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Are You Running a Hustle or a Business?



According to research conducted by the Mona School of business and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), the vast majority of Jamaican MSME businesses were never started with the goal of building long term wealth for the business owners. These businesses invariably were started as a “hustle” to provide for the daily financial needs of the owners and family.

Very often the hustle grows to the point where it begins to look like a business but is still operated by the owner as a hustle. The entire operation is run out of a “shoe box”, every decision is made by the owner, and people are employed based on their willingness to carry out the dictates of the owner. The company’s bank accounts and that of the owner are one and the same. Invariable the accounting and financial systems and reporting are not in place and the owner has no real interest in putting one in place and this can be for any number of reasons, legal and illegal.

We can look around us and see hundreds of hustles masquerading as businesses running like this.

Many of these business owners are too busy responding to today’s events rather than planning to be in control of what will happen for them tomorrow. As a direct result if this no long term plans are put in place to see to the long term development of the business.

One writer Tito Philips Jnr, who describes himself on his blog as an unusual Nigerian that is MAD – Making A Difference, suggests that the daily pressure and need to do whatever you can to keep the business going is what he calls Hustlepreneurship – doing business. At the other end is the desire [want] to build your business into something great; this he refers to as Entrepreneurship –building business.

Someone once said that every business is a hustle no matter what the size run by professional hustlers.

This writer agrees with Tito Philips Jnr when he says that “hustlepreneurship is all about focusing on the NOW, TODAY, SHORT TERM and forgetting or neglecting the future, tomorrow and long term”.

He goes on to say that “If you only focus on today as an entrepreneur, your business will not live to see tomorrow. This is what I call the most deadly trap of business; being caught up in doing business –hustlepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs are not aware of this fact and that’s why their businesses suffer. Ironically, many are aware of this fact and yet their businesses still suffer”.

The interesting thing is that often times these hustles become so successful that even the owner is surprised at the size of hustle like the business they now have.

Getting these business owners to formalize their operations and put in place proper and formalized systems and procedures, including the hiring of professionals is one the hardest thing to do.

Trust becomes a very important factor for these owners. For many, people are after their money and so this must be guarded at all costs.

There is no interest in exploiting new business opportunities simply because the owner will not be able to personally manage this growth so the business is stifled.

Offers to buy the hustle are entertained but hardly ever consummated as the real assets of the hustle are hard to identify and actual ownership is shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Due diligence is not possible as there is insufficient documentation on the performance of the business.

For many hustles, the intellectual properties such as the operating name and brand are not properly registered and the graphical brand representation is not clear. Often times the main brand name used will have various representations.

When the owner dies the hustle invariable dies. Attempts to continue the hustle by family members are very difficult as the system and tactics used were unique to the owner who never documented them or took the time to mentor a successor.

On the other hand when you’re running and building a real business, you are focused on building real assets that will serve you and the business long after you have slowed down, retired or passed on. In building and running a business, you’re doing things that will eventually generate time or money after you stop doing them. In other words, today’s efforts bring you fruit tomorrow–not just today.

The truth is that many of the most successful business you will find around the world were built initially on a hustle, but once they got it up and running they quickly moved to ensure the long term success and survival by transforming to a formal business structure.

According to Tito Philips Jnr, “hustlepreneurship alone is not all that it takes to succeed in business. It is a necessary element of business success, but certainly not the ONLY element. I have met so many entrepreneurs who hustle their hearts out in business and yet they still struggle with their business. It is true you need to take action, work, execute and hustle to do business; but equally true is the fact that you should dream, plan, strategize and create structures to build your business”.

So Are You Running a Hustle or a Business? Chances are you may be doing a fair bit of both.
Try this quick test. Tick the items on this list that you are focused on each day.

Key Business Building Elements:
• Strategic Planning
• Strategic Execution
• Strategic Marketing
• Creating a powerful brand
• Creating a corporate culture/business DNA
• Creating operational processes/structures
• Developing competitive strategy
• Developing innovative products/services
• Developing your people/employees
• Delivering excellent customer services
• Forming strategic partnerships/alliance
• Improving existing products/services
• Launching new products/services
• Research and development

The things that take up the greater percentage of your time and effort could very well be the key indicator of what you are really doing. If you aren’t doing these things then you may very well be running a hustle.BM

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Leadership Conversations

Encourage Entrepreneurship, Make It Easier For Who Have Ideas To Find Finances On JSE Junior Market



“We know there are some concerns that big businesses may try to take advantage of the tax incentive of listing on the junior market and it is a real concern because it will crowd out the genuine small entrepreneurs, so we will pay attention to that. We are not approaching it [the renewal of incentives] in an ad hoc way — we are approaching it systematically and knowing that economic growth comes from the growth of businesses and not just large firms. Indeed, growing the economy means growing it at the base — small -and medium-sized enterprises.

Encouraging entrepreneurship, making it easier for those who have ideas to find finances to take risks, and creating a system where when you take risks you get rewarded and that is the essence and nature of a free market. That is what this Government hopes to achieve and we believe that if you make a profit, you keep it, and instead of taking it from you in taxes, encourage you to invest further.

The government must work to create an environment where people can immediately identify value for investment, and with that, lessen the dependence on Government. He added that the Government will be reviewing its state-owned enterprises over the coming months to see which ones can be placed on the stock market.

That’s the role of Government. The old model of trying to end poverty through Government has not worked and has never worked in any country. The model that has been proven to work is when we fully liberate the enterprise industry and initiative from the people and this is what we are doing as an example.”

Prime Minister of Jamaica Most Hon. Andrew Holness

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Leadership Voices

If Teachers Are Going To The US They Have To Be Licensed, If They’re Going To Canada, They Have To Be Licensed



“There is no cause for alarm at this point. Teachers leave the system every year for reasons such as retirement. In any given year, between five and seven per cent of teachers are on their earned leave, for example, which means that there is always a need for temporary and permanent replacement teachers. I am not aware of the specific numbers who are leaving the system due to migration. So there is turnover in the sector, but to date, I’m not seeing where it’s out of line with anything that we would have seen in other years. If that number changes as we move further into August, then it would be an update. But as far as I can see we have gone through the normal process of approving leave for persons who are eligible to go on their leave [and] teachers who retire. I have not seen any numbers that would cause alarm at this time. As for the anxiety of teachers surrounding the JTC Bill, which a joint select committee of Parliament started discussions on last in February, I have pointed out that even for those who leave, there is no escaping similar requirements for licensing. If teachers are leaving because of that, the environment into which they are going has a similar regime. If they’re going to the US they have to be licensed, if they’re going to Canada, they have to be licensed [but] I haven’t heard that there is any particular departure as a result of the upcoming passing of the JTC Bill. The focus must now be turned to the upcoming school year to ensure that all preparations are in place for students to return. The ministry will again renew its efforts to bring back students to the classroom, which it has not been able to account for, since 2020.”

Education Minister Fayval Williams

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Leadership Voices

The Teachers Of Jamaica…Are Seen As Among The Best In The World…But Teachers Cannot Continue To Scrape By, Unable To Meet Their Basic Needs.



“Hundreds who have left so far have done so through three of seven agencies which are actively recruiting Jamaican teachers. There are many others who have probably gone and I don’t know yet. You will have plenty more leaving and I will not say to a teacher, don’t leave. If you care, demonstrate that you care and pay the teachers properly. Teachers remain severely undervalued here, even though they are touted by other countries to be among the world’s best. There is a severe shortage of teachers worldwide [and] the teachers of Jamaica…are seen as among the best in the world. Two countries told me personally that Jamaica and the Philippines have the best quality trained teachers, but the Jamaican teachers are ahead because the teachers speak English properly, while the Filipinos, though they speak English, their accent makes it difficult. Therefore, the recruiters will be coming to Jamaica to get as many as possible from us; people are saying if they don’t want to stay in the classroom, why they don’t go. Well we are taking their advice,”

Winston Smith President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association

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Leadership Conversations

The Tourism Linkages Network (TLN) Was Established As An Initiative To Increase The Tourism Sector’s Consumption Of Goods And Services That Can Be Competitively Sourced Locally



“The principle of establishing the linkages network is first of all to identify why people travel. The study identified five reasons why tourists travel. These areas are gastronomy where they come to enjoy local foods, shopping, health and wellness, entertainment and sports and then there is knowledge where people travel for learning and seminars.

These things are owned by people in the destination and when they come and buy these things the money is spent here. We know we don’t produce everything, because we don’t grow rice or wheat, but we grow fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas and yams, we can then do canning like for agro-processing to produce things like jams and jellies, manufacturers can produce sheets and blankets which will also help to retain more of the money in Jamaica.

Since the study, the government has been giving incentives for those interested in producing for the tourism sector and extending financing to facilitate ventures. We were able throughout that process to increase the retention of the tourism dollar from 25 cents in 2010 to 40 cents in 2019. And at 40 cents we are 20 cents away from the best-performing destination for tourism dollar retention in the world which is India, which retains 60 cents of its tourism earnings.

In the Caribbean, the country retaining the highest level of tourism dollar is the Dominican Republic which retains 50 cents out of every dollar its tourism sector earns. That country earns about US$8 billion from tourism which means US$4 billion is retained that country. Jamaica’s tourism retention rate can increase from 40 cents of every dollar to 50 cents if Jamaican farmers and manufacturers, entertainers and retailers and knowledge producers ramp up their offers to the sector which boasts 32,000 rooms and is set to welcome over 3 million stop over tourists this year.

The Tourism Linkages Network (TLN) was established as an initiative to increase the tourism sector’s consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced locally. Delivering billions in retained earnings over the years, the body said it remains committed to ensuring that there is a reduction in the purchasing gap between tourism and other sectors.”

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in an interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper recently.

From leakages to linkages

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Leadership Conversations

Our Vision Is To Increase Viewership By Allowing Content To Be Broadcast On A Combination Of Traditional Media That Doesn’t Require Any Premium Service Or Premium Access.



This Emphasis On Expanding The Availability Of The Product Was Key To O Ur Successful Bid To Secure The Highly Coveted Rights.

“What our vision is, is to distribute and present that content in ways that it hasn’t been done in previous times to a much wider audience. So, by way of example, when I say that I mean that, you know, content like the Premier League and other premium content like that has only been available to a smaller percentage of the market, not the wide market, because of how it was broadcast. Our vision is to increase that viewership by allowing it to be broadcast on a combination of traditional media. By broadcasting on traditional media that doesn’t require any premium service or premium access as well as on premium services.

In addition to that, you know, we are building our own digital media offering and our own architecture behind that. So, the way that we will offer it to the public, We think will not only drive uptake in digital media, but also drive the audience on digital media.

“We believe VertiCast is ideally suited to show Premier League matches across the Caribbean and fans will benefit from VertiCast’s broad distribution plan across multiple platforms. VertiCast will help us to maximise reach and viewership and to further grow the Premier League fan-base in the region.” Paul Molnar, Premier League Chief Media Officer

We’re definitely not moving away from pay-TV or our premium services. What we’re looking to do is compliment the way it’s done currently. So, we just think that combination of traditional media alongside pay-TV, cable and trying and structuring a way on digital media that allows for the average person to view the Premier League and you know that doesn’t take place as much as it should right now. And we think we have come up with some ways that we can do that. We have certain dynamics here in the market that precludes us from broadcasting it or making returns on it like they do in the UK or in Europe or the US, right? We don’t quite have the distribution infrastructure that they have there. We don’t quite have the economy that they have there. We don’t have the fanatical fan base that they have there. So, you know, we have figured out ways that we think we could enhance what’s currently being done.

“VertiCast is a vertically integrated media company that will incorporate broadcast across all media platforms into multiple markets in the Caribbean. A regional media entity with the intention to broadcasting over traditional media, cable television and digital media via streaming and mobile via partnerships and on its own channels.”

Within the media industry as you know, everything is founded on strong content. Obviously, the ways of distribution have diversified and increased over time. But the first step is always to make sure you have the right content. The announcement we made this week about the Premier League rights is a step in the direction for us to make sure that we first have the, you know, the most in-demand content.

I think for too many years, we have been looking at broadcasts in silos. That is, you know, there is free to air and then separately there is pay TVs that’s cable and then separately there is radio and then separately there is digital media, right. And, as you said, a lot of the traditional media or even the cable media has been reluctant to get into the digital media. How am I going to make a return on that in isolation? Our view is that you can’t do it in isolation. You have to treat it almost as a convergence of media, and how do you make one compliment the other? And that is our approach. Our approach is that we’re not going to operate in silos. We’re going to seek to have traditional media benefit off of digital media, and vice versa digital media benefit from traditional media.

A major emphasis of ours is going to be to continue working with local producers, the IPPs (Intellectual Property Producers) around the region, and when I say work with them, it doesn’t mean you know, we say to you okay, come in and present your content that will decide if we show it or not, or we’re going to rent your airtime. A major emphasis of ours is going to be IPPs typically don’t have enough production resources to really complete their content packages.

What we will do is we will work with a lot of the IPPs by providing them with certain resources that they can then utilise to complete their productions and content packages. So that it becomes a certain quality that then can be broadcast on our platforms. So, so we will spend a lot of time working to curate local content and helping producers to curate local content.”

VertiCast is aiming to serve content to a market of nearly 45 million people in over 26 countries including the English-speaking Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, and parts of South America. The multi-platform company has reportedly secured support from major content providers which the company will rollout over the next couple of weeks.

Oliver McIntosh President And CEO VertiCast Media Group Ltd


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