My Blog

May. 26, 2017
If you live in Barbados and you haven't heard about the "melange" a trois going on with regard to Nikita, Shaft and DeeVine when it comes to a specific 'shared' song, that's okay. This article is not necessarily about the music and the copyright - or even ethical - issues surrounding it. This article is about lessons that can be learnt from the ongoing experience that has been perceived thus far as a negative one.
 
To provide a quick background for those who have no clue about the situation: Shaft (an exceptionally talented songwriter) penned a song which was sold to DeeVine and titled by her as "We De Same". Fast forward to this year, where Nikita has released "Same Way". Well, it seems to be the same song. (If the irony of the song titles hasn't reached you yet, pinch yourself).
 
Let's look at Lesson One..
 
Shaft's official statement was, in part, "Shaft did not remember DeeVine had done the song before...." This is lesson number one for entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs work on tight budgets; at least at the beginning of their journeys. There are some expenditures that are seen as "costs" and not "investments" and therefore can be avoided. Administration and organisation should not be one of those avoidances. Yes, entrepreneurs are self-empowered, walking super heroes, but no one person can do everything. And, when an enterprise begins to grow, the paperwork and back-end filing and record-keeping that follows grows with it. Therefore, to "forget" is human, but is certainly not seen as professional. (This is a bit of a non-sequitur, as all professionals are humans, but you understand, right?!?) Keep records diligently. Invest in software or a great personal assistant.
 
Lesson Two
 
All three artistes immediately came forward, expressing their views on the issue. Even COSCAP commented, which left little room to dispute that Shaft had broken no law. Communication with your audience is extremely important. There should be no doubt left in the mind of your audience when it comes to your stance - whether your "audience" is your business partner, multi-million dollar client or even your family. Where you stand on an issue with regard to your business should be clear and concise. While Shaft chose the way of the official statement, Nikita's management spoke on her behalf in the first instance and this was followed by her heartfelt, personal comments. DeeVine also made her position clear. Communication, communication, communication.
 
While this issue may be one of many for Crop Over 2017 (or it may be the only issue, who can tell?) it is one from which we can all learn and one from which hopefully all involved can move forward with more clarity and positivity.
 
Lots of love and good vibes,
-Veoma Ali
May. 9, 2017

We all do it from time to time. Whether it's a night of partying and then a mad rush to work the next morning; or helping the children with home-work and then trying to catch up with some leftover work from the office...next thing you know, it's 2:30 in the morning and you're yet to get to bed.

And the cycle continues.

Interestingly enough, while some may pride themselves on being workaholics, overworking your mind and body could never be good for your health. Take it from me: I've seen people get ulcerated stomachs, hypertension and even heart attacks because of stressing themselves mentally. In fact, one of the fittest people I know suffered a heart attack at age 50; and it is his firm belief that a lack of rest and constant worry about his finances led to his dire situation.

I'm sure you've heard, "Work smarter." I know it can sound to some like gibberish. How can I "work smarter" if my boss is a dictator? Or, how can I "work smarter" with five children pulling me in separate ways? Or, "I don't have a personal assistant, Veoma!"

The answer is simple: plan and prioritize. You are not alone. Some of the most successful people have had to manage their time, just like you, in spite of children, studies, finances...and even in-laws!

Here are my top three tips when it comes to ensuring you don't suffer from burnout:

  1. Be selfish. This doesn't mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic. It simply means learning to say no and ensuring that you make time for yourself and stick to it.
  2. Schedule your upcoming week on Saturdays. Take about an hour and plan your time by the hour, per day, for the next week. (A simple Excel template can be created to do this)
  3. Don't be a slave to other people's schedules. Plan your meetings back to back so that no meeting is allowed to go overtime.  Check your emails at certain times throughout the day. (After all, emails are other people's demands on YOUR time)

And remember how much time can be devoured by the television and social media. As I sit here writing in a waiting room, I can see two employees of this organisation. One is excitedly playing a game on his phone and the other has been watching CNN for the past half hour.

Use your time wisely. Get some rest and have a less stressful life!

-Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma

Feb. 18, 2015
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Sales. It's a word that scares off many, whether you're making the offer or receiving it. Remember the last tele-marketer you avoided? Or that knock on the door, because you knew someone was "selling something"? What about not taking up the offer of a sales position, because you think you can't sell? Truth is, we ALL can sell. In fact, we sell from the time we catch the bus, go to an interview or even get our kids to eat their vegetables. Selling is simply the art of persuasion...[this article continues]

Jan. 21, 2015

As I perused Liberace's collection of fine furs, custom-designed shoes, magnificent costumes and even a Swarovski-covered car, I remembered his catch-phrase: "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" 

Truth is, I'm not so sure. I understand his tongue-in-cheek statement on indulgence, but with all the technology at our fingertips, too much of a good thing can be...well, too much! Take e-mail, for example. Your client emails you some requirements. You jump to it. You respond within ten minutes. Client responds immediately. You sense urgency, you respond while driving. Hold the brakes! (Pun intended) Truth is, technology can disrupt our days and even us make us less efficient. I once had a paper to write and totally forgot. Two hours before, a friend called me to ask if I had handed it in. (She'd handed in hers the day before) Of course, I was back at university and not as organised as I try to be now. So, freaking out, I asked her what I should do. I never forgot this: "Work on it like nothing else matters." I happened to complete the assignment in just over two hours and ended up getting a B+! That's no BS!

So, when I have a task at hand now, I silence my phones, and close down my inbox. I try to work as nothing else matters. Only in an emergency (or necessary bathroom break) will I move. Too much technology can be a distraction. Filter it and become more efficient! If you don't believe me on this, the next time you 'surf' - whether it be Facebook, news sites, or what have you - check the chunk of time you've spent. Multiply that by 5 working days per week, and you'll see how much time we can easily let flutter by. Because you can multi-task doesn't mean you have to!

-Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma

Aug. 6, 2014
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In 2006/2007, a merger between Nation Publishing in Barbados and the CCN Group of Companies in Trinidad and Tobago occurred. While there were naysayers (as there are in almost every organisation) and some who constantly complained about the combined power of the now OCM (One Caribbean Media) Group, I observed a fascinating culture shift, of which I was happy to be a part.

After the merger, employees were given...[this article continues]