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Why I Wrote Start, Grow, Thrive: Build a Business to Last

I had a panic attack in 2017 that lasted until April 2018. It spiraled into depression and it was really only the grace of God and the people who pray for me, especially my mom, that got me through it. I was depressed and kept it to myself. That’s a story for another day.

When I am happy, I write and when I am depressed, I write.

Why was I depressed? My eldest daughter was about to graduate secondary school and I felt like a failure. We had had big plans for her to go to her dream school, Berklee College of Music. She got accepted on two occasions but we could not afford the tuition and there were no scholarships to cover the cost.

I felt like I had let her down and that it did not bode well for her siblings.

I was out of time, or so I felt.

I thought I had enough time to get my life together after a divorce, moving home to Montserrat with four children nine to four years of age. Her graduation and what next, was staring me in the face. As she and her siblings have an average of a year difference between them, it meant that this was the beginning of the end. In 2018 and 2019, two more graduated. The last, will complete in 2022.

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What is next for them?

Everything has changed. So much of what they wanted to do in school can be done online or better learned by doing. COVID-19 happened and it made it even more apparent that a new paradigm was needed. But what?

As I evaluated the situation, I recognized that my depression and anxiety were not only about her graduating and not having tuition but I had not positioned myself or my family for a future of success. I was not building a legacy business. I had been so focused on surviving an abusive marriage, divorce, pulling myself out of debt and rebuilding a life with my four children, that I could only see a few steps in front of me. Yes, I had dreams of how nice it would be if…. But I had not done more than dream.

I was working hard but not smart. My actions didn’t line up with providing for my children for the future. I had to relearn what I though about business, finance and generational wealth. We may not have learned the principles in school or from our parents but we must do better and ensure we teach and practice them with our children.

About the Book

Start, Grow Thrive: Build a Business to Last tells the story of Kyle Matthews, who at 19 finds himself jobless after college. He embarks on a journey into entrepreneurship by taking on a business that he grew up around. Guided by his Uncle Ned, who challenges him to go beyond selling roadside food, Kyle must overcome his fears, think big, and outclass the competition in a pandemic. Over the course of five years, he discovers how a small idea can have global impact.

I wrote it from Kyle’s perspective as it was a reflection of the conversations I was having with my children and also looking at how Caribbean economies have been shaken by a virus. I did not want the onus to be only on the grown ups to fix the problem but to encourage our young people to plan more strategically for the outcomes they want.

When you make plans for the future and set up a structure to support achieving them, you will find that you have different priorities. Issues that you once thought were insurmountable you find more sustainable ways to overcome.

It is said that if you want to keep wisdom from people hide it in a book. I hope you will purchase this book and share the wisdom with someone you know who is considering starting a business but feels afraid or unsure of where to start.

Start, Grow Thrive: Build a Business to Last goes on sale June 29. It is available now for pre-order on Amazon

This book is also a good fit for you, if you are unsure of the direction to take in your business, now that so much of what we know about the world has changed.

I hope it inspires the entrepreneur in you and that you see how your culture is an asset to standing out and building for the future.

The amazing cover was created by Kathryn Duncan of Karibgraphics Trinidad & Tobago. She has created the last six of my covers. I love how she brings my ideas to life.

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