Entrepreneurial insights from Paul Lalor
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.