How Can Jamaican Entrepreneurs Manage Anxiety Caused by Covid-19?

Everyone, everywhere has been impacted negatively by the unannounced and unpleasant COVID-19 pandemic.

Entrepreneurs aren’t left out.The pandemic has been a huge blow to most self-owned businesses in Jamaica. The effects have been devastating in some instances and will be long lasting if strategic measures are not taken.

It’s not surprising that business owners feel overwhelmed. Worry, fear, uneasiness and apprehension are currently gripping Jamaican entrepreneurs.

Those four emotions can be summed up in one word- anxiety. If anxiety goes unchecked, it can further cripple its victims mental and emotional well-being  and lead to a mental illness.

Therefore, managing anxiety is important for sustaining a successful business in Jamaica.

The following tips will go a long way to help you manage your anxiety. Let’s dive in.

Study Your Anxiety Pattern 

The first step to solving a problem is identifying the problem itself. You can’t eliminate anxiety completely if you don’t know how it presents to you or its cycle. 

Some questions you should consider include:

  • What triggers your anxiety? Is it the news? Financial concerns? Conflicts with business partners or relatives? Negative thinking?
  • When do you get really nervous? Is it during the day or at night? Is it when you are alone or with others?
  • Who makes you anxious?
  • What relieves you? What makes you feel better? 

The answers to these questions will help you on your recovery path.

Take Deep Breaths 

Remember those times when you had to stand in front of a crowd to give a speech and suddenly you felt your palms draining with sweat and your heart beat so fast?

Suddenly, you took a deep breath and found the release you needed to give the speech.

Deep breathing exercises can help you deal with anxiety. they won’t cure it but they can help you calm down so that you can think clearly. Healthline outlines eight deep breathing exercises in this article. Try them to determine the one that works best for you. 

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself 

You probably had a lot of resolutions at the beginning of the year, targets to be met and lots of ideas mapped out in your mind . COVID -19 nipped those plans in the bud. Remember you can’t always control everything, but you can control how you react to every given situation.

Don’t get worked up over situations that are out of your reach or beyond your control. It’s time to refocus and restrategise. You may even want to look more closely at personal branding. This article provides some great tips for developing a strong personal brand that can propel both you and your business into a brighter future.

Face Your Fears

Fear feeds anxiety. Therefore, a big part of overcoming anxiety is overcoming your fears. Here are some questions you can ask to assist you in the process:

  • What are you really scared of? 
  • What will be the most devastating thing that could happen to you and your business during this period?
  • Is it life threatening? 
  • How do you avert it? Is there a solution?
  • Are your fears real or just a figment of your imagination?

For instance, if you’re scared that you’ll lose your customers because of the pandemic, you can transition to selling online and expanding your audience. 

Stay Positive, Stay Optimistic 

‘’This too shall pass’’ should be your daily reminder and slogan.

Remember how you started out and scaled through in the midst of diverse challenges you encountered.

Remember the times you almost gave up, but chose to press forward.

Remember how they said ‘’no one has ever done this in Jamaica ‘’and, in a twinkle of an eye, you changed history.

Remember your past victories and wins.

If you could pull through those times, you’ll pull through stronger this time.

Take Care Of Yourself 

It’s easy to neglect yourself when you feel worried or anxious. In contrast, there’s something magical about paying a little bit of attention to yourself. You feel renewed.

You have to be intentional about taking care of yourself. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself.

  • Pamper yourself. 
  • Take time to mediate, listen to your favourite songs, watch inspirational videos and shows. 
  • Get a massage.
  • Eat healthy. 
  • Drink lots of water, veggies and fruits.
  • Avoid alcohol,caffeine and tobacco smoking.
  • Exercise. 
  • Go for a walk.
  • Stretch your muscles.
  • Have body goals and work towards them without putting undue pressure on yourself.
  • Switch off your phone at certain times of the day to reduce distractions.
  • Rest and sleep.

Do Something Different 

A quick way to shift focus from your fears and worries is to engage yourself in creative activities. A dance class, swimming lesson,cooking session, writing, drawing and painting can create interesting moments and memories for you. You may not be able to join face-to-face classes at the moment but you can find people on social media who offer these classes virtually. 

You can also embark on new projects. Draft up your ideas and get to work!

Your energy should be exhausted on your new adventures rather than your worries.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones 

A good laugh over a cup of wine surely does the heart a good merry. Use the down-time caused by this pandemic to talk about the good ol’ times, watch a movie together and play games.

Offer a Helping Hand 

There are people who need you in your physical and online communities. Be a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a friend and mentor.

You may even be able to help other business owners by sharing your experience starting a business in Jamaica. Connect with other Jamaican entrepreneurs online. Success Lifestyle Magazine is a good place to start. Follow us on social media by clicking the button below and register for one of our upcoming virtual networking sessions.

You will feel good, refreshed and uplifted when you help others.

Seek Help

If you feel you’re out of control or you’re experiencing severe anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a physician, psychiatrist or therapist. This is necessary because you will better understand your condition from a professional’s perspective and regular follow-ups visits help monitor your health status.

Additionally, your anxiety may be at a level where you need to take medication. A physician or psychiatrist can give you a prescription. They can also give you appropriate strategies for handling your anxiety when it resurfaces.  

Final Words

Fear is a natural part of life because we live in a world that keeps changing; nothing is predictable. It’s important to equip yourself with the right knowledge to handle the challenges that may arise.  

The tips presented in this article will help you handle anxiety when it starts to creep in.  COVID-19 won’t last forever, but you’re bound to face some type of situation that brings anxiety. Look back at these tips and apply them. 

Use these tips to help you as an entrepreneur maintain emotional stability,  mental stability and resilience as you create, sustain and work towards a thriving business in Jamaica.

5 Questions to Ask When Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media is often a sore point for some small businesses. It sometimes seems like you can’t get the results you crave despite your best efforts.

Some of the brands you follow have thousands of followers and you’ve barely scraped past the 300 followers mark. You’re a one-person show so it’s not surprising that you’re tired of trying to juggling managing your social media profiles with everything else you need to do to keep your business in Jamaica afloat.

It’s all just too much!

I won’t even suggest hiring a social media marketing manager because you’re already pretty strapped for cash. Any social media manager you could possibly afford probably wouldn’t be worth the spend anyways.

Instead, I’ll be guiding you through five questions I’ve asked myself as I try to navigate the nuances of social media marketing. I’m in the same boat as you so I feel your pain on a deeply personal level.

However, I’ve increased Success Lifestyle Magazine’s Instagram following by approximately 60.25% over the past year and I believe this achievement has given me some insight I can share with you. It doesn’t matter that the improvement only represents an increase from 400 followers to 641 followers. My primary concern is that there has been growth amidst everything I’m trying to do to keep my business, CEM Writing Services, afloat.

So, here are the questions I’ve used to guide my social media strategy. I’ve literally sat down and had conversations with myself using these questions as a guide. (Maybe I need to go to the looney bin soon. )

What Does Your Audience Want to See?

Social media sometimes seems confusing to me. I post something I think my audience may find useful but get nothing from it. You see, I was focusing too much on what I think is important to post and less about what the audience wants to hear.

In fact, the post that got the most engagement is one I least expected. Here’s the image below.

Top post in terms of engagement.

This post received 20 likes and 22 comments. I’ve posted how to content, posts with valuable information and several other things I thought my audience would find helpful. Yet, this was the most popular post.

I tried a similar post the day after father’s day but it didn’t work out the way I had hoped. My guess is that the image and call-to-action were effective enough to grab the attention of the people who commented and liked the post.

Regardless, the point I’m trying to make is that you should pay attention to your insights and use them to better understand what your audience wants to hear. All social media platforms have an Insights section.

Instagram is my primary social media platform. Therefore, I’m providing you with the steps to access your insights on that social media platform. However, the steps tend to be roughly the same on any social media platform you use.

Get Insights Per Post

  1. Click the post.
  2. Click “View Insights”.
  3. Scroll up to view details about likes, comments, shares, saves, interactions and discovery.

Get Insights For Your Entire Profile

  1. Click on your profile.
  2. Click the three horizontal lines at the top right-hand corner.
  3. Click “Insights”.
  4. View the “Content”, “Activity” and “Audience” tabs.
  5. For “Content” click “See All” and then use the filters to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Bear in mind, however, that focusing exclusively on what the insights are telling me isn’t enough. all my posts can’t be about tagging someone right? This leads me to my next question.

What Strategies Can You Use to Get Your Audience’s Attention?

I then started to think about how I could reach more people, and engage my existing followers, with value-added content. That’s when a light bulb went off in my head. Why not create a series of virtual networking sessions?

You see, I had noticed a problem. People who own a business in Jamaica are not actively engaged in networking opportunities where they can meet other Jamaican entrepreneurs. They also aren’t putting themselves out there enough to get the knowledge they need to increase the chances of business success. These virtual networking sessions would help solve the problem.

The sessions would also allow me to direct more people to the magazine’s Instagram and Facebook pages through paid social media advertisements. There’s also another benefit that I’ll probably discuss in another article but let me not digress.

Only one session has been held so far and the other will be held this Friday. Guess what? It worked! What has warmed my heart even more though is the fact that the first session truly helped those who attended. I hate doing things that don’t add value to people’s lives.

Therefore, I was elated when I read the feedback. Participants said they learnt a lot and were able to tell more people about their businesses. I’m sure the upcoming session will be even better!

It’s important for you to look for ways to add value to your audience. Some strategies you can use to get your audience’s attention include:

  1. Hosting live videos where you interview industry experts or people on your team who can provide valuable insights.
  2. Showing behind-the-scenes videos.
  3. Getting endorsements from influencers.

You should attend Friday’s virtual networking session. It’s going to be great!

How Can I Get Direct Feedback From My Audience?

It doesn’t hurt to ask your audience exactly what they want to hear. Their feedback can hep you better plan your content strategy.

A few months ago, I asked my audience what they want to learn from Jamaican entrepreneurs. One person commented and my team and I used her feedback to guide the content for our upcoming magazine issue. I also think that her comment has been directing some of the topics I’ve come up with for the virtual networkign sessions.

So, take the time to literally create a post asking your audience for feedback. Read the comments and use them to guide the content you create for social media marketing.

How Often Should You Post?

Consistency is crucial for social media success. A dormant profile won’t do you any good.

I read this article from Foundr Magazine a few months ago and thought it was very insightful. You should read it too. Regardless, an important point I wanted to highlight that was mentioned in this article was how consistently we should post on Instagram.

The author, Nathan Chan, recommended posting once every three to four hours. I instantly knew that wasn’t going to happen because of my workload and other obligations. Therefore, I chose to create a weekly content schedule where I would post three times per day from Sunday to Friday.

Here’s what the schedule looked like.

DayPosts
Sunday3 am: Quote of the Week
12:31pm: JA Picture of the Day
7pm: Quarantine and Grow Tip of the Week/Business Success Tip of the Week
Monday3 am: Motivation Monday Quote
12:31 pm: JA Picture of the Day
7pm: Tag Someone Post
Tuesday3 am: Throwback Tuesday Magazine Issue Quote
11 am: JA Picture of the Day
7pm: Quote from Previously Featured Entrepreneur
Wednesday3am: Productivity Tip Post for Working Wednesday
11am : JA Picture of the Day
7pm:  True/False Post
Thursday3am: Business Playbook Quote
11am : JA Picture of the Day
7pm:  Blog Post of the Week
Friday3am: Friday Sneak Peek on the Work for The Next Issue
11am : JA Picture of the Day
7pm:  Question of the Week

The times were based on what I discovered about my audience from Instagram Insights.

It was a great schedule that I stuck to 100% for about two weeks. I couldn’t keep up with it because it requires a lot of planning and I just don’t have the time to make it happen. However, my follower count did increase because I stuck to the strategy for two weeks. Imagine if I had stuck to it even longer?

Try to create a posting schedule that works for you and stick to it.

What Hashtags Should I Use?

Hashtags are important for organic reach on Instagram and Twitter, less so on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags and the more you use, the better.

But, what really is a hashtag? HubSpot describes hashtags as Instagram’s sorting process. They help categorize your posts and reach your target audience. If you use the right hashtags, more people are likely to engage with your posts.

So, you have to think carefully about your target audience and the hashtags that would be relevant to them. My target is small business owners in Jamaica. Therefore, I tend to use hashtags that focus on Jamaica and small business in Jamaica. These hashtags tend to give me the best results.

Hootsuite’s hashtag guide provides some tips you can use to identify the right hashtags for your brand. You can check it out by clicking here.

Final Words

Social media marketing is one of the most difficult things I’ve done for my brand. I won’t lie to you and say that I’ve mastered. However, I began seeing results when I started asking myself the questions outlined in this article. Trust me, you’ll also start seeing results when you implement these strategies.

Follow Success Lifestyle Magazine on social media by clicking the buttons below.

5 Powerful Strategies for Creating a Great Customer Experience

Have you ever heard the phrase “the customer is always right”?

It was puzzling to me when I first heard it about 15 years ago because no one is ever right 100 percent of the time. What happens when an organization has done everything possible to make the customer happy yet the customer still complains? Is the customer always right then?

The short answer to that question is actually, “Yes!”. Here’s why.

There is a learning opportunity in every customer experience. You may feel that you’ve done no wrong but your customer may see it differently. Are you actively listening to what you customer is saying so that you can improve his or her experience?

I experienced this first-hand recently when I ordered a product from a local brand. I believe in supporting local businesses and had been following this brand for awhile on social media. It just so happened that I began to have a need for the product being sold and I decided to place an order.

Here’s how the conversation went when I placed the order via Instagram.

“Hi. I would like to order one of your [name of item removed for confidentiality purposes]. What’s the cost?”

“Hello. Good afternoon. Thank you for contacting [name of company removed]. Please see cost below.”

An image outlining the costs is shared. The two options presented are for plain colors only or plain colors with a pattern.

“Thank you. How do I order a [name of product]?”

“We are an online store operating from Kingston. We have the following delivery options.”

An image showing the delivery options is sent. I choose my preferred delivery option.

“Can you tell me the two colors of your choice please?”

I send the colors and we have a discussion to narrow down the specific color I’m seeking.

“Please send me the name and number for the person collecting. Payment Option: Transfer to Bank Account.”

I provide the requested details.

“How soon will [name of product] be ready?”

“Will be ready by Tuesday.”

-End of conversation.-

Continue reading “5 Powerful Strategies for Creating a Great Customer Experience”

5 Money Management Tips for an Online Freelancer

Online freelancing is one of the best ways to use your skills to make money online. In fact, freelancing contributed $1 trillion to the US economy in 2019.

There aren’t any statistics on how online freelancers have contributed to Jamaica’s economy. However, I believe the impact freelancing has on the US economy can be replicated in Jamaica if more Jamaican online freelancers understand how to successfully win clients and manage their money.

It’s important to view online freelancing as a business rather than a side gig. Developing this business mindset can help you see opportunities to branch off into other ways to make money online, such as e-commerce and online course creation, so that you aren’t limited to trying your best to win jobs and pinch your pennies.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote the book “The Business Playbook: A Guide for Jamaican Startups”. I want you to view your online freelancing career as a way to create a successful business in Jamaica that can stand the test of time. You can get your copy here.

I’ve been an online freelancer for about seven years. In September 2019, I quit my full-time job to pursue online freelancing full-time. I know that I am not where I need to be financially but I am earning (on average) 1,000 USD in my best months.

Here are some of the top money management tips I have learnt since transitioning into online freelancing fulltime.

There Is No Perfect Schedule for Withdrawing Funds

I am an UpWork freelancer. Therefore, my monthly income is heavily dependent on when my clients decide to release the funds for each project I complete. I attempted to wait until the 25th of each month to withdraw funds for two reasons:

  • my car payments are due on the 27th of each month
  • I wanted to give the money a chance to accumulate

However, I have found that this strategy hasn’t really been working well for me. Costs pop up throughout the month that result in me breaking the schedule and withdrawing funds prematurely. Therefore, I’ve opted to withdraw funds on twice per month instead.

I recommend finding a schedule that works best for you. However, it shouldn’t be a schedule where you withdraw funds as soon as they become available to you so that you can cover immediate expenses. Plan your schedule and your payments in such a way that you give the funds a chance to accumulate.

Set Aside 20% of Whatever You Earn

Anyone serious about managing personal finances will tell you that you should at least save 20 percent of whatever you earn. Maintaining this discipline is important for you as an online freelancer.

Sure, you probably aren’t earning a lot of money as an online freelancer. You’ve got bills to pay and a family you need to provide for. Heck, I have car payments and a tuition of roughly 1,500 USD to pay each semester. I also try my best to help around the house financially.

Nevertheless, saving is important. It doesn’t matter if that 20 percent amounts to 20 USD. Save it! These savings add up over time.

Invest In Online Growth Opportunities

You won’t be an online freelancer forever. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt over the past nine months of doing online freelancing full-time is that this career is not sustainable in the long-term.

I have financial goals and a vision for my future. Therefore, the only way that I can make this online career work is if I invest in more than just online freelancing.

The money that I am saving from the 20 percent of whatever I earn will go beyond paying my car insurance and taxes. I intend to find a way to use it to set up a viable way to earn passive income online.

I haven’t hit the nail on the head yet, but I will someday soon. Some options I am considering are:

  • online course creation
  • ecommerce

What online growth opportunities have you been considering for your brand? Let me know in the comments below.

Create a Monthly Budget

I find monthly budgeting one of the most difficult things to do, especially when I am so uncertain about what my income will be each month. However, I know that monthly budgeting is something I need to practice if I want to get a better grip on my finances and have all the data I need to file my annual taxes.

Here are some things I’ve been doing to get my monthly budget off the ground:

  • Keep all my receipts
  • Log my income at the end of each week
  • Create a rough draft of my income and expenses at the end of each month
  • Use the figures from the previous month to make projections for the upcoming month
  • Set an income target for the next month based on the figures from the previous month

I haven’t gotten this perfect yet. To be honest, I’ve been very inconsistent. However, I plan to take monthly budgeting more seriously so that I can set realistic income goals based on actual data. Check out these 10 tips for managing small business finances to download a free copy of the spreadsheet I use for monthly budgeting.

Create a Business Account to Separate Your Personal and Online Income

You may disagree with me but I find immense value in creating a business bank account for my online work. This account helps me keep my online income separate from any other personal money I may have. It also helps me keep tabs on what my business is actually earning and how well it’s doing.

Setting up a business account does require business registration. However, the benefits of business registration outweigh the costs. Here are some benefits I have experienced:

  • Building a financial reputation that increases the likelihood of future funding opportunities
  • Showing that I am earning income despite leaving my full-time job
  • Continuous payment of NIS contributions so that I have something for retirement
  • A financial track record that makes me eligible for loans in the future without the hassle of having to prove source of income

The paper trail you create will benefit your online business in the long-term despite the taxes and bank fees that you may have to pay.

Final Thoughts

Treat your online freelancing career like a small business rather than a gig. You aren’t earning a little money to help you survive. Instead, you’re earning money that you can use to increase your online growth opportunities and earn even more money. The five tips outlined in this article can help you better manage whatever you earn as an online freelancer.

Let me know your thoughts by completing writing a comment below. Aso, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @successlifestylemagazine and on Facebook (Success Lifestyle Magazine). Click the social media buttons below to be directed to our pages.

Cheers to your success!

Teaching What You Know: Growing Your Business in Jamaica


You were blessed with a special talent.

Something that only you can do in exact way that you do.

Too often we downplay our gifts because we feel that there are already so many other people out there who have the same talent and use it well.

Throw those excuses through the window! Leave them at the door!

It’s time for you to share your talent with the world by teaching what you know.

I believe our outcome in life is determined by what we choose to do with our talents. Teaching is one way that you can give back to the world by helping others become as skilled as you or even better.

Why would you want to help people be better than you?

You earn money doing it and you’re able to create your own little tribe – something that becomes particularly useful later on as you try to build your business.

Entrepreneurs who play to their strengths and innate gifts are on the right path to creating profitable ventures. If you want to start a business in Jamaica, you need to understand your strengths and how you can use them to earn extra cash.


I have previously discussed how you can use your creative talents to earn extra cash. If you are already an entrepreneur, a ‘creative entrepreneur’ or just tapping into your creative side, I’m here to introduce you to yet another path to cash in on your existing enterprise or creative talent. You can earn extra cash by teaching what you already know.

We are sailing in uncharted waters and the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many
entrepreneurs to retract and reinvent. The demand for your products may have decreased but more people have been forced to stay at home. Some are using this time to learn something new. Therefore, it’s not surprising that “the elearning industry is expected to triple in size from 2020 to 2025.”

Here’s an example of how to successfully teach online from one of our own featured entrepreneurs. Phillip Taylor, a graphic designer featured in Issue 3 of Success Lifestyle Magazine, spent time learning how to use open source graphic design tools. Other designers began to approach him for help. That’s when the light bulb went off in his head. He began creating tutorials to instruct others in using these tools. By teaching others what he already knew, Philip found a new way to earn from his existing skills.

Here are two online teaching options that you can pursue to share your knowledge.

2 Ways to Start An Online Teaching Business In Jamaica

man in white crew neck t-shirt sitting on black office rolling chair
Image Source: ConvertKit on Unsplash

Create an online course


There are many learning platforms where you can create and host a course that eager students can pay to participate in. We discussed SkillShare as a viable online teaching platform for creatives in this blog article. Other options include:

  • Udemy
  • Thinkific
  • Teachable
  • Podia

The platform you choose ultimately depends on your goals and the level of flexibility you desire. Do your research to find the platform that works best for you.

You may just think it’s a silly idea but the best of the best in their respective fields do teach online courses. MasterClass is a platform that hosts true masters in their respective fields. It provides video lessons to subscribers willing to pay for lessons from moguls such as Gordon Ramsey, Anna Wintour and Spike Lee.


Start a YouTube Channel


A YouTube channel is a good place to teach others what you know in the form of tutorial
videos. I can attest to the fact that the first place I go to learn anything these days is
YouTube. I know because I passed undergrad chemistry thanks to the dozens of lessons I binge watched before my exams.

It may take a while to build a subscriber base that can earn a significant amount of cash. YouTube requires a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch minutes within a year before you’re eligible to earn.

However, YouTube has another benefit that goes beyond getting paid through YouTube advertising – it gives your brand exposure. If your tutorials are fun, engaging and appeal to significant portion of the population, you may just find a few new clients. Phillip experienced this benefit and you can too.

Face-To Face Teaching Still Matters

woman sitting near girl while holding her hands
Image Source: Alexandr Podvanly

We will not be quarantined forever and the reality is that face-to-face instruction is still important, especially in Jamaica where internet access isn’t ubiquitous.


Start a learning centre/institute


School teachers already know how to make extra cash via this method by renting a physical space and catering to hundreds of students preparing for various exams.


As more parents seek to enrich the lives of their kids, unconventional classes that may teach a skill or creative art will have appeal. Institutes or learning centres can also cater to adults looking to learn something new. It could be the essentials of personal branding or even learning to bake; there is a portion of the population who genuinely prefers face to face instruction.


Instruct on the go


Government and private sector organizations are sometimes required to have training seminars as professional development opportunities for employees. Your unique skill or area of expertise may make for an interesting professional development seminar. You can definitely make some extra cash here marketing yourself as a trainer in your field.

2 Things You Should Do To Succeed

man standing near high-rise building
Image Source: Bruce Mars

These are two important considerations that you should pay attention to as you try to make money teaching online or face-to-face.

Develop your instructional skills


You may be quite knowledgeable in a particular area but may not know how to instruct another. This is why developing instructional skills are important if you want to earn by teaching what you know.

Phillip used his background as an educator to create engaging tutorials to guide other graphic designers. You may not have this background in education. Don’t let that stop you! You can learn to teach in just the same way you would like others to learn from you. There are numerous courses, tutorials and books that can help you learn to create content for instructing others.


Build your brand


The concept of personal branding is on the rise and in order to build a successful enterprise you must ensure that your potential clients know exactly what you are about. Social media platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube are just a few avenues you can use to promote your personal brand as an instructor or tutor.


If you are new to the concept of personal branding, don’t you worry. We’ve got your back!

Check out our blog post on developing your personal brand to get you started on your personal branding journey.

Teach Others What You Know


If Covid-19 taught us anything it’s that the more skills and knowledge you acquire, the more prepared you will be to navigate this world of uncertainties. As more individuals learn this hard lesson, keen entrepreneurs should be on the lookout for potential students yearning to learn.

Follow us at Success Lifestyle Magazine to get more business ideas and tips for helping your business succeed.

May 2020 Book Review : Taking the Work Out of Networking by Karen Wickre

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Can I share a secret with you?

I have been struggling.

As a strong introvert, I find great comfort in hiding behind my laptop and leveraging social media for networking opportunities. In-person interactions often feel clumsy and forced to me. Couple that with the fact that my online networking efforts haven’t been particularly fruitful and my networking anxiety worsens.

Karen Wicker wrote this networking book specifically for people like me – introverts struggling to create meaningful networking opportunities. She delivered exactly what I needed.

Her journalism experience was evident because the content was well-written, engaging and replete with anecdotal references. Here are some nuggets of truth from this amazing book.

Organic Networking Yields Results

Wickre defines organic networking as an instinctive form on networking, actions you take even when you don’t need anything. Too often, networking is viewed as a transaction where we try to extract as much value as possible from the people we meet.

Introverts, she argues, tend to be better at creating organic connections because of how we choose to engage with the world.

Introverts are often:

  • Good listeners
  • Keen observers
  • Imbued with curiosity

These skills help us to genuinely look for ways to add value to our connections, a skill that is crucial in effective networking.

Quality Trumps Quantity

It isn’t important to have a large number of contacts. The quality of the connections matters more. You want to find “the human connections that inspire great and authentic conversations, which in turn inspire great referrals.”

Express Gratitude

I had never truly given this point much thought until I read this book. What do you do after someone in your network helps you make a connection?

I always say, “Thank you” but I have never really informed them about how your process unfolds. It shouldn’t be a case of you getting what you want, saying a quick “Thank you”, and moving on. Instead, a brief update and expression of gratitude (such as a thoughtful gift) is appreciated.

Weak Ties Are Your Secret Weapon

Wickre cited Mark Granovetter’s research when discussing the concept of weak ties. Granovetter defines weak ties as “the connections between people that are less direct, less obvious or less robust [because these people] are more likely to move in circles different from our own.”

There is immense value in these people – people you meet at conferences or through other chance encounters. The key is to keep loosely in touch with them so that you keep that connection alive. Get Wickre’s book to find out how.

Bonus Tips

This book essentially has three sections: connecting, online networking and mastering real world networking. I got the greatest value from the first section. However, there was a wealth of information in the the other sections that I believe you can benefit from. Let me know what you learn from those sections when you read them!

A Great Read For Those Struggling With Networking

Networking is crucial for personal branding and business development. The sooner you master it, the more likely it is that you’ll have interesting opportunities coming your way. Add this valuable resource to your bookshelf so that you can become a networking pro!

Check out our latest blog posts.

How I Earn (On Average) $1,000 Monthly As An Online Freelancer

You may have read the heading for this blog article and laughed.

A thousand dollars per month is nothing when you could probably earn close to $4,000 monthly selling products online.

But, you see the truth is that some people are better at selling services instead of products. I happen to be one of those people and that’s why I’m sharing my story with you today. Hopefully, you’ll benefit from this content in some way.

I fervently believe that growth comes in small steps instead of giant leaps. I have spent the past seven months transitioning into a full-time online freelancing career. When this was just my side hustle I was earning (on average) between $500 to $600 monthly. Therefore, I consider a 50% increase for something that is now my full-time job a step in the right direction.

Growth comes in small steps instead of giant leaps.

Furthermore, the reality is that it takes time, strategy and patience to start earning big bucks as an online freelancer. It wasn’t easy for me to make the decision to work from home full-time. Income is volatile and $1,000 monthly barely covers my needs.

However, I believe that it’s one of the best decisions I made for my mental health. It’s also a decision that came at a time when I have the support of those closest to me who are helping me work through the challenges.

You may be searching for a way to make money online after losing your job during this coronavirus pandemic. Online freelancing is a good place to start, even if you’re only earning approximately $1,000 monthly.

This is my story. I hope that these tips and tricks I’m about to share will help you create a successful online freelancing career. It’s time to rebrand, refocus and reignite your passion for creating an online business doing what you love.

A Strong LinkedIn Profile Matters

I only began to take LinkedIn seriously over the past seven months. This professional social media platforms has helped me connect with people around the world who are doing amazing things in their industries. For instance, I now follow Winston Henderson who hosts a content marketing podcast where he interviews some of the best in the content marketing industry. These podcasts are filled with a lot of valuable information that has helped me grow as a content marketer.

LinkedIn has also helped me find some potential clients. The more content I post about what I do, the more messages and interactions I receive that could potentially result in revenue. Here’s an example.

You can view my LinkedIn profile by clicking here.

Need help creating a strong LinkedIn profile? Check out this gig or send me a message.

Pinpointing Your Ideal Online Freelancing Client Helps

I’ve found that it’s easy to get caught in the trap of applying to every possible job imaginable because I think I could probably do it and I need the money. This approach has led to opening jobs with clients who just weren’t the right fit for me. It also led to undue stress and pressure.

My strategy has changed. I discuss my new approach in this video.

Click here for the worksheet.

Know How to Connect With a Client’s Pain Point

I have posted jobs on UpWork over the past few years and one fact has been consistently prevalent – too many freelancers don’t know how to write good proposals! There is often no indication that these freelancers understand the problem that I am facing and can explain how their skills and/or experience can solve this problem.

In this video, I share some practical tips for writing a winning UpWork proposal. These tips can also be used to help you write a winning proposal on any online freelancing platform that you use.

Set a Monthly Goal

Goal-setting has become such a routine topic that we often tune out when we hear someone discussing. It’s sort of like an “Oh no! Not again!” type of vibe. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty of proper goal setting. However, I will say this. Monthly goal setting is important for helping you stay focused on building your online freelancing client base.

I’ve pressed the “Repeat” button on my monthly online freelancing goal because I haven’t yet achieved it. My aim is to earn at least $2,000 per month using online freelancing. I’m half-way there and know that I need to increase the consistency of my content marketing efforts so that I can attract more clients. That’s my aim. What’s yours?

You Need a Website to Display Your Portfolio

A website is your brand’s online real estate.

You may not have a registered business. Instead, you may be trying to build your personal brand so that you can attract more opportunities. Regardless of your motive, you need a website that gives the right first impression.

My website showcases what I have to offer as a content writer. I attempt to guide website visitors through my sales funnel on my landing page. I also have a blog where I showcase what I know about the industry. This blog also has the potential to be a content marketing asset if I use the right keywords and blog consistently.

One of the most important features of my blog though is my portfolio. This is where clients can truly gauge my writing style and determine whether I am the best fit for them. It’s all about showcasing who I am and how I can solve a client’s problem.

Need help building a website? Complete the contact form below to schedule a free consultation.

Make Money Online Using Freelancing

Online freelancing is one of several ways to use your skills to make money online. This is what I do as my primary source of income. It’s a work in progress but, when done correctly, it has the potential to bring in a good ROI.

The best advice that I can give you as you begin your online freelancing journey is “Stick with it!”. Nothing worth having comes easily. You’ll only reap the rewards of online freelancing through consistent effort.

Cheers to your success as you make money online using freelancing!

How to Develop Your Personal Brand in 2020 and Beyond

Personal branding is trending. 

The coronavirus pandemic has given many of us an abundance of free time. Those who are wise have been using this newfound freedom to figure out what they really want to do with their lives and how they can better leverage their skills to make money.

This strategic shift forms a part of effective personal branding.

As John Hall rightly says, “Personal branding is now your résumé.”

Developing your brand requires strategy. Finding a strategy that works was usually an experimental process but, with the help of the digital age, it has become much easier.

I’ve narrowed down some top tips to help you strategically develop your personal brand. But, let’s start by first understanding the definition of personal branding.

What is Personal Branding?

Gary Henderson provides a comprehensive definition of personal branding.

Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization. Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging.

Let’s dissect this definition. Personal branding involves:

  • Marketing
  • An ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression
  • Self-packaging

These three elements guide the process of developing a sustainable personal brand.

Check out this insightful video from Caryn Foster Durham who adds some valuable insights to defining personal branding.

How Do I Define Who I Am?

Several thoughts may be flooding through your brain. You’ve probably always found it difficult to sell yourself. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re really good at and how you’d want to portray yourself to the world. 

Take a deep breath. I hear you. I feel you. I can guide you. Answer these questions.

  1. What am I passionate about?
  2. What do I enjoy doing?
  3. What skills do I have?
  4. What can I do really well with minimal effort?
  5. What value do you bring to the table?
  6. What are the values and principles that guide my life?

This article sheds some light how to write a concise personal branding statement that truly makes an impact.  

Need helping defining your personal brand statement? Send us a message and one of our team members will contact you to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

Why Is Personal Branding Important?

One phrase in Gary Henderson’s definition summarizes the importance of personal branding, “It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization.”

Therefore, I believe that personal branding is important for two general reasons. 

Marketability

Personal branding improves your attractiveness to potential employers and clients. When you develop a strong brand, people will start noticing. I’ll clue you in on some marketing secrets later in this article. Just bear in mind that personal branding makes you more attractive to money making opportunities.

Credibility

Potential clients and employers won’t have to look very far to verify whether you’re able to successfully complete a task or manage a project. If done right, you marketing will demonstrate your worth through strong portfolio samples and recommendations or reviews from former clients or employers.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Developing Your Personal Brand

  1. Portraying Something You’re Not

Your branding strategy should align with your personality so that you avoid coming off as fake or untrustworthy to your viewers and followers. People are keen to identify imposters. It’s important to be true to yourself so that people will see your authenticity.

  1. Limited Originality

People are inundated with content daily. The best way for your brand to stand out in the noise is for you to create custom content. Share fresh perspectives. Show why you’re good at what you do. Approaching content creation this way will help you become a thought leader in your industry in the long-term.  Although it’s also important to share posts from others that you think your audience will find helpful, your audience wants to appreciate your individuality.

  1. Avoiding Videos

Videos are more engaging and memorable. That’s the reality. In fact, HubSpot states that “78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day”. Furthermore, Insivia states that “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.” Videos can almost be viewed as mandatory for your personal brand. 

  1. Not Checking Stats

Feedback is critical for success. Both online and offline statistics are crucial for helping you understand how your personal brand is perceived and how you can improve. Google Analytics can help you track crucial website statistics. Additionally, each social media platform has its analytics tools that help you track the performance of each post. 

Offline statistics are also important. Use Typeform to create simple surveys for your offline clients or managers. Their feedback can help you represent your brand in the best way possible. 

  1. Doing Too Much

Burnout will happen if you try to do everything at once. Start small and then work your way up. For instance, instead of creating three professional social media profiles, focus on mastering one social media channel where you’re bound to get the most traffic.

Technology is also a blessing in disguise because there are so many apps that you can use to simplify the content creation process. Canva and Buffer are two examples of software that really helps take the pressure off.

Canva helps those with no graphic design skills create stunning social media posts, presentations, flyers, worksheets…any type of print or digital content you can think of. Buffer helps you schedule social media posts so that you aren’t consumed with social media posting throughout the week. 

The 6 Best Platforms for Promoting Your Personal Brand

Blog 

This may seem contradictory since I’ve already established that videos are more engaging and memorable. However, blogging is equally important. Search engines don’t pick up keywords from the words you say in videos. Instead, they crawl through your social media pages and blog/website to find keywords and keyword phrases that match search queries. They look for typed text. This mere fact makes blogging an essential part of your content marketing strategy. 

An active blog is a good way to start building your brand. Blog posts reveal aspects of your personality.  They also help readers get to know you better. Some tips to help you effectively blog are given below.

  • Post consistently (at least twice per week).
  • Do keyword research.
  • Hire an experienced content writer. 
  • Create value-added content.
  • Share your blog posts on your social media pages.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media platform to have if you’re serious about building your personal brand. It’s the professional social media network that functions somewhat like your online CV. 

There are several factors to consider when developing a strong LinkedIn profile:

  • The Tagline
  • The About Section
  • The Featured Content Section
  • Job Experience
  • Skills
  • Recommendations
  • Articles

You’ll probably need help to develop your LinkedIn profile the right way. Check out this Fiverr gig and invest in the help you need to stand out in this crowded professional network. 

YouTube

YouTube is the best social media platform to use for building a repertoire of video content. It may initially seem a bit intimidating to be in front of a camera sharing perspectives that you hope people will find useful. Trust me, I understand.

However, videos are essential for helping you establish a strong online presence. The trick is to consistently produce good quality videos and promote them to your audience. You don’t really need fancy equipment – a good smartphone, nice background, a lavalier microphone and good natural lighting should be sufficient. 

Special Note: While the aforementioned platforms are essentially necessities for your personal brand, the three social media platforms I’m about to describe are optional. I wouldn’t recommend using all three. Instead, focus on the platform frequently used by your target audience. 

Facebook

Chances are that you don’t want all insundry to view your private Facebook profile. Therefore, you can create a business Facebook page specifically for your personal brand.  This comprehensive step-by-step guide from Buffer explains how to create a perfect Facebook business page. I encourage you to read it because it provides some valuable insights.

Twitter

Twitter is best known for its short posting format and discoverable hashtags. Here are some short tips for effectively using Twitter to promote your personal brand:

  • Share valuable content.
  • Follow thought leaders in your industry.
  • Join Twitter groups.
  • Engage in Twitter chats.
  • Create a stand-out profile.
  • Post consistently.
  • Post fresh, unique content.
  • Retweet content that aligns with your brand’s message.
  • Use the right hashtags for your posts. 

Instagram

Instagram depends heavily on visual appeal. The best performing posts on Instagram tend to be stunning images that tell a story. They also have the right caption and hashtags. Hootsuite dives into the details about the anatomy of a top-performing Instagram post in this article

Like Twitter, hashtags increase the likelihood of your Instagram profile being discovered.If you learn how to use Instagram hashtags well, half of the battle is won. 

Check Out Jamaica’s Very Own Personal Branding Expert

Jamaica may be a tiny island, but our people make a huge impact around the world. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you come from a third-world country. You can create a strong personal brand that attracts opportunities from around the world. 

We featured CEO and Founder of Garrick Communications, Naomi Garrick, in Issue 8 of our magazine. Check out the magazine by clicking here. She also provides one-on-one personal branding consultation services that really help people find focus on how they want to portray themselves to the world. Don’t forget to check out her article in our magazine to learn more about her story. 

Developing Your Personal Brand is Important for 2020 and Beyond

Developing your personal brand helps you take control of how you want to be portrayed and also helped you portray the value you offer. Take charge of your personal brand so that you can leap into online money making success in 2020 and beyond. 

Also, don’t forget to check out this awesome Fiverr gig that’ll help you develop a powerful LinkedIn profile.

Want to keep in touch? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook using the links below.

APRIL 2020 BOOK REVIEW: THINK IT TEACH IT, SELL IT BY JULIA BARNES

My Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“Think It, Teach It, Sell It” is a practical guide for people who want to teach online. It’s a book that comes at a time when more people are searching for effective ways to make money online.

Julia is proof that teaching online works.

The only way for this book to add value to your life is if you follow Julia’s simple steps to create and publish your first online course. She makes it seem so easy!

Here are three things that I love about this book.

It’s Written By a Jamaican Author

My heart beamed with pride when I discovered that a fellow Jamaican had written a good self-help book. Julia is a bundle of energy. She is passionate about what she does and wrote this book because she genuinely wants to help people achieve online teaching success.

Check out her YouTube channel!

There Are Opportunities for Thoughtful Reflection

Online course creation is a deeply personal process. Julia doesn’t just write huge blocks of text that leave readers trying to figure out exactly how to get things done. Instead, she guides you step-by-step through making each part of the process work for you.

She asks prompting questions to make the content applicable to real life. Each question then has spaces where you can write your answers. She even takes it a step further by offering one-on-one assistance via her website.

It’s So Easy to Read!

Julia gets straight to the point. Unreservedly. No questions asked. That’s why the book is basically only about 90 pages long! You can literally complete the book in an hour.

The book is short but purposeful. The aim is to help readers clearly understand what they should do. It’s then the reader’s responsibility to make the magic happen.

What Would I Have Loved to See?

Let me put out a disclaimer; these are my preferences. Feel free to disagree once you’ve read the book.

I would have loved to have seen more depth in the chapters. They provide clear step-by-step guidance. That’s true. However, I still feel that more depth could have been provided; that secret magic is missing.

Additionally, I think a very important topic was overlooked – marketing. I don’t know if Julia plans to cover marketing an online course in a separate book. However, it would have been valuable to have even the basics here. An online course is pointless if the creator doesn’t know how to get it in front of the right people.

Finally, Julia mentions that a part of the course creation process involves asking your audience what they want to learn. Someone new to online course creation, however, may not have an audience. Therefore, Julia could have detailed how to conduct online market research when you don’t have an audience. Trust me, seeking feedback from friends, family members or even coworkers is insufficient.

A Good Read for Online Course Creation Newbies

In summary, “Think It, Teach It, Sell It” is a great starter guide for someone who wants to teach online. Julia is an online teaching expert. Her passion is evident in this book and she has made herself available for the one-on-one support that some readers will need. Kudos to her!

You can purchase your copy of “Think It, Teach It, Sell It” on Amazon by clicking here.

The Economic Benefits of Castor Oil

A few decades ago when a Jamaican heard the term castor oil, they would think of a thick, not particularly pleasant smelling oil that was famed to cure any affliction of the scalp and transform limp wispy hair into luscious locks. I remember very clearly a time in primary school when my mother was ‘gifted’ with a jar of this foul smelling gloop (at least that is what I thought of it at the time). I wondered what the olfactory range was on this thing as she would massage it into my hair daily. I watched the gloop slowly disappear from the jar each day and thought to myself ‘Mommy will soon have to buy a real hair oil!’ 

My most vivid memory from that experience though was not the fact that I was sure someone would notice that my hair smelled like burnt tires or the pasty feel of the oil to the touch. It was the first time I had witnessed for myself an ancient remedy that ‘old time people’ swore by actually work. Four weeks after using Ms Peggy’s castor oil concoction, my naturally light hair was transformed into thick tresses. I still use castor oil to this day in my hair care routine and the results are the same now as they were back then. 

The castor oil industry today is worth millions as it is hailed as a remedy for hair loss and has other applications in the cosmetic industry. Jamaica is poised to benefit from this lucrative industry as castor oil use is ingrained in our culture and the product cultivated and extracted here is touted as one of the best in the world. If you don’t believe me just Google ‘Jamaican Castor Oil’ to see what’s been said about the commodity. The sad truth however is that most of the castor oil products labelled as ‘Jamaican’ are not actually produced here in the country. 

A few entrepreneurs in Jamaica have already tapped into the market and are reaping rewards. There is so much potential for growth in the sector as castor oil has multiple uses. Castor has come a long way; from folk remedy to prised cosmetic commodity. Jamaican entrepreneurs can surely reap rewards creating a castor oil business in Jamaica. 

Success Lifestyle Magazine has been keeping tabs on the industry and featured Fitzroy Ferguson’s journey from ‘corporate to castor’ in our second issue. Ferguson used his background as a marketing manager in the cosmetics industry and access to farmlands to jump start his castor oil business in Jamaica. An entrepreneur that can produce raw materials and manufacture into finished products has a unique advantage in business. 

Ferguson indicated that most of his customers are over 35 and so there is an untapped market in the younger demographic. This can be explained by the fact that castor oil is a more traditional product and the younger consumers may not be educated on it potential benefits. His products range from minimally processed pure castor oil to mascara; the latter product designed specifically for a younger market.   

 The castor oil industry is dynamic and not only overlaps the cosmetic industry. This forms the basis of its economic appeal to potential entrepreneurs; each stage of the process from growing to the final product is able to generate viable income. Let’s look at some avenues for entrepreneurship in the castor oil industry. 

Agriculture

Castor bean plants or ‘oil nut’ (common name in rural areas) can be readily identified by their large star shaped leaves and spiky seed clusters that encase the prized seed. Castor plants are so easy to grow they often reseed and one small cluster of plants can turn into a large patch after a few years. A renewed demand for castor beans can see even small farmers tapping into the market. The plants are fast growing and can be incorporated into small farmers’ routine by growing them along the boundaries of plots to protect more vulnerable vegetable crops as wind breaks. 

Individuals with access to more land could control a larger share of the market by being able to grow more of the crop. The Ministry of Agriculture in 2019 announced that land has been allocated in Clarendon to increase the production of the crop where interested entrepreneurs could lease these lands. Cultivating castor beans can create income for both small and commercial farmers.

Processing and Manufacturing

Renewed interest in castor oil, especially the cultivation of the crop, can open avenues for specialized centres equipped to process castor seeds. Castor oil can be extracted in different ways and this depends on their specific uses. In addition to its well known use in the cosmetic industry, castor oil derivatives can be used as bio fuel blends, polymer materials, lubricants and brake fluids. Studies exist that speak to the medicinal properties of other parts of the castor plant and the husks and meal left over from manufacturing can be used as organic fertilizer.

Cosmetics

Castor oil is used mainly for cosmetic purposes globally. With government backing, entrepreneurs can create products that are truly Jamaican and prevent other countries from using and benefiting from brand ‘Jamaica’. Ownership of this unique brand will create a greater demand for castor beans as raw materials and likewise opportunities for processing into uniquely Jamaican products.

Hair Products

Castor oil is most widely known in Jamaica for its use to treat damaged hair. A batch of good ole’ castor oil is almost always recommended for hair loss, thinning edges or split ends. Castor oil demand for such restorative products has increased as modern ways of styling hair can cause some damage and hair loss overtime. A quick online search will reveal hundreds of blogs and testimonials on the magical restorative powers of castor oil.  

Interestingly though, not much scientific research exist that corroborates the claim that castor oil itself causes faster hair growth. Castor oil has anti microbial properties and can seal moisture into hair strands. These properties create a healthy environment for hair to grow. As the global demand grows more funding may be pumped into research and development of by-products castor beans.

Soap Making

Castor oil can be used in soap making. As contemporary consumers search for more natural products, homemade soap making has the potential to become a viable cottage industry. Bars with all natural ingredients, including castor oil, can be seen gracing the shelves of stores known for unique gift items. Castor oil is versatile enough to be used be used in just about any cosmetic product that requires an oil base.

The Future is in Research and Development

We have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg as it relates the economic potential of the castor oil industry in Jamaica. Local universities can blaze a trail by conducting more research on the use of the castor plant not only in cosmetics but other areas such as medicine.  Research will guide development and this in turn will attract investors to the industry. Hopeful entrepreneurs can take our knowledge from the past as they seek to forge a future creating and sustaining a castor oil business in Jamaica.