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Growing and Changing…

Growing and Changing…

As life flows around its obstacles, you grow and change; and I am no exception. This blog has seen so much change over the years and as I look back on the last five years, I see how much I have grown, changed and achieved. And I’m so very grateful for those experiences that molded me into the person I am right now, as I write this.

I haven’t had an easy life (and no one really has honestly) but the last year has been particularly hard on me. I’ve been good health-wise, but the obstacles I’ve had to face and the fears I’ve had to confront during 2016 are nearly unbelievable; recapping the year makes me wonder if it was even real or fiction.

On Hopes, Dreams, Loss, and Emotional Trauma

As with every new year, one looks forward to doing new things, making progress and achieving goals, whether or not they are realistic. My 2016 goals weren’t exactly unrealistic, but they relied heavily on other people pulling their weight and getting shit done on their end. Big mistake.

The lesson learned here is to be selfish and make goals for yourself. Being selfish does not make you a bad person. You need to put yourself first too, sometimes. You can’t help anyone if you’re not working at your best capacity, or if you’re unhappy (I learned this from a very special person). You will spend your life being unhappy but helping everyone else be happy and in the end, you’ll look back on your life and wonder what the hell you did, and wish that you made more selfish decisions sometimes. Look after yourself.

So, as you could imagine, my goal was not achieved, but that’s okay because life sometimes just does not work in the ways that we want it to. I do believe in a higher power that always wants the best of us. However, getting me off the path I was on, was a very painful process.

In early 2016, while struggling to build a sustainable business in an industry that’s respected globally, but not in Trinidad, the partnership went sour after my then significant other (and also one of the three co-founders), felt ‘strongly’ about the future of the business and our relationship, both of which subsequently descended in chaos within a week. To be fair, the relationship was already unstable whether or not he wants to admit it; we discussed a separation seriously at least half a dozen times since 2013. It wasn’t a simple separation, as it was fuelled with high levels of stress and emotion.

I learned a very powerful lesson that fateful night; choose your inner circle wisely. Never before had words been truer. Over the years, I watched my circle shrink and shrivel into nothingness, and I never put any real effort into making and keeping friends close. You are not an island; you really need people around you to keep you going and support you when things get tough.

As to what instigated such a dramatic breakup, I cannot put my finger on one thing because it was a build up of issues that we never honestly dealt with. But what I can say is that communication, and honest communication is so very important to any relationship. But as painful as that experience was, I did learn a lot from it, and the lessons from the relationship are there to help me grow and not continue to make the same mistakes; all of which I am grateful for.

I was not, however, prepared for what was up next.

We did an entire company restructure, restructured the service and tried to work more efficiently and effectively. And it worked for a while…

My good friend of ten or so years was also a co-founder of the business, and suffered a separation from his wife and kids at the hands of the business (and some personal stress); a mere two weeks after my breakup. So, it was chaos trying to deal with two breakups and a startup that was undergoing a severe shuffle (due to my breakup). Needless to say, we managed to make it out alive, just about!

During this chaos, I was sleeping about 3 hours a night on my mother’s couch in her tiny apartment while living out of the boot of my car. I spent my day managing the few clients we had, and cold calling to grow the business. Honestly, we needed money, because we had real bills to pay, with clients who weren’t paying consistently. I just kept hitting wall after wall.

Finally, I got a place to live. It wasn’t easy and I had no idea how I was affording it over the next year, but I had to try. Something was bound to work right? Wrong. After months of trying, struggle, pain and tears… I lost my first car. And then, as life would have it, I had to make the hard decision to give up my apartment instead of digging my debt hole deeper.

So at this point, I was in more debt than I could imagine, no home, no car, the business was struggling as a result of my personal situation and no one was hiring in my industry. There was only one thing left to do…

Tearing it all down to build all over again

In December, I made the decision to migrate back to England, my home country. This wasn’t a light decision as I knew that there was a high chance I was never returning to Trinidad, leaving everything I’ve known, family, friends, business and network all behind, to start over in a country I left when I was seven years old. But, 26 is as good an age as any to start all over.

I got my clean slate. Finally.

There is light in this story. And a story of love, too. Remember that friend I mentioned earlier? He’s the one good thing that happened all year, along with all the valuable lessons learned. As the stress grew and pressure increased, we got closer. I don’t have to go into details to tell you what happened here. But what I will say is that he’s the most incredible person I’ve ever known, and he continues to grow and overcome his obstacles with grace and patience. He’s a constant inspiration to me and the one who inspired me to write and be the best version of myself. Why this didn’t happen years ago, I don’t know, but you know what they say: nothing good comes easy. Side note: I’m deliberately not publishing details regarding this yet because I do enjoy some level of privacy, and wish to respect his too.

So I’m in England, writing this blog post on the tube home from work, and slowly rebuilding my life.

I’ve learned a very powerful lesson about leaving everything behind: when you tear everything down, you choose what you want to build in its place. Loss is not always a bad thing. When you’ve lost everything and you’re standing in the ashes of what once was, you realize how much space you now have to build something better, and you also know what’s truly important to you. Letting everything go has been the most liberating experience of my life, albeit the most painful.

Now back to this blog…

I’ve decided to start writing about my past experiences and hopefully someone will eventually learn from it. I no longer have Trinidad and the people in it holding me back. For those who know me personally, you know which experiences I’m talking about. For the rest of you, you’ll have to just stay tuned!

When is it the right time?

When is the right time?

The right time to start a business?

The right time to start a family?

The right time to start a degree?

It’s never going to be the right time. The right time is NOW. You’ll never really know if you’re ready for that next step unless you actually take it.

So empower yourself to take that step… Now.

We’re at TIC! Catch us at Booth #9!

We’re at TIC! Catch us at Booth #9!

I was working on a super secret project for the last couple weeks and we’re *finally* unveiling it at Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) 2016! It’s quite an exciting time for us, especially me.

May 2015 marked a significant point in my life and career; I decided to take the plunge, quit my day job, my secure salary, and start my own marketing agency. The road has not been easy, but it has been full of many lessons.

A year later and the service I started out with one year ago has niched itself into a market of its own, being the first social media dedicated agency in Trinidad and Tobago. TILT.social just does social, no websites, no press ads, no mobile apps. Just social.

We take your social media presence and analyze it, look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then begin the process of branding it, and creating a voice of its own.

We’ve done this for some of largest brands in the country and we continue to change the industry as we move forward.

This latest change, the massive shave of our line of services, allows us to remain focused on something we’re great at and provide a service that is second to none.

I’m proud to be a part of this focused team at Elevate, and be able to usher in a new phase of social marketing to Trinidad and Tobago.

You should check out our new website: www.TILT.social and you’ll see why we’re so confident in this service offering.

The website is the hub; it has all the information you need as a client, and offers a zero-bullshit policy, quite like its founders. We believe that clients need information that’s straight to the point, with no figuring out to do. This is what we do, this is what is costs, this is what you get, and that’s IT.

We’re the best at what we do. But I’ll let you decide that when you try us out.

Register at www.TILT.social

Here we are again, another chapter, another leaf, another beginning, another step forward, and another phase of my career and this blog.

I haven’t written for a long time. I haven’t written anything substantial in two years. Recently, I had the opportunity to really look at my career path and where I need to focus to be where I want to be, which leads me back to this blog. Sharing my knowledge has always been important for me and this blog allows me to fulfil that need. I’m back on the writing wagon, but with a very different goal in mind.

Most of the unnecessary posts have been pruned (hidden from public view), so my new garden can grow a little neater. If you’re looking for something specific, just send me a note and I’ll email it to you.

Stay tuned to see what’s next!

Knowledge is Free.

Knowledge is Free.

I just watched a documentary about the life of Aaron Swartz. I did not know who he was, I did not know his story, and I did not know how great of an impact he made on the Internet.

Aaron protected the Internet.

If you know nothing about him – Google him.

Over the years, I personally have embarked on a journey which leads me back to this road where information should be free, and non-profitable.

I’m not speaking about piracy, but the free distribution of research papers, and information which would prove helpful to students and researchers. I can’t believe that we have to pay for information that should be readily available on the internet.

My stance is clear: knowledge should be free.

This is why I blog. I give as much information as I can. Yes, the information is part of my bread and butter, but honestly, I can’t profit from every single person out there in a dollars and cents kind of way. Nor do I have the desire to.

I want to live a comfortable life. I want to be able to travel freely and enjoy the latest of technology, and possibly have a family that I can easily provide for, but beyond that, I can’t see myself wanting this lavish lifestyle full of Range Rovers and beach-front mansions.

Blogging is my way of giving back. It’s my way of paying it forward. If I can help at least one person with this blog, then my job is done.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and it’s no coincidence that I happened to watch this story about Aaron (it was not my selection to begin with). The universe is obviously sending a clear message to me.

Today, I want to reaffirm that burning desire to help people. And this is the way I can do it, from behind my keyboard, without being a hacktivist.

But in some ways I am a bit of a disrupter. I say, and will say, things that will disrupt my competitors who are trying to squeeze every last cent out of a business. I believe in fair business, and that you should not be committing fraud to get a few thousand bucks out of a company. Shame on you.

This blog, and the TILT Blog, is where my disruption will occur.

I will continue to publish my knowledge, because although I’m growing a business, I cannot satisfy the world as a business. And someone, somewhere is going to benefit from the madness that happens in my brain.

This is a shift in my focus as I develop into the adult I am to become.

Grab some popcorn, with extra butter.

Losing Control to Gain Sanity

Losing Control to Gain Sanity

For the larger part of a year I’ve been telling myself I need to blog more often. In fact, there are a lot of things that I’ve been telling myself that I need to do, or mentally complain and gripe about things I don’t like, yet still, I do not find the time to actually fix them.

There comes a time in your life where you feel like you’re no longer in control. When life has just picked you up and tossed you into the currents and all you’re doing is trying not to drown. That’s how I feel, every day. All I am doing right now is trying not to drown, but what I should be doing is learning how to freaking swim!

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I’m on Periscope!

So I haven’t blogged for a while. I just haven’t had the time, nor have I been feeling creative.

But I’ve found something I like: Periscope. And I’m officially in love.

I will be live vlogging (video blogging) there. The broadcasts are only available for 24 hours.

Those interested can follow me on Periscope or Twitter, @desireroberts, to know when I’m live. I’ll share (some) broadcasts here when I’m done.

Come and check it out. Ask questions. Pick my brain. This will be fun! LOL

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