En­tre­pre­neur­ial in­sights from Paul Lalor

Jamaica Gleaner - - MESSSAGE -

ARE YOU a young en­tre­pre­neur just start­ing? Learn what it takes to be a busi­ness owner in to­day’s econ­omy. Get in­sights, great en­tre­pre­neur­ial ad­vice and a view of a win­ning mind­set from a Ja­maican en­tre­pre­neur, Paul Lalor.

Paul Lalor is the pres­i­dent of the In­sur­ance Com­pany of West In­dies (ICWI). He is also the owner of the Road­side Emer­gency and Ac­ci­dent Con­trol Team (RE­ACT), ICWI In­sur­ance Bro­kers and the farm­ing ven­ture, Val­ley Fruit. The suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur is also the board chair for Ju­nior Achieve­ment (JA) Ja­maica. JAJ: In one word, char­ac­terise your­self as an en­tre­pre­neur? Paul Lalor: Prob­lem-solver. JAJ: What is your favourite as­pect of be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur? Paul Lalor: Be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur is ex­cit­ing and men­tally chal­leng­ing. It forces you to think out­side of the box. JAJ: How do you de­fine success? Paul Lalor: Success for me is the sat­is­fac­tion of be­ing able to see what you have en­vi­sioned be­come a re­al­ity. JAJ: What is your phi­los­o­phy? Paul Lalor: To be true to my­self. JAJ: As an en­tre­pre­neur, what are your views on Ja­maica’s econ­omy? Paul Lalor: Ja­maica’s econ­omy is at the best place it has been for decades. JAJ: Do you think there is

a need for more en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity in Ja­maica? Paul Lalor: Def­i­nitely. Ja­maicans need to in­vest in Ja­maica so that we can strengthen the econ­omy. JAJ: What three pieces of ad­vice would you give to col­lege stu­dents who want to be en­trepreneurs? Paul Lalor: The three pieces of ad­vice I would give to col­lege stu­dents who want to be en­trepreneurs are be brave, be in­no­va­tive and put in the hours. JAJ: When seek­ing busi­ness part­ners, what qual­i­ties do you look for in such in­di­vid­u­als? Paul Lalor: I look for busi­ness part­ners who are trust­wor­thy, who share my goals and vi­sion, and with who I can have a sus­tain­able busi­ness re­la­tion­ship. JAJ: Do you think that there is some sort of pat­tern/for­mula to be­com­ing a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur? Paul Lalor: There is no set for­mula to be­com­ing a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur, but in or­der to be suc­cess­ful you must cre­ate a great team. JAJ: What sac­ri­fices have you made to be­come a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur? Paul Lalor: With my line of work comes a lot of trav­el­ling, which re­sults in me miss­ing bits of my fam­ily life. How­ever, by learn­ing to main­tain a bal­ance, I am able to do most things I would want to do. JAJ: What are the key el­e­ments of run­ning and start­ing a busi­ness? Paul Lalor: In or­der to start a busi­ness you must have a good busi­ness idea, a good busi­ness plan and enough money to make it work. In ad­di­tion to this, you also need to be com­mit­ted to your busi­ness. JAJ: How im­por­tant is ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in be­com­ing an en­tre­pre­neur? Paul Lalor: If you look through­out history, you will see peo­ple who did not go all the way through school but ended up be­ing suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs. You do not need a de­gree to be suc­cess­ful, but hav­ing a ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion has cer­tain ben­e­fits such as teach­ing dis­ci­pline.

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