Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trinidad: The America of The Caribbean

Ramin Ganeshram 04.20.09, 11:50 AM ET
Reprinted from

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- When I was a child visiting my father's
country of Trinidad, where progress, it was often said, was roughly
about 20 years behind the States, I could see this was true. By 1980,
we had two color television sets in our home in New York, but the small
12-inch black and white TV my father brought to his family in Chaguanas
was the only one on the block.

The cases upon cases of beer and soda he bought to stock the kitchen
when we visited were a wonder of excess to the neighbors, and our
American clothes and shoes were a source of endless fascination to the
local kids. Except for Coca Cola, Pepsi and some Nestle products, there
were few American conveniences to be had at the local supermarket,
which was little more than what would be called
a corner shop in New York.

By the 1990s, progress had leaped to being just 10 years behind the
States. My father's village had become a bustling metropolitan area in
its own right. American jeans, T-shirts and sneakers jammed shops vying
for space with locally made Panama suits and East Indian clothes. Major
American health and beauty companies peddled their locally branded
lotions and cosmetics on the shelves of the local chemist shops.
Bootlegged CDs sold on the street featuring both American pop music and
as-yet-unreleased soca and calypso tracks.

When I was there in 2005, the gap had reduced to five years. Malls had
popped up around the country, mostly featuring Trinidadian versions of
American products. "Bling" abounded: cellphones, baggy pants and thick
gold chains on young men; girls with belly shirts and cleavage, a far
cry from the socially conservative society I knew, influenced by Hindu,
Muslim and conservative Christian mores, carnival-time being the only
exception. Click Here for more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Always Have Plan B Ready When You Launch Plan A

A Technique of BIG Achievers:With your body relaxed, form a mental picture of what you want. Concentrate! Hold that picture for two minutes. Picture it so clearly that you can see yourself doing it, or being it, or having it.

by Michael Masterson

Enthusiasm is a valuable emotion, and determination is a necessary trait for success. But neither or both of these qualities will make a bad idea work. I recommend that you develop the countervailing discipline of creating a Plan B.

Over the years, I have trained myself to recognize when an idea that I thought was good was actually bad. (There are plenty of signs - but unless you are looking for them, they are easy to ignore.)

So the first step is to see the writing on the wall. And the next step is to immediately switch to another course of action before you lose a ton of money and months (or even years) of time and energy.

You'll be much better at both of these critical business-survival skills (recognizing when your ideas are not working and reacting swiftly/smartly) if you establish a bailout scheme - a Plan B - at the outset of every project.

Don't make the mistake of thinking failure won't happen to you. I can tell you stories...

For example, there was a "brilliant" idea for a record club that cost me $125,000... a "can't-fail" celebrity health newsletter that sucked up an astonishing $780,000 before I gave up on it... and a perfume business that was "absolutely sure to work" that wasted $85,000 of my (and my partners') money.

When Ted Turner was planning to launch CNN, he found that he had done such a good job of promoting the idea that his partners weren't even willing to entertain the possibility that it might fail. Since Turner knew full well the value of being prepared for failure, he kept asking the question "What if it fails?" until they finally agreed to put together a fallback plan.

CNN started off terrifically, and when it ran into financial problems seven years later, they already had a solution. In this case, it was to sell a portion of the business to cable operators. Because of Turner's early insistence on a Plan B, crisis was averted without anyone breaking a sweat.

What is the most important project you're working on right now? Do you have a Plan B... just in case?

[Ed. Note: Maybe you've got a good job. Or lots of money to invest. Or a bunch of real estate holdings. But if all your eggs are in one basket, you REALLY need a backup plan. Let ETR give you a recession-proof Plan B that can help you secure your financial future. Get the details here.

Get more of Michael's surefire strategies for getting ahead in business and in life in True Path to Profits: A Master Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Success. Find out more - including how you can get a bonus subscription to Michael's VIP newsletter, Ready Fire Aim - right here.]

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

When A Toothless Tiger Roars

Where Were They?

The sleeping tiger woke up and roared but she will soon be asleep again. This ostrich like mentality of the defenders of the rights of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago is in fact the reason for the abuses of the Constitution of T&T. Economic colonialism ensures that our legal representative toe the line or be “put out to pastures”. These abuses are not new, where was this legal body when these violations occurred when they are known internationally.

Today, an article appeared in the Trinidad Express Newspaper highlighting breaches of the principles of the Constitution as outlined by the Trinidad and Tobago Law Association. This is a body of lawyers who know that T&T citizen’s rights are being trampled on by the existing administrations. According to the Express Newspaper the Associations concerns was “provoked” by the following:

o Incidents of lockdowns of specific areas in Trinidad - citizens freedom of movement for essential services were curtailed for 6 days during the Summit of the Americas
o General detention, police brutality and “murders” There reports of Amnesty International stands as evidence.
o Abuse in the penal institutions - one measure of civilization is the treatment of inmates in their penal system
o The use of the military in police business – no investigative or police training but even the police are not properly trained so they are meeting the status quo outside of a state of emergency.
o Methods of surveillance – Cameras installed to monitor movements in specific areas are illegal because there is no legislation that support the installations.

It would appear that the intent of the article was to “remind” the government that these act were contrary to the constitution and nothing else. Truth is that all these violations have occurred and instead of these defenders of rights filing a suit or initiating some legal action they are reminding the government in a newspaper article. The citizens can now rest assured that things will change.

Taking a stand can be costly and it’s a lot cheaper to get an article published when “provoked” than to take any legal action. Hey, it’s a lot safer.

As always be well.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Real Time Story of Marketing Gone Wrong

Reprint Reports:

KFC Coupon Promo Goes Wrong

Updated: Wednesday, 06 May 2009, 3:37 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 06 May 2009, 3:02 PM EDT


(MYFOX NATIONAL) - On Tuesday Oprah Winfrey announced she was partnering with KFC to give away coupons for the fast food chain's new grilled chicken, saying she wanted to give Americans a free meal.

Apparently millions have flocked to the KFC Web site to download the coupon , which gave each person two pieces of grilled chicken, two sides and a biscuit. Coupons can be downloaded until 11:59 p.m. CDT on Wednesday.

"I'd say the response has been exactly what we expected, and we expected it to be great," KFC spokesperson Rick Maynard told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution .

But reports indicate that downloading the coupon has been more frustrating than "finger-lickin' good." New York Magazine's Grub Street blog featured users who reported technical problems. "The chicken must be like air pudding ... no calories ... since I can't print the coupon," said one. Another added, "Nice gesture since I am unemployed and a free dinner would have been nice. I could not download the coupon." reports a possible sit-in taking place at the KFC on 42nd Street in New York City. An e-mail sent to the Gothamist read as follows:

"I went over to our nearest KFC a few minutes ago...and chaos ensued. Despite the very visible grilled chicken behind the register, the manager told everyone with coupons to leave and that the promotion was over for the day. The people there are currently holding a sit-in and refusing to leave until they get their free chicken...or the cops are called. Racial epithets were being spewed, people who actually wanted to pay for chicken were facing a potential beatdown, and the manager ran from the screaming horde. Oprah, what have ye wrought?"

Gothamist says its calls to that local KFC have been met with busy signals.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Tiger Woods Has Won

That’s not news.

Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people's criticisms, carry out your plan. -Paul Meyer


Of course, I have a coach too. I have known Shalini Verma for at least 2 years now. She is my coach in New Delhi India and has my utmost respect as a mentor. She never tells me what to do, her greatest skill is in getting me to articulate options so that I can make an intelligent decision. Issues in my life and business are discussed and evaluated before I act. It has helped me avoid a number of potentially negative situations in my life.

She is a Success Coach with a high degree of non-judgmental empathy, her favorite saying is that success is not a destination but a journey and she is willing to walk that journey with her clients. Her company, the Skyscrapers Academy partners with individuals/organizations to develop leaders and employees to achieve more success and satisfaction in both their personal and professional lives.

With a primary focus on leadership development, strengthening business relationships, conflict management, team building she act as a catalyst for change when performance requires a tune-up, turn-around or new focus. Like I said before she has become more than just a coach but a mentor guiding many of the decisions I have made with respect to my life and business.

She is the founder of the Skyscrapers Academy which uses the Co-Active Coaching Methodolgy to help her clients become more effective leaders and collaborators. Her intensive approach involves assessment and observation to increase self-awareness and self-understanding. This allows for behavior change, personal growth and effective performance both at the individual and team level. Check out her Relationship Blog

A member of The International Coach Federation and International Coach Academy, Australia, at present she is also serving as Onboard Coach at to assist mid-career professionals redefine success, identify their ‘unique strengths’, and create more focus, vitality, and passion in their work. She has recently attained a distinguished and coveted accreditation as a Certified Associate Coach

Success is never accomplished alone. You need a coach too. Success “is a journey” a guide always helps. Get a coach, a mentor someone you can trust. If not Shalini Verma anyone you feel comfortable with and is qualified to guide you. Do it today.

There are a couple of reasons I have maintained my coaching relationship with Shalini Verma. First, in my opinion she is eminently qualified but more important is the trust I have built up over this short space of time. Secondly, she was willing to work out an exceptional deal for me and offer her professional coaching at a faction of what I would pay for a face to face coach.

I would recommend Shalini Verma to anyone looking to take themselves to the next level of personal success and professional development. Her first session is always free and you will never have to pay phone charges to India.

Thank you for reading.

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T&T Tobacco Companies Blantantly Ignore Tobacco Laws

Did You Know That Single Cigarette Should Only Be Sold In Wrappers Labeled: "SMOKING IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH" In...