November 1, 2006

Edward Harris at Large!


After a storm, there is a calm. The boom is on in St. Lucia and in small economies like ours, three years is a reasonable time for it to level off. With good fortune this buoyancy could continue beyond 2009 but this can depend on a number of variables. This article seeks to suggest a change in attitude in relation to how we deal with business failures. As we experience a level of economic success, many businesses will emerge and depending on the level of investment, with a slowing down of revenue beyond the bubble, serious fall outs could be experienced.

Too many businesspersons hang on to businesses for all the wrong reasons and go on loosing money for years before taking decisive action to terminate the business. They continue to hope that the level of business to which they were accustomed will return when in reality the model/environment has changed. A case in point was when manufacturers were cutting out the middlemen and going direct to the retailers, a lot of businesses never survived that period.

When someone is in business, there is no room for sentiments. It is either the business is viable or it is not. Ask the question why? If you don’t have the answer, enquire from your accountant or business consultant. Timing is everything and quitting at the right time can give you a new start with a positive cash flow. In many instances, it is not the businessperson who failed, it is the specific business that is no longer viable in its established form and taking it to the next level is not an option, or it is no longer a business worth pursuing.

Failure in someone’s endeavour in the context of the Caribbean can be a curse and it is the fear factor that restricts serious expansion of the private sector. What if? Will it succeed? Don’t take a chance if someone else is not already succeeding at it and everyone follows the other and then there is saturation and no one’s business is viable. Failure has to be seen as a means of moving on to higher things. It is in dying that we rise again and live eternally. Take this as a biblical lesson and apply to your business experience. Anyone who has not experienced set backs on their upward climb has no basis to look back and see challenges and obstacles which were conquered. It is only then that celebration is in order and the victory and mountain top experience can be truly savoured.

How can individual and business failures be minimized? Too many persons even with all the benefits of the information age being made available to everyone through computer technology and the internet still go through the horrors of trial and error. This approach is no longer an option and it is important that the services of Life/Business Coaches be sought by Entrepreneurs at the micro, small and medium sized business levels. The Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) within the Office of the Prime Minister, Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, Water Front, Castries maintains a list of Consultants from which suitable persons with experiences in all areas of commerce could be selected.

In the past few weeks, I have been approached by a number of businesspersons seeking answers to problems being experienced in their businesses and in many cases, it was discovered that the persons had within their grasp the solutions to their problems. I was given a definition of a Consultant as follows: “A Consultant is someone who borrows his client’s watch to tell him the time”. There are a few simple things that can be done to make life and business experience much more rewarding than being experienced by many, and here is one suggestion. Every serious businessperson needs a Personal Coach to share information on the state of their business, their future business plans and the Coach should be given the freedom to make recommendations and audit their progress. A conversation with a trusted Coach once per week for two hours could make a huge difference. This also goes to those thinking about getting into business. Learn from the FAILURES of others. We have been thought to learn from the SUCCESSES of others but is that what you should be really after? Give me the opposite, as my goal is to avoid those costly pitfalls.

As usual I take this opportunity to share with you my Internet Opportunity of the week. Don’t miss this one. This programme has tons of information you and your family and colleagues can use. Get access to 50 of the world’s greatest Motivational Speakers, Life Coaches, and Business Executives, even get as a Bonus a copy of the ever popular “Think and Grow Rich” Get a 14 Day Free Trial at

Remember always Keep the Faith – God is in Charge.

Edward A. Harris

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