rent out three units and live for free in the fourth unit. That way I could save as much money as I could to put towards future investments. This is the type of invaluable insight I got from reading The Cashflow Quadrant.
I didn’t think I was too young to buy an apartment building either. Why I thought I couldn’t start a successful online business is beyond me. It took me three years before I reached my goal, mostly because I moved to Florida and started fresh. My first property had only two houses instead of four, but the rent from one house and additional rent from roommates covered all my expenses. A success! I got my real estate license shortly after that and became a Realtor. I was the youngest one in the office and already owned two houses while many older agents didn’t even own their own home yet. I didn’t see my youth as a weakness. I saw it as a strength.
The funny thing is, I didn’t really want to be a Realtor. I wanted to be an Author. I learned a lot from the books I had read and was excited to build up my residual cash flow. I wanted to create enough streams of passive income to support my moderate lifestyle. And I would have loved to have done it by creating information products, just like the ones that inspired me so much. However, because I felt I wasn’t ready, I postponed my dream. I tried other business ventures waiting on the day that I would become ready. And it wasn’t until all the things that I was doing came to an end that I realized I was in fact ready. But now that I look back at it, I was ready the whole time! There was nothing stopping me from sharing my message with the world except myself!
Pursued what I’m most passionate about in life
This kind of ties into the first one, but its importance can’t be understated. As the saying goes, “when all work is play, you’ll never have to work another day.” Follow your dreams. You have to do some soul searching first, before you discover what it is you’re most passionate about. And you have to find your passion before you should get started. As Stephen Covey said, “Don’t climb the ladder of success, only to get to the top and realize the ladder was up against the wrong building.”
Some people already know what they’re passionate about and what they want to do. And that’s great! But for those that don’t, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you knew without a doubt that you would be successful, what’s the one thing you’d want to do with your life?
- What do you do that brings you the most joy?
- Is there something that makes you come alive when you talk about or do it?
- If money weren’t an issue, what would you like to do with your life?
Your passion can make you lose track of time because time flies when you’re having fun. When you’re doing it, you may not feel any signs of fatigue because you’re so engrossed with what you’re doing. If you notice things like this about whatever you answered to the questions above, you may have just discovered your passion!
Paid someone to create my website
I struggled to build my own website in the early days. I listened to the audiobook of Multiple Streams Of Internet Income by Robert Allen and was convinced that online businesses were the future. Not only did I want a website, I wanted to know how it was built. That way I’d have an understanding of the process so I’d be one step ahead whenever I built another one.
After a while of seemingly beating my head on a brick wall, I broke down and offered to pay someone if they agreed to let me watch them as they were in the process of building it. Basically, I wanted to watch the process so I could learn along the way. Well, that ended up being a disaster. It was a great idea, but I pretty much got burnt.
I tried to pick up where he left off by continuing to build it on weebly.com. But after putting in a lot of time in it, I just wasn’t happy with the look of the site. I built dozens of pages and was very happy with all of the content on my site, but I never did much with it because one look at it and you could tell it was built by an amateur.
It took me about four years after that to learn WordPress and get my site where I wanted it to be. Instead of being cheap and not paying anyone, I should have paid the price to get it built because I’d be 4 years ahead of where I am now.
I’m telling you all of this so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Figure out what you want to do. Find out what the first major step is that needs to be done, and take the first step towards accomplishing it, everyday doing one more thing to get you closer to your dream.
Cheers to the first day of the rest of your life.
But what does that really mean and how can you attain it? For some people, it is an ideal that seems like mission possible, only for a select few.
Many people, in fact, are unaware that they are deserving of a great life. They believe it is only for persons who were born to specific families, born in certain neighbourhoods or even born with particular hues.
Understanding and believing that you are in the driver’s seat, that you are in control of your happiness and living your best life now is necessary for your success. Knowing the things that you must do to achieve this is even more paramount.
Here are 3 Simple things to help you live that life that you are dreaming of.
- Understand your purpose in order to declutter your life
Mark Twain left us with these words, “the two most important days in a person’s life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”, and equally brilliantly echoed in another way by Myles Munroe, “The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose”.
Did you know one of the biggest reasons for your unhappiness is that you take on tasks, opportunities, etc. because you are unsure about who you are and why you are here as on earth. When you know your purpose, you know what you must say yes to and the things you must reject. Begin to take an introspective look at where you are now. If at this point you are still unclear as to why you were created, start asking of yourself and those around you, what is the one thing I can do with my eyes closed? What I am great at? I am most at peace doing _____, and you fill in the blanks.
The word NO is a complete sentence and purpose will give you an appreciation for this and you will begin to experience happiness not someday but NOW. Eliminate the things that don’t serve you so you will have space for your purpose.
- Know the season you’re in
On a bright Saturday morning, I took a detour from my routine of either working on my business, doing house chores or simply lying in bed till some point in the afternoon. I was on my way to a women entrepreneur’s event. As I drove, I wanted to get the red at traffic lights but I prayed not to be at the front of the line when stopped. This was because I wanted to apply my makeup and if I’m at the front of the line it would be a challenge to see when the light changed to green. I wanted to be behind other vehicles so that I could see when they move off.
Then like a ton of bricks it fell heavily on me. Why was I rejecting being at the front of the line? Why did I not want to be in the lead? Why was I comfortable in second place? I had a serendipitous moment. I thought to myself, so many times I, like the many others who are part of the church, keep singing, ‘I’m next in line for my blessing”. Have we stopped to recognize that we are actually at the front of the line? Not only are we at the front of the line but we are at the counter being served. Yet we are singing melodiously, like the Angels in Heaven, “I’m next in line for my blessing”.
To everything under the sun there is a season. You must be alert and be intuitive enough to recognize the season you are in. If you are in a season where you must apply your own mask first before you can help others, take the time to apply your mask. You cannot give from an empty cup. The good Samaritan stopped briefly to help the man in need. Then he quickly moved on, continuing to take care of his business then he went back to continue his Good Samaritan duties.
Recognizing your season will allow you to be happier. If you are in a season that requires that you give attention to your development, you will not feel guilty when you are not able to give assistance to others during that time. Oftentimes it is the guilt that accompanies our NO that is the root of our unhappiness.
- Choose ye this day with whom you spend your time
According to Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most of your time with”.
This principle, based on the law of average, suggests that if you are spending time with a bunch of losers then of course….The converse is also true. Since those closest to us impact us, when we share out time with super successful people, our success odds also increase.
I’m working on a project that it’s safe to say it’s ground-breaking at least in this part of the world. I reached out a someone who is pretty much the Steve Jobs of Apple in their industry. I sent a 90 second video stating the project, my ask and that I will would follow up with additional information.
He responded by first saying that he liked the video and congratulated me on the things I’ve been doing. He then went on to say that what I’m requesting is something that under normal circumstance he would have said no to. However, he loves what I’m creating and he wants to be part of it.
I’ve made it part of my duty to be strategic with the people I allow in my space and spend time with. So now it is not uncommon to have emails from persons like Chris Ducker, Amy Porterfield, John Lee Dumas, etc. – and these are not subscription emails.
I say this to make the point that other people, can affect our moods, attitudes and overall behavior which in turn affect the decisions we make including those having to do with our happiness.
Like Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Beginning today, decide to live the life you want by:
- Understand your purpose in order to declutter your life;
- Know the season you’re in;
- Choose ye this day with whom you spend your time
I wish for you nothing less that true happiness as you live your best life now.
What are you doing for your hapiness today? I’d love to hear from you. Comment below.
Here’s what Lior said in our conversation when asked about his top 3 mistakes during his startup phase.
1. We didn’t share our idea with anyone – maybe we were afraid anyone would steal our idea. We did this for a year. You should never be afraid of sharing your idea. An idea in and of itself means nothing. It’s about the execution, it’s about the people behind the idea. Even if someone thinks your idea is great and are going to do it themselves, if you believe in yourself you will do it better.
2. We were looking to raise money from VCs and Angels but we decided to spend on our own and quit our jobs. Although it seems like a great thing to do because it means that you believe in your start up, that’s wrong because you shouldn’t spend money on your start up because it really gives you no other option to live. It makes you more stressful and dependent. It makes your lifespan shorter. You cannot always spend time on your startup because you’re always worried about money. From a financial perspective, when you’re spending money from your own pocket, there is no end to it. There is no budget.
3. We wanted to build the best and most comprehensive product that the world has ever seen which is completely against any idea of lean start up. When we started, it wasn’t there yet where everyone knows about Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We just thought that if a product is not good enough, no-one would use it so we would rather build the best product we can, which is against any common sense. When you try out something simple, the basic, the core of your product, you collect feedback from your users, you see if you can even get users. Why would you spend so much time building the best future if no one would use it? We built a super complicated and probably useless product which took us more time and more money.
Now can you identify with any of these mistakes Lior and his other co-founders made?
You can listen to the podcast episode here in the event you missed it.
Included in the line-up is of course Lior Degani. I’ve gotten to know Lior personally and I know he is going to inspire you as he shares story of his journey with you.
As mentioned earleir, Lior is Co-founder of Swayy (Acquired by SimilarWeb). He mentors at Google Campus in Tel Aviv to startups with Growth and Go to Market strategy as part of the Google Launchpad program.
He specializes in system engineering, growth hacking and data analysis, with over 10 years experience working in Telecom and Startup companies, as well as serving in the prestigious IDF unit 8200 – an elite intelligence unit which has spawned many successful Hi-Tech entrepreneurs over the years.
Lior lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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