Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Running a business can be stressful. Sometimes it really gets to me - especially when things don't go my way.

Running a business can be stressful. Sometimes it really gets to me - especially when things don't go my way. 

I am really impatient so that probably drives up my stress levels. 

I can lose my temper in a second. 

I am really moody so that does not help either. Of course, if things go my way, that helps my mood. Regular supply of Earl Grey tea and chocolates and DVDs also helps. 

Running a business requires one to be skilled at human resources, management, administration, finance, marketing, bluffing, negotiating, and socialising. So suffice to say, I have had a big learning curve this year. Except for being a naturally bossy person, I had to learn the rest. 

If you want to do business, you have to be optimistic. I have to still work on that but yes, you have to think positively about your prospects, the economy, the potential, the potential in people, the potential in yourself and so on. 

I still have not fine tuned my 'Keeping my friends close and enemies even closer' technique, either. I keep doing the opposite. 

I sometimes forget to see the bigger picture. And what's the bigger picture anyway? That I have had the most fun in my LIFE running a business. It is challenging, difficult, frustrating, rewarding and so freaking COOL. I get to use all parts of my head. And, don't forget the heart. Unless your heart is not in it, it's no fun. 

What's more, if you strictly chase the money without thinking about actually building a company, a culture, a team, you will not have the pleasure and sense of achievement of having built something. So, you need a vision. 

So yes, I do get incredibly frustrated and FED UP but it is part of the fun. At the end of the day, I get to deal with all kinds of situations and circumstances which teach me about markets, prices, customer expectations, making a deal, people, dynamics and myself. 

I have a great company, a brilliant vision, a cool bunch of techies and staff, world-class clients (WORLD CLASS), and some world-class projects already under my belt. 

So here's me looking a bit more content with myself and my world which I can't wait to take

Friday, 22 October 2010

End of Rainy Season

I am kind of glad the dry season is here. The sun is out and one forgets how much more cheerful it is when it is sunny. 

The change in the season - which really only happens twice a year in Liberia given there are only two seasons - is so important to get a sense of time. 

And lastly, the kind of sunsets that are put on display during the hot and dry season simply do not compare with the wet ones. They are spectacular, unbelievable, incroyable! 

Here are a few pics during my rigorous evening walks with H:

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Let it rain, let it rain!

It rained so hard this morning we had to shout over the sound of the rain to talk to each other. A few of the staff was late. The newest fellow was so drenched that he is walking around without shoes because his shoes are completely soaked. 

But as long as I have the LEC on and a cup of tea in my cozy office, let it rain, let it rain! 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

"Is Starbuck's in Monrovia? I'm surprised."

Liberia Expats Google Group is a notice board for people looking to buy things, sell things, find information and introduce themselves to the small community of Expats that lives and works in Liberia. I myself have used to share information about NLTC, scout for potential customers and even share restaurant reviews!
Below is an amusing exchange which started from an innocent query about recycling options in Liberia.
Check it out!

"Dear All,
I’m looking for information regarding recycling in Liberia. The goal is to recycle plastics, paper, batteries, cans, DVDs and CDs. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated."

"I think there's a recycle center across the street from the Starbuck's and next to the farmer's co-op."

"Plastic and glass bottles are reused in the markets or by the factories(beer/coke); scrap metal and aluminum cans are collected, compacted and shipped abroad for recycling; car batteries are recycled here; and a thin-film plastic recycling operation should be starting up this year. Small batteries, CDs and DVDs aren't being recycled yet. Unfortunately, almost all of this is done by a variety of different actors. If you'd like detailed info on any of the sub-sectors, let me know."

"Is Starbuck's in Monrovia? I'm surprised."

"Yes but those UHT lattes just aren't the same..."

"hahahaha! ROTFL!"

"My friend Christina Shank has a small company called "Resurrection Bags", which are like "Trashy Bags" if you've ever seen or heard of them from Ghana. She uses the mineral water bags and Fan Ice bags to make bags, purses, wallets, etc. Just an option in case you have trouble locating the Starbucks and the nearby recycling plant."

"...and if you have glass that you want to recycle, the ladies at Amazing Grace, Inc. (located in a shipping container on Robertsfield Hwy. near Kendeja junction) would be overjoyed to take any glass off of your hands so that they can continue to turn discarded glass into beautiful glass beads."

"Yes, and I believe those women sell the beads at the Starbucks. Anyone in the mood for a caramel macchiatta? :)"