Thursday, December 16, 2010


Below is a speech I gave at the combined Grade 10 and 12 Graduation of Kitip Secondary School in the Western Highlands Province on Friday 12th November 2010.

I am very thankful to the Graduation Committee for giving me the opportunity to address the 28th Grade 10 and 6th 12 Graduation Ceremony of Kitip Lutheran Secondary School. The last time I came here for the same purpose was in 2008.

My speech today, which is from my heart, is titled “YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED IN LIFE.” It is aimed at both graduating and continuing students, as well as other young people who are in the crowd. I must warn that some things I say today may not go down well with your way of thinking.

Have you ever wondered what the basic ingredients which you need to become a successful person are? Many people think that to be successful, you must be educated to university level and hold a high-paying job. Others think you must be born into a rich family, or get married to someone rich. Some think people who gamble live good lives, so they spend their money in all forms of gambling, hoping to hit the jackpot one day. Some even think that they can live good lives if they sell drugs, or steal and rob, or ask for bribery before they perform services they are already paid to carry out.

What I want to tell you today is that every one of you, regardless of whether you are a student, a drop out or someone who has never been to school, already possesses the six basic ingredients necessary for success. Every one of you can become successful, regardless of how relatively uneducated you are, or how poor your backgrounds are, or how young or old you are. And there is no distinction between male and female here.

Let me share with you the six ingredients of success.

Firstly, you have SOUND MINDS. Your mind is the greatest asset which is totally misused and underutilised. Scientists say that the average person uses only 10% of their brain capacity between the cradle and the grave, or birth and death. 90% goes to the grave unused. Most of us don’t really think hard enough. Our thinking is very shallow. I normally say, “We think that we think, but we don’t really think”.

The main difference between people who are successful and those that fail lies in how efficiently and effectively they use their minds. Education only opens our minds to the options that are out there, but success comes from the way we think. That is why you will see that many uneducated people are successful, while many educated people are failures. Some of the most successful people in the world such as inventors have been school drop outs or people that have never been to school. But they are people who have used their minds more.

Related to our minds (and this is the second ingredient) is COMMON SENSE. All of us basically know what is right and what is wrong; what is good for us and what is bad. Common sense is what we are born with. You certainly don’t need to go to school to learn it! Today, common sense is uncommon. Most young people make decisions without thinking about the likely consequences on themselves or the rest of society. Most of the problems we face today can be traced to misuse of our minds. If you utilise your common sense (meaning that you do what is right and good for you), you will succeed in life.

The third ingredient for success is TIME. Time is an asset. There are two things about time: Firstly, God has allocated each one of us an equal amount of time. All of us have 24 hours in a day – 12 hours of daylight and 12 of night, or 8 hours for sleeping, 8 for working and 8 hours of free time. Secondly, time is something we cannot conserve for later use. It comes and goes. We either use it to our benefit, or lose it for good.

The world operates on the principle that “time is money”. However, in PNG, we waste a lot of time, and as a result, we waste many opportunities on all sorts of unfruitful endeavour, and we live in self-imposed poverty in a very rich country. Just imagine what our country would be like if everyone of us did an honest day’s work, for ourselves or for others.

Time, like the mind, is a resource which is most misused, especially by young people. For instance, a lot of young people go into town and waste the whole day just walking up and down the streets. If you sit in a particular spot for a certain length of time, you will see the same group of young men and women several times, going from town to the market, back to town and the market again. That is a complete waste of time and life.

If you desire to succeed, either as a student or as a young person, use your mind and your time wisely.

Fourthly, you have HEALTH and STRENGTH. Many of you young people take your strength for granted and apply it wrongly. For instance, many young men engage in unlawful activities. You need to realise that every night you go to bed very tired and worn out, but each morning you wake up with new strength to face the day’s challenges and take advantage of the opportunities each day presents to you. Do not take your health and strength for granted. Recognise them as your assets and use them for your benefit.

Fifthly, each one of you has NATURAL TALENTS which lie dormant in your lives. Talents are skills which you are born with. I am sorry to say this, but one thing about the education system is that it does not focus on helping students to develop their natural talents. If you look within yourself, you will be surprised at some of the things you can do are things which nobody has taught you. They are in-built, a part of your make-up. If you focus on developing these, you can become successful. Some of the most highly paid people today are movie, music and sports stars. These are people who have developed their talents to such levels that other people pay to see them in action. In my village is a grade 6 drop out who can build round houses so beautifully that today he builds houses for people on contract basis and earns at least K1,000 per house. That is an example of someone who uses his natural talents to make a living.

On top of these five – SOUND MINDS, COMMON SENSE, TIME, STRENGTH and TALENTS – in PNG we are very fortunate to own LAND. We are among a few countries in the world where nearly 100% of land is owned by the people. In most other countries land is owned by the State. And when we consider that land is the basis of wealth, we can say that Papua New Guineans are born rich and wealthy! Unfortunately, because we do not realise the value of land, we are becoming poor. People in some countries are born poor and become rich, but we in Papua New Guinea are born rich and become poor.

Papua New Guinea is a very rich country. Ours is the only country that has been described as “a mountain of gold floating on a sea of oil, and powered by gas.” The country is literally a gold field. Unfortunately, there isn’t much gold, copper, oil or gas in Western Highlands Province. But we have very fertile land on which we can produce food. In fact Western Highlands Province can become the “food basket” of the country, if only our leaders provide the people with the right incentives, and the people are willing to work. If you young people humble yourselves and work the land, you will become rich.

Students (and young people in the audience), I am telling you that if you combine your MIND, COMMON SENSE, TIME, PHYSICAL STRENGTH, GOD-GIVEN TALENTS and LAND, you can become successful in life. What you need to realise is that you have all these ingredients available to you RIGHT NOW!

Notice that I have not included EDUCATION, a high-paying JOB or MONEY as ingredients for success. Let me explain why. Taking education first, let me say this: YOU DON’T NEED A UNIVERSITY DEGREE TO SUCCEED IN LIFE. How do I know this? By observing that the majority of university graduates are failing financially and in other areas of life, while the relatively uneducated are succeeding. That tells me that being highly educated does not automatically equate to being successful.

You see, the purpose of education is not to enable you to get a paying job. So many of us make an automatic connection between school and jobs. This is wrong. And this is why we have so many young people becoming frustrated all over the country because they cannot get jobs. No. The purpose of education is to provide you with information and knowledge. When you possess knowledge, your mind becomes open to the many options that are out there, so that you can see several ways of making a living for yourself.

GETTING A PAID JOB IS JUST ONE OPTION IN LIFE, NOT THE ONLY OPTION. In fact, IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY, A PAID JOB IS THE LAST OPTION YOU WOULD CONSIDER, NOT THE FIRST. Why do I say this? Well, if you look around, the people making the most money are not people who work for others; those who make the most money are those who work for themselves. And many such people are uneducated.

Now let’s look at money. In my list of assets you have to possess to succeed, I did not include money. THIS IS BECAUSE MONEY IS JUST A BY-PRODUCT OF APPLYING YOUR MIND, TIME, STRENGTH, TALENTS and LAND. Many people think they need money to succeed, but this is incorrect. If you combine what you have, money will come. YOU DON’T NEED MONEY TO MAKE MONEY; YOU CAN MAKE MONEY WITHOUT MONEY – PARTICULARLY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

As some of you may know, I am an advocate of SELF-EMPLOYMENT. I have written a book on the subject called Be Your Own Boss and I have been sharing my ideas in the newspapers. I am glad to report today that many Papua New Guineans are catching the idea and are starting their own businesses. I believe that is the way to go. The country needs many small business people who create jobs. We have too many job-seekers. We need to take our economy back from large multinational corporations and foreign businesses that are mushrooming all over the country.

With the LNG project and other resource developments taking place all over the country, the environment is right for us local people to start small businesses. Let us not leave the playing field wide open for Asians to play the game. We must not complain when they succeed under our noses. We must get in, play the game, and beat them.

So my friends – students, parents and teachers - I am sorry if I have messed up your minds by what I have said today, but before you dismiss it and stick to the old way you have been looking at life, I urge to you think deeply about what I have said today.

I would even go so far as to suggest to you that if you do not make it to Grade 11 or a tertiary institution next year, BE VERY GLAD, NOT VERY SAD. Take it as an opportunity to do something with your time, mind, strength, talents and land. Don’t rush to upgrade your marks or look for other options to further your education. Consider the option of starting a small business instead. Be committed to it, and I can assure you that in 2-6 years time when your colleagues who have continued up the educational ladder start looking for jobs, you will be a few years ahead of them financially . When you have the money, you can always go back to school if you feel you need it.

Let me end with a Bible story. In the book of Exodus Chapters 3 and 4, we read about the encounter Moses had with Jehovah God, where God calls Moses to go to Egypt and rescue the people of Israel from bondage. Moses tries to make God change His mind by giving excuses as to why he is not the right person to carry out the assignment. But God insists that Moses is the right person for the job. He tells Moses, “I will be with you.” Then He asks Moses what he has in his hand. Moses replies that he has a shepherd’s rod. God tells Moses to throw the stick onto the ground, and when Moses does so, the stick turns into a serpent and Moses jumps away from it. God instructs Moses to pick the snake up by its tail, and when Moses does so, it turns back into a stick. God tells Moses, “I am going to perform many miracles, signs and wonders with this rod, and deliver the Israelites from slavery.”

Notice that to Moses, the rod was just a rod; to God, it was mighty instrument of signs, wonders, miracles and deliverance. God already saw what Moses had in his hand, but yet He asked Moses what it was. Why did God ask Moses? So that Moses could realise that what he had was more than a shepherd’s rod. It was something greater than Moses thought.

One thing we can learn from this story, which is relevant to my message today, is that sometimes the things which we think are insignificant are the very things that can help us succeed in life. We tend to overlook them, because we think our success ingredients are in some other place or in some other people.

So students, in closing, let me reiterate: YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED IN LIFE! You possessed the ingredients before you came to school. Now that you are educated, you have increased your chances for success, because now you possess not only a sound mind and common sense, but an educated mind. You should succeed regardless of whether you continue on to further education or the system pushes you out. If you find out next year that your name has been dropped from those who will be entering a tertiary institution or Grade 11, don’t worry about that. You may not be able to obtain a tertiary qualification, but you can still succeed, because you have what it takes to succeed.

To graduating students, CONGRATULATIONS! To everyone, an early MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have been discussing business ideas in the last few of articles. As regular readers will know by now, my definition of a business is a system which is established to provide goods or services which satisfy the needs or solve the problems of society. Going by this definition, I have said that the best way to develop business ideas is to look for needs or problems and come up with ways to satisfy them. The more efficiently you are able to solve problems or meet needs, the more successful your business will be. I have made the definition of a business as wide as possible to impress upon you that the only limit to the kinds of businesses you can engage in is your imagination.

In this and the next several articles, I would like to discuss a number of business ideas which readers can think about getting into.

We just had the National Book Week in PNG, which concentrated on encouraging people to read. This is good. But one problem (or business opportunity) I see that most of what people are encouraged to read is material written and published by foreign authors. I believe that we need more Papua New Guinean writers. I also believe that PNG is becoming a more literate nation. The number of readers in the country has been increasing and will continue to do so. Just look at how many people are reading newspapers now compared to the past. That is why I believe that it is now time for people to start writing for a living.

I would like to share my personal experience in writing and publishing as a business. I have met many people who are interested in writing, so this article may be a source of inspiration to them.

Book writing and publishing is an ideal business, for the following reasons:

• We live in the information age where the thirst for knowledge and information is unquenchable. I believe that everyone has at least one book in them, which if they wrote and published, would help other people. I don’t believe people who say that there is no market for books in PNG. From my experience, there is a big market for books in the country. The challenge is to find it and meet its demands.

• Considering that we live in a world without borders or a global village, when you write books, the whole world is your potential market. The challenge is to find the market for your particular kinds of books. There are 6 billion people in the world today. Stretch your mind and imagine if you could sell your book to a million people or just 0.02% of the population. Multiply that by the average price of your book and see how much you could make. There may not be many readers in the country, but there are hundreds of millions of readers in the world. You can sell your books on the world market through the Internet, both in hard copy and electronic book form. The book market is valued in the trillions. You have a better chance of making millions in such a market. That is why successful authors are multi-millionaires. Some of them are so successful that they get paid millions even before they start writing their books!

• Book publishing is a mobile business. If you have a laptop computer, you can literally take your business everywhere you go. I live in Goroka but I have written my books in Port Moresby, Lae, Hagen, Tabubil, and even in the village using a generator as the power source for my laptop. I have written parts of my books at airports lounges while waiting for the plane. There aren’t many other businesses that are as portable.

• And with today’s information technology, you can be in touch with buyers anytime. I get book enquiries and orders through email or my mobile phone anywhere and anytime I am able to get access to the Internet or phone access. You can take your books and sell them everywhere you go. When people get to know that you are in that business, they will always ask you if you have copies with you. You show one person a copy and may end up selling several because others may be interested as well.

• When you get into book publishing, it can be a one-man show, at least until you need to get other people to help out. You can write books and get them edited by other people. You then engage a printing company to print the books, after which you get a distributor to sell your books if they have a good network. Otherwise you can market and sell the books yourself. You can sell single copies or in bulk. Your operational costs can be very minimal.

• Your mark-ups can be substantial. For instance, you may spend K15,000 to print 1,000 copies of a 200-page book. The more books you print, the lower the unit cost. In this case your unit cost is K15/copy. Your freight and marketing costs may add up to K3/copy. So your total cost is K18/copy. When it comes to pricing, you have monopoly power. (There may be other books that are similar to yours, but they aren’t exactly like your book, so your book is literally the only one of its kind on the market). So you can set any price you want. Say you decide to set K45/copy as your retail price. Your profit margin would be 150%. Every time you sell one copy, you make K27. If you print more than 1,000 copies, your unit cost would fall; consequently, your profit margin would be higher. Imagine if you sold 10,000 copies. What if you sold a million copies on the world market?

• When you publish a book, you position yourself to earn what is known as ‘residual’ income. What this means is that your hard work in writing and publishing the book gets rewarded over and over and over. When you work at a paid job, your labour does not have residual value. When you work, you get paid; when you stop working, your salary stops coming in. So the only way to keep money coming in is by going back to work every day. It is different when it comes to book writing. You may expend several months or a year writing a book. So you do all the hard work over that period of time. When it comes to selling your book, there is no time limit. If you run short, you don’t rewrite the book again. You simply instruct your printer to print more copies, and you just keep on selling. The time and effort you put into writing the book has residual value, that is why the money you earn can be labeled as ‘residual’ income. The beauty of it is that copy right laws cover you for the next 70 or so years! So you can write a book over a period of one year and get paid for the next 70 years.

• When you write books, you make money but at the same time you become prominent in the community. Many people will recognize and respect you, and some will even consider you as an expert or authority in the subject you have written your book on. Such recognition will open many other doors into your life. You will definitely meet a lot of people of all walks of life. You may get interviewed on radio or TV. Newspaper journalists may follow you around for stories. You may get invited and paid to speak. You may even create a secondary source of income by converting the main ideas in your book into a seminar or training material. This has been my experience since I started writing in 2006. I have been interviewed twice by Radio Australia; I have spoken on NBC and local radio many times; I have been featured on newspapers; now I am writing for this paper; I have been invited to speak at school graduations; I have met prominent people like our Governor-General and many MPs; and I have been doing seminars for corporate organisations. Seminars is another business of its own, which I will discuss in the next article. People who have known me for long know that I have always been a quiet and obscure person. Writing books has completely transformed my life. It was difficult initially but my persistence is now beginning to pay off. It is now much easier to sell my books than it was when I first started. My readers are always asking when the next book will be published.

There are many other benefits you can realize from writing books as a business. But I believe that I have given you enough in this article to get you thinking seriously about writing your first book. If you are a teacher or ex-teacher, I encourage you to put your experience into a book. The education system is short of teaching materials. You can meet that need by writing a book on the subject you have been teaching. Schools need all kinds of books. If you are an economist, accountant, lawyer, mechanic, technician, food technologist, engineer, journalist, etc, there is a market for your expertise. You may not believe what I am saying but it is true.

You need to transfer your knowledge and experience to the next generation through at least one book, otherwise all the knowledge you possess will become food for the maggots in your grave.


I have discussed how to develop business ideas in the last two articles. I emphasized the importance of identifying needs or problems and coming up with products or services to meet those needs or solve the problems people face. The more effectively you can help people satisfy their needs or solve their problems, the more you get paid. The emphasis once again is not on money, but on people. If you help people and make their lives a bit more comfortable, they will give you their money. So remember this: A business does not exist for the purpose of making money; it exists to make solve peoples’ problems.

I also discussed the importance of meeting needs and solving problems using your unique set of talents, hobbies and skills. What I would like to add here is that every one of us is multi-talented, meaning that you can do several things well. You may also be multi-skilled, and you may have more than one thing you do as a hobby. What I encourage you to do is therefore to look out for more than one problem or need that people have, and how you can address them using your different talents and skills.

Let me say here that the majority of business people took their ideas from existing businesses. In other words, not many businesses are novel or completely new. While many businesses are exact copies of existing businesses, many are variants of existing businesses. I would like to see more Papua New Guinean businesses that are completely novel, meaning that they are addressing needs and problems in a completely new way. That, I believe, is true innovativeness and entrepreneurship. But such businesses emerge from a lot of conceptualizing and meditation. People look at the needs they see around them, and they think up solutions without any visual reference. It all takes place in the mind.

But I also realize that most of us see more with our eyes than we think (or see with our minds), and we tend to believe what we see more than what we hear. Therefore, when it comes to business, we normally tend to look around to see what other people are doing, and most of us think about doing exactly the same things. The result is that competition increases, and we end up driving prices down. This is obviously good for the buyers of our products and services, but as business people, competition works against our "bottom line".

That is why I have been advising in the past two articles that you either do something completely new, or do what other people are doing but in a different way. Do what others are doing, but set yourself apart from them by the way you do it. It is called differentiation.

Questions You Should Ask
How do you set yourself apart from others? How do you do what existing businesses are doing but differentiate yourself from them? Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Each question forces you to think deep and look for hidden opportunities which others have overlooked (because they were not obvious). As you consider each question, think of real examples of businesses that have differentiated themselves from others doing the same things or selling the same products.

1. Is there a better way for meeting a need or solving a problem? This question indicates that you are thinking of doing what other are already doing, but you are looking for ways to improve on what they are doing. Let your imagination run wild. Look at needs that are being met, but think of ways you can do it better or more efficiently. You will be surprised at the kind of business ideas you come up with.

2. Can I make it bigger? Sometimes size and price makes a big difference. Remember the days when Bmobile was the only company in the market providing mobile phone services? Services were very unreliable, and limited to the major centres. Unreliable services provided the opportunity for another operator to enter the market. When Digicel entered the market, it concentrated on developing its network. It built an extensive network of towers, even into rural areas where Bmobile didn’t think of going into. It can therefore now boast of having “The Bigger, Better Network”, and it is still expanding. The result is that Bmobile has become a follower, even though it was the first to be in the market.

3. Can I make it cheaper? Price is probably the most important factor that determines peoples’ purchasing decisions. Generally, the cheaper the product, the more people will buy it (assuming that minimum quality standards are maintained). If you can introduce a good quality product or service at a lower price, you will have no problems attracting buyers.

When Bmobile was the only mobile phone service provider, their prices for handsets were very high, and they forced customers to buy K200 worth of credits at the same time as they bought the handsets. It was expensive for most people to own mobile phones. When Digicel came, it made mobile communication much more affordable by introducing cheaper phones. Today you can buy a phone for as low as K29. As well as that, Digicel introduced the K3 prepaid phone card. This brought mobile phone services to the level of grassroots people.

Bmobile had no choice but to follow suit, because K3 was more affordable than K20 or even K10 cards. You will notice that Digicel did something Bmobile was already doing, but in a much better way. If Bmobile had made mobile communication affordable by building a network covering the country and sold cheap phones and cards, Digicel may have found the PNG market unviable.

4. Can I introduce a product or service that solves problems faster? In today’s fast-paced world, people are always looking for ways cut down on the time it takes to do things. The search for faster ways of communication led to the invention of the telex machine, followed by the fax machine. Today most people communicate by email and text messaging. Fast-food outlets help people satisfy their hunger much faster than if they were to cook themselves. Taxis ferry people to their destinations faster than buses that are required to follow established routes. Think of products such as instant coffee and two-minute noodles and you will get what I am talking about here.

5. Can I add something or subtract something? This question can help you to fine tune your business ideas until you get the unique business idea that you are willing to execute. For instance, Jasmine rice is basic long-grain rice. But producers knew that consumers add colours or flavours when they cook rice at home. So they added the jasmine flavour to make it easy for housewives. They are therefore able to charge higher prices than normal long-grain rice.

6. Can I make people’s lives more convenient? Generally people want convenience, meaning that they want to have their needs met as and when those needs arise. If you think about it, the bulk of goods and services available exist to make life more convenient living. Think of a convenience store. It sells most items people like, and it opens very early and closes very late. The owners know the basic items people need on a daily basis, and they know that the opening and closing times of the major shops are inconvenient for most people. So they make those items available for as long as they can in a day.

If you think of the food sellers around the government offices in Waigani, they are making life convenient for the workers. If government workers were to go to fast-food shops or the markets to buy lunch, it would be both costly and time-consuming. So to solve the government workers’ need for food and shorten the time looking for it, they bring food to where the workers are.

7. Can I complement an existing business? Look at an existing business and ask yourself how you can complement what that business does. For instance, I have a friend who runs a vehicle repairs workshop. On the same property is another person who sells car parts and accessories. He is a major supplier to the repair shop owner. I have also seen people with hire cars operating out of hotel rooms. Their aim is to get the hotels’ clients to rent their vehicles. So look around and think about what you could do to meet that business’s needs, or the needs of its clients.

As I stated in last week’s article, I now sell many of my books during seminars. When I first started doing the “Seven Steps To Financial Freedom” seminar, I brought copies of only one of my books from which the seminar was based. It soon turned out that the seminar was an opportunity to sell my other books as well, because people starting asking for them. Today I carry a case full of all my books. And I usually sell several copies of all the books. So the books complement the seminars, and the other way around.

8. What else can people use this for? This line of questioning would enable you to take an existing product and sell it to people to meet needs which they are not aware of. Maybe people are not buying enough because they do not know of certain qualities of the product that they could benefit from by consuming it.

Several years ago an elderly man from my village had a blocked prostate which made it very hard for him to relieve himself. I took him to the hospital and was advised that he needed to have a major operation to free the blockage. Unfortunately the hospital ran out of supplies for its operation theatre due to a major blockage on the Highlands Highway. We were told to wait, but the longer we did, the old man’s situation worsened to a point where he just couldn’t sleep. At our point of desperation, somebody suggested to me that I should try giving the old man aloe juice. I bought a container, but the patient was very reluctant. He asked, "I can drink it, but where will it go out”? I pointed out to him that he had no choice, so he took it. That night he slept very well for the first time in many weeks. He was also able to pass some urine. I bought several more containers and he drank until he was completely free of the affliction without the operation. He is still alive today. Based on this experience, I introduced the juice to two other men with similar problems, and both experienced the same results.

Nutritionists say that aloe juice provides many benefits to the body. For instance, it is said to delay the ageing process. But from my experience, it is very effective for men with prostate problems. I could easily start a business by identifying men with prostate problems and selling them the juice. I don’t have to manufacture it. The product is availabe already. All I need to do is to sell its benefits to men who suffer prostate problems.

There must be products you can start a business on by presenting their benefits in a different way to a specific group of customers.

9. How can I make this more marketable? Study an existing business to find out if you can introduce better packaging or a better delivery system. Once again, you don’t have to produce the product. You take it and deliver it more efficiently than it is being supplied to buyers.

10. What if I do something that is the opposite? Some businesses that are thriving now were started with business ideas that people considered crazy!

I could go on listing so many other possible questions you could ask when developing business ideas, but I shouldn’t give you all the answers. My aim in this article was to provoke you to start asking questions. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you must come up with your own questions and answers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


For those who have been following this column, you will recall that last week’s topic was “Developing Business Ideas”. In a previous article I defined a business as “A system through which a product or service is produced or provided to meet needs or solve problems.” Then I stated that if you want to develop business ideas, there are two things you need to do. Firstly, you need to observe and identify the needs and problems of society. What is one need or problem many people in your community, city or country face? If you think of a business as a problem-solving or need-meeting system, the playing field gets so wide that there is definitely one thing you can do. You will not run out of ideas. In fact, the only limitation will be your imagination. Or as people say, the sky will be the limit.

I have stated that after you have identified a need or a problem, the second thing you have to do is to assess yourself to see how you can provide a solution to that problem or meet that need with who you are and what you have. And I have discussed the importance of meetings needs using your natural talents, your hobbies and your special skills.

I informed readers at the end of last week’s article that this week’s discussion will be on conducting market research, but I feel I should dwell a bit more on business ideas because I believe that this area needs further elaboration. I would also like to share with readers my own personal experiences in relation to business ideas. Let me state right from the outset that the purpose I am sharing my experience is not to boast to you but to get you to think about what you can do for yourself.

Failed Attempts At Business
I have attempted several businesses. The first was a second-hand clothing shop. The second was operating a PMV bus. The third a piggery in the village. The fourth a fast-food outlet in the town I live. One thing that is common about these attempts at business is that they all ended up failing. There are several reasons why each of these businesses failed, which I will not get into here. But one thing I realize now is that I started all these businesses without any preparation and research. I started them mainly because I saw other people doing these things and seemingly making money from them. In other words, I was a copycat instead of being an original. Just because other people were making money, I thought I could make money too. I learnt the costly lesson that this was a wrong premise altogether.

In 2001 I tried doing consulting work and conducting training on coffee factory management, quality control and international trading (exporting). I based this business on my knowledge of the coffee industry, which I had worked in for some years. It worked for a short while but soon I realized that the market for my services was too small. Even though the industry is big, the number of players who would need the kind of services I was selling was small.

Book Publishing
So I went back to the drawing board and started thinking about what I should do next. That was when I started examining what needs are out there, and my own talents, hobbies and skills. And that is how I ended up going into book publishing followed by motivational seminars. I realised that writing is one of the many talents I am gifted with. So I wrote Success After Graduation, my first book, and had it published in 2006. The book discusses issues which students do not learn about while in school, such as what the job market is like, how to write a job application and perform at an interview, how to develop work habits that will help you rise up the corporate ladder, what you do when you are fired by the boss, how to plan for retirement, marriage, and self-employment when job hunting becomes unfruitful. The book was self-published, and it sold out in the first lot within 6 six months. After reprinting a second time, I have expanded the book and am now in the process of publishing a second edition under a different title.

Young Money, my second book, was published in 2007. I wrote this book to help working class people manage their salaries in a way that can help them become financially independent and free. The need for such a book became clear to me when I saw that the bulk of working people were living in habitual debt due mainly to financial mismanagement. That book sold out within the first 3 months and I have had it reprinted twice already.

In 2009 I published Be Your Own Boss, my third book. This book has impacted most people that have read it. I am hearing that many people have started their own businesses after reading the book, which is exactly why I wrote it in the first place. Many of the articles in this column have been based on this book.

Steven Winduo, an academic from the University of PNG, stated in an article in The National of 16th July 2010 that as far as he is aware, nobody in PNG writes for a living. He was wrong, because I have been writing for a living for the past 4 years now. I am not saying that I am rich from this profession (hopefully one day I will), but I am making a living writing full-time.

Mr. Winduo was probably correct as he was discussing book writing for a living from the perspective of an academic. There isn’t a lot of money instance from writing poems, novels, biographies or technical papers. But I believe that if you write a text book and market it well, you can make big money because locally-written textbooks are a need in this country. You can in fact retire on one well-written and marketed secondary or high school text book that is in line with the new education curriculum. Most teachers have been complaining that the out-come based (OBE) curriculum requires teaching materials (text books and student workbooks) which are not available. Well, there is a need right there. If you meet it with your writing skills and teaching experience, you can literally set yourself up for life. Something for teachers and lecturers to think about.

Going back to my publishing business, I have identified so many needs in the country that I have a plan to write at least 10 different books to meet those needs. I will shortly be publishing 2 of my latest books, one of which is aimed at addressing the needs of students and the other the financial problems faced by church-going people. From the responses I have been getting from readers of this column, I have identified the need for a book on how to start a business, so I have started writing it. I have also been asked by many people how they can write books as well. I take that as a definite need, so I am writing a book on how to write a book. Two other books are on real estate and stock market investing.

Books are products I am developing to meet needs and address problems faced by many people in this country. Making money is secondary to me. If I can help people solve their problems or make their lives worthwhile, I know that money will come. That is the attitude you need to have. Don’t go for money first. Don’t start a business to make a lot of money. Do something that helps people, and money will find you.

Motivational Seminars
When I published my second book, somehow Radio Australia’s Pacific Service got wind of it and did a live interview by telephone. Among the listeners was an Australian manager of Hasting Deerings (PNG) Limited based in Port Moresby. After the radio interview ended, he contacted me by email and asked if I could come talk to his employees. He also attended the launching of the book by Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane.

In our discussions, he told me how much the company paid its employees, and how that the majority of employees were constantly running out of money and asking for company advances. He also stated how surprised he was to learn that many of his employees had been borrowing from more than one lender. He stated further that indebtedness was impacting on peoples’ performance, such that some people were not turning up for work on paydays because their debtors were waiting outside the office to collect their money. Some were even having problems in their families because of financial difficulties.

That discussion helped me realize that this was a nation-wide problem. It also brought back memories of observations I had made of the people I had worked with before. I also recalled how I used to run out of money too and borrowed several times when I was on salaried jobs. It further reminded me of a recent attempt by then Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari to stop public servants from borrowing money from finance companies, and how the borrowers colluded with the lenders to take court action against him because people felt that he was trying to cut off their sustenance.

I therefore designed a motivational training program called “Seven Steps To Financial Freedom” to address the problem. Financial freedom is the point in life where you do not need to work, either for yourself or someone else, and yet you are able to meet all your living expenses. You live the life of your dreams because your money works for you. This contrasts with what school has taught us to do, which is to work for money.

I am thankful to Hastings Deering for helping me launch the seminar part of my publishing business. The company took me to Lae, Port Moresby, Tabubil, Lihir and Kokopo to teach employees how to manage their fortnightly pay with a view to becoming financially free through budgeting, saving, starting businesses and investing. I have also presented this training to employees of the Coffee Industry Corporation, the Investment Promotion Authority and Barrick PNG’s Kainantu gold mine. This week I conducted pre-retirement financial management and investing training for PNG Power employees aged 47 years and over at the Yonki township. Next week will be in Hagen. I am in discussions with Air Niugini, PNG Forest Authority and Barrick Porgera as well.

Other seminars I have developed cover academic excellence for students, book publishing, real estate and share market investing. I have also been in discussions with several MPs about the possibility of conducting business training for unemployed young people in their electorates.

I am not telling you all this to boast about what I am doing. My purpose is to help open your eyes to look around and see needs and start meeting them with your unique set of talents and skills. After having tried several businesses which were based on what other people were doing, I think I am now in a business that is unique, because it is based on my own uniqueness. I am probably the only one writing and speaking for a living in PNG today. That places me as the first in the writing and motivational speaking market. I have two income streams which are complementary. I write books and design seminars based on the books. I get paid to speak, and I also sell my books.

I am enjoying every bit of it because what I am doing is inspiring other people to believe in themselves and realize their potential. People are using my ideas to start their own businesses, invest in properties and shares, etc. For example, I know of two recent university graduates who started their businesses after hearing me speak at a church. One of them has reported that he is now running a million-kina operation after only 2 years of starting the business! Many people have given up on betel nuts, alcohol, smoking and gambling, while others have come out of debt and have started to save money for the first time. And yes, I am making money from these seminars, which as I have stated, is secondary. I help people become successful, and I make a living in the process. That, I reckon, is the real purpose of a business.

If you do what others are doing, you will face competition right from day one. But if you do something completely different, you will be first in the market. That will give you a head start. My challenge therefore is that if you are really interested in starting a business, think of doing something unique. Think of needs which nobody else is addressing. In other words, think of carving out a niche for yourself.

However, if you run out of ideas and resort to doing what people are already doing, do it a little bit differently from the rest. Add your personal touch to it. Do something that will differentiate you from the others. This is the second best option available to you. The best, and more challenging option however, is to start a completely novel or new business.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Developing Business Ideas

In the last article I discussed natural talents, hobbies and skills as the basis for a thriving business. The crux of the discussion was that if you are to go into business, make sure that business is aligned to your talents and hobbies, because only then will you enjoy running the business. If the business is based on your skills or on what other people have been doing (meaning you just copied their ideas), you may make money but you may not be satisfied because it goes against your nature. If you ask seemingly successful business people, they will tell you that they still feel there is something missing in their lives. Their real interests (talents and hobbies which give them real satisfaction) lie elsewhere.

Let me give you an example. PNG has recently witnessed a boom in motels, lodges and guest houses, both in rural areas and in the main centres. This has been a response to the shortage of reasonably-priced accommodation in the hospitality industry. All the hotels have priced their rooms out of the reach of the majority of clients, so small lodges and guest houses have sprung up to meet the needs particularly of ordinary Papua New Guinean travelers, small business people, public servants etc. Many families in urban centres have converted their houses or parts of them into guest rooms which they charge on a nightly basis instead of renting the houses out for monthly income. A four-bedroom house can be rented at between K500 and K1,000 per week depending on location, but it can also make between K80 and K150 per room per night. In this instance, the owner has the potential to make between K9,600 and K18,000 per month (assuming 100% occupancy) instead of just K2,000 and K4,000 per month by renting the house.

I have been doing a bit of travelling lately. As a small business person, I cannot afford staying in a hotel, so I have been staying in lodges and guest houses, most of which are run by families. What I have noticed in many instances is that even though the location of the place and the rooms are okay, the atmosphere is not inviting. Sometimes people do not greet you; some are rude. You can feel that the people who run the business are only interested in money, not you as another human being. If you look into the lives of such people, you will invariably find that they are not naturally generous and hospitable people. They are running the place just to make money.

A family friend recently established a lodge. The man and his wife are very compassionate and generous people. They have looked after a lot of other peoples’ kids over the years. You can sense love in their hearts when you talk with them or visit them at home. Their lodge is always full of guests, so they are making a lot of money. But for them, the lodge is not merely a money-making venture. It really exists as an extension of their hearts of hospitality and generosity. It is an avenue for them to meet people and show them acts of kindness. You can sense generosity when they give you a free complimentary breakfast. Their meals are also very generous. You get more in terms of quality and quantity than you can get from a hotel. For me, this family is in the right business. They are doing something that aligns well with their nature and the kind of people they are.

What Business Should You Start?
As you may recall, I have defined a business as a system established to solve problems or meets needs of society. When we see a business in operation, our minds immediately go to the money that is made. But money is only a reward. The main purpose of the business is solving problems and meeting needs.

If you think of a business in this way, you will realise that the sky is the limit when you start thinking of what business to start. This is because whichever way you look, you will see problems to be solved or needs begging to be satisfied. Most people see these problems and needs as just that: problems and needs. But people with entrepreneurial minds see problems as business opportunities. They believe that problems and opportunities are opposite sides of the same coin.

So if you have been reading the articles in this column and have been wondering what is the best business to get into, I encourage you firstly to open your eyes and see the needs that are out there, and secondly, to see how best you can marry or match those needs to your special set of talents, hobbies and skills. That is if you want to do something that is novel or completely new and unique, something different from what everybody is doing.

I have been emphasizing this because I believe that your chances of success are greatest if you are the first to spot an opportunity and establish a system to take advantage of it. When you do something new and start making money from it, other people will definitely copy what you do. But being first in the market gives you the advantage of establishing contacts and developing a client base which newcomers may have a difficult time winning over.

The next best thing you can do is to look at what other people are already doing, and introduce a product or service that is somewhat differentiated from what is on the market. Or if you live in a centre where nobody is doing what you have seen people do in another place, you might introduce exactly the same product or service if you have the means to do it. This is in fact one of the main ways the majority of businesses have been started. That is why the majority of businesses are similar, with only a few differences in the way the businesses are conducted or the products or services are packaged and delivered.

Let me give you a simple example in the PNG context. Consider the market for live chickens. In Goroka where I live, 8-week old chickens used to be sold for K20. Today, demand is such that chickens are sold for between K25 and K30 at ages ranging from 6 to 8 weeks. You can easily sell 6 week old chickens for K25. Most farmers buy day-old chicks in lots of 50 at a time. They then feed the chicks for 6 weeks before selling. After sales they buy another 50 chicks for fattening. So their sales regime is 50 chickens every 6 weeks. Assuming that all the chickens live and get sold, their gross income is K1,250 every 6 weeks. Half of that income would cover costs, with the other half being profit.

If you wanted to get into the live chicken business, you could do it a bit differently as follows. Instead of buying 50 day-old chicks, you would buy only 20. After 2 weeks you could buy another 20, and another 20 the following fortnight. In this way you would have a constant supply of 20 chickens to sell every second week.

Let us consider your income potential under these two regimes. If you sell 50 chickens every 6 weeks, you would work with 9 batches in a year. Your gross income would be K25 x 50 chickens x 9 batches = K11,250. With 20 chickens every week, your potential annual gross income would be K25 x 20 chickens x 26 batches = K13,000.

The advantage of selling 20 chickens every second week is not so much the money you make. Of course you are in the business to make money so money is important. But what I want you to see beyond money is the need for live chickens that you would be meeting. No matter where you are, there is a big need for live chickens. There are always different kinds of parties, celebrations and ‘mumus’ going on. In PNG society traditional ceremonies take place almost every weekend, even in urban centres. And people prefer live over frozen chicken.

What I have noticed is that many farmers do not have chickens to sell on a consistent basis. Most of them tell clients that they have run out of chickens or that the chickens are not ready for sale. Not many have chickens to sell every week. So their incomes are sporadic, not constant.

If you came up with a plan to sell batches of live chickens on a fortnightly or even weekly basis, you would have a beaten path to your house, because buyers would know that no matter what day or time they come looking for chickens, you would not turn them down. You enable them to meet their needs, and they happily pay you. The word would also get around that you are a serious farmer who has chickens to sell every day.

You could start with 20 chickens a fortnight, then to 20 a week and maybe increase to 50 or 100 a week after you gain experience and establish an efficient management system. At that level it would be a business turning over thousands of kina in a year.

I am sure that you can think of several other businesses people already run which you could improve on and make a comfortable living from.

Brainstorm Several Ideas
It is better to consider between 3 and 5 ideas instead of locking yourself into just one idea. The more ideas you consider, the more likely you are to zero in one that works. Don’t limit yourself. Be open-minded, and don’t be afraid to even consider ideas which seem crazy.

I have discovered in my own life that ideas in my mind come to me in a different way when I speak them out and hear myself express them. I therefore like discussing with people, not to get their opinions but primarily to use them as my sounding boards. All I need for them to do is to just listen and allow my words to bounce back from them. The more I speak, the more new ideas come to me in ways I never thought of initially. It is based on this experience that I also like listening to people talk about their dreams and aspirations. They need me as their sounding board. They need to get their ideas bounce of me and return to them in a new ways.

It is for this reason that I normally advise young people and students to establish what I call ‘success councils’ made up of like-minded people where they can generate and share ideas. Some people call them ‘master mind’ groups. Most young people get into groups to talk about their boyfriends and girlfriends, or sports, politics, religious beliefs, etc. While these may be important subjects, I propose that it is even more important to talk about business ideas in such groups.

Many large corporations which are progressive have such groups where they encourage employees to talk about ideas to take their organizations forward. They are already successful but they don’t rest on their laurels, because the business world is becoming increasingly competitive. In order to survive as well as to make progress, they generate new ideas through the ‘master mind’ groups.

I have read that an increasing number of educational institutions in America and elsewhere have been encouraging students to form such groups and start businesses even while studying, in recognition of that fact that paid jobs are scarce. Many universities now boast student entrepreneurs as a result of these business brainstorming programs. This is something for our institutions of higher learning to consider.

The subject of today’s discussion is obviously extensive and I know I have only scratched the surface. The two possible ways to develop ideas which I have highlighted are firstly to consider starting a business which is completely new by tapping into your talents or hobbies and matching them to the problems and needs around you. Secondly, to take ideas which are already working and make improvements to them so as to make your business stand apart from the rest.

I hope you have gained some insight into how you can develop a business idea.

Starting A Business: Your Talents, Hobbies And Skills

The first step to starting a business is discovering who you are and what you have.

What Are Your Natural Talents?
What you must understand is that you are a unique human being. Out of the 6 billion or so people who inhabit planet earth today, there is no one exactly like you anywhere in the world. You are so intricately designed that the very marks on your palms and fingers are completely different from everyone else’s! That is why criminal investigators take peoples’ finger prints. Even identical twins have different sets of finger prints.

You are the only one of your kind. What follows from this is that because you are unique, there is something that you can do, the way only you can do it. Other people may try to do what you do, but they can never do it exactly like you can. Other people may try to be like you but they can never be you. Neither can you be like others so there is really no point in trying to be like other people.

Secondly, you need to understand that regardless of whether you believe in Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution or the “survival of the fittest” doctrine, or the Bible’s creation account, there is something you have been born with which is designed to enable you to survive. In other words, you have an in-built talent or ability which you can use to make a living for yourself as well as to bless the rest of society in your own unique way.

I raise the above points because when it comes to business, there are a lot of copycats around. People see what others who are in business do, and the kind of money they make, and they try to do exactly the same. This is especially true in Papua New Guinea. That is why there are so many failed businesses and only a few successes. That is also why there is a lot of competition in the business world. Everybody tries to cut corners and undercut or outdo the others in the marketplace because they are all in the same business.

If you want to succeed in business, you need to discover and build a business based on your unique natural talents. You may be doing what other people are doing, but the application of your talents will set you apart. What you do will be different from the rest. The product you supply or the service you provide will be differentiated by your nature, and you will be able to carve out a niche for yourself. Only then can you be in business for life.

Let me give you a personal example. I am in the business of writing books and conducting motivational seminars in the areas of academic excellence, financial management, business, and investing. Writing is a talent I was born with and have developed over the years. Speaking was a talent which was dormant for many years until only recently. In fact I didn’t know that I had the talent to speak in public in a way that would inspire other people. I have been a very shy person from birth. Many people who knew me in the past are surprised when they hear me speak with boldness and confidence in large gatherings or on radio.

I express my uniqueness when I write or speak. I do so in a way only I can do it. This differentiates me from other writers and speakers. That is why I am not afraid to tell other people how to write books. I openly share with them the process involved in getting a book from the stage of an idea to getting it published and placed on the shelf of a bookshop, because to me, nobody can ever write the way I do. I don’t see other writers as competitors, but as colleagues in a market so wide as to accommodate every one of us.

I hope you get my point that to succeed as your own boss, you need to discover and build a business on your natural talents. If you look at who makes the most money today, you will see that it is movie, rock and sports stars. Most of these people are not highly educated or skilled, but they are very talented. The more they express their uniqueness to entertain or satisfy the emotional needs of other people, the more they get paid.

Recently, on a plane trip from Port Moresby to Mount Hagen, I found out that the gentleman sitting next to me was a recording artist who was returning after recording his latest album with Chin H Meen studios. I discovered from the conversation that he had left school after Grade 6 and had become an ordinary villager. But he was making a name for himself as well as good money from his natural talent as a musician and singer.

What Are Your Hobbies?
The second thing you need to find out about yourself as a first step towards becoming your own boss is to discover what your hobbies are. Hobbies are things you love doing without being told to do so. A job is what you do because somebody stands at your back with a command or a stick; a hobby is what you do because you just love doing it. It is something you do without struggling – something that is so natural that it moves you in its direction every spare time you have. You can build a neat business out of what you ordinarily do.

If you go into any office today, you will see pot plants. These plants are placed there by people who grow them as a hobby. They grow the plants and either sell or hire them out. Some of these people do it as a part-time activity to supplement their income, while others do it for a living. These people are invariably hobbyists. The same goes for most of the people who grow and supply flowers.

Most of the large corporations in the world today were started as hobby activities by the founders. Popular corporations such as Dell Computers, Ford, Honda, Microsoft, Virgin Airlines, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc started out as hobbies. Most of the founders started out on a part-time basis. Michael Dell, for instance, is said to have started Dell Computers in his college dormitory using his student allowances. He would buy used computer parts and build computers to customers’ specifications using his dormitory as his workshop. He became so engrossed in it that he flunked his studies. But that didn’t worry him. He simply moved down the road, rented a small warehouse and started his business, and became a multi-billionaire within 15 years.

I have a friend who started his business based upon his hobby of buying wrecked vehicles, getting them fixed and selling them. He was trained as an agriculture officer, and worked in the primary industry sector for many years. But his hobby was vehicles. I have watched him starting with just one used vehicle in 1998. Today he runs a very successful hire car and trucking business. He talks and breathes trucks and cars. That is what moves him such that he can’t stop talking about them. Money is secondary to him. I know this because he has not changed his hire rates for the past 12 years, and his trucking rates are currently the lowest in the market. He is in the business not to make money; rather, he is pursuing his hobby, and money just flows in.

My hobby is reading. I have been reading since primary school days, and still read every day. I carry books everywhere I go, and literally sleep with books. This helps me in writing books. In the past 4 years I have written 6 books. Three have been published and three will be printed later this year. And I have many more coming. Many people have asked me how long it takes me to write a full-length book of between 180 and 200 pages. My response is between 4 and 6 weeks when I concentrate. For smaller books, a week is probably sufficient. This is how long it takes me to write books on subjects I am passionate about.

I have not made much money or become rich and famous as an author yet (I hope I will one day), but money is not what motivates me to do what I do. What moves me to write and speak is the passion and desire to see other people getting inspired on the inside so much that they take action on the outside to improve their lot in life. I just enjoy getting people to believe in themselves and do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. That is why I write on subjects which most people consider to be secrets to success.

That is what will happen when you focus on your hobbies. You enjoy what you do, and money flows in as a bonus. Your real reward is the satisfaction and enjoyment from what you pursue.

What Are Your Skills?
Most people tend to look towards their knowledge and skills when it comes to deciding to get into business. But for me, knowledge and skills come last, because not everybody possesses them whereas everyone has a talent.

Many people dream about starting businesses but because they don’t have educational qualifications or special skills, they convince themselves that they cannot do anything. The result is that a lot of potentially successful business people live in unnecessary poverty and struggle. They are destroyed by the ignorance of their natural talents and hobbies which if they knew possessed, they could turn them into thriving businesses.

That is in fact the problem faced by the majority of school dropouts and unemployed young people today. They focus so much on the knowledge and skills they don’t have, that they become blind to the natural talents they have been born with. What actually hinders them from succeeding in life is not what they don’t have, but what they don’t know they have. They focus on what they don’t have, and overlook what they do have. They also believe so much in knowledge and skills as necessary pre-conditions for starting businesses, that they don’t realize the fact that some of the most successful business people in the world today were dropouts or have never been to school at all.

Having said that, let me say that I do not discount at all the skills which you have acquired in an institution or at the work place. You can start a business using the knowledge and skills you possess.

Today, many experts are leaving full-time jobs to work as freelance consultants. While they were working, they gained experience, received further training, and established contacts which they can now make use of to further their own businesses. The increasing trend in the corporate world towards outsourcing has opened up opportunities for such people to start consultancy businesses, which is the reason consultancy is a multi-billion dollar industry today.

As you ponder becoming your own boss, I encourage you to look inward first before you look around you. If you build a business based on your natural talents and hobbies, you will enjoy what you do. If you copy businesses you see other people running, you may make money as well, but you may not enjoy what you do. Remember that you are unique, so find out your special talent or hobby first. Also assess your special skills and knowledge which you can build a business upon.

As I have highlighted in a previous article, the Government plans to encourage as many people as possible to become self-employed and run their own businesses under Vision 2050. Training in business start-up is essential. Such training should start by getting trainees to discover their talents, hobbies and skills.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Previous articles I have published were aimed at encouraging and motivating readers to begin thinking about becoming their own bosses, or to start their own businesses. I provided over 30 reasons why Papua New Guineans should give serious thought to becoming self-employed and minding their own businesses.

During the course of the past 30 weeks I have had readers asking me how they can start businesses after reading one or several of the articles. I have been reluctant to address the question, firstly because I had planned to write on it later. But that is not the main reason why I have not been willing to discuss how to start a business. The real reason is that I wanted to give as many reasons as possible as to why people should start their own businesses, because of the conviction that people need to be convinced first before showing them how.

One of my mentors sent me an email with the following message: “Without a strong why, even the easiest how will be too hard.” In other words, if you don’t have one or several compelling reasons for doing something, what you do will lack power and vitality. You may start off with a bang but lose enthusiasm and focus as you progress. It will be like taking a long journey without adequate fuel in your tank. You start of well but run out of steam along the way as difficulties arise or things do not work out the way you anticipated.

So by discussing reasons first, I intended to put enough fire power in readers’ bellies to get them not only thinking about being their own bosses, but actually taking steps towards that course, and maintaining the momentum once they have started walking down that path.

I hope that I have succeeded in convincing readers that self-employment is a viable alternative to unemployment or even employment. I know from the comments I have received that many Papua New Guineans from all corners of the country have been blessed and inspired by the articles. I also know that some have already starting taking the risk and doing something for themselves. I cannot guarantee success to everyone, but I know that there will be many success stories from readers not many years from now. I look forward to hearing from you if you are one of them. As a book writer, I am in fact thinking of collecting peoples’ personal stories sometime in the future and publishing them in a book to inspire other people in the country. I think it will be a very interesting book.

Starting this week onwards, I will be addressing the question “How do I start a business?” This, as I have said, is a question many people have asked me which I have been reluctant to write about until now. I feel that having discussed why people should start businesses, I am now ready to talk about how to do it.

So the next series of articles will answer the above question. I hope and trust that readers will follow these articles because they will come in sequence.

What is a business?
Let me start by defining what a business is. Students of business may have their own dictionary definitions, but my working definition is as follows: A business is “a system through which a product or service is produced and provided to meet the needs or solve the problems of society.”

If you ponder this statement, you will appreciate that every product or service in existence today was developed or designed to meet the needs of people or organisations. The computer I have used to write this article was manufactured to meet my needs as a writer; the newspaper you are holding in your hands has been published to meet your need for news and information on what is happening in the country and the world. The clothes you have on your body right now were manufactured to satisfy your need for warmth and comfort as well as your emotional need to feel good about yourself. The shopping centre where you buy your food and other products was established to meet your need for a place where you can get your requirements in one place instead of running all over town.

In short, everything was produced to meet needs and solve problems. We can say that needs and problems give rise to the emergence of businesses. Putting it another way, needs and problems actually present money-making opportunities to people who have the eyes to see those opportunities. I will elaborate on this idea in a future article.

The more needs your system meets or problems it solves, the more you earn. And the business can be formal or informal, and you can operate it full-time or on a part-time basis. If you hold a paid job, a part-time informal business would be an appropriate starting point for you. If you are unemployed, you could consider a full-time informal business.

I also think of a business as a “money printing machine”. You put a small amount into the system (your initial capital outlay or investment), and it produces more. Your money gets multiplied as it goes through the system.

Another way of looking at it is this: A business is a pipeline which you build to connect to the big pipeline of the economic and monetary system of the country or world. You build your pipeline with the objective of capturing as much of the money that is flowing through the economy. If your pipeline is well-connected and the pipe is wide, you get more of the money flowing through it to you and to others like your employees who are in turn connected to your pipe.

There are so many needs and problems, and therefore business opportunities in Papua New Guinea. I have mentioned elsewhere that the country has been described as “A businessman’s paradise”. There are so many needs to meet and problems to solve that the only limit is your imagination.

I put it to you that it is only through a business that you can become financially independent and free. Only a business can make you a winner in the game of money.

I am also convinced that if many of our people get into business, we would address the very high level of unemployment in the country. Not only will we have less people looking for jobs, but we will have people who create jobs through their businesses.

The upcoming economic boom brings thousands of opportunities for spin-off business activities. If you can see a need and establish a system to meet that need, you can become a millionaire faster than you think. When I talk about becoming a millionaire, I am not talking in parables. I am talking about becoming a real-life self-made millionaire. Some people inherit millions, while others marry millionaires; other people become millionaires through bribery, fraud and white collar crime; but you can start with nothing and become a millionaire in your life time through old-fashioned hard work and honesty. Only a business gives you that kind of opportunity.

Let me hasten to add here that one of the most important abilities you must possess is risk-taking. If you wallow around your comfort zone (like a full-time job with regular/fixed income), you will miss the real action! But if you take the risk and jump into the deep end of the lake so to speak, you could sink like a stone. That is always a possibility. Remember that success is not guaranteed. But what if you jump in and manage to swim? That’s also a possibility.

Think Big, But Start Small
When I ask people to give me examples of businesses, most of them make reference to shops of all kinds and sizes, PMV trucks, hire cars, etc. In other words, they think of big operations which require large amounts of money to start. When I ask them if small coffee and vegetable farmers, ice block and street sellers are business people, most people think not.

What I normally tell people is that everybody who is engaged in some economic activity from which they earn an income (apart from a salary or wage), is a business person on their own right. As long as their products or services are meeting needs, they are in business. It may not be a large operation with many employees and thousands of Kina in sales revenue, but it is still a business regardless. And it has the potential to become big if the money it generates is well-managed. I therefore tell people to think big, but start small.

I am convinced that if Papua New Guineans are encouraged to think like this, there will be no unemployment in the country. Everybody will be in business for themselves starting with their land or their natural talents. In fact I look forward to the day when there is a shortage of workers in the country because most people (including those that are highly educated and skilled) are self-employed. When that happens, necessity will force employers to offer better terms and conditions to attract people to work for them. I believe that this can happen in Papua New Guinea. I believe the job market can become a seller’s market where the employees have the upper hand in determining and even dictating the terms and conditions of employment.

Eight Steps To Starting A Business From Scratch
Starting a business is a process. You just don’t get up and start one on the spur of the moment. An idea may be your starting point, but there are several steps you have to take. The eight basic steps which I will be sharing in this column are as follows:

Step # 1: Assess yourself to discover your talents, hobbies, skills and knowledge upon which you can build a business.

Step # 2: Develop several business ideas which match the needs and problems of your local community or country at large to your talents, hobbies and skills.

Step # 3: Carry out market research to establish the profit potential for your ideas. Find out how many potential customers there may be for your idea, what they would be willing to pay, how many others are providing similar products or services, etc.

Step # 4: Develop a business, marketing and financial plan.

Step # 5: Seek or raise financing (if necessary).

Step # 6: Register the business (if necessary).

Step # 7: Establish your business premises and systems.

Step # 8: Let as many people as possible know what you are offering.

Obviously there are a lot of issues to cover under each of the steps outlined here. I will therefore be discussing each of these steps in more detail in upcoming articles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wealth Creation Under PNG Vision 2050

Below is an article I published in the Sunday Chronicle newspaper.

The Seven Pillars
As readers would know by now, PNG Vision 2050 has seven pillars, which are:

1. Human capital development, gender, youth and people empowerment;
2. Wealth creation;
3. Institutional development and service delivery;
4. Security and international relations;
5. Environment sustainability and climate change;
6. Spiritual, cultural and community development; and
7. Strategic planning, integration and control.

Dr. Musawe Sinebare, a fellow commentator from the National Research Institute and others have discussed at length some of the critical issues related to these pillars in this newspaper. My interest is Pillar Number Two: Wealth Creation.

PNG: Mountain Of Gold, Floating On Sea Of Oil
As all of us know, Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with many natural resources. On the land we have export tree crops such as palm oil, coffee, cocoa, copra, rubber and other exotic fruits and nuts. We also have some of the largest virgin forests with unmeasured timber resources. Several of these large tracts of tropical rainforests will qualify for participation in the trading of carbon credits too.

Under the land we have gold, copper, silver, nickel, diamonds and other precious metals, oil and gas, while in the sea we have many kinds of marine resources of unknown economic potential. We even have gold, oil and gas under the sea! For those who do not know, PNG will be the first country in the world to conduct gold and other minerals prospecting and mining below the sea bed.

Nobody has been able to calculate the total economic value of the country’s resource endowments yet. I guess people have not even attempted to do it, because every time they come up with a figure, it would change, because new findings are being made every day. We are so blessed that we have become the envy of the whole world. Knowledgeable people have actually defined Papua New Guinea as “A mountain of gold floating on a sea of oil and powered by gas.” No other country in the world has been described in such glowing terms.

So Rich, Yet So Poor
For a population of some 6.5 million people, there is enough for everyone to become wealthy. There is enough money around (or in the ground) for all our roads to be sealed, our aid posts, health centres and hospitals to be well-staffed with health workers and well-stocked with medical supplies so that people do not die from preventable diseases, our schools to be staffed with well-paid teachers and equipped with up to date teaching materials so that we produce some of the most academically and professionally competitive people in the world. There is enough for everyone to live in permanent houses with water supply, power, telephone and other services connected right into the remotest parts of the country. And we certainly have enough to provide for a police force that effectively combats lawlessness and maintains a peaceful environment under which ever body has equal opportunity to prosper.

Yet, the irony of it is that we are so rich, yet so poor. Many people in other countries are born poor and become rich but we Papua New Guineans have been born rich but have become poor.

All our development indicators, especially on the social front, are among the worst in the world. Latest indications are that PNG ranks 150 out of 177 countries on the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI). That makes us the 31st least developed country in the world on the human development front. Lesser endowed countries like Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands rank better than us. On the other hand, we are perceived to be among the top 30 most corrupt countries in the world. We score top marks for corruption but very low marks for development and improvement in peoples’ living standards. We can only wish that it were the other way around.

The level of unemployment in terms of holding paid jobs is over 90%. For a country with a working age population of some 3 million, less than 400,000 are on salaried jobs. The education system produces drop-outs at a rate of 85% every year. It is not that our young people lack intelligence; it is that the educational facilities lack the capacity to accommodate them all. There are just not enough teachers and lecturers, classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, teachers’ and lecturers’ houses etc.

The gap between the rich and the poor has been widening at an alarming rate, such as to leave future generations with little to look forward to. According to the World Bank, 25% of the people in PNG were assessed to be living below the international poverty line of US$1 per day in 1996. In 2006, ten years later, the proportion of poor people was 37%. Then in 2007, only one year later, it jumped markedly to 53%! (These figures are taken from Vision 2050 page 17).

The conclusion is this: Our people have been consistently progressing towards poverty. They have become poorer. Interestingly, this has happened during the same time as the country experienced some of the best times since independence in terms of economic growth. While the government and multinational investors have been riding upward and forward on the back of several successive commodity booms, the people have been riding in the opposite direction.

According to most social workers and NGOs that deal with the small people on a daily basis, the increase in lawlessness in the country is to a large extent related to poverty. People steal, kill, push drugs and get involved in prostitution etc because they need money to survive. If nothing serious is done to reverse the increasing slide towards poverty and deprivation, social disharmony and law and order problems are going to escalate even further. We will be a rich country with a lot of poor people who make life very difficult for the few well-to-do.

Another frightening development that has taken place, especially since the 1990s, is the rapid domination of business activities by foreigners, especially those from one particular region of the world. We may pat our backs as proud citizens of a country so richly blessed gold, copper, oil and gas, but the fact is that we have been invaded economically and the actual wealth has been siphoned off under our noses without us realising that this has been happening. In fact, while most of us have not seen these things happening, a few of us have actually been aiding the process and betraying our own people to satisfy our greed and selfishness. The way things are going, it will not be long before all our resources are extracted and the money taken by foreign investors, leaving nothing for future generations.

We have further become a nation driven by the hand-out mentality, heavily dependent on foreign aid. We are so desperate for help that we put our hands out to so-called friends of Papua New Guinea every year, not to give, but to receive. And when they give us, we give them headlines in our newspapers and carry them on our shoulders. We even bestow upon them titles which would make our ancestors squirm in their graves because our generation is trading recognition for handouts whereas people fought and earned such titles in their generations.

To add salt to wound, so-called international consultants and experts come in, pick our brains, process the information, and sell it back to us at exorbitant prices. We think we are being served with innovative ideas to take our country forward, but a critical look will actually reveal that they were our ideas in the first place. In the same way that foreigners import our raw materials and sell them back to us in processed form at very high prices, consultants collect raw information from local people, process and package it, and charge us at rip-off rates. And they sell us these ideas in a certain way as to promote their own interests and keep us in both mental and outward suppression and dependency.

There are so many reasons for this state of affairs, and to address them will definitely take a lot of time and effort. Vision 2050 sets the country in the right direction towards addressing and overcoming many of these national issues.

As far as the subject of our discussion is concerned, one part of the solution is the development of an entrepreneurial class in the country. We need more business people in the country, because such people create wealth using their ideas, time, knowledge, skills and money. They also take the risk to multiply wealth through various investments. When they succeed, they contribute to creating jobs which provide a means of living to other people. Entrepreneurs are therefore assets to society. The more of them we have in the country, the better.

At the present time PNG Vision 2050 states that only 10% of businesses are owned by citizens of this country. The majority (90%) are foreign-owned. That is okay as they are making a contribution to developing the country. But it would be much better if an increasing number of businesses (both small and large) were owned and run by the citizens of this country, because at the end of the day the money remains in the country. Foreign businesses do bring new money and skills into the country; and they do create and provide jobs. But the bulk of the wealth they create and multiply in our country using our resources and people is transmitted back to their home countries where the owners live.

Having assessed what I have discussed so far, I am very excited that the Vision 2050 has wealth creation as its second pillar.

The document makes many good statements of intent. Several statements relevant to wealth creation and economic growth are that the government intends to:

• Empower and positively discriminate in favour of indigenous citizens in business start-ups and expansions;
• Strengthen the capacity of institutions responsible for entrepreneurial training;
• Establish an Entrepreneurship Incubator Scheme; and
• Ensure that 50 per cent of our citizens become self-employed entrepreneurs.

As readers know by now, the last statement is my personal dream. But my dream covers all the people who are not able to get paid jobs, not just 50%. I look forward to the day when everybody who cannot be employed becomes self-employed so that we do not have any unemployed people in the country. As I stated in last week’s article, the answer to unemployment in Papua New Guinea is not employment but self-employment.

Here are some of the significant statements in the Vision 2050 document in relation to wealth creation:

• “Only ten percent of business activities are owned by Papua New Guineans. Entrepreneurial capacity development and skills training are non-existent and income generation is mainly concentrated in the non-renewable resources sector.” (page 36)

• “Opportunities must be created for citizens to start-up businesses and to expand existing businesses. This can be possible through tax relief, technical and financial support, the establishment of an entrepreneurial incubator scheme and other incentives.” (page 37)

• “The State must establish or task an existing entity with the development of the indigenous business sector whose role will be to identify, encourage, fund and grow the sector to enable our people to compete with foreigners in the country.” (page 37)

• “Lack of education and skills development has contributed to a lax attitude and dependency mentality among the population. This has resulted in our people being unable to enter into small business opportunities which are currently dominated by foreigners...The future development focus under Vision 2050 will shift from a poverty reduction mentality to a positive wealth creation mind-set...It is essential that a rigorous program in entrepreneurial skills development is established, and that communities are arranged into cooperative societies or nucleus estates for collective economic growth.” (page 51)

From the responses I have been receiving from readers of this column, it is evident that Papua New Guineans are generally enterprising people. They aspire to start businesses, shake off the shackles of poverty and become the wealthy people they were born to be. Now that the government intends to make it its business to help the people make a shift in their thinking from poverty consciousness to a positive wealth creation mindset, I can say that at least in this instance the desires of the people and their government are alike. The people desire to get into business, and the government desires to help them do it. That is both comforting and exciting.

I truly hope that the PNG Development Strategic Plan 2030 has captured the country’s aspirations under Vision 2050 and translated them into definite strategies and programs aimed at empowering our people to create and multiply wealth. I am also hopeful that adequate resources will be allocated to the Vision, and the strategies and program will be implemented with commitment and dedication on the part of the public servants and other partners, so that at least for once we get our country heading in the right direction of becoming one that is Smart, Wise, Fair, Healthy and Happy by the year 2050.

To people who pray for our country, here is one prayer point: Pray that the God who has uniquely blessed us with abundant natural resources also give us leaders with vision and integrity of heart and managers that are prudent so that we can stand tall among the nations of the world as a rich and powerful country.

Briefing at Vision 2050 Centre

I had the privilege of being briefed in detail on Papua New Guinea's Vision 2050 at the Vision Centre within the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council along with Mr. Cyril Gare, a Wewak-based freelance journalist.

PNG V2050 is about setting PNG on the right course towards becoming a smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society by the year 2050. It is the first time since independence that such a long-term vision has been set. It is made up of 7 pillars and is consistent with the country's National Goals and Directive Principles which are enshrined in the Constitution, and the Eight Point Plan which was launched at independence.

The seven pillars of PNGV2050 are:

1. Human capital development, gender, youth and people empowerment;
2. Wealth creation;
3. Institutional deveolopment and service delivery;
4. Security and international relations;
5. Environmental sustainability and climate change;
6. Spiritual, cultural and community development; and
7. Strategic planning, integration and control.

The vision is backed up by the PNG Strategic Development Plan 2030, which is a 20-year rolling plan which seeks to make Vision 2050 become a reality.

Both PNGV2050 and the PNGSDP 2030 are home-grown, and have been written after wide consultation with stakeholders, especially people in the country's 89 districts.

I came away with the very strong impression that at least we now have a sense of direction as a country. But what also became clear is that there is a great need for visionary political leadership and prudent management to make a dream of a smart, wise, fair, happy and healthy society become a reality.

I also came away with the strong impression that the 2012 National Elections will be very crucial to the country. It is essential that the right people get into Parliament. With the expected large amounts of money from the LNG and other resource projects, PNG has the opportunity of becoming the kind of society envisaged by Vision 2050, but only if we have people with the political will and administrative prudence to get things right for once.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Computer and Modem Problems

Hi friends,

I have not been able to update this blog for the past 5 months due to problems with my computer, then with the modem. I have rectified both problems so will publish some articles shortly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Academic Excellence Seminar

I conducted an Academic Excellence Seminar from 15-17 January 2010. It was organised and hosted by the Christian life Centre Church at Faniufa, Goroka, for its Grade 8 to University students. A good number attended from the surrounding community and other churches in Goroka Town as well.

The seminar was conducted in 3 sessions as follows:

Session # 1: Seven Steps To Academic Excellence
Session # 2: Study Tips For Enhanced Academic Performance
Session # 3: Distractions And Pressures Faced by Students

I emphasised that all students have the potential to excell - meaning they all can score A's or Distinctions. If other students can do it, they can do it too, seeing we are all designed the same way. It all depended on how they used the minds and their time.

I also emphasised the importance of believing in God but also in themselves. I shared many positive statements to inspire self-belief. One such statement was this: "I will aim for the moon, and if I fall short, I still land among the stars." It was well-received, and I know that many of them took it as their personal motto.

The response was very positive. Many parents attended the seminar as well, and commented favourably on it. Some even testified that they found it beneficial for themselves more than the students.

Towards the end we prayed over the students and commissioned them to the Lord and the 2010 Academic Year. I believe that we will hear some good reports at the end of the year.

I have discussed the seminar with several secondary schools. I look forward to conducting it to motivate and empower Papua New Guinean students to believe in themselves and succeed academically for their good but also for the country and humanity at large.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE, PNG? By Reginald Renagi

A popular PNG blogger recently asked some pertinent questions that I wish to share with readers here: what will it take, what is the PNG Ombudsman Commission doing about this; and the perception now whether a written deal exists between the government and the public watch dog not to go after MPs referred to it for investigation?

It embarrasses many Papua New Guineans to explain to anyone why politicians in this country seem undeterred by public opinions of any kind. Unlike some democracies, where politicians caught in misconduct cases will either resign, or step down to be investigated, but not so in PNG.

The PNG experience to date shows an implicated MP usually denies publicly any adverse reports about his alleged actions. The errant politician accuses the media of being misrepresented, misquoted by inexperienced journalists; the media is spreading false rumours to discredit leader’s reputations and destabilize the government.

It seems inconceivable to many educated Papua New Guineans that MPs involved do not feel disgraced at all, or even feel compelled to temporarily step down from office to await investigations (if any). Despite public outrage and exposure by the media, PNG politicians refuse to step down from their positions of power and privilege. This seems to be condoned by the government. Here citizens may lose confidence in the rule of law and feel discouraged when the prime minister fails to take tough action against parliamentarians to do the ‘right thing’ by the people.

Well, what will it take? Forget about complaining to your local MP. It’s is a complete waste of time. The people are now so fed up about the state of PNG that they have given up writing another useless letter of complaint to their local MP. Except for a handful, most ‘pollies’ are just big disappointments to their electorates and the public. The so-called ‘big men’ are either too busy doing something unrelated to their constituent’s interests, or simply ignores complainants as a mere ‘trouble-makers’.

As for the PNG Ombudsman Commission (OC), it may soon be made powerless if the government has its way. The OC started off well with a new Chief Ombudsman's (CO) appointment with ’gusto’. The public felt very encouraged when the new incumbent discontinued master’s studies in Australia to remind the 'pollies' and senior beauracrats; the commission will without fear or favour address matters of great concern affecting PNG leadership and governance. Some investigations by the OC have to date kept certain public office holders on their toes.

However, in recent times this earlier passion has somewhat waned as the public is fed frequent doses of impropriety by politicians but no relevant authorities takes any responsibility at all to investigate matters, and take the appropriate action by law.

The familiar trend under all former COs repeats itself as political inertia takes over. Does this sound familiar? Yes it does, and the government knows this but won’t fix the problem as the whole thing works in its favour. As with most state institutions, the commission has limited resources with so much to do to clear a huge backlog of outstanding cases.

Is there any secret written deal between the government and OC? I do not believe there is, even if that is a perception now. The CO like all his predecessors is doing his best, but he is being swamped by the magnitude of the job. On the whole, the commission has to date done a sterling job, but it must do more than what it is doing now, or not doing; to put away some bad politicians behind bars. It will need the help of the Attorney General’s office and law enforcement agencies.

However, if that is not bad enough, the government now plans to pass a bill to further regulate the watch-dog. While the intentions may sound noble it is a clever move to further curb the powers of the commission, if not make it ‘impotent’. If this regulation bill is ever passed in parliament then PNG will experience more gross political abuses of power. The end state will be the PNG Ombudsman Commission becoming a mere ‘paper tiger’ with no real prosecuting powers to stop ‘crooks’ occupying public offices in future.

Well, what will it really take? What PNG may now need is a major chain reaction to be generated by professionally committed Department heads, government board CEOs, public and private sector managers, civil society, workers unions and the general public to point-blankly tell the politicians just …’where to stick it’. This may be just what it will take to stop them as done elsewhere to challenge and shame them into lifting their game.

More over, our country needs a strong 'whistle blowers' Act of Parliament to protect intrepid individuals. We must have a law in place now to protect people brave enough to expose graft and corruption of all kinds at all levels of leadership and society. Without this, PNG will continue to suffer in future as people will fear retribution from a corrupt political and weak governance system.

So what will it take? Plenty of guts by good, honest people in all walk of life. The whole nation must now collectively work towards improving and strengthening good governance in the way our national affairs is being managed by political leaders.

The whole change strategy must start from the Governor General to the prime minister, throughout government, parliament, public and private sectors, civil society, the public at large right to the ordinary villager. The buck stops with the PM, his ruling party in the present government coalition to be more committed than before to clean up its act. The PM has no real excuse for passing the buck to anyone but biting the bullet himself, and must do what’s right by the people and our country.

What’s more, Australia too can play an important role in reforming PNG politics in future. Australia must now get tough with PNG to ensure its AusAid programs has the most profound effect in transforming the quality of life for ordinary Papua New Guineans. Australia should also cop some blame in the way PNG has turned out today. As over the years, it has spoilt PNG rotten with too much aid money, and no accountability at all. Australia would do well to try a different tack this time.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd needs to diplomatically tell PNG political leaders to be more accountable for the billions spent in development aid. Australia must not rest on its past laurels but must try to be absolutely honest with PNG government and start systematically reducing AusAid funding levels. This is one foreign policy strategy to ensure our government starts improving the quality of life for all Papua New Guineans. If PNG is to independently prosper, Kevin Rudd's government must now review the overall effectiveness of its future AusAid program with PNG.

This future challenge is also Australia’s responsibility as its AusAid program has for far too long encouraged political corruption in PNG. Despite Australia spending over A$13 billion since self-government and its original good intentions, AusAid is now publicly being perceived to assume a quasi-government role. This somewhat undermines to a degree the government’s function it tends to indirectly encourage the good local member to promote ‘political pork-barreling’ of pet projects using limited resources of the government in unplanned, and unbudgeted manner.

Today, PNG desperately needs more trade balance with Australia, not more aid money. Too much lip-service has been paid over the years to review this aid program and make it an effective development tool for both countries, but the outcome has always been unsatisfactory. PNG must now make some concerted efforts to improve upon its past errors, as it paves the way forward for a new political order in the pacific under a new visionary leadership, and transformational government from here on.

In short, the whole political mess can be cleaned up by the PNG government, if only the Prime Minister does not try to shirk his political and leadership responsibility. It is not impossible for him to clean up his act now before he exits the political scene as he has the numbers in parliament to make a big different in ensuring his government is highly responsive to meet the people’s urgent needs now and in future.

For the government it has no real excuses today, as its leader has a 40 year track record in PNG and Commonwealth politics; so if the PM can’t do it now, then who can? So what will it take? Go ask the Chief for he has the answers. Sadly, it has all been wasted opportunities for the poor people of PNG despite an abundance of natural resources the country has.

Reginald Renagi