This week we interview the young CEO of eZines Limited, Tyrone Wilson. His company publishes “Your Money” a business and financial electronic magazine (ezine) that focuses on young professionals in Jamaica. The twenty-six years old is a dynamic and savvy entrepreneur who we are sure to hear about in years to come.
Q. Where did you get the idea to start your e-zine magazine?
The idea for eZine came from me wanting to started a printed Caribbean Lifestyle magazine that was to be distributed throughout the Caribbean and North America. Upon extensive research and consultation, I realized that this model was not cost efficient, and it would be extremely burdensome to realize the profits. Also, finding the start-up capital and the investor was almost impossible because of, 1. The cost associated with the start up, and 2. My age at the time (20 years old)
Q. You magazine seems to focus mainly on young entrepreneurs and executives. Is there a reason for this focus?
Well, the eZine also focus on young professionals. The reason for this is that there was no magazine at the time that really cater specifically to that sector in the way that we did it. Executives, entrepreneurs and young professionals have expressed the need for our type of articles, ideas etc. Because Your Money eZine is weekly, it was able to grasp the attention of our readers, being a frequent publication and was top of mind as opposed to other publications which were published bi-monthly and even quarterly.
Q. Do you think Jamaica has the environment for true entrepreneurship?
I think the current economic environment is challenging for entrepreneurs. High interest rates, corruption and bureaucracy are some of the hurdles for entrepreneurship in Jamaica. In addition, lack of start-up funding, unavailability of uncollaterized loan products and unreasonable repayment periods are hindrance to entrepreneurship.
There is a lot more that can be done. But nonetheless, Jamaican entrepreneurs are still able to make handsome profits and provide thousands of jobs.
Q. They say more millionaires are made in a recession than a time of prosperity. Do you think that can also be true in Jamaica?
Yes, I think so. I started my business at the start of the recessionary period in Jamaica. The recession made individuals more alert and in the pulse of their company. The recession I know cause more individuals to be more cost-efficient and aggressive towards making profits. As a result of this, you can see that record profits are being made by most companies in this recession period.
Honestly, just the fear that the recession brought pushed individuals to be more hands on and responsible. This as a result, causes more profits to be made, thus providing more millionaires.
Q: What advise do you give young entrepreneurs in Jamaica that want to start a business?
1. Put God first
2. Ensure that you go about putting together a comprehensive business plan that is constantly revisited and updated
3. Establish a board comprising of established and competent individuals that can provide the necessary support
4. Venture into something that you have knowledge in, and can contribute in an invaluable way
5. Ensure that it makes sense financially; this is not charity, if it doesn’t abort, and find another idea
6. Establish a board. Whether it be an Advisory board or board of directors, ensure that you’re answerable to a qualified body that can guide yourself and your decisions
Q. How has the magazine been doing?
The magazine is doing well at this point. The publication itself is profitable and is making moves as to being a part of our readers regularly read publication. We have a large amount of loyal readers and advertisers who believes in the publication and what it can do.
Q. Is there any plans to make it a print magazine?
No, there is no plans at this time to make it a print publication. We see this as a move for the future and making it a printed magazine would mean moving backward.
Q: Who in Jamaican business do you most admire?
I admire Michael Lee-Chin most. As a Jamaican born entrepreneur, Michael Lee-Chin has reached heights of success and at the same time, provide thousands of jobs. He is a living legend in Jamaican business and has been a role model for me since I was in high school.
Q. What other mediums are you considering?
We offer a service to corporate companies call Corporate eZine. Corporate eZine are corporate branded eMagazines that we are doing for companies such as the National Commercial Bank. Its an innovative tool that we provide for these companies to use as an addition to their marketing and advertising mix.
Q. What is your typical day like?
A typical day for me is SALES and planning for my publications. Sales is more telephone calls, e-mailing proposals and being in sales meetings. This can take the entire day at times. Planning of the publication is editing articles, instructing the designer on styles etc and arranging interviews.
Q. What is the one technology tool you cannot live without?
I must admit that I am a Blackberry addict. I cannot live without my Blackberry, without it I am lost! I use it to organize my days, keep in touch with friends and families, following up on e-mails when I am on the road and also read news and updates on the local and international scene.
Q. Any new projects in the works?
The priority at this times it to build our subscription list, increase readership and also launch out other publications.
Q. Any was the best advise you were every given in business?
Laugh. There is a lot. But a think the best business advice that I was given was by Christopher Williams, former Managing director of NCB Capital Markets Limited and incoming President & CEO for PROVEN Investment Limited. He told me to stay away from the hype and fabricated success. He told me to keep grounded and avoid wanting to be in the hype. It was explained better than I am explaining it now. I think it is the best advice because I see it happening around me. I see people buying stuff they cannot afford, doing things they don’t want to do – just to fit in and be in the hype. And this eventually leads to their demise. I think if I follow Chris’s advice, I am well on the way to success
Q. What is the name of the teacher that influenced you the most?
The teacher that influenced me the most is Devon Lawrence. I’ve known Devon since 2000 and we’re still close friends. He is the first person outside my parents to realize my potential and play a part in realizing this potential. He’s a good person and has been an impactful factor in my success.
Q. Will you marry before you become a millionaire or after?
I don’t know at this point. It does not matter to me though. Whether before or after, it will be a person that I love and who has been there for me through the dark years.
Q. What TV show you can’t help but watch even though you think it is a “worthless”?
Mostly watch movies. The TV Shows that I watch are worth my time.
Q: Thanks for your time. Any final thoughts?
Thanks again for this opportunity.
You can check out “Your Money” at: http://www.ezineslimited.com