'There is life beyond this valley'Monday, March 08, 2021
“There is life beyond this valley,” declared Michael Lee-Chin during a recent interview on a Canadian television station. He noted that “crisis equals danger plus opportunity” and stressed the importance of long-term planning. He said that, because he had done this for his businesses, there was no need to change their strategy, even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. “Stay in your lane and stay in your long-term plan,” he advised.
For those who did not have such a plan, now is the time to get one done, and they may find Lee-Chin's “five rules for wealth creation” useful. These are:
1) own a few high-quality businesses;
2) understand them well;
3) ensure they are in strong, long-term growth industries;
4) use other people's money prudently;
5) hold the businesses inter-generationally.
He said that, as a Baby Boomer, he went into the investment business when he saw this large cohort of the population looking to retirement planning. Now, Baby Boomers are ageing and health care is looming large on his radar, particularly, the sub-trend, cancer. He is therefore investing in peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), described as “molecular targeted therapies [which] use drugs or other substances to identify and attack cancer cells while reducing harm to healthy tissue”.
To entrepreneurial aspirants Lee-Chin says one should ask oneself: “How am I making sure my businesses are relevant?” He says they should look at differentiating themselves, be in a constant reputation-building mode, and focus on making sure they are solving customers' issues. This is the practice of successful businesses — reading the market, gathering the data, making the plan, executing, and preserving your competitive advantage.
Job seekers should know that there are many willing executives who will spare the time to help you navigate your way forward. If you don't ask, you won't know! With the avalanche of COVID-19 concerns and arguments we can lose focus on that all important long-term planning for family, career, business, and community. If we do not focus, we can become drained and immobilised. We must guard our mental health, make the effort to celebrate family milestones virtually and lift the spirits of our friends and colleagues. Let us power out of this valley.
Jamaica's Ambassador to the US Audrey Marks has initiated a monthly 'Jamaica Connect' conversation with members of the Jamaican Diaspora and the response was so great that some visitors on Zoom had to be redirected to the Facebook Live link. Marks briefed attendees on the new protocols for those planning to visit Jamaica and fielded questions. Participants wanted to see more education in Jamaican heritage, were concerned about the well-being of our children here, and expressed their willingness to contribute to their education. We felt their deep love for their homeland.
There are still untapped opportunities which we need to further explore. Ambassador Marks, herself a successful entrepreneur, will no doubt be promoting this. There is strength in numbers.
While we valiantly try to build our country, we see the troubling challenge of indiscipline. We were appalled by the news reports on the so-called apostle, who shouted at the police when they tried to shut down a service at her church attended by well over the 10 people allowed with not a mask in sight. It is disturbing that someone who should be setting a good example to her flock was, instead, defying law enforcement officers who had no choice but to charge her.
In downtown Kingston, the police had to shut down a wake at a funeral parlour. And, we saw a video of a taxi driver attacking a police officer in May Pen, Clarendon. The police showed great restraint in the circumstances, and we have to commend them on the patience that some of us pray to have.
This indiscipline and the swagger of gangsters can lead to another brain drain, one which could undermine the best efforts of our entrepreneurs. The best minds must come together and act to take Jamaica out of this danger zone.
The complaints are coming in thick and fast as our health system is buckling under the COVID-19 spike. Health workers are stressed and hospital beds are in short supply. We are rocked by the tragic deaths of a 17-year-old asthma patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies, and a 32-year-old nurse who was a COVID-19 patient at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
Thankfully, many people who have COVID-19 are able to treat themselves at home after consulting their doctors. There are so many symptoms that can indicate COVID-19 that one should not delay in seeing a doctor. Early testing and treatment can help to prevent hospitalisation.
Farewell, Bunny Wailer
The passing of the great Bunny Wailer, born Neville O'Riley Livingston, was noted far and wide in the global media. He was Bob Marley's stepbrother, and together they endured poverty and honed their musical excellence to become, with Peter Tosh, Junior Brathwaite and Beverly Kelso (believed to be the only surviving member), the world-famous Wailers.
My husband Hubie believes Bunny Wailer was the top singer of them all. He cited his memorable compositions Cool Runnings, Ballroom Floor, and Rootsman Skanking. We learned only last week from a Jamaica Observer article quoting Marcia Griffiths, that it was Bunny Wailer who wrote Electric Boogie for her; the classic which inspired that joyful group dance Electric Slide.
His past year was a sad, including the struggle to find his wife who went missing and is yet to be found.
We give thanks that Bunny Wailer's passing is not the end of the phenomenal Wailers; their art will endure for generations to come. Our condolence to his family. May his soul rest in peace.
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