Georgina Terry: From Passion to Profit

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With her new book “The Amazing Race to Entrepreneurial Freedom” set for release at the end of August, Georgina Terry is definitely living her passion.

Burning with a desire to help entrepreneurs, aspiring and existing, to achieve their dreams, Terry is the Director of her own company, Business and People Development Associates Limited, which coaches people and organisations in business and career development.

Originally from London, and born to a Trini mother, and a Sierra Leonean father, Terry came to Trinidad in 2001 on a work assignment, as an expat. Falling in love with the country, and her significant other, during the six years she spent here (she’d only visited twice before at the age of two and twenty-one), Terry decided to start her business in 2007, and stay in Trinidad.

Three years later, this self-described passions to profitability expert, who is also a qualified accountant, change management consultant, and owner of a mobile, spa business – The Pamper Suite Limited, has built a solid reputation, as someone who really helps you to get into the right frame of mind for business.

In “The Amazing Race to Entrepreneurial Freedom”, Terry talks about defining your purpose and vision, developing your business idea, and transitioning from an employee to an entrepreneur. Everyone is “the CEO of Me Limited”, she says. Here’s her advice on making that step from employee to entrepreneur, and channelling your passion into profits.

 

O: Who is Georgina Terry? I’m curious to hear about your family, where you live now, have lived in the past, the whole lot!

GT: Who am I? I am a loving, reflective, funny, shy, passionate, visionary, powerful, ambitious, determined, crazy, sometimes fearless, warm, loveable, social, giving, spiritual and inspirational person. Years ago, I would have answered an accountant, a sister, a daughter, businesswoman, consultant, coach etc, but these are what I do, not who I am! So many of us can’t/ don’t make that distinction. We make what we do part of our identity and then when change occurs and that piece of ‘us’ is no longer there, that is a husband/wife gets divorced, for a mother/ father the kids leave home or an employee loses his or her job, we feel lost and don’t know who we are any more.

I believe this all starts when we are kids, when we are asked, “What will you be when you grow up”, and the answer expected is about the external role, rather than the internal – self. I am the eldest of four siblings and we were brought up to believe that we could do and have anything we wanted in this life – the only limitation would be in our minds. So with this ‘gift’ – I really believe our parents gave us an amazing gift, because we really believed what they said and it worked and works for us.

Only in my twenties, did I find out that not everyone knew that their only limitation was in their minds. So my business allows me to help people know this, believe this and help them make their dreams become reality, so they can have the lives they deserve and desire.

 

O: How would you describe what you do?

GT: I will share with you what two people have described what I do. I am a carbon extractor. According to Wikipedia, “carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a piece of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, utilizing chemical adsorption”. When people ask me to work with them, I help them to release their toxins (e.g. limiting beliefs, fears, ‘bad’ behaviours, disempowering thoughts etc), which helps to purify their thoughts, which allows room for new perspectives, new behaviours, review and understanding of values, inspired actions, clarity of vision and purpose, and the unleashing of passion! Or alternatively, I stir up greatness in people to help them turn their passions into profits.

 

O: You tell others every day to live their passion, but how did it happen for you?

bookcoverGT: As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in helping others achieve their career ambitions. Even when I was a Financial Controller at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I had a team of 22 people, and I really took the time to understand their career desires and then helped members of the team to achieve them.

I remember when one of my team members told me in an appraisal review, that she wanted to become a manager. She had been in the firm for 20 years, but had not been promoted above supervisor. I asked her how much she wanted it and agreed to work with her, to make this a reality. It took about a year. I remember when I got the approval for her promotion; I gave her the letter and said, “Aren’t you going to open it now?” She said, “No. I want to open this with my son”.

She had tears in her eyes, which made me become tearful too and at that point I realized how much this meant to her, her life and her son’s. That was the moment it started, but I did not realize it at that time.

When I moved in the consulting world in 2001, I worked for a company whose business model combined consulting and coaching. This is when I found out, that what I enjoyed doing and what came naturally, actually had a name and was a profession! It also combined my two professions, developing and achieving tangible business results.

But the real aha moment came when I was reading “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. It was the seventh spiritual law  – ‘The law of Dharma’, which means ‘purpose in life’ that brought the clarity. There are three components of this law – 1. Discover your true Self, 2. Express our unique talents, and 3. Service to humanity. This is when I knew that I had found my passion and my purpose in this life! I cried when the realization hit.

 

O: You have worked in several different sectors and interacted with thousands of people over the course of your career, so I’m curious to know, do you notice any trends in entrepreneurship among young people today?

GT: I volunteer as a business mentor for Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago www.ybtt.org and I have noticed that young people I have been exposed to are brave, innovative, creative, flexible, open to opportunities and possibilities, they take quick action, they are open to diversification and they believe that they can and they do.

 

Photography by Mark Lyndersay of http://lyndersaydigital.com. Mark is a professional photographer and writer working in Trinidad and Tobago since 1976. His column on personal technology, BitDepth, has been continuously published since 1995. He is currently pursuing a photo essay series about how Trinidad and Tobago pursues its culture and festivals called Local Lives. Both series are archived on his website at http://lyndersaydigital.com.


O: What would you say to people who are thinking about venturing out into a business that is not exactly in keeping with their training? Like someone who is a qualified accountant getting into the restaurant business for instance…

GeorginaTerrybodyGT: I would say to go for it, but don’t just jump in. I would suggest a few things before you start this venture. Gain clarity about why you want to go into this field. Think through how it will operate and the role you will play. Take the time to understand the industry. If you are going to work in it yourself, qualify in the area to give you the experience and also the creditability. I suggest you do this, while you are still employed, if you can, just in case, it is not what you expected.

Find a way to volunteer or spend time in the industry, to gain greater knowledge and understanding. If you are not going to be delivering the service hire experienced people in that field. Create a business that you are passionate about. Test the market. Understand what your potential market wants and how you can and will serve it. Develop your business plan.

 

O: How would you recommend testing a new business idea before getting in wholeheartedly?

GT: A few suggestions. Volunteer in the industry. One way of uncovering your passion is that you will do it, even if you are not getting paid. Work part-time for someone else in the field to acquire knowledge; this will help you test if it is the right thing for you, learn about how a business operates, and see what works well and what doesn’t. Start your own business from home part- time. Create a business plan. It does not have to be a huge task – a great book to use is “One Page Business Plan” or my book of course.

 

O: When you enter a company one of the measures you use to help the staff increase productivity is something you call the StrengthsFinder Assessment. Can you tell us a little about that and how you think it can help young people who may be on the verge of becoming entrepreneurs?

GT: The StrengthsFinder Assessment helps you to identify what I call your God-given talents – what you were born with.  What I like about this assessment is that there are approximately 33 million different combinations, so the results do not pigeonhole you. Your results represent you and not a ‘type’. Your results uncover your top, five talents. By knowing your top, five talents you are able to know what needs to be in place for you to operate at your natural, effortless, high performing state, and can turn your talents into strengths. This is like having your own personal recipe to success.

A lot of people dismiss what comes naturally to them. We are socialised to believe that to achieve something of value it must be a hard slog, so we ignore what comes easily.

The decision to become an entrepreneur all starts with an idea. In “The Amazing Race to Entrepreneurial Freedom”, I call it the “awakening”. Something happens – your boss gets on your nerves one too many times, you receive notification that you have lost your job, or you see an opportunity to provide a service that does not currently exist, or you believe that you can provide an existing service better. Whatever it is, you are no longer satisfied with things the way they are.

But you need more than a feeling to start your own business. You need to create your vision. See it will clarity; see it as if it already exists. Find out why you want it and uncover your passion and purpose. You need to believe that what you see and what you want can be achieved and YOU can achieve it! Take responsibility for making it happen. If we believe it will be hard, then it will be and we may not start, but if we believe that it is meant to be, it takes on a whole different energy.

Working in someone else’s business or a large corporation, and working on your own business are two completely different things. Developing and starting a business is more like a marathon than a sprint. We need to get into training, mentally, and business-wise. This was one of the reasons for me writing “The Amazing Race to Entrepreneurial Freedom”. I wanted to share my experiences to help people get themselves ready. I wasn’t ready, when I started but I thought I was! Most business start-up books focus on getting the business ready, but you need to get ready first!

 

O: What would you want young entrepreneurs to hold on to as the single most important piece of advice coming from Georgina Terry?

GT: Once you make a decision, the universe has a way of making it happen! So do your part – make the decision, believe it is possible, feel the passion, create the vision and take action as the opportunities flow towards you in abundance! When you find your passion, you will never work again, because work will become play!

You can check out Georgina’s book on www.theamazingracetoentrepreneurialfreedom.com, and keep up with her on her various sites: www.bpdassociates.com, www.passionstoprofitability.com, www.waystosurvivetherecession.com, and www.ginaspassion.blogspot.com.

 

Photography by Mark Lyndersay of http://lyndersaydigital.com. Mark is a professional photographer and writer working in Trinidad and Tobago since 1976. His column on personal technology, BitDepth, has been continuously published since 1995. He is currently pursuing a photo essay series about how Trinidad and Tobago pursues its culture and festivals called Local Lives. Both series are archived on his website at http://lyndersaydigital.com.

 

Natalia Jones publishes dcaribbeanentrepreneur.com, which features business tips and news for upcoming entrepreneurs across the Caribbean.

1 Comment

  1. Fernando

    December 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    When i first saw terry’s work i thought “dude… relaly…” Now over time, i love it. He gets women to look more than just sexy, but to feel through the image, sex.

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