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  • Jason Inanga

Jason's Jive September 2023

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

In my over 50 years on planet earth, I have never witnessed anything like this – talking about the heat. Last week, near the Love Field Airport in Dallas, the temperature peaked at 130 degrees. It was a different level of heat. I had bought gasoline at the pump and needed to go inside to get a receipt. Heat exhaustion is no joke, and it does not have a defined way of creeping in. Thankfully, I knew my body well enough to take a quick break and rest a little bit before going back outside. Do not try to act macho and think you can beat the heat – know when to slow it down.

I am excited to congratulate my very close friend, Alex Straun, on the start of his own finance business, which is a very practical application to help in everyday financial transactions. For persons from the Eastern Caribbean (the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States – an 8-country economic union), it is a simple way to stay here in Beltsville or the DMV (and other parts of the USA) and manage financial or business interests back ‘home.’ Many like me may have migrated here and still have financial obligations back home, including supporting family members or charities. So, from the convenience of your phone in the USA, you can remit funds, pay bills and other related activities. Eliminates the need to go to the long lines at Western Union back in the islands. They can be reached on WhatsApp (869 661 5237) for more details.

I applaud and respect Alex for seeing a problem in the community and creating a platform with a workable solution. A lot of people see things everyday that can be areas of opportunity to start a business that can be nurtured into growth.

Last weekend, while I was ubering in Dallas, I was on a backroad near Uptown Dallas. Many millennials live in this area, and many are from the generation of i-don’t-have-time-to-cook. As I approached an intersection, I noticed a small sign saying “open” on the side of a business. I peered over, thinking maybe an employee had forgotten to switch off the sign. Apparently, I was wrong. It was a pizza location that stayed open overnight. Most food places close for the night, between 10 pm to midnight and re-open the next day. He stays open and sells pizza to people who have a need to order food that late. Being the only one, he has a ready-made market. The two vehicles outside were presumably for delivery.

I will encourage folks to look around, be observant and see what you can start to bring in a few extra dollars: a lot of people in the Beltsville area need help with school pick-up, Some need help with grocery shopping, rides to and from medical visits, maintenance of the garden, homework tutoring and even mechanical repairs. One can easily start something small and see it grow, with the right focus.

In 1982 as a little teenager, I couldn’t get a summer job, so I started selling flower seeds on the University Campus where I grew up. I sold zinnias and marigolds for the equivalent of 25 cents to 50 cents. Some gave the excuse they had no time to garden, so I suggested, buy my seeds and I will do your flower garden for free. It worked. That was how I started making my own little pocket change and of course I got repeat customers, some who decided they wanted to pay for the garden. So, I made nice money and had a few referrals.

Well, as I wind down the Jive, as always, I encourage you to pick up the phone and make a phone call to someone you have not spoken to in a while. Just two minutes of your time to encourage them and let them know you are thinking of them. Life is short. Let us give thanks to the alive and give flowers to the living. See you next month!

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Jan 09

Thank you, for an inspiring article! Seeing that you were already an 'entrepreneur' even from your youth gives me food for thought. You remind me of my late Daddy - a brilliant entrepreneur who has helped me and many other members of my family, close and extended to survive!

Balancing one's activities, as you have is a vital and essential skill to master. Mrs. Inanga (your mother) has shown me that life can be brilliant and beautiful - I now realise one has to 'underpin' it financially in a 'do - or die' manner!

God Bless!

Jeremy Fajemisin.

PS. I have been fighting to sing - with some signs of improvement by God's grace. (I sing in the congregation). Great…

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