There are times your mentor makes a statement and you ask what in the world are they talking about??? DO they even understand what am going through??? is easy for them to talk… then after awhile and a few experiences it hits you…
These were the words echoed to me by my mentor since 2004 Dr. Marcia Brandon an Entrepreneurship Expert and founder of Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods located in Barbados. COESL
Tuff it Out!!! Over the years we have heard many myths; but never the day did we expect that after 20 years as an aspiring entrepreneur, we would still be saying, ‘The struggle is real”. I recall as if it took place today when my then tutor said at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic Barbados; “most businesses collapse after the first 3 years when there is no profit”. I never accepted it and have lived to this day to prove it.
What we need to know is that everyone’s experience is unique and yes we might share some similarities but make up your mind to do your own homework, by that we mean market research, learning, be creative, be willing to “tuff it out”.
As a social entrepreneur who specializes in people, partnerships and micro business development; the one common factor I’ve always encountered are people seeking advice for “now solutions”, and each time I have to tell them very honestly, business does not work like that.
What we’ve learnt actually is way opposite, my best days at entrepreneurship has been when I’m backed up in a corner, yes those times when the budget has run out, when you don’t know what just took place, when you’re constantly told no and your ideas are frequently rejected obviously due to lack of value and knowledge by some recipients; but one thing remained with us “tuff It out” if they don’t believe in your idea go right ahead and make it happen anyway.
Learn to do things when you have nothing but your idea as you “tuff it out” so many resources will come your way, yes they will cross your mind when you open your eyes, e.g. the library is a great source of knowledge there is nothing new under the sun, nothing wrong with taking a look at how others in your position got past their hurdles.
Additionally, learn to “tuff it out” yes learn the art of listening, learn it’s not about you, your idea was birthed in you yes but it’s for to provide the needs of others and be very honest in saying you are not an island and you do need help with your idea, but be wise in seeking this help and make sure you have a very organised, planned process or again you will not get too far.
In conclusion don’t be fooled by what appears successful with others, the start always looks great in most cases but the proof is in “tuff it out” how long can you withstand even though nothing seems to be happening, how many changes are you willing to make to get your vision implemented? How many times will you return until you get the yes… and finally when would you open up your heart to the views of others, we might have the idea, we might be so creative but we sure need the operational strength of others.
At Constructive Solutions Inc. a non-profit company located in Kingstown St. Vincent & the Grenadines we are in the process of transitioning to a sustainable social enterprise, this is a new model to the Caribbean Region but we are more than willing to “tuff it out” lots of things has been falling off and apart but our ideas and vision remain solid, we have decided to “tuff It out”.
We at C.S. Inc are fully aware, there is a huge global market out there for all of us and it has way too many opportunities and its been proven no one can use up all.
We will “tuff it out” until we have achieved that goal of a premier sustainable social enterprise modeled in the green economy context of the Caribbean to provide an additional critical social development programs to assist many young people between the age of 18-29 gain a sustainable livelihood via our developmental programs and project activities.
You too can help us reach this journey; feel free to contact our project team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amb. Dr. Ashley C. John
Constructive Solutions Inc.