Sunday, 17 April 2016

Opportunities are hidden in challenges — Dr. Harry Benjamin





Jamaican-born Dr. Harry Paul Benjamin is a global entrepreneur and success coach. He talks about his career and passion for impacting people
Why did you cease to practise as a medical doctor?
Growing up as a young man, I wanted to be rich just like every other person who had the desire to be wealthy. I thought to become wealthy, I had to become either a doctor or an engineer. Later, I realised that those professions don’t really allow you to be wealthy and so when I was in medical school, I realised I had to become a  businessman if I wanted to be wealthy.  I started off by selling cars and that earned me more money than what I received as salary from the government of Jamaica. Then, I met  my wife and we built a car dealership  that had over 100 employees.  However, there were some principles of success I did not comprehend in my first climb up the mountain and one of them is tithing. I did not recognise the importance of making tithing similar to taxes. If you are working for a company, the government takes the taxes upfront and you don’t see it. That is the same way we should treat our tithes. I did not do so in my first climb and I believe that was the primary reason the wealth that my wife and I had accumulated started to fall away.
We looked for other ways to add to our cash flow and one of the things that came into our hands was empowering people and it happened through being introduced to the business we are currently involved in. In 2010, a very close friend of mine introduced me to Organo Gold which is now known as ORGANO. Some people call it network marketing  but if you  really understand it at its deepest level, you would realise that it is personal development and growing people. After getting involved and seeing the health benefits that people receive from using the products, it gave me the moral responsibility to get this out. The second thing  I  experienced upon  joining the company was how people have been able to  overcome financial difficulties and many others reinforced their existing portfolio of income.
Presently, I am into success development and coaching of people but we are using the business as a tool that will help people to grow and prosper.
A lot of companies are into network marketing, how is your company different?
Network marketing as an industry has about 10,000 companies and industries doing over $180bn per year as revenues. The difference between these companies is not much because we all make use of almost the same materials to function. What really makes us different is the leadership style. At ORGANO, our philosophy is to use the platform  to develop people. It is one thing to be rich and another thing to teach people how to become wealthy. What makes the company different is not the product because you can imitate the product but you cannot copy the leadership style which is unique. This sets us apart from other companies.
Where does the passion to enrich people’s lives come from?
The passion comes from within. I’m a God-centred individual and I know why I am in Nigeria. Understanding my purpose is basically what allows me to be passionate. I have it at the back of my mind that I am on earth to leave a footprint. I want my life to be a blessing to others and not just my family and those who are closest to me.
How would you sum up the experience of doing business in Nigeria?
Change is a wonderful thing. A lot of people don’t like it but it is a good thing. If you want bigger opportunities, it is going to be hidden in bigger challenges. Right now, Nigeria is going through a clean-up and this is actually one of the best times to be here. This is when opportunities are open after the challenges are over.
What are the most useful resources you would recommend to someone who wants to be a financial success?
You need capital to start up your business which could be understood as ‘cash’ to start up. Cash is usually controlled by different central banks, or sometimes individuals and it is limited in terms of how much of  it is produced and how to maintain its value. The other capital which is unlimited is humans. The human capital is the most easily available capital resource. So, what we do is to develop human beings to become better individuals, so they can get better resources. Therefore, it is easier to invest in people, which will help you generate income for your growth.
What are you doing to ensure that your growth and development continues as a leader?
I am always reading materials of people who have done great things. Great authors like John Maxwell, Ryan Tracy and the rest of them. Personally, I have read over 100 books and that’s an inherent part of my own growth. I also participate in training and events that are geared towards leadership development and my most important asset in my life is that I have mentors. I learn from their experiences and it has helped me to avoid some mistakes. At some point in my life, I was arrogant, self-centred, I didn’t know how to manage my finances and I didn’t like to listen to other people. But all of that changed after I experienced a difficult time in my life, my family and my finances.
In choosing role models and mentors, what qualities should one consider?
Look at their history, track record and integrity. Examine the person’s life, what is unique about this person, what are people saying about this person and check how this person has impacted your life. Apart from helping themselves, who have they helped? Who is better off because they came into their lives? Those  few individuals that you remember impacted your life are those who should be your mentors.
How supportive is your wife of your career?
My wife has been a wonderful partner in my journey and she is  not just the mother of our three children. As a result of commitment, my wife came to Nigeria with me and has helped tremendously over the years by supporting my career, even when it was tough and challenging.
What issues is your book, Moving From Serfdom To Freedom, going to address?
Serfdom is a 16th century word that was used to describe people who were technically slaves. They were given a salary but they were born in a farm and had an owner. A lot of times, individuals are in some level of bondage. Even though it may be our jobs, they have restrictions and they are unable to do the things that they like to do. Freedom on the other hand means financial independence, being where you want to be, when  and with whom you want on your own terms. So, the book will address what you have to do to be able to overcome and get to that level where you can have that liberty.
How do you relax?
One of the things I like to do is have a nice meal. I love interacting with my wife and children in different ways. Also, I like to know God deeper and better. We plan to visit other countries soon to see their culture.






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