This week has begun like most weeks for me recently and that is me looking for a new direction for my life here in Barbados. It probably isn’t the most perfect time in my life to go seeking out new challenges or a new path in business. The world after all seems to be in a recession caused by the greed and ambition of bankers in the USA and the UK.
I need to see clearly so that I can focus on figuring out what I want and need to do with my life. I have taken too many wrongs turns in my life and many of those mistakes could have been avoided if I had taken a few steps back from the situation and went with what my head was telling me as opposed to letting my heart lead the way.
I for one am not content with just letting life drift along and seeing where it takes me, I know from past experiences that when you do this, you more often than not, end up at some place you don’t like!
Like many people I sometimes can find inspiration in music and I sure get that from Jimmy Cliff singing, “I Can See Clearly Now the Rain Has Stopped”. The song was featured on the Sound Track of the movie “Cool Running’s” a very funny and inspirational film, which came out in 1993, and was a true story about Jamaica’s first ever bob sleigh team trying to make it to the Winter Olympics.
I seem to have reached a point in my life, where I want more out of life than what I’m currently achieving. I know the only person that can change things, is myself through the power of my own mind and self-determination to improve things.
Like most people I started off 2009 full of hope and enthusiasm that this was going to be a great year for myself. I forgot one simple thing; I never really had much of plan as to what or how I was going to make 2009 such a wonderful year.
So here I am taking stock of things and seeking inspiration for what I truly want out of life. I sure aint getting any younger, but that doesn’t mean I should give up on wanting to be happy and content with what I want out of life or what I’m achieving out of life.
So I’m off to a quiet beach somewhere in Barbados, where I can get some solitude and be alone with my thoughts and try to figure out where I want to go in this great journey called life.
As a budding entrepreneur I believe that there are certain core principles, which every business owner should abide by, if they want to build a long-term successful business. I certainly abide by them and believe that they are quite frankly the difference between success and failure. It doesn’t matter if you are in Barbados, Scotland, America, China, Canada or anywhere for that matter they are principles of business that will help you to succeed.
For me they are not only business principles, but it wouldn’t do your life in general any harm to abide by them. They are the basics, which should be the cornerstone of every business, but sadly they seem to be constantly lacking in so many companies nowadays. But you know something I do my talking with my wallet and if and when companies think they are too good to worry about their customers or don’t treat them properly I go somewhere else.
It seems to be a problem that I constantly come across, and it irritates the hell out of me, and believe me it happens on a regular basis here in Barbados, just like it happens in the UK and probably all over the world. So many companies are so good, professional and first class at making the sale, but once that sale is made, it becomes very clear, very quickly that all they cared about was getting the money. There only principle is to take your money! Everything else is secondary!
It is something, which effects big and small companies, I would like to make a special personal mention here, one of the worst offenders I have ever came across was a web design company called UK192.co.uk, they are impossible to deal with and they cost me so much effort, money and time. I’m pretty certain they wont last as a business, they haven’t got a clue. They agreed a price to complete a job to a certain specification and they didn’t have the ability to do it. Instead of saying this, they took the money and tried to change the rules. Now every chance I get I tell people the truth about this company, they totally lack any business principles.
Business Principles for Success:
Honesty: Always be 100% honest with your customers and clients. Never lie to make the sale, if you cant do what they want, when they want it, be truthful and tell them that. They may compromise and you may make the sale anyway, but if you fail to deliver, you deserve to lose them as a future customer and any recommendations they may have provided.
Always Meet Your Obligations:
When you have made the sale with a customer, you must make sure that you meet every single obligation, which you have promised to deliver. It should be your priority to achieve total satisfaction for your clients, meeting deadlines and specifications are what creates happy customers, which in turn creates free business for you through recommendations.
Treat all customers with the utmost respect and make sure all members of staff treat each other respectfully. It shouldn’t matter what position, title, age, skin colour or any kind of distinctions there is, everyone should be treated in a professional, respectful manner at all times and with courtesy.
Accounting and Bookkeeping:
Make sure you maintain a hands on approach to accounting and bookkeeping. It is vital to the future success of your business to become knowledgeable in these areas. It allows you to see exactly how much money you are making, how much you are spending and if any dubious activities are occurring you can spot them early.
Stay ahead of the game; constantly look out for new innovations, which may benefit your business and your customers, also make an effort to master new technologies when they are happening, don’t be last.
When I was living in London for a short period before I moved to Barbados, on the road I was living in London there was a father and son driveway business which layed those nice lock block drives drives, I spoke to them one day, they hadn’t been out of the Road for over 4 months, and had at least another 3 months worth of business still to do. They had a little sign at the side of the road, they lay drives beautifully, and they are pleasant people and obviously they kept getting recommedations from happy customers!
The driveway guy told me he hasn’t had to advertise in 25 years of business. He gets all his customers from recommendations, plain and simple. He tells me that his philosophy has always been the same, do a great job, complete it on time and don’t act like an idiot when working, and he has never ripped anybody off in his life. He admits he isn’t the cheapest, but he provides true old school quality. I feel there are some valuable lessons to be learnt from this small business. As he said to me, “it aint rocket science”. He has got very clear principles which are providing great business results.
Never lie, cheat, mislead, steal or provide a crap service to your new or existing clients, it is a simple philosophy, which will pay dividends for you as a person and as a business owner.
I hope all those builders that I have had working for and with me in Barbados take heed of the above and all those that think it is smart business practise to rip people off and do shoddy work, you will never get the chance to make money from me again, and you sure as heck wont get a recommendation! In fact I will go out of my way to advise people not to employ you!
I wish I new why everyone in Barbados is a builder? When most of them haven’t got a clue about building work and doing even a reasonable good job. All they want is the big money for a second rate job!
It is coming to that time of the year when we should be reflecting on our endeavours and appraising how things have transpired for ourselves over the past 12 months. It is after all coming to the end of another year, whether it has a been a successful or terrible year will depend on each of our individual circumstances, and whether we have achieved any of what we have set out to achieve.
On a personal note I have made some pretty big changes, I have moved from Scotland to Barbados, I’m working for myself, and believe me I feel real good about the fact that my life is not in anyway controlled by the “Boss Man”. The fact I don’t earn too much at the moment and I don’t have too much financial security isn’t quite so good. But life is heading in the right direction!
I may not have achieved as much as I set out to in 2008, in fact I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be. Is it wrong of me to want to have a successful business, to earn more money, to travel to exotic places, is it wrong of me to dream the dream and desire much, much more out of life? Of course it isn’t, if as the saying goes you don’t have the dream, how can you expect to achieve it!
So over the next few days I will be reaffirming my aims and desires for life and figuring out how I can make them a reality. I will then start 2009 with total believe, enthusiasm and the will power to succeed and get to where I want to in life.
As the immortal Scottish King Robert Bruce once said, “If At First Ye Don’t Succeed Try, Try, Try Again”. According to legend Robert the Bruce had been hiding in a cave on the Western Isles of Scotland as his attempts to free Scotland from the rule of the English had constantly being defeated and all had seemed lost for him. The future king of Scotland sat despairingly watching a spider weave it’s web, as the wind howled and blew the web apart, the spider continued to rebuild it, inspiring his famous quote, If At First Ye Don’t Succeed Try, Try, Try Again”. He carried on his quest to free Scotland from the rule of the English, he eventually succeeded in his quest.
If we were to all to give up every time the going gets tough, or when we have tricky obstacles to overcome, we wouldn’t get very far in life. Life is full of exciting character building challenges that make us what we are, some people I suppose are winners, some are losers and some keep on trying till they become winners, which category do you fall into?
Sunday has became a day of total rest for me and it is the one day of the week where I make sure I set aside quality time to spend with the family. I wont spend time shopping at the supermarket, I refuse to do household chores and I sure as heck wont do any business related work, in fact I even wrote this article on Saturday! I have six other days of the week to do everything that I need to do!
It hasn’t always been like this, before I moved to Barbados, whether it was when I was back home in Scotland or living in London, Sunday would be just like any other day of the week, in fact there was virtually no difference. I had allowed myself to forget the important things in life, and that is spending quality time with your family and loved ones, taking time out to rest and recuperate, forgetting about your normal day today routines and having a little bit of fun.
I can even remember way back in time when I was a wee kid living in Scotland and virtually every single shop would be closed for the day on a Sunday, it would seem like world had stopped. Things sure have changed nowadays you will be hard pushed to find a shop that stays shut on a Sunday. Somehow big business, commercialism and profits became the most important factor, they rule world.
I for one have learned my lessons about what is important in life and that the pursuit of happiness isn’t all about working myself into an early grave and trying to make money. In fact I would say that after having a total day of rest on a Sunday, I’m more refreshed and my mind is more focussed to move forward with my business related ventures, when my working week begins again on the Monday.
I must admit living on a beautiful island like Barbados sure makes it easy to relax and enjoy yourself on a Sunday and spend some quality time with your family.
I have found a truly inspirational quote, which I feel that people who love to travel will appreciate, for we understand the importance of travel and how we as human beings can benefit from experiencing life in different countries.
I feel that there are too many people out there that are for some reason afraid to leave the comfort zone that they have lived in for all of their life’s. They haven’t got the will power or desire to life their life’s to the max, to experience new people, new places, new experiences, new adventures.
I the Wandering Scotsman know from personal experience the born again feeling that you get from packing up your bags and heading off to somewhere new in search of a new beginning in the story of life.
“There is no happiness for him who does not travel. Therefore, wander. The fortune of him who is sitting sits, it rises when he rises, it sleeps when he sleeps, it moves when he moves. Therefore , wander !”
— The Rig Veda – 800 – 600 BC —
I’m sure most bloggers and web site owners are aware of the importance of link exchanges and how your site can benefit from them.The two major benefits of exchanging links with quality sites is that it will help to increase traffic to your own site, as well as improving your sites link popularity with search engines.
The bottom line is, if you want to increase your sites traffic you must have as many good quality reciprocal links as possible.
The Barbados Blog is now seeking to exchange links with quality TRAVEL Related Blogs only! I don’t really mind what your Alexa rank is as long as it is in the top 2,000,000 and that your content is original. I’m not interested in blogs that are solely vehicles for making money from Google Adsense.
If you are as dedicated to blogging as I am and are aiming for your voice to be heard by as many people as possible, I will gladly exchange links with you.
The Barbados Blog is well on it’s way to achieving it’s goal of being in the top 3 sites in Barbados and becoming a top 25,000 Alexa ranked site. I have the dedication and passion to achieve my aims for my blog. I know it will take a lot of time, effort and thought.
It is the start of another working week for most of us, and I for one always like to start the week full of enthusiasm, positivity and the desire to succeed. I personally feel that it doesn’t matter who you are, that you owe it to yourself to start the week in the right frame of mind.
I know many people dread the start of another working week and wish that time would stand still so that they don’t have to endure another week of work. Others can’t wait to get their teeth into another week; they have things they cant wait to get cracking with. Which one are you?
Ever since I personally started to harness the full potential of my own mind and truly believed that if I wanted to, I could achieve whatever I wanted to out of life. I don’t just start the week with a positive attitude, I start every single day with the believe that I’m on an unstoppable rollercoaster ride to achieving my dreams, no matter how outlandish they may seem to others!
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” William Arthur Ward
I know from personal experience the personal hell of working for businesses or bosses that try to treat you with a total lack respect or treat you like you are almost an modern day slave. As we all know in life there are plenty of people in positions of authority that are not quite “the full shilling” as the saying goes and when they have too much power or the pressure gets a wee bit too much for them and they treat their staff or employees below them in the food chain like they are dogs.
Well if any of this rings a bell for you, what are you doing about escaping from your modern day chains of slavery. There is always a way to move forward with life, you do not need to suffer and endure working in a negative and depressing environment.
For some reason many people allow themselves to get stuck in a rut and allow their place of employment to virtually own them, because of the wage they receive at the end of the week or month. If you hate your job or boss, what are you doing to escape the situation, what are you doing to move forward with your life, or do you think you have no other option other than to endure and put up with it.
The answer my friend is that you owe it to yourself to do something proactive and positive in order to move forward with your life. We are all ultimately the masters of our own destinies and as a result if something needs to be changed in our lives, we can and have to change things ourselves. There is always a way to deal with things, whether it means finding another job or studying to improve your job prospects or even the possibility of working for yourself.
I personally allowed myself to work in my own personal hell for 10 long years and become a wage slave, because I allowed myself to be controlled by a secure and good wage that ultimately controlled me. I eventually decided to take control of my own life and destiny and formulated an escape plan from my job in hell. I started studying again during my spare time and I then took on a part time job as well as maintaining my full time job in order to give myself some capital in order to do my own thing.
If you are living in the hell of a job or boss that is having a bad effect on your life or your health, do something about it. Wage Slaves you can all escape hell if you really want too, whether you are living in Scotland, Barbados, America, India, China or whatever country you are living in.
Today I have reached the milestone of my 100th article on The Barbados Blog and everything is going from strength to strength. I started this blog after I moved from my home country of Scotland to come and live on the Caribbean Island of Barbados, this happened during the last week of June 2008.
I started this blog with the objective of documenting my experiences on the island and to give the world an objective insight into what life is really like in Barbados for an expat who isn’t rich. My move to this island is all about seeking out new challenges and the reawakening of my body, soul and mind through the adventure of travel.
The next article milestone for The Barbados Blog will be when I reach the 1000th article and hopefully by then I will be achieving over a 1000 visitors a day to my site as opposed to the 100 or so that presently read my blog.
No matter what we do in life, we need to seek out new challenges to remind us that we are alive. The easiest thing to do in life is to just let things drift along and let time pass us by without actually doing much or achieving anything. We all need to find something to give keep us motivated and to challenge our minds, because if we don’t, what is the point of our existence
The Barbados Blog is one of many projects that I am currently working on and I give it the same input and effort as everything else that I do, because I have a clear vision of where I want the blog to get too, I just have to figure out how to make it as successful as I want it to become and know that it can become.
“To find what you seek in the road of life,
the best proverb of all is that which says:
“Leave no stone unturned.”
Edward Bulwer Lytton