Monday, May 3, 2021

Buying vs selling

As the saying goes, perception is everything. A good entrepreneur must have this in the back of their mind, if they want to remain relevant. When customers feel they are being sold something rather than choosing to buy, you may not get another purchase from them.

                Everything being bought and sold is done first from an emotion. The product or service is eliminating some type of pain or solving a problem. This is the niche; now how do you tap it? i.e. luxury items are purchased for status approval in their community. They want to be loved and accepted thus a positive feeling is evoked.

                A good business man’s job is to remove or reduce all negativity of that experience. Make sure your solution is better or different. It does not have to be cheaper but it does have to create desire. Ask these questions:

1. What is the problem with____?

2. What is the number on question with___?

3. What can I do to help with___?

When your customer feels that they bought positivity instead of being sold questionably? Expect to have repeat business.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Don’t buy you ticket or plan to visit or return to Jamaica without doing this first!!!


COVID pandemic has resulted in a lot of bureaucracy. No turning up to your favorite travel agent to buy a ticket on the spot, anymore. Not only do you have to make sure you have been tested negative for coronavirus, within a certain time frame of your flight, but you also have to complete an online form, including a quarantine assessment questionnaire, and have them all approved, prior to buying your ticket.

            The following process may be daunting but as a June 2020, the success rate was a total of 8,418 approvals that had been granted to Jamaicans overseas who had applied to the JamCovid online Ministry of Health system for permission to return “a yaad”, under the controlled re-entry programme. If you are thinking of doing the same, here is some useful information. You will need to go online and complete a re-entry form which is about a 4 pages long and once approved, you will be free to book your flight.

            Before you go online, make sure you have everything you need with you, as some of the sections time out, for example, the security code, or it is going to ask you the full address of where you are going to stay. No point ringing up the person while you are completing the form, it will time you out. Likewise, you can be looking for information in your wallet, on your phone, in an email, or on you PC- you must have everything on hand ready.

            This article is to prepare you in advance.

So before you start-

1.     Have your phone close by you.

2.     Have the email address you have been given, open so you can access the OTC (one-time code), and put it on the phone, which will be counting down (it gives you a few minutes)

3.     Have your passport with you because you will need to information on it, and you will need to take a photograph of it.

4.     Have full name, email address and phone number full street address of the place you are staying.

5.     Have full name, email address, phone number and full street address of your contact person in Jamaica.

6.     You TRN & NIS number, if you are a resident

7.     Parents full name and contact details

8.     Employers full name and contact details

9.     The last date you travelled to Jamaica

10.Details of your return ticket (if couldn’t back because the airport was closed)

11.The address where you are currently living

12.The dates and names of places you have bee to over the last six weeks. Once you have this, go online.

13.Go online under


Once you have completed the form, click on the voice note and listen to it. You will need to make an attestation that you have read, understand and agree to all the information on the form and that the information is accurate and true.

You will then get a confirmation email, stating that your application has been received but it is not clear how long this process will take. Once you get approval via email proceed to book your ticket.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Game Plan


All entrepreneurs have a plan. Some work at a company for a few years and branch out on their own. Others create a blueprint and follow it to the letter; still others go with the wind letting their mistakes become their learning foundation. Incorporate these gems in whatever path you choose:

1.       Be attractive. This is how your potential customer will want your product or service.

2.       Analyze the deals. Not all money is good money. Ask yourself what are the mutual benefits?

3.       Can you walk away? Character and integrity always has a price. What are your values?

4.       Create incentives. If someone pays once, how will you get them to pay again?

Monday, February 1, 2021

Jamaican Proverbs


Jamaican sayings are as true now as when your grandmother said them. Here are some that takes you down to memory lane. Apply these cultural gems to your daily lives. Lets see if you know the meaning to these saying:

·        Rock stone a river bottom, nu know say sun hot

·        Ashes cold, dawg lie down in it

·        Trouble never set like rain

·        When puss belly full, ihm seh rat batty stink

·        Cockroach nuffi inna cock fight

Saturday, January 2, 2021

WARE Collective


Our nonprofit organization, the Wattle and Red Earth (WARE) Collective continues our preservation and education work (please see attachments).  A 100+ year old dwelling house built in the traditional “Spanish Wall” construction method has recently been donated to us. This donated house is at risk of being demolished. The Collective plans to document the building in preparation for its disassembly, re-siting and eventual reconstruction as a structure for our Living Museum in St. Elizabeth. 


We have until the end of January 2021 to record, label, disassemble and move the building. The WARE Collective CAN do it. So far we have raised $575 of the $3000 USD needed for equipment and local labor. We have embarked on an ambitious GoFundMe Campaign to rescue this fine Spanish Wall example and ask that you contribute and spread the word. These remarkable buildings made in the Spanish Wall construction method (limestone, white lime and earth in a timber frame), were built at a time when newly freed Africans had to sustainably use the earth for both farming and for shelter. Unfortunately, due to neglect and lack of knowledge, few of these historical landmarks remain.


The WARE Collective and members of the community have forged a unique alliance of skill and trust to preserve and to repurpose these small, but historically relevant and architecturally significant structures.


Students of all levels, nationally and internationally, and community members researching and learning traditional building techniques from local experts. A welcoming, multi-use space with internet access; where visitors can participate in weaving exquisitely made and naturally dyed straw hats and purses; or a space to simply have refreshments while overlooking the panorama of the south coast. We ask for your support and contribution to our GoFundMe site to preserve this donated Spanish wall building that is at risk of demolition.

Go Fund Me




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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Know Your Worth


                                      written by Janice K. Maxwell

If you are planning on getting a new job, learn your worth. Business relationships have to be mutual. Before one dollar is exchanged for labor, products or services, understand what both parties are bringing to the table. There is currency and value in everything. Apply these nuggets when making employment decisions:

1.       On your resume, be sure to include your tangibles skills. Are you good at social media marketing? Many companies need an influencer to expand their brand. Your expertise in these area will impact your salary.

2.       Do your research on the company. What are their areas of needs and wants? Visit their website. Learn about the product or services they provide. Filling that gap is your employment security.

3.       Is this company is publically traded? Did their stocks go up or down? This is an indication of this company’s future. Who knows how long will company will be around before you invest.

4.       If you want to know what to ask for at the time of salary negotiation, visit or  Do this before you accept an of offer. 

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Reflections of a Jamaican Father


By Donald J. Harris

Reflections of a Jamaican Father By Donald J. Harris As a child growing up in Jamaica, I often heard it said, by my parents and family friends: “memba whe yu cum fram”. To this day, I continue to retain the deep social awareness and strong sense of identity which that grassroots Jamaican philosophy fed in me. As a father, I naturally sought to develop the same sensibility in my two daughters. Born and bred in America, Kamala was the first in line to have it planted.

Maya came two years later and had the advantage of an older sibling as mentor. It is for them to say truthfully now, not me, what if anything of value they carried from that early experience into adulthood. My one big regret is that they did not come to know very well the two most influential women in my life: “Miss Chrishy” and “Miss Iris” (as everybody called them). This is, in many ways, a story about these women and the heritage they gave us.

My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural ‘produce’ exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte). Both of my grandmothers had the strongest influence on my early upbringing (“not to exclude, of course, the influence of my dear mother” Miss Beryl” and loving father “Maas Oscar”).

 Miss Chrishy was the disciplinarian, reserved and stern in look, firm with ‘the strap’, but capable of the most endearing and genuine acts of love, affection, and care. She sparked my interest in economics and politics simply by my observing and listening to her in her daily routine. She owned and operated the popular ‘dry-goods store’ on the busy main street leading away from the famous market in the centre of Brown’s Town. Every day after school, I would go to her shop to wait for the drive home to Orange Hill after she closed the shop.

It was here that she was in her groove, while engaged in lively and sometimes intense conversation with all who came into the shop about issues of the day. Business was front and centre for her, a profession and a family tradition that she embodied and carried with purpose, commitment, pride, and dignity (next to her devotion to the church that, as she often said, her ancestor built). She never paid much attention to the business of the farm at Orange Hill. Her sons took care of that side of the family business.

Her constant focus was on issues that affected her business of buying and selling imported ‘dry goods’ as well as the cost of living, issues that required understanding and keeping up with the news – a task which she pursued with gusto. She was also fully in charge of ‘domestic affairs’ in our home and, of course, had raised eight children of her own at an earlier age. There was a daily diet of politics as well. She was a great admirer of ‘Busta’ (Sir William Alexander Bustamante, then Chief Minister in the colonial government and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

She claimed, with conviction and pride, to be a “Labourite” (as members of the JLP were called) and for the interesting reason that, as she argued, “labour is at the heart of everything in life”. Little did I know then, what I learned later in studying economics, that my grandmother was espousing her independently discovered version of a Labour Theory of Value! Her philanthropic side shone through every Easter and Christmas when she had my sister Enid and me package bun and cheese (a favourite Jamaican Easter fare) and other goodies in little boxes that we carried and delivered to families living in the area around our home. She died in 1951 at the age of 70.

Her departure left me, then only fourteen, with a deep sense of sadness and loss. Miss Iris, mother of eight children too, was the sweetest and gentlest person one could meet, but underneath it was a tough farming woman who ran the cane farm at Thatch Walk (near Aenon Town) jointly owned with her husband “Mr Christie”. She was always ready to go to church on Sunday to preach and teach about the “Revelations” she saw approaching the world at that time (during and after World War II) in accord with the Bible. I spent summers with her, roaming around the cane field, fascinated by the mechanical operation of cane ‘juicing’ by the old method (a wooden pole extended out from the grinding machine and tied to a mule walking round and round to grind the cane), and eager to drink a cup of the juice caught directly from the juice flowing into the vat to be boiled and crystallized as ‘raw sugar’.

No Coke or Pepsi could beat the taste of that fresh cane juice! It was a joy and a learning experience for me to hang out with the workers on the cane farm, see them wield a ‘cutlass’ (the machete) with such flourish and finesse, listen to their stories of exploits (some too x-rated for me to repeat), and sit with them as they prepared their meal by putting everything in one big ‘Dutch’ pot, cooking it over an open fire in the field and serving it out on a big banana leaf for all of us to eat sitting there. Looking back now I can say, with certainty and all due credit to Miss Iris, that it was this early intimate exposure to operation of the sugar industry at the local level of small-scale production with family labour and free wage-labour, coupled with my growing curiosity about how these things came to be, that led me, once I started reading about the history of Jamaica, to a closer study of the sugar industry.

I came then to understand its origin as a system of global production and commerce, based on slave labour, with Jamaica as a key component of that system from its very start. Miss Iris died in 1981 at the grand old age of 93 and I grieved over the loss of someone so dear and close to me. She is shown here in photo (taken by me in 1966), just back from church, proudly holding in her lap little Kamala, and confident in her firm prediction even then of the future achievements of her great-granddaughter (after giving her ‘blessings’ by making a cross with her finger on the child’s forehead)

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