Hi, readers! I am sorry I missed last week, but I just got back from a trip to Miami, which, by the way, cost less than that which I’ll be making to Grenada next week.
This aside, I had a week of celebrations that included turning 50 and beginning my jubilee year. I also celebrated the birth of my twins (books, not babies), bringing me to nine.
As I told my friends and family at my book launch last Friday night, I had a dream in April, 2010, that I was pregnant with twins. Since it would have been physically impossible for them to be babies, I knew I was supposed to birth something; but I didn’t know what.
As with dreams, which can be a little weird, I could see the embryos; and I noticed one was more developed than the other. But somehow I knew they were supposed to be born at the same time.
A month later, I was at a prophetic training seminar, and the leader of the seminar prophesied to me, saying he saw me with two books in my hands: one was a “how to”, and the other was a novel.
I just knew it was somehow connected to the dream and that I was going to birth two books.
Last Friday night, six years almost to the date of the dream, I celebrated the birth of The ABCs Of Entrepreneurship (a how to book) and Free In The City (a novel).
As I shared with those who attended, The ABCs was conceived and initially written years ago when I was still at Ernst & Young; but at the time it was specifically for the Barbadian market.
I soon discovered the market was too small for a publisher to take seriously; so I rewrote it several times until its current form, which is for a Caribbean audience. As I said in the book description, it is for students of business and entrepreneurship, and for anyone wanting to start a business.
I was very honoured to have as my guest speaker, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, who spoke well (as usual) and, more importantly, concisely. We all know how some politicians tend to go on and on when they have an audience. Fortunately Mr Inniss not one of them.
I don’t know if he had time to read the book before the launch, but he must have glanced through it at some stage, because he captured the essence of what I intended when I wrote the book and shared some of his own insights.
It is no secret that, in the words of the minister, “we as a society need to dig deep and find that entrepreneurial spirit” –– which is why I wrote the book. In these times, our school leavers and university graduates are no longer assured a job.
In fact, many who have jobs cannot be sure they will have the security of such until they retire.
Therefore, many will need to create their own jobs and, even better, jobs for others.
One of the insights Mr Inniss shared was that, in Barbados, failure was something we scorned and looked down upon. From as early as in the classroom, children would withhold giving an answer because they feared being wrong –– which was a failure in their eyes –– and would therefore say nothing.
We have taken that mentality all the way to adulthood; and often look on failure as something to be avoided –– unless we are like Thomas Edison, who said in his famous quote: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I totally agree with Minister Inniss that we need to be empathetic to those who take risks, and I would add: don’t look down on them when they fail.
In The ABCs Of Entrepreneurship, I included a section on business failure, since entrepreneurs have to be prepared to fail and not to let failure deter them from trying again. I was very fortunate to have one of our most successful entrepreneurs –– Bizzy Williams –– share one of his greatest business failures with me for the book.
So I am hoping this book will not only inspire many to become entrepreneurs, but will also give them some best practices to start up their business.
Since my research showed me people preferred to watch videos to learn, I was very happy to be able to premiere the pilot of the video series I will be producing, based on the first part of the book –– which is a story, as I have said before. The pilot was funded by the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy Unit, to which I am very grateful for its support and belief in the project.
I was also very happy with the video; and from all reports from those who watched it (both old and young), it was well done, and the acting was very natural.
Many of my guests bought copies of The ABCs Of Entrepreneurship to donate to schools of their choice, and I sincerely hope principals will actively promote it to their students, as it covers aspects of the principles of business and entrepreneurship syllabuses, while also providing information for any potential entrepreneurs.
So, like most new mothers, I am excited at the birth of my babies; but, as we who are mothers soon find out, the hard work is now to come. For me that means marketing the book, not only in Barbados, but in the region. So I’ll be finding ways to make that happen.
(Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She is also the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the Barbados facilitator for the InfoDev WINC Acceleration Programme.
Visit www.donnaevery.com and www.facebook.com/DonnaEvery1)