It’s Not About The Money

LinkedIn Article

By Selina Archer

It’s not about the money”, a statement that has earned me rolling eyes and sarcastic replies.  For the more polite audiences, it has been met with sympathetic stares or dismissive nods accompanied by faint smiles.    I do not entirely blame those that dispute it.

Partially because as a business owner, it is my job to keep the lights on and the contractors paid.    Good will and pats on the back don’t quite pay the bills.     There is also that pesky need to make a living and provide financial stability for myself and family.   While this is all very much a reality, I have an innate need to make a difference and feel a sense of achievement as I meet my obligations.     This may be the reason M.Y. INK is drawn to entrepreneurs, start-ups and clients who have risked it all to see their visions turn into thriving businesses.  We are them; they are us.

When I left the corporate world of fat paychecks, prestigious titles, and a guaranteed salary, it was because I too had succumbed to the desire to excel in a business of my own making.    Like many that venture onto this path I was met by the disenfranchised but well-meaning advice of loved ones who wondered aloud and often if I was making the right decision.     Not that I did not have support, my biggest cheerleaders were and are my closest family members.   I was incredibly lucky in that respect, but the doubt of others added to the misgivings in my own mind.     

It took three years before I stopped accepting paid positions and working at my own company part-time.    Three years before I had the courage to fully make M.Y. INK my focus instead of a side-gig.    Now it is a decision I do not regret in the slightest.

They say who feels it knows it.   In the early stages I took on projects pro-bono to build the business and prove that as a marketeer I could stand on my own.    I was often discouraged when those projects didn’t immediately bring in the clients I needed to sustain my business.    I lived mostly on my savings, but I refused to throw in the towel.     

A part of that tenacity was inspired by an ambitious female entrepreneur who I had the privilege of taking on as a client.   While a small fee was paid, the scope of work called for more than she could afford.    We developed business plans, started social pages, spent hours pouring over logo designs, planned events, and even went as far as to separate her personal budgets from her business expenses.    I pursued her business goals as if they were my own.  I taught her how to use graphic programs to design her own material and in short how to think like a marketer.    Today that home-based business has flourished into a thriving store with diversified product lines and a loyal customer base.    I tell this tale every time I have the opportunity.   Not only because in my darkest, most dubious times as a new business owner – thinking of her was a light in a tunnel of fear; but also because of how proud I am to be a part of her success story.    It was not about the money.

Now that my client portfolio is at a healthy level and I am prospected for new projects, I remember how important it was for me to see M.Y. INK make headway.    I understand the trepidation when we onboard a client who has no idea how to make a meager marketing budget work or even where to begin.  I am deeply honored that they trust my experience and skills to make the magic happen.    Do we as a business end up creating more animations, social assets, adding more to social media calendars, writing more press releases, or developing more material to support the campaign than we were hired to do?  Many times, yes.    Do we have many more success stories?   YES!      

I stand by my statement, “It isn’t about the money.”  Yes, we do charge for our services, we are a business after all.   It is more than that though.   There is pride, a sense of accomplishment and undulated joy when we see our strategies pay off for clients and can add another story of triumph to our inspirational narratives.     

To anyone thinking of making the plunge and branching out on their own, don’t make it about the money completely.     Step out because you have a vision, a desire to challenge yourself and grow as an individual and businessperson.    Most of all though, take this saying to heart, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”  

BAHAMAIN STUDENTS WIN $6000 IN GRANTS & PRIZES DURING JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT BAHAMAS’ BAHAMAJAC & SBDC PITCH COMPETITION

March 10th , 2021 – Junior Achievement Bahamas’ first virtual conclave attracted two hundred and thirty-three students from around the country offering career guidance sessions, a motivational speaker, activities and competitions.      The first of the competitions was the National Speech Competition, led by Dwayne Davis of Toastmasters, which featured Achievers who had won their Division Finals.    Don Johnson from JAELE, (Junior Achievement Eleuthera) walked away with the trophy after an inspiring oration on “Innovative Dreams & Virtual Realities”, highlighting multiple perspectives on how to handle a world in the aftermath of the Covid-19 virus.     

                The SBDC Pitch Competition gave BahamaJAC ’21 attendees the opportunity to compete in group pitches that centered around the theme, ‘Combating Covid 19.’     After a series of excellent presentations, it was the ‘E-Trade’ Group (Lyanda Hilton, Chardonnay Bowe and Monesha Tousseus) who walked away with the JA Bahamas’ Chairman’s prize $1000 in cash and $3,000 worth of educational grants from the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).  The E-Trade Group developed the inventive concept of a communications and e-payment app, creating supporting launch and business development financials that blew judges away and earned them the top spot.    Second place winners, Cyber Inc which created and pitched a health-based app called ’19 Warnings’ were awarded $2,000 in educational grants from SBDC for their efforts.    

                “We were quite impressed by the enthusiasm and level of preparation from the students.  It is always gratifying to see our programmes at work when students can articulate their ideas and present their concepts not only in an idealistic sense but also account for the operation and costs associated with bringing that business to market.   We are proud to be in a position to shape, mold and allow our youngsters a safe place to grow as future business leaders,” said Tammy Lecky, Executive Director of Junior Achievement Bahamas.    Ms. Lecky went on to thank the teams of volunteers, speakers and sponsors (SBDC, Cable Bahamas Media & BPL) without whom the event would not have been possible.  

                Those interested in viewing the competitions and career guidance sessions hosted during the three day conclave are encouraged to visit JA Bahamas’ YouTube channel.

MobileAssist® App embraces local digital currency integration with its SandDollar launch

App Users Can Now Open, Load, Transfer and Convert SandDollars To Cash Using The App

April 12th  2021… In line with Central Bank’s full roll-out its Sand Dollar Digital Currency slated for April 2021, the Bahamian FinTech company CBI Mobile (Bahamas) Ltd, owners of the transactional ecosystem app MobileAssist® have completed integration and have formally introduce the use of SandDollar digital currency, making it available to its base of thousands of users and over 150 merchants nationwide.  

            MobileAssist® app holders can now create a SandDollar account, easily convert MobileAssit® Tokens (tokens carry the same value as BSD dollars) to SandDollars and vice versa as well as load their SandDollar accounts with credit or debit cards.       With thirteen (13) CashBack locations available through the Super Value Quality Supermarkets franchise, app users will also be able to convert Sand Dollars instantaneously for cash via the use of any one of the one hundred and forty-three (143) cashier stations at any of the stores.      

            Said John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, “We are impressed with the functionality and flexibility MobileAssist® now offers SandDollar holders.    One of our most frequently asked questions is how an average consumer would benefit from a digital currency such as ours.    MobileAssist® has successfully demonstrated what we have been explaining since the inception of SandDollar; it can be used everywhere and in everyway a dollar bill and card can and much more conveniently.”

            MobileAssist® also has a network of more than 150 local merchants that feature utility companies like REV and New Providence Water Company, restaurants, car rental companies, beauty salons, freight forwarders, convenience and grocery stores, and non-profits; allowing for the possibility of spending SandDollar on the app in a large and growing transactional ecosystem made up of customer and merchants.   With Janaees Uniform Centre finalizing agreements to become a CashBack location, the company is actively working to increase its cash-out points across the country.

            “We know that people will become more acclimatized to using digital currencies like the SandDollar, in the same way we now use our debit and credit cards.   Our aim is to make the transition seamless, user friendly and most importantly secure and convenient,” said Dr. Donovan Moxey, CEO of MobileAssist®.

MobileAssist®, a modern FinTech Company, has grown to over 101, 000 downloads with more than 8,500 registered users, and over 1,300 digital wallets executing on average 2, 500 transactions per month.  App users are encouraged to update their MobileAssist® App using the Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iPhone) to experience the full functionality of digital payments.    Those wishing to Top-Up their MobileAssist® wallets using can use a debit or credit card, or have their employer pay them directly via their MobileAssist digital wallet using the platform’s payroll feature.

MOBILEASSIST® RECORDS 100,000 DOWNLOADS OF ITS APP SIGNALLING A SHIFT IN SHOPPER MIGRATION TO M-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

February 8th, 2021… MobileAssist® rolled out its suite of M-Commerce products in January 2020 the app (known as primarily as a directory service) had less than 50,000 downloads at that time.    A year later, the app which offers a number of ‘pay by phone’ features hit the 100,000 download milestone.    With anchor businesses such as Super Value Quality Supermarkets, REV, ALIV and New Providence Water Development Company using the platform to increase digital sales, the company believes its expansion of business providers, user confidence and the challenges Covid-19 restrictions presented have all contributed to its growth.

                Said CEO & Co-Founder, Dr. Donovan Moxey, “We have followed our tech roadmap and we are constantly updating and adding features that set us apart from our competitors from both the end user and merchant stand-point.  An example of this is our $can & Pay with CashBack feature launched in Super Value stores throughout New Providence in December of 2020.”    This service requires no POS integration and end users need only download the app, register, create a wallet and load it to use their phones to pay, and as a virtual ATM card to withdraw cash at registers.

                Another factor leading to the app’s popularity can be attributed to its user-friendly interface.    Conducting a poll among registered users, MobileAssist® found that 90% of users gave the app an overall rating of 5 stars.      “It was important for us to understand how our customers felt about us.   The poll was created using the app’s polling feature and we were able to gather key customer feedback,” explained Adria McCardy, Marketing Manager, MobileAssist®.   McCardy further revealed that the low percentage of customers who rated the app lower, readily admitted that they were new to technology and that their comfortability was growing with each transaction.    A series of simple YouTube ‘How To’ videos speaking to features has also been created to assist in this regard.

                Transactions have also increased substantially during the course of the year with Bill Pay, $can & Pay with CashBack and Donations being the most popular, followed closely by growth in phone-to-phone Money Transfers and Mobile Store purchases.  

                “It is important to add that while we have well known enterprises using MobileAssist® as merchants, our small business base is also increasing month by month.   We began this journey with less than 10 vendors in this category increasing to more than 120 businesses to date.”  Dr. Moxey noted.    Importers, salons, clothing stores, car rental companies and restaurants make up this sector of the MobileAssist® Eco$ystem™ and find it an alternative to pricey card terminals.     Said owner of Tropical Gyros, Chef Culmer, “We were losing sales, especially with the demand for in-store and curbside pick-ups because we didn’t have the ability to accept carded transactions.    Implementing the MobileAssist® $can and Pay service took no time at all and gave us the functionality needed at a fraction of the cost.  As a small but growing business, expense and integration were major factors in the decision to go digital.”

                The introduction of the Sand Dollar will bring about even more innovation for MobileAssist® with integration now in its soft launch phase.    Mass loading of payroll accounts have been developed within MobileAssist as the Central Bank’s network organically improves cash-out points and more ways to spend digital currency.     Concluded Dr. Moxey, “We anticipate that the trend toward M-Commerce will continue to strengthen based on our growth trajectory.   It is a natural transition from cash to an era where convenience and acceptance of digital spending are on the rise.” With the inclusion of the Sand Dollar in the app, end users can easily create their accounts and easily conduct transactions within the platform.

                To join the celebration of 100,000 downloads, for limited time app users can enter to win the ‘100K Giveaway Sweeps’ with each transaction.    Prizes of $10 and $20 with the grand prize of $350 digital wallet loads will be given to lucky winners.

Super Value Offers CashBack For Shoppers

CashBack Now Available For Super Value Shoppers Who $can & Pay™ With The MobileAssist® App

November 4th, 2020…..Shoppers can now pay for groceries and get CashBack at all Super Value locations in New Providence when they check-out using the MobileAssist® App.     Using QR Codes for cashless transactions is just one more step the food store chain is implementing to keep both customers and cashiers safe as the country learns to co-exist with Covid-19.    The ability to get cash back from the app is an added bonus for customers who are tired of fighting long bank lines.  Given the number of Super Value locations and cash registers in each store, this partnership has created more than 130 virtual ATMs for MobileAssist wallet holders to use with the added convenience of paying for grocery purchases at the same time.     All transactions will utilize Aliv Top Up devices installed at each store location which have been updated with the latest version of the MobileAssist® app.

Dr. Donovan Moxey, CEO of the FinTech company MobileAssist® explained the process.    “Once the customer is at the register, they simply scan the QR code and enter the amount of their purchase.  The CashBack option is immediately available.  Customers can get as much cash back as the merchant allows, which is deducted in real time from their MobileAssist® wallets.”    CashBack also offers flexibility; persons wishing to simply withdraw funds from their MobileAssist® wallets can simply scan the QR code and select only the CashBack feature.   

The MobileAssist® app, which can be downloaded on both Android & iPhone from Google Play or the App Store can be loaded using both local and international credit/debit cards.    All transactions, including refunds done in store are completed instantly.    Notifications are generated within the app giving both the customer and the Super Value Admin team ‘digital receipts’ for each transaction.

Perhaps more exciting to merchants like Super Value is the ability to run end of day batch reports and track transactions by register and cashier/clerk within the MobileAssist app.   “While the admin teams will obviously be able to use their desktops and laptops to generate, print and export reports and data, floor managers need only their access codes and their smart phone to view and if needed print reports,” revealed Dr. Moxey.

There is another whistle to add to the bells MobileAssist® offers merchants;  electronic couponing for retail locations can be distributed and redeemed virtually within the app.     Whether it is a percentage discount or buy one get one free promotion, customers can avail of offers once they have registered their account.    Additionally, special notifications on store hours, opening and closures can also be communicated to patrons with the literal push of a button.   

“There wasn’t a question of if we would sign on to MobileAssist® as a merchant,” said Rupert Roberts, owner and CEO of Super Value, “The ease of use and the transparency of transactions were great selling points, but what really sealed the deal was the easy to use CashBack feature.   It removes cash from the premises securely while aligning with our goal of digitization.  It was an operational no-brainer.    Customers are tired of waiting in bank lines to get out a couple of dollars.   This app kills all the birds with one smooth stone.”

MobileAssist ® is regulated by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and its software platform is hosted in the Amazon Cloud, taking advantage of one of the most secure and scalable global platforms. Once customers download the app on either iPhone or Android devices they have the ability to load their wallets using their debit and credit cards or via a direct load from an employer or government agency.    With over 100 essential and non-essential businesses to choose from, app users can transact from the safety of their smart-phones.  To date there has been over 90,000 downloads and more than 7,500 registered users of the MobileAssist app. 

To learn more about MobileAssist® download the app, visit www.mymobileassist.com or peruse their social pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the handle @mobileassist.  

Become A Virtual Volunteer With Junior Achievement Bahamas

Non-Profit Youth Organization Seeks To Reach Students Throughout The Bahamas During The JA Year

November 10th, 2020 … Junior Achievement Bahamas recently launched its Virtual Volunteer Recruitment Drive with the goal of signing 50 plus Club Programme facilitators during the course of the 2020-2021 year.     Aligning with the 20/21 theme, ‘Innovative Dreams, Virtual Realities’, volunteers host online JA Club Programmes for students in the 7th – 12th grades.      Thus far JA Bahamas Volunteers have led over 330 students nationwide teaching practical but interactive courses in economics, business development, entrepreneurship, career planning, and personal finance.

“The beauty of JA Club Programmes is that you don’t have to be an educator to participate.   They are short term courses that run no longer than 8 weeks depending on the programme.   We (JA Bahamas) provide all of the materials needed to host the course.   Volunteers have their choice of topics and can choose the age group they are most comfortable hosting.   Virtual Volunteers also have the flexibility of selecting the meeting times and dates that suit their schedules,” explained Jasmine Joseph, Programmes Coordinator, Junior Achievement – New Providence.    

While some educators have signed up, the volunteer pool is currently made up of JA Alum, business owners, entrepreneurs and economists with no prior teaching experience who are trained by the organization.   Revealed Ms. Joseph, “We are extremely excited that through our Volunteers we were able to partner with the Simpson Penn School for Boys and the Willie-Mae Pratt Center to offer Virtual Programmes to those students.”

 “We have allocated a portion of our annual Programmes budget to defray the cost of hosting these free sessions.   JA Bahamas is committed to purchasing the Club Programme kits, covering the cost of Zoom licensing fees as well the manpower to train our volunteers.    This may not seem like a huge dent in our budget, but those familiar with non-profits understand, especially this year how tight funding is.   If you are unable to donate the time to volunteer, a donation to assist us in our efforts is much appreciated,” said Tammy Lecky, Executive Director of Junior Achievement Bahamas.

JA Programmes are also available for K5 – Grade 6 students.   These sessions are hosted by teachers who can sign up through their school.   Schools interested in learning more about JA Elementary, which act as fun, interactive aides to the curriculum can email programmes@jabahamas.org.  

Virtual Club Programmes Volunteers can signup online at:   www.jabahamas.org/volunteers, while those wishing to donate can find out how here:  www.jabahamas.org/donate.