In my experience, there are three types of people in business. Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what the $*&@ just happened.
The last bunch don’t hang around for long. I’m in the first lot.
But anyone who tells you business is easy is either lying or trying to pick your pocket. Or both. Believe me, it’s damn hard. Spotting opportunities, working the margins.
I get some bad press. Well, good. I must be doing something right then. I get told I upset people, that I park my tanks on their lawn.
Bloody right. All’s fair in love, war and business.
In my opinion the best tank on a lawn is parked outside the Museum of the Revolution in Cuba. Fidel Castro rode it into the Bay of Pigs. It’s a bloody brilliant tank. And Cuba’s a land of bloody brilliant opportunities.
A mate of mine gave me a great piece of advice when he heard I was going and I pass it on to you now because it’s bang on and (almost) free. Here it is: don’t bother buying a travel guide before you go, just wander into Havana’s oldest square, the Plaza de Armas and buy a copy of Our Man In Havana.
It’s a brilliant book for two reasons. First, it sticks it right up the stuffy establishment who think a load of vacuum cleaner diagrams are actually nuclear bomb parts. Couldn’t happen today of course.
Second, read the book and you’ll realise that all the places weren’t made up. They’re all real and they’re still there. You can wander through the streets in the book just the right side of a couple of rums, surrounded by the maidens’ thighs that shaped the cigar you’re half way through.
Now that’s a proper travel guide.
But will Cuba be able to withstand the tourist tidal wave now it’s getting matey with America again? They had 3 million visitors last year and that number’s expected to go one way only.
Business is about to take off and I’m going to be part of it. Deals are being done. US banks like Stonegate and big telecoms firms like IDT are already getting stuck in. And last year the US exported $300 million worth of products to Cuba.
Sure there are risks. But that’s what business is all about. Risk, opportunity and the balls to have a go. Like I said, there are three types of people in business.