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Yaneek Page | Why resilience is essential for starting a business in 2024

QUESTION: I really need your help. My question is, what business would you recommend for me personally as a young professional to start in 2024? I know that my No. 1 priority is making money so I can get out of this crisis. I need a comfortable living environment and to help out my mother and younger brother. Keep in mind my circumstances are currently very limited regarding start-up capital and resources. It’s me alone, and I would need to borrow some funds or find angel investors who can help.

– Reader

BUSINESSWISE: My recommendation to anyone who wants to start a business is to do so only when you are in a resilient financial, economic, psychological, and physical state. It would be best for you to assess your readiness for the rigours, risks, and stress of entrepreneurship in the context of the turmoil you have experienced and the residual effects you are still navigating.

To protect your privacy, I have omitted several personal details and experiences you shared. I empathise with you in the face of this tremendous turmoil.

On a promising note, I do have a balanced recommendation for how you can potentially increase your income and get your feet wet in business, but first, it is important to share why resilience is so important.

At the psychological level, resilience is strong mental and emotional well-being, strong personal coping strategies to navigate uncertainty, stress, adversity, and emotional hurdles

Economic resilience goes beyond personal finances, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. It is the measure of preparedness and adaptability for the current market, the cultivation of transferable skills, and awareness of economic factors and trends to position yourself to weather changing economic conditions.

Then there is physical resilience, which revolves around prioritising physical health, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, ample sleep, and stress management, ensuring your ability to ward off illness, recover swiftly, and sustain your energy and vitality.

Finally, your recent journey has compromised your personal financial resilience by destabilising your previously sound financial foundation. Your earnings are drastically reduced, and your savings and monetary cushioning have been eroded. It is a precarious state to be in because you urgently require stability in all facets I have mentioned.

You need to earn a consistent income to meet your basic day-to-day human requirements. You need minimal risk of financial loss and a space that enables healing and recovery. Full-time entrepreneurship, unfortunately, is the exact opposite of what you need at this point.

Therefore, my recommendation is for you to find a higher-paying, full-time job. A stable job with a fixed, sure income, medical and vacation leave, among other benefits, will restore some financial security and predictability and help you to quickly halt your debt accumulation and put you in a position to start digging yourself out of the mountain of past due bills and help subsidise your dependents. It is also more conducive to your recovery and mental-health resilience.

While you are in the job, you can explore a small retail side business where you can quickly sell products for a profit. This is where it is hard to beat the basics of what Jamaicans refer to as ‘buy and sell’. You are not trying to produce or create anything. You are not taking on significant risk. You are not draining yourself in overly burdensome business activity. The aim is to simply acquire goods for which there is a ready demand, at a lower cost, and resell them with an appropriate mark-up at a higher cost that will allow you to cover your expenses and earn extra income.

The advantage is that you will also be learning the fundamentals of business, customer service, management, marketing, basic bookkeeping, and so on, along the way.

Some possible options for this are drop shipping, affiliate marketing, selling hair or installing wigs on weekends, buying and selling fresh fruits to coworkers, your church family, and people in your social media network. The faster the turnover, the better off you are. Quick sales lead to greater cash flows and opportunities for faster profit earnings.

Remember, starting a business is not the same for everyone. Your reality is uniquely shaped by lived experiences, personal goals, desires, trials, and triumphs.

Success is a winding and tumultuous journey, not a destination. So don’t be discouraged by the bumps in the road because they serve to strengthen your character and empower you to consistently keep moving towards brighter horizons.

One love!

Yaneek Page is the programme lead for Market Entry USA, and a certified trainer in

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