Seizing your independence: Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship

As Guyana prepares to celebrate its independence anniversary, many of the persons who desire to launch their own business and gain independence from employment simply do not know where to start. There is no limit on who can start a successful business: you don’t have to have money, or a degree or know somebody.
Here is advice on getting started from Guyanese of various backgrounds who have started thriving companies in various sectors, living the dream of being their own bosses:
Sean Major, of Sean Major Entertainment, Publik Wing & Burger House, and Pasta Bowl
“In anything that you set out to build, you must go through the process. You can never get to 100 until you go through 1, 2, 3 etc.”

Roland Eudoxie of Korean International Martial Arts Academy
“Education is key. Never stop trying to educate yourself…. [and] know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).”

Josephine Tapp, of scented candle company Wick’et
“Talk to your family and friends; a few persons, persons you care about deeply, will almost certainly express doubt, but take their advice and incorporate that doubt into your execution. Make sure you are prepared for what they are worried about. As I said, it’s not always that they mean to discourage. And do your thing. If you’re sure this is what you want to do, go for it.”

Marlon George of accounting and business services firm Solutions Pro
“You need to get fed-up of your current situation (whether it’s the paycheque that’s done two weeks into the month) to enable you to realise your purpose and give you lasting reason to do what you need to, to grow (into business or better employment). The most powerful capital that you need is between your ears – your brain….talk to the right people – those who are doing what you want to – ask for their advice. It is important that you do the learning for whatever you want to do so that you can do it well and set the standard. [Then], you just need to do – [execute your plan].”

Irene Bacchus-Holder of Amazon Authentics crafts
“Think carefully of what you want to do then do a feasibility study. Plan and be prepared for the hard road ahead, the sleepless nights, the failures, how to cope when that happens. Success is there, but it is a fierce battle to get there. Look around for those persons who will help. They are there. Seek them out. Then there are those who will pull you down. Be smart and recognise them for such. Maybe you cannot get rid of them, but seek ways in which you can box them out.”

Sandra Craig of SS Natural Fruit-Flavoured Barbecue Sauce
“Whatever vision you get, go for it….don’t sit down on it, go for the gold.”

Dr Rosh Khan of SocialRankMedia, Masterclass Institute, FranklinCovey Guyana
“Just start [working to a specific plan].”

Joyce Jasmin Sullivan of Buttercup Day Care, Playgroup and After School Care Service
“Starting a business is an exciting endeavour. My advice would be to ensure that you have a deep passion for your prospective business. Be positive and brave, do your research and seek a mentor.”

Samantha Sheoprashad and Narendra Nauth of Trifinity Solutions web & app design/development company
“Invest in education, and work smart and not necessarily hard. Try to build a sustainable business that will strive without your physical presence, and not a job for yourself.”

Vishnu Doerga of ActionCoach and Doerga Business Enterprise
“Take the time to see if your idea is viable, and adapt to the market (if necessary)… to what customers want…Be committed to your own success…work with all your might, obey the laws, hold yourself to a standard….”

Rosamund Benn of agro-processing start-up Pomeroon Rose
“You need to be focused; have a plan, prepare, careful planning and preparation. Don’t wake up today and say I want to do this, wake and say today I will do this and plan how you will achieve it.”

Athalyah Yisrael of Fun Park Rentals
“….if you want comfort, remain employed. If you want to take the risk and work endless hours, go do it; it’s quite challenging, but yet rewarding.”

Joshua Avinash Singh of Fit-Rex
“You have to keep getting back up [Don’t look at people. Don’t rush into things too fast]. Think you can do it. Success is not easy. It’s a lot of late nights working, a lot of background work. You need to stay with your vision and trust and believe it.”