Social Confoes 012 – Developing the Caribbean and its Potential w/ Gyanno van Kanten
Our guest tonight on #SocialConfoes is Gyanno van Kanten from the island of Curacao. Gyanno studied in Tilburg and came back to the Caribbean with the ambition to help develop its potential. We’ll talk about studying in Europe, running a business in a small market, social media and online marketing, and most likely touch on sports, national pride and branding the Caribbean as well.
You can also connect with Gyanno:
- 0:00 – Introductions with some apple juice
- 3:48 – An encounter in Tilburg
- 8:09 – Things you learned in university that you apply today
- 16:37 – Why did you choose Curacao?
- 21:55 – What would you advice future students that will be graduating
- 30:30 – First impressions of Curacao
- 34:27 – Why do people want traditional work experience first?
- 39:06 – Is the education system broken?
- 45:55 – How did you put yourself out there in Curacao?
- 52:32 – Should you invest in a drone?
- 1:03:11 – What do you think is required to build a Caribbean community?
- 1:17:17 – Closing off
Video Version of the Episode
Feel free to join our Discord Server.
Diego: [00:00:00] Good evening. Good afternoon. Good morning. Wherever you are in the world. We are back with Social Confoes episode 12 and apologies for the delay because you know, as always technical issues, but we are combating it as we go.
Jean-luc: [00:00:38] Yeah. And it’s funny that you did a good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon. Good evening. Because I did a Hive chat had today and I did the same thing because you were also having people from all parts of the worlds joining in. So yeah, that’s pretty cool. We have our guest today who actually told us that we can do different kinds of beverages at this show.
So I tried doing some Apple juice, Apple juice, but yeah, it, it, it kind of takes me off my game. What about you? What do you have for us today?
Diego: [00:01:07] Something contained in my traditional, you know, lens bottle, but I think he gave me an idea for a future episode, though, we should do the spice it up, get those beverages in a round
Jean-luc: [00:01:21] it’s to get some Apple juice. I’m not sure. I, I took one sip and my eyes turned red and I was like, I’m not doing Apple juice today. So before we introduce our guests for today, we have already some people joining. And so Saph, thanks for joining in from the start and Ro-Ann and we were actually talking about you because we are sure that you’re going to love tonight’s episode.
So tonight’s episode, we have a special guest and I’ve met this guy in Tilburg. We were both studying at a Tilburg university. And funny thing is when we are studying both studying in Tilburg I didn’t know a lot of Surinamese people in Tilburg. There were some, my first year I had a friend who was also a a school friend or a youth friend of mine who also was studying in Tilburg.
We usually hung around with the international students on Tuesdays and with the local students on Thursdays. And then one of my closest friends came to study to Tilburg work for a year as well. And she also like don’t, you know, Gyanno and there was this guy who I vaguely know, looked familiar. I mean, I saw his face before, but we weren’t friends.
So we didn’t know each other. We’ve passed along each other a couple of times. And I know he has a better version of this story than I do, but thanks to Aegina which is a mutual, a mutual friend of ours. She actually was like, Hey, you, you, you know, he’s from Suriname. Right. And we ended up chatting, connecting, and yeah, I think we’re talking over 12 years ago and now we can, I can officially say he’s, he’s also one of my close friends.
And one of the people that I like to hang out with whenever he’s in Suriname, I’ve yet to visit him in Curacao but I feel like I should, should get that opportunity as soon as COVID passes along. So without further ado, the one and only Gyanno van Kanten welcome Gyanno
Gyanno: [00:03:18] Thanks guys, thank you guys for having me A great introduction, a long introduction, but I like it. I like it.
Diego: [00:03:25] Yeah. Jean-luc always has, you know, a way with when he does the introductions, that kind of builds that suspense, that how did they meet factor? And it’s no different with you and I guess to dive straight into it you guys both were in Tilburg and I know Tilburg has as that little town or city in
Gyanno: [00:03:47] but that’s the
Diego: [00:03:48] impression I got and most people talk about it that way, but tell us more about, I guess, your experience in Tilburg. What got you there? And I guess how your interaction or meeting Jean-luc was.
Gyanno: [00:04:03] Okay. So, so when I, when I actually the plan, my mom’s plan for me to go study abroad was there from the beginning.
So it was basically a given that once you finish VWO then I would go study in the Netherlands. And you, back in the day, you had this site where you could enter your, your, your, your school, your, your curriculum basically, or your, your courses. And they would tell you options. You have pick, you know, something you want to study.
So I like , which is basically the finance version of, of of the economy course. And I liked psychology. So I wanted to combine economy like something in economics with psychology. So I entered that and I had, I think, four or five options in Groningen, Rotterdam Amsterdam and Utrecht and one random one was in Tilburg.
So I th this is, this is 2006 or something. So I download it a map, which I don’t know if Google maps existed, but map of Holland or the Netherlands back in the day. And I got this picture and this picture Groningen wasn’t even on it. I mean, you had to scroll up and load something else to see Groningen, because it was focused in the middle.
So right there, and then Groningen fell off. I mean, I, both, my mom and my dad studied in Groningen up, but still, I mean, I, I didn’t see the connection like three hours after them. So Rotterdam was an option. Amsterdam was an option and it was actually my mom who kind of told me that she, she nudged me towards Tilburg cause she. She later told me she was afraid that I would end up in a bad crowd or not focused on my studies because you know, those big cities have a lot of Surinamese people and you kind of hang out and you chill. So, so so Tilburg, she nudged me towards Tilburg and on the other side of it I liked the fact that it was you have to, you have to find your own way, right?
So if I would have gone to Rotterdam or Amsterdam, I could hang out with my friends who went abroad, although yeah, you don’t have to make any new friends. So Tilburg forced me to be social, to get outside of my comfort zone and to just find my own way, be independent, pay my own bills, all that stuff. So that’s how I ended up in Tilburg the practice, the practice, the, the, the actual, the actual side of it though, when you, actually get to the, whereas you’re like, okay, I have no friends here.
So you, you do feel a disconnect in certain times. So you do see other people hanging out with each other in Amsterdam, Rotterdam Surinamese people having a barbecue and you’re in Tilburg like, okay, fine. So, so there was a downside to it, but you, you were very happy when you saw other people.
So Aegina now I actually, I knew her, but there is, we didn’t talk that much. She, she had volleyball practice right after my basketball practice. And I think that’s how we kind of met and passed each other a couple of times. So that’s how I met her. And , Jean-luc it’s the same, like, like you said, you knew this guy was Surinamese.
So I knew this guy was Surinamese and we passed each other a couple of times. And I don’t know if it’s like a, I don’t know, social awkwardness or a slight macho pride, like, you know what I’m saying? So I’m not going to make them. So I actually had TLD Jersey on, so there was no doubt. I was Surinamese, he played volleyball in the, in the court next to my basketball court line, pride practice for it.
And he had a, a, a straight up Surinamese shirt, like Suriname them with the star. So there was no doubt he was Surinamese. So it does a combination you shouldn’t be doing like, I, I don’t think much upright and slight awkwardness or something, but in the end yeah, I’m glad we connected.
Jean-luc: [00:08:09] Yeah. It’s so funny to hear, to hear those two sides of the story, because basically you are you’re on your own.
I think that, and weird as weird as I am people know by now, I’m a little bit aware. I actually made a decision myself, same decision. I don’t want to be in Rotterdam where I know everybody and I walk around on the street and it’s like, Hey, yeah. How are you doing? Yeah, we met last week. Let’s do a barbecue.
I didn’t want that. So I decided to go to Tilburg as well. I think what most people don’t know. And especially those who are watching at the time when I studied there, I think it was before 2006. I don’t know if it was the same when, when you went Gyanno but Tilburg the economic faculty of the Tilburg university was in the top three of the, of the Benelux, which is like high level.
It was a higher-level economic faculty and it was even the top eight, top three of Europe. Best in Benelux stop tree of Europe, top eight in the world. So it was fairly high level. I think both economics and law. I think we had a couple of friends Surinamese, friends who studied law and they were like, we’re not staying here for this law course because it’s, it’s killing us right now.
But I do want to ask Gyanno because also a lot of people don’t know I studied social science. You’re actually the business, the person who actually studied business and economics. So I always wanted to ask this question. What are the things that when you look back at your university journey, what are the courses or the topics or even the theories that you learn at university that you can still use to this day when it comes to running your business? And are there certain things like you feel like, okay, but that’s nice that it’s in a curriculum for the university, but if that doesn’t really matter,
Gyanno: [00:09:56] Yeah, so I studied business studies, which turned into international business administration.
And then later on when to marketing the, the course itself, the courses were fairly broad. So I’m going to say finance, if I look back at it, I mean, you need to have some basic knowledge about finance at least, you know, how, how how to balance your, your, you know, where your gains and your losses, stuff like that.
You need to know. But other than that, I liked the, the behavioral courses you had. Business behavior, consumer behavior, which I really like. And you can still apply to this day. Cause in the end, whichever business you have, you kind of deal with that human beings. And they all have like a certain pattern.
And other than that, I think ethics, and it’s a weird one because you had a course called business ethics and it kind of adds to the other point of dealing with people. But if your business ethics are off off it’s gonna bite you in the long run. So. Those three come to mind right now.
Diego: [00:11:08] Okay. Can you elaborate a bit more on the ethics part, because as you said that it’s kind of like the one out there? So can you think of an example or a situation where you kind of face that? Thinking of when you got back here or in Curacao, and thought back to the courses in university, ah, this makes sense now,
Gyanno: [00:11:30] You know, you know, with marketing, you kind of have the, it’s not, it’s not a bad name, but I call it you’re, you’re manipulating the people basically use psychology to have them buy stuff or want to buy stuff. And I’ve always seen the, the power of it in the sense that you could use it for good, or you could literally use it for, for bad stuff. So up till now, I’ve been lucky not to have been involved with any. Lies like blatant lies or any products I know would damage people, but in terms of ethics more with dealing with other entrepreneurs.
So this, this is something you deal with daily here. Curacao for example, has as a wide network of young entrepreneurs and you, you wanna work together and the same way. You want to build these relationships and, and make sure that you, you keep them for years to come, but the pie is smaller than in other countries.
So you’re gonna compete in certain situations. And I’ve always felt that the competition is great, but I could let you know beforehand we can talk as human beings. Like, Hey, I’m also going for that. No, not nothing sneaky. And I think behind your back or anything in it, I think I actually had a situation with Jean-luc like that a couple of years ago.
Cause we were in the same field I’m going to a segway right now, but because of ineffable, I made it to social media. Social media in Suriname. Right? So the conference and in the conference, you, you, you meet clients. So I actually connected with a certain client, but I let Jean-luc know, I don’t know if we’re in a hotel room somewhere in San Diego.
Hey, those people approached me. I don’t know if you’re setting something up, but those people approached me. So he knew upfront. Like, Hey, I might be going for that. Right. So it’s not a situation where, Hey, I, I let yeah, no come or I, I got Gyanno to come to my conference and suddenly he’s, he’s moving in all my clients.
So that’s, that’s a great example. I think of like business ethics, you, you can still apply.
Jean-luc: [00:13:35] Well, that’s very true ethical to practical. It’s very, very simple example. We had it a lot. It’s true. And I think, I think it might be even harder in Curacao because the market or the pie is even smaller. It could be the case. We’ve had that year as well. I think I have about two or three competitors, which are really big companies as well that get some similar or even bigger projects that I get.
Yeah, when it comes to marketing and we have a fairly open communication, like as soon as it’s clear that a client is going for multiple options we acknowledge it. We tell each other, and also it, it, it kind of became a good thing because everybody started more focusing, more on their core, which meant like, okay, this is a little bit off my core.
I know that guy is, a lot, or that companies a lot better, or she does it a lot better. Let’s, let’s leave that one alone, you know, and I think that’s for more the practical side, but it’s good to hear that this is also a, theoretical, ethical side on that, on that as well.
Gyanno: [00:14:39] Yeah.
Diego: [00:14:40] So, I guess, following up on that you’ve done your business degree in international business administration at Tilburg and yes, they are very, I have friends who studied there too, so I I’ve been there.
Gyanno: [00:14:54] Why are you smiling Diego? Are you smiling like that? Just to clear
Diego: [00:14:58] the air,
Jean-luc: [00:15:01] just, just for people to understand how it is because in Suriname I live in Leonsberg. And for a lot of people in Suriname Leonsberg is like the end of. The end of the world, you know, it’s like you have to drive all the way and I’m like, come on, seriously, you have to drive one road.
It’s not that long. It’s 10 minutes max, but, but Tilburg has the same thing. And, and the funny thing about Tilburg is I had a friend friend who was living in Rotterdam and for that friend to visit me in Tilburg, it was, it took so much convincing because for him, it felt like he had to take five trains to get to Tilburg.
And at a certain point there was a direct connection between Rotterdam and Tilburg it was 45 minutes direct from one station to the other. There was no layovers or stops are, there was a straight connection, and he was still convinced that it was the end of the world for some reason, for people in the Netherlands, especially Surinamese people in the Netherlands, their work is the end of the world.
Diego: [00:16:02] Yeah. I enjoyed those strain rights but coming back to the subject so that the air is clear on that. So, yeah. You, I guess, narrowed down into marketing. And I guess I understand that part because your interest in psychology economics and then human behavior. And to clarify you, you you’re originally from Suriname, right?
Gyanno: [00:16:23] Oh, I am. I’m a weird mix. So my dad’s side is from Curacao. My mom’s side is from Suriname. Technically I was born in the Netherlands and then when I was four, I went back to Suriname. So I grew up in Suriname.
Diego: [00:16:37] Okay. So grew up here. And I guess with, I guess, a background in Curacao as well, was that a conscious decision that you made going to Curacao instead of Suriname or rather than staying in the Netherlands?
Gyanno: [00:16:53] Yeah, conscious. It was kinda to be honest and not to disrespect anyone in Curacao but it was kind of a plan B because Okay. So I, I studied when I finished my marketing my, my, my masters in marketing, I, I looked for a job for a while and I think this was the, the economic crisis in the Netherlands or something, but it was the end of 2012.
And I applied for jobs for like six months, eight months. And, you know, at some point you have to you don’t longer get the government, the financing. I don’t know what the translation is. So it had that stopped and shit got real at some point, like, you know, I’m paying this, this student apartments still, but I’m paying, you know, I’m living.
So I applied for like eight months or something, and those eight months were horrible, to be honest. Cause you, you, the promises you go to university, you get your bachelor’s, you get your master’s and technically you should have a good job after that. To pay off your student, student loan or student debt.
Right. But if you’re applying for jobs and I’m in starter jobs and you’re, you might be getting there maybe to the second interview, and then they, they straight up tell you, honestly, because it’s a business like, Hey, someone applied with four or five years experience. So we’re going to go for that one.
It kind of breaks you down. So it’s like, you, you, it, at some point it gets to you mentally, it gets to your confidence because you know, you have something, you studied something, you have some experience, you know, you technically should be able to get a good job, a proper job. And after those eight months I had some trouble with giving up and this is like, I’m stubborn.
If I have a plan, A, I feel like my plan a was at least two years of work experience in the Netherlands. So I kept On applying. And after a while, I think it wasn’t a mom again, who told me like, Hey, why don’t you? Like, not at first. I think she has to talk to me like three or four months straight.
Like, why don’t you try Curacao for example. And it took a lot out of me to say, okay, let’s give this up. And let’s apply in, in Curacao. So I had this deadline and I think that deadline moves three times because every time I had like an application running and then at the end of August or something, I made a deficient.
Okay, let’s go to Curacao. And I had, I had a few applications running still, but I think I, it was December of 2013 a week before my plane my vacation. I booked it like three days and I, I went on the December 10th. to Curacao. And my plan was to just have conversations here with marketing agencies, just, you know, get a feel of the market get a few interviews.
I went to Suriname in between and then came back. And then I think I got an interview on the last day I met someone on the agency I worked for, I met someone the last day, like February 3rd or something. And I went back to the Netherlands, had the second interview in via Skype and then just decided, and the decision to go to Curacao was if it’s still it’s a plan B, it’s something that I know, but I don’t know it as well as Suriname. Cause the reason I didn’t want to go back to Suriname at that point, which is personal, but I had like a mission. There are a couple of reasons. One, I had a mission. Like if you come back, you should be there.
And in my head, I was here. Like I just, I just graduated. Two I think my, it would feel like the easy way out to me. And of course, this is a personal decision, but to me it would feel like going back to something, you know, and going back to somewhere you’re safe. You’re always safe. I have this example. I would never, ever, ever be hungry in Suriname ever.
I have my mom that I have my aunt that I would never be like, you know, there wouldn’t be be, Oh, you need to do something to get food. No, you’re safe. You’re in like your safe environment. And, you know, people probably get a good job, but then you’re in your, you know, in your little bubble and curious if, kind of the same with not, it’s like a sub, a sub version of this.
So so yeah, that’s why, that’s why I went back to went to Curacao. And not to Suriname. The other point of Suriname is that I felt like back in the day I had this idea and I could always settle down in Suriname. Right. Like, is it time? I want kids and stuff like that. I could, I could do it in Suriname, but if I go too early, I might end up with like some midlife crisis.
Like why did I go to Dubai or something? And, you know, went back to Suriname. So that’s, that’s the decision. That’s why I went to Curacao,
Diego: [00:21:48] I guess,
Gyanno: [00:21:50] through your money,
Diego: [00:21:55] I guess parents get it, get the Tilburg and then guiding you through the process. Yep, yep, yep. Yep. You ending up in Suriname. And Curacao, I mean but before we move on some quick shout out from the comment section Saph welcome Ro-Ann is back again. And Tevin also tuned in. And yeah, already enjoying this tonight.
So cause he’s from Barbados. So you got some Caribbean vibes going already and to follow up immediately on the, on that parts staff has a question here. Yeah, I know. Based on that horrible post uni experience, what would your advice be to future students graduating and I guess in marketing in general.
Gyanno: [00:22:37] Oh, wow. That’s a great question. I’m I’m gonna be honest. My, I mean, I respect people who finished their masters and I mean, it does teach you discipline. But I think if you find a practical way to apply it earlier, I say do it. But at this point, the way the, I think the, the, the whole environment change, you can always have these courses or go back to online, studying.
Two, if you need to add to your knowledge right here, too, but you can go earlier. You can go into the job market or start your own company a lot earlier. So that’s my advice. But again, on the other side, it’s not a loss. I mean, the experience itself of studying abroad you know, the way you grow as a person, the fact that you have to fend for yourself.
Also the discipline I, before we started, we joked about like the, the book SPSS, the statistic, which was a horrible course for me, but it also teaches you, you know, not to give up. So you have to, you have to pass these exams that you have to put your mind to something. So that experience is is valuable.
So if you, I mean, if you have a chance to try to find something in the middle.
Jean-luc: [00:23:57] I quickly want to jump into that. Guys. So, so there is a post today on Facebook, there was a post by a Surinamese person who is actually doing his masters now. And he was trying to get funding for that master’s and when you extrapolate it to the local currency and Suriname after he had done, he finished his masters, he would have to pay three times the amount in considering how high the additional costs are right now.
When you loan from the bank, you would have to pay three times the amount over the, the next 20 years. And of course there are ways to get around that but essentially the discussion. And I think Gyanno made a good point. If you can start working earlier to get the work experience and have a bachelor, it becomes easier to get a company that wants to pay you to do your masters. It gets easier to once you’ve done your master’s to get back into an application and a job market, because you already been there. And, and also it’s really expensive. I mean, I’m talking from our experience. I’m not, you can correct me if I’m wrong.
Yanno, we’re talking about at least 10,000 euros in a year that you’re going to spend. And basically if you, if you do a master’s abroad outside of Suriname and you spent 10,000 Euros you have to imagine what kind of salary you have to be making to earn it back. If you’re an entrepreneur, what kind of fees you have to ask to get your actual education back?
Whether it’s in five years, it’s in 10 years, it’s in 20 years. So it’s a really conscious decision. I think we are lucky now with the Caribbean countries and a lot of us aren’t really aware of it, but there are a lot of grants. There are a lot of grants to study and Cuba and China. And of course it’s mainly for honor students, but because the, the amount of students applying is relatively low, there are quite some options for master’s studies to get at least a half of the, of the study funded.
So I think not everything is a loss, but we do have to be a realistic. And then the final point is your masters. It’s not a PhD. It’s not really, really specific, but your master’s is. Well, a lot of more specialism that a bachelor and a specialism is something for western countries to, to, to my experience.
It’s, it’s something that an even though it is a Gyanno just all those an experience where he specialized in something and there still wasn’t the job waiting. But but compared to your bachelor’s, your bachelor’s is really broad and the masters is the specialism. So if you don’t necessarily specialize in something that, you know, you’re going to instantly have a job, it’s going to be a struggle.
And there are a lot of Surinamese people, our generation before us. And this is the last part of the rant because I’m going on the generation before us. If you are from Suriname and you were going to study in the nineties, you either should study economics. Medicine or law, those were the three studies that were considered respectable studies.
If you wouldn’t be economic economist, if you would become a doctor, if you become a a liar, those were kind of the three things and everything else was like a tier below it. And I think we’re lucky that we came up in a generation where our parents were like, that’s nice, but feel free to expand your horizon. Because they had a good education. They get put into positions because of the value of their education.
But we also have a lot of people who do something completely different from what they actually studied.
Gyanno: [00:27:46] Yeah.
Diego: [00:27:46] Yeah. And to, to your point there, and I do, I started posts just before we got on and yeah, I just came through it cause usually I, I don’t be these things too much mind on social media and that that’s also conscious.
But yeah, to Jean-luc’s points, there are opportunities for grants, for scholarships, me that made it possible. And yes, to his point, not many people apply and that makes you the one that actually does apply to people listening. It’s never too late to apply. Even at this stage. I actually did it myself like last year.
That’s how I ended up in New Zealand actually studying business,
Gyanno: [00:28:35] you know, you know, the point, like I think at this point, if I, if I would go back, I, my advice would be, if you’re going to study this, make sure you really love it, or that you see a future in it. Like you you’re going to apply it after it, then only then I think it’s worth it at this point.
Diego: [00:28:54] to. Yeah, yeah. But, but I do think, like you said before, there is value in that experience abroad, even if you don’t necessarily end up following the path that you studied through. I don’t think that value is lost. You you’ve grown tremendously in that sense, getting out of your comfort zone instead of playing it safe back, coming back here in Suriname.
So I think regardless of what you end up doing, having that abroad experience for me personally it’s experiencing a new culture experiencing international, I guess, exchanges, making friends that, expanding that network. That’s where the true value lies for me and not necessarily the study I’ve done while I have learned, you know business, basics.
I weigh more value on the other aspects of it.
Gyanno: [00:29:53] Yeah, but this is true, but I’m my comment was more towards. Like I realize, I realize this, that I’m, that you gotta be in the position or you gotta be lucky, whatever you want to call it, to be able to go and study abroad. So either you get a grant, either your parents have money, or in my case, you still have the Dutch passport where it is the government thing.
Right. But not everyone is in that position. So if you’re in a position where you have to pay for it yourself, then I would say, you know, you have different, you have different
Jean-luc: [00:30:30] you have to enjoy it after in giant, because, because there are so many online courses right now, and especially with COVID and everything being digital.
And that was also, I think, one of the answers on the question, but I want to jump into in, in, into this part, talking about different cultures, different experiences. So if you look at your experience as an entrepreneur in, in Curacao like when you started. You had, of course, when you first moved to Curacao you had a, kind of a picture of what it would be like living and working in Curacao of maybe not as clear as a picture of what it would mean to run a business, but now looking back, comparing to what your first impressions were to where you are now, what what’s, what’s kind of sticks.
Gyanno: [00:31:16] You know, I, my picture was, was not that clear in the sense that I had the old school picture that you need to work for a company. So it, it changed along the way. And I got pleasantly surprised by, by the, the, the entrepreneurial spirit. Like it’s, it’s not always as clear as you start your own business, but in curious out there is surprisingly, I wouldn’t call a call a side hustle with a lot of people who do something on the side, and that that spirit is.
It’s very much present. And th this was a surprise to me because in the first year I focused on working for a company and it was like all ham pager something with all business, like no, no networking parties. It was strictly go to the office, get it back. Right. But later on I got into this whole network and then you meet people.
And then that, that, that stuck the surprising amount of people who were going for the dreams are going for, you know, making something out of their passion. And I think I got there. I might’ve, I’m not, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t late, but I think around my time I mean, that’s all I experienced. So I think around my time, it really, it really grew, and you had networking events every month, like two or three every month. So that, that really stuck.
Diego: [00:32:46] So, I guess it’s a, usually it’s the other way around. People want to start doing their own thing, but you kind of ended up in a place that cultivated that, that a feeling and a drive in you. And for me, at least that’s kind of not so common to see. So yeah, it’s usually the other way around.
Jean-luc: [00:33:08] Yeah.
Gyanno: [00:33:11] In my case, in my case, I always knew I mean, if you know me, you know, I, I, I’d rather be my own boss and make the decisions and stuff, but to be honest, I wasn’t planning on doing it yet. So if you go back to my plan, my plan was to work in the Netherlands for two years, get that experience. Then I came to Curacao.
My plan was actually to stay here for a year and then move on to the States. I’m here. I’ve been here now for six years or seven years, so that didn’t go according to plan. But my plan was to get the experience first and then start my company. But when I got here after a year, I kinda pushed, but I flowed into just starting my own company.
Diego: [00:34:00] Okay. So did you want to go in on that with the animals at last first or? Okay. Yeah, so, yeah. No, that is just getting quite interesting. So go going back to plan a plan B and. Okay. Let, let me reframe it. You’re had a drive, but kind of Curacao accelerated it for you, right?
Gyanno: [00:34:24] Yeah. The situation kind of accelerated for me.
Diego: [00:34:27] So what I’m curious about and I usually see this, people want that experience first and then start their own thing. Why is that exactly? What, what, what’s the gap there that people, I guess, from your experience and the thought process that you had, that you don’t want one to go straight into the entrepreneurial dive. Where’s that need come from that you had to have a quote unquote, working for an employer first.
Gyanno: [00:35:01] Okay. So there there’s two things, right? First of all, I realized that my study at the university. Even though we had some, some, some practice cases and some courses that were very practical. You didn’t have any, any experience in the field.
That’s one second of all. I think at this point, if you grew up in, in this, in, in my time, you realize, I look at, I look at the amount of studies I could do, right? I had 284 or something. There’s a certain pressure on you because of the amount of options you have, that if you choose something, you should be great at it.
You should actually be good at it if you chose to have a master’s in marketing. So I think that needs to be great. Once you to wait. With starting and not make mistakes right away. So if you start without the experience, you feel like you’re going to make mistakes. So you want the experience to make sure you’re, you’re ready and you have everything perfect.
And their site perfectionism in there and, you know, have everything ready before you jump. And the second, the third part, I think it’s, I don’t know if it’s always the case in all markets, but I realize that Curacao I was a small market. There’s two things to that. There’s an A and a B a is. It’s a small market.
So you need to network and people know you. When people get familiar with you, you have a better chance to launch your business and actually get clients. B is if you screw up on Curacao right away, Like the first three clients, you’re going to struggle because I mean, you know, it’s a small market.
Everyone knows there was someone would have heard it from about it. So I think that the tree A and B is also a part of it. So those are the three points I got.
Jean-luc: [00:36:56] Do you think it has to do a little bit with personality? I think two or two weeks ago we talked to him. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. My personality looks at it completely different. I think my biggest struggle when I, because I started off as an entrepreneur founded two, two or three companies by the age of 25, then went to work back to work for a company because I enjoyed it that much for five years.
And then after that journey, I finally launched my full-time my first company. And I could consider myself a full-time CEO of the company. And the thing that I was struggling with in my early twenties, when I was kind of running my own business, I was so lonely. I was, I was going to the office and I was sitting by myself and I was mentally not prepared for that.
I mean, I couldn’t.
I’m also wondering, yanno, if so what happened to me the first time when I started my first businesses is that I would go to the office and then I would feel lonely. I would sit there all by myself and I couldn’t, I wasn’t ready to deal with that mentally.
So I was wondering if you had a similar experience and how you dealt with that?
Gyanno: [00:38:11] Yes. You can be very much in a bubble. I mean, you had an office. I could stay at home. I can work from home and you could not leave the house for like a week. And at that point, you, you, you do realize you’re missing something.
I think we talked about this before. You, you have to get out there cause you need to. Bounce ideas. You need to get some outside influences talk to other entrepreneurs. So I had that in the beginning and that’s where I go back to the whole environment here is that they have a lot of networking parties, networking parties, networking events.
So at some point you do meet people and then you do create like your little, your little, you know, your team quote unquote or people, you can bounce your ideas off to fight that. Yeah. I wouldn’t call it loneliness, but it not to be on an Island pun intended.
Diego: [00:39:06] Just to quickly comment go to the comments Ro-Ann completely agrees with you like that. Perfectionism becomes a real problem, and I can speak of this myself and. Saphira asked or is the system I guess, broken inherently on how the, the system or the expectations are set up from a young age and going through this trend of educational institutions that you have to go through this.
And I see where Saph is coming from. You have to go through this trajectory, get your education, and then get a job. And just to give you some context my different view on this in particular, you guys both studied abroad after high school. Netherlands, I was still here in Suriname. Local university and no prior job experiences.
I did my, I was rounding off my bachelor’s electrical engineering, had to do my internship and applied for one of, at an, a spot at one of the big companies who shall not be named. But yeah, I had good recommendations, good relationship with the lecture. But then you had this bureaucratic process that you had to go through, and they find a rejected it, and that flipped the switch for me, like, all right.
I’m not going to even attempt to work for any company and I’ve been kind of on and off independent ever since. So I haven’t, I do not have that like experience in knowing what it’s like to be in a. Formalized corporate setting in that sense. So I guess that’s a plus or a minus. Depends on how you want to look at it.
So when I approach new opportunities, I don’t even think in that sense of how those companies things. Cause I don’t know how it is.
Jean-luc: [00:41:14] It’s hard. This, this is a hard question, that Saphira was asking because yes, the system is broken, but the solution isn’t really. Really there yet. I, the reason I wouldn’t function and I don’t function very well in corporate environments and the reason I don’t function very well in corporate environments, I’m not afraid to say it because I know it’s a weakness of mine.
I don’t like politics and I don’t like office politics. So I want to get the job done. I want to have the best person working on the job was the best at doing the tests that need to be done to get the highest possible result. And if that means that somebody else has to do it, I don’t mind that the problem with the corporate structure is that there is kind of a hierarchical system.
Whereas certain people have certain positions, certain positions have certain job descriptions and the people in those job descriptions have to do those jobs, which is a fairly traditional way of thinking. Unfortunately, what we have now is that jobs are getting so complex that sometimes you have something in your job description, which you are really not that good at now.
Several companies have made a switch and saying like, okay, do the things that you’re good at, find somebody else that does the things that you’re not good at and kind of alternate discuss with each other. I help you out with this. You help me out with that. But traditionally speaking, it’s really hard to do in a, in a, in a company structure, which is structured around sanity, meaning like how long you worked at that decides what your pay grade and what your position is.
And if you come into companies where it matters who works there are longer, and they get the, the more important positions or you get into company, which is a family, a family owned business where not every position is based on the skillset and putting the right people in the right place. But the nephew are the niece of the owner has to do their job because their family, it gets very mingled in.
It gets very difficult and So in that sense, the structure is broken. But from the other side, I’m very positive towards the newer way of working where you put people in their strengths, but there are also some downsides to it which is that in some cases you get into a situation where people are so used to doing what they love to do.
And there are certain important aspects of the business where you’re lacking and you don’t have anybody qualified to do that job. And then that part of the company just slides away from you. So I don’t think we have the answer to whether or not the system is broken at the moment. I think for, for us Gyanno explained from his side, how kind of the environment, the environment, it also kind of pushed his entrepreneurial ship a little bit further than it would in a normal situation. Diego just straight upset. It was personal for me. I was like, yeah, gotta do that again. And for me, it’s, it’s just, I realized at a certain point, I was never going to be a CEO of a company with over a hundred people unless I created that company because I want to be able to create the infrastructure for how people interact within the company.
So it’s, it really depends on what kind of person you are, because you also have people who are really good at working in a structure. They want a structured and fire firewood. They want the job description to do the work that they need to do, and they want to focus on that. So there’s no one size fits all.
Gyanno: [00:44:44] Yeah. I feel like it’s personal. On, on one hand, you have people who need that safety, that, that, you know, nine to five system. And I agree with you, Charlotte. I am not a person. I could function in a corporate setting probably, but not a strict, I mean, if you put me in a structure where I need to be in the same office every day at a certain hour, and I hear the same song on the radio drive the same road, I’ll probably go crazy.
You know, it’s, I think it’s kind of kills the creativity you have. So if you can find a in between like a hybrid in there, I think that’s best. Because the other side of the coin, the entrepreneurship side of the coin, it’s, it’s not, you know, it’s not paradise. I mean, you, you have to fight it for your projects.
You might not get paid in time. Like one client decides not to pay in time and you’re like, no, I need, still need to pay my rent. You know, all that stuff. It’s not always, you know, It’s not like yo go for your dreams and do what you’re passionate about and yadda yadda. Cause reality is it’s also a struggle.
Diego: [00:45:55] So okay me more than that for a second and give us that reality check and you shifting doing your own thing, getting pushed to, especially in a marketing space, that’s usually attached to a bigger company, but you as an independent marketeer offering services to the others, how did you navigate, especially in that small Island to get yourself out there give us a reality view on that, on what hit you in the face.
Gyanno: [00:46:26] Okay. So I’m going back to networking because human interaction, the way I got my clients in the beginning was actually let’s say my first client was a fysio therapist, like a physical therapist. Yes, because I had an injury, I was there and I, sorry, I was talking about what do you do or do I do and all that stuff.
And I still, I didn’t sell anything. I just told him, Hey, you could probably, you know, you have, I looked at his Facebook page, you have like 400 likes. You could probably do something with this to attract more clients. Weeks went by. I just went there for the, you know, and at some point he started asking me questions and, and at, at that point I told him, I gave him a card.
You had like official lunch and all that stuff. So that’s how it grew. But in the, in the beginning it was just people word of mouth. It’s just, Hey, I’m doing this. I got my, my, my old school. I know some people don’t use it anymore, but I got it. Business cards, you know, I was ready. I had them, I was armed with them.
I had them in like this little, I don’t know what you call it, this card holder. And anywhere I went, I’m like, Hey, I actually handed out, okay. This was before I hand it out. A business card or two in a club. I’m like, I was just a party people dancing. And just like, what’s your name? What do you do? And you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re yelling.
I know it’s it’s ages ago with the covid situation, which you’re yelling over loud music. I’m like, bam, this is me. This is my name. This is my number. You know, this is what I do. So, so I was armed with this business card and I stopped, just stopped to people then. And I think that that’s still the key.
That’s still the key. And I think that’s where most of my clients come from, not my marketing, because if you look at my pages, some of them have been quiet for awhile.
But that’s, that’s, that’s still how it works. And especially on a small Island, it’s the people, you know, or someone, I know someone and you meet that person at whatever party basketball. A beach, a networking party, whatever you, you, you meet that person and then you get introduced and that’s, then they have like a safe feeling, which you and I want to give you a try your business.
Diego: [00:48:44] Okay then. Yeah. And
Jean-luc: [00:48:46] that’s something, yeah. Before, even before you ask the question, the follow up, that’s something that you actually do learn at university. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing there is. I think that is one of the things that in theory you learn, but go ahead. Go ahead.
Diego: [00:49:02] Yeah. I have a provocative thought here for you.
So you’re, you’re doing marketing for others, right.
But going, this goes back to last week’s episode with Reuben, and he said at the early stages, don’t spend on marketing. So I guess for you, how do you. Deal with this, I guess disconnect are yeah. Between you are offering marketing services, but you yourself are not applying your marketing. You’re not investing or spending on marketing at this stage.
So how do you, I guess communicate that with clients or even new entrepreneurs who get into this drive as well?
Gyanno: [00:49:51] You know, in the, in the beginning it was it was, there’s a, there’s a combination. In my case, in the beginning, it was basically there was no money for it. I mean, you just started, there was no money to, to do ads or have a photo shoot or anything you just needed to get money first.
Second, I do think you need to realize. Why, and you need to explain this to clients, but the practice, the practical side of it is if you have five clients, for example, it’s sad to say, but you’re, you’re six on the list. And especially in the beginning, if you’re doing all this yourself, I mean, small marketing, smart company marketing is they don’t have the money to, to pay for a photographer.
Videographer. You have to have a package where you do everything yourself, right. And you don’t have the budget to right away hire someone else. So you do all of it. If you can. I mean, if you can’t take photos and do not do it so you’re working, you’re working these clients and they, they have the priority and that’s, that’s a sad, but still understandable part of it’s that you become the sixth on the list.
And then when you’re tired and you’re like, Oh, I didn’t post to our edge up. You’re like, you know, you need to sleep. For example, On the other hand, and this is where I look into the mirror. And I’m very honest with myself. It’s a damn shame. I mean, I mean, it’s it’s, it’s something I can explain, but still it’s a damn shame in the sense that, and I do think I need to analyze myself and I have analyze myself.
And I think it’s something to do with perfectionism because I have this thing that if you tell me about your business and I look at your business and you can ask me, what do you want to do? I’m like, yo, do this, this, this, this, this, this, I have a list. I have a list. If you ask me to look at myself, like try to zoom out of the bubble.
I look at myself, I go into five options, five valuable, like real options. And you’re like overthinking. And you’re like, okay, I need to do this. And you, this is the part where being alone hurts. In the sense that hurts your business because you have no one to bounce it off. And even if you bounce it off, you still have to do it.
And that’s where you come back to the five clients and the six, you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a trap. And, and I do realize why it is. I do realize it’s difficult, but I’m also I realize I can, you know, you can just keep going on like this, so you need to fix it.
Jean-luc: [00:52:32] But, but in your defense though, I mean, the fact that you’re not doing it is also partly because you don’t have the resources mainly you don’t have the time because you’re working on your actual clients.
So in that regard, if you’re not working on it is because you’re actually making enough money from what you’re doing. So, so, so to, to, to give people a little bit who are watching like, Oh my God, what is going to happen to me? If I get into a situation like that? I think my if I’m talking about the clients that ineffable has, these are often actually companies that are kind of re known, but their current way of communicating isn’t working the way it used to.
So they need to switch it up. But if somebody like a starting entrepreneur, approaches me about marketing. The first thing I tell them is have you sold a product a hundred times? If you’ve sold your product a hundred times, then we can talk. If you’re still in the process of selling a product or a service for your first 10 times or first 20 times, let’s get back when you sold it a hundred times, because then you’ll figure out and you know, whether you need it.
And if you’re selling a product a thousand times a month, then like Reuben said, you’re in a totally different situation. You actually don’t need to spend on it because you’re already getting more than you can handle on, on, on, on clients. So it’s, it’s kind of a double edged sword. Diego is a very, very tricky question you’re putting in us into, so I’m going to counter you with another pretty hard question board off you own our have owned drone sport of you have taken your fair share of aerial photography and video as a marketeer. What I want to know is buying owning and using a drone, an investment that you have to make you could, or you shouldn’t make
Gyanno: [00:54:34] I’ll go first. All right. No, I think, I think if you’re a marketeer, okay. What do you mean? And, and your company, you’re a marketing in your own company, or you get the service you
Jean-luc: [00:54:45] provide, you want to, do you want to go into video marketing for me, for instance, I’m blown away by Casey Casey Neistat.
One of my biggest people that I look up to, and the fact that he can fly a drone, film it while on an electric skateboard, it blows my mind, but I’m, I’ve come to the understanding for myself that I don’t have to do that. But I do want to know whether or not I should try a proper drone. Yes or no.
Gyanno: [00:55:14] I say yes.
I mean, at this point, it’s going to become the standard. You’re going to look at, if you look at commercials right now Any commercials on, on, on, on Facebook, for example, they have two or three joints, right? Even if there doesn’t need to be a drone shot, these people have a drone shot in there, you know, so it’s, it does, it does open up a new world and it capabilities.
And at some point I think the other, the other type of commercials and the other videos kind of got stale in the sense that everyone, you know, has the same thing and that drone video is give you, give you like a whole other options. But, but I do say this, it kind of depends on the clients you want to want to get.
It depends on the environment you’re in, because I mean, I’m lucky and I’m the one to wake up anyone from the government, but I’m lucky that the regulations aren’t that strict yet. So I’m allowed to fly, not, not, not close to the airport, of course. And there’s a lot of nature, parks and stuff, but I’m allowed to fly, but if you’re in a city and this is where your company is based Rotterdam, for example, I went there and you can’t fly anywhere, but outside of the city, so then no, you know, then, then it’s not worth it.
So that practicals it. Can you use it? Is it, is it, is it practical? That’s basically the key.
Diego: [00:56:40] Okay. Three, here’s my take on that have could need. I say no, I have had a drone, and this is partially from, okay. Not a marketing perspective, but this is kind of more personal, but even then I would say no, unless. As to emphasize on what Gyanno said, unless you get recurring requests for that type of content or adopt that kind of marketing or you see that potential for those clients?
But the reason why I say no is I’ve owned a drone. I think 2017 I’ve been to Curacao with a drone. I had to register it at the air, something to fly my drone there almost lost it over a cruise ship, but that’s a
Gyanno: [00:57:33] you shouldn’t fly you’re one of those people you shouldn’t fly over the cruise ships.
I’m telling you these people panic, they talk about bombs and grenades. You shouldn’t fly over a cruise ship.
Diego: [00:57:46] Coming back to that. The reason why I bought a drone in 2016, 17 was it started to get. Affordable from a con consumer perspective. I mean, the way that it like quality to price ratio, it was just right back then bang for buck.
And it was at the first drone I owned as a DJI Mavic pro. Yeah, probably the one that I know has in his hands. But what, what got me to buy it was actually because I won the Savanna Rally in 2016, was it 2016? We didn’t have someone with a drone on our team. And we were like hitting a deadline and we needed those photos from the air
and I was talking to my partner back then. We were just driving back from the Savanna and we needed the pictures. I told him I’m going to buy a drone just to get this done. I had some money saved up and, you know, tech stuff, I enjoy these kinds of things. So I bought it and, but. Strategically. I knew if people started, I knew that there was going to be a short turnaround.
I knew that there’s going to be a follow-up project to get the funding back because I put it on a budget for the, for the rally, fortunately, and after that project completed, I actually got a job offer to shoot buildings and some locations. And I just put in an offer that covered one and a half times the price of the drone and the accepted.
So my drone for cost for covered in that sense I later realized that, you know, I didn’t fly my drone that often anymore because there wasn’t really a need. I wasn’t that active in the space. And that’s with any type of gear, generally, I noticed that’s why I like minimized. I had like a whole Nikon camera kit with five lenses.
I’ve. I’ve dumbed it down to one body and one lens basically to what I use, like the 20 can I get 80% of the shots or the products I need with that minimum equipment? If I need a drone shot, I have the experience because I played with it before, so I know what I’m dealing with, but I have, I know enough people now in the space that have drones, we could just hire our, you know make an arrangement with our, you just pay them to get that shot specifically that you need.
And in that sense, you’re, you’re not loading yourself with all this thing you need. So that is why I say you don’t need it unless you’re specifically wanting to specialize in that sector.
Gyanno: [01:00:29] Yeah. Okay. But in the, in that case, you, you could probably say that you don’t need a camera because you could use your phone. So it’s all. Yeah, it’s all depending on, I mean, how much are going to use it? In my case, though, it’s on a business side, it did help me because the same way it opened up some jobs for you, it did opens it, they weren’t social media jobs or marketing consulting jobs.
They were like, Hey wow, drone shot. Can you make one for us? Or they just saw some commercial. And then you’re like, okay, we’re going to shoot a commercial, which is in the package. And you’re like, I don’t need to hire anyone because I can take all these shots myself. And of course, I mean, you know, this on a personal level.
I just, I love to take pictures.
Diego: [01:01:14] yeah. If you enjoy it into it, totally, definitely get it. But don’t let it sit on a shelf or, you know, taking dust then if that’s going to happen. And I say, don’t do it.
Gyanno: [01:01:26] Yeah. True. True.
Jean-luc: [01:01:30] Okay. I think both cases are you made a great case for, for both side of the stories.
Gyanno I think you also had a drone picture of yours on a billboard in Curacao is that correct?
Gyanno: [01:01:43] Yes. Oh, you give me the, you give me like a segway to my shameless plug. Yes, yes. Yeah, sure. Yeah, so, so if you go to my Instagram, you’ll see, I love to take aerial pictures. My Instagram is the same @gvkanten.
So there was a contest done by the distributor of black label, Johnny Walker. And they have the same. I saw one in Suriname, too. They have the same localized marketing campaign where they have the keep walking, but they have something of that country behind it. So there was a contest. Of giving of applying and getting your shot in there and they would put it on special bottles.
So I, I want that and they used it first for a special bottle of black table, which I still have and billboards all over Curacao so for a while, a couple of years,
Diego: [01:02:34] I’m curious though, if you can disclose, of course, did they like license the photo from you or was it that you won the competition and then they just use it because you entered,
Gyanno: [01:02:46] Oh no, this is, this is where I’m, I’m a little picky.
So they gave me a contract to sign and the contract actually says ownership. So I’m like, nah, son, this, this is not happening. Ownership means I can’t post this so you can license it. They license it for for fair use or fair use or whatever. So they could use it wherever they wanted it. But they didn’t have the ownership. I can still use it. I could still post.
Jean-luc: [01:03:11] That’s a great, great tip for starting photographers as well. And it might be hard to, because you get put into a situation where you win a competition and you’re like, wow, I won a competition and you just sign off and you just sign over your, your, your photo.
Okay. Gyanno we we’ve spoken a little bit about this. We, aside from the conference in Suriname, we’ve spent two conferences together in San Diego.
The social media marketing world, one of the biggest social media marketing conferences in the world. The first time we, we were there together as participants. The second time we were there as part of the staff of the organization. And we talked about the concept behind a Caribbean community and moving towards creating a community for, for the Caribbean or for the Caribbean countries are the cultures. Why, why do you think it’s necessary for us to, to build such a community?
Gyanno: [01:04:06] Well, to be honest, it’s, it’s, it’s, there’s power in, in, in communities first, this power in community you can work with each other and you can probably learn from each other, open up a lot of business opportunities for yourself.
And I do feel like if you look at it globally, The Caribbean community has so much to offer that’s one, but we have like a certain, I want to say experience like a different the culture is different. We have a fairly mixed culture. Most of, most of the time we have influences, we have the connections to the Western world and let’s say the US but also to South America, we have the connections to Europe most of the time.
So we have a lot of opportunities to be that link between existing markets. And I feel like, I feel like it’s, it’s hard in, in a, in a sense because all of these communities have their own struggles. I mean, you have to have a certain mindset to get out of the, the pie is small, which is Curacao for examples.
And. See that the whole Caribbean is the pie or the whole world is the PI and that’s a mindset switch you need to have. And if you could do that together with other people, then you have more chance of success. Yeah.
Diego: [01:05:33] I guess to quickly follow up on that you mentioned that the pie being the Caribbean as a whole, but this pie is very fragmented with all these little toppings little islands with similar, but yet different cultures. And yeah, I guess from a marketing perspective, what you’ve experienced in Curacao so at least what do you see or what should be the approach to start working towards being this link? Interconnecting the U S Europe, South America.
Gyanno: [01:06:11] Well, there is this, I think you, you shouldn’t jump into it. You should probably first there’s, there’s this thing. I can really come up with it and I would, there’s this thing that you should do should conquer your environment first, like your neighborhood, then your country, then you’re, you know, you just expand, so you should probably start there first.
But the key, the key point here is thatif, if you don’t do it, if you don’t do it, you’ll yeah, you’ll always be small. It’s, you’ll never reach, you know, a certain height.
Jean-luc: [01:06:47] It’s difficult. It’s difficult because you’re struggling with one being small, first of all. And secondly, having to share the pie so it takes, and it goes back to the, to the broader perspective. Well, let’s, let’s, let’s move it on to sports, which is the last part that we were going to discuss because it makes it difficult it to give you an idea as to like we briefly talked about it yesterday and in a post that you placed where Curacao is actually ahead of a lot of other, a lot of other small Caribbean countries in the process of looking out for.
People from a certain descent that they can come and play for the national team. And Curacao was one of the first to do that has one of the most renowned Dutch coaches in football and Wella football at the moment and crusading and they won against Cuba, which considering winning against Cuba is it’s quite an accomplishment for such a small country.
And Suriname is learning from that as well. He has been put into the situation where I, for three years now, he is slowly putting together at the full off Surinamese professionals who are Surinamese players. And for us it’s much more of a competition. It’s like, Oh no, Curacao is doing that.
Now. Suriname is doing that. Oh, Jamaica is gonna do that as well. And what’s more of a competition than finding a way, like, okay. But how can we convince that we would brainstorm together, like Curacao Jamaica and a Suriname brainstorm together? Like, how are we going to convince somebody who is 19 years old is putting in a first team of the premier league to play for their whole nation instead of playing for the big leagues, because we’ve seen it in France right now, we’re seeing the movement towards all these countries that people from, from the dissent from that country are deciding to attend.
But in Frances, the other way around in France, we have all these players who are from different or former colonies of France. And if all opted in to play for France and they won the world cup. So So, how would you translate? I know it’s a different, this is a difficult way of translating it, but do you think that we should consider finding ways to kind of interact more and not see an as a competitive situation where all fighting to be the biggest Caribbean country or the most successful Caribbean country versus deciding like how can we group together and make it work for all of us, how we can, how can we all all grow?
Gyanno: [01:09:35] Okay. So that’s a long question, but I think it’s an important question, but going, first of all, going back to what Diego said, the question will be, the key would be to network, right? The, keep the connect, all the little sprinkles is to network, to go actually face it, talk to other people, see what’s similar.
See what’s different and realize that you’re, you’re kind of in the same situation a lot of times. And it goes back to sports. You every country at this point knows that there’s a lot of talent outside of their country. And it goes back. Don’t make me go on this rant. Stop me if I’m going too far. But this goes back to, I would say nationalism in a way the trust that you, you, you value what you have, what you have over, what other people have.
And this is a long history. You gotta realize these, these are colonies and the, the actual, the value you give yourself is a lot lower compared to countries that have been established and have a different history, right? So you kind of need to create this they’re young countries. You need to create this, and you need to value what you have.
That’s one. But the dark side of the situation and the history is that you need to get over this, this whole crabs in a barrel mentality, right? You, you touched on it in a second that a secondary that you don’t have to see it as a competition, which is it actually is because if you help all the other countries, I mean, if Suriname helps Aruba, it’s a, it’s a different situation, right?
If they all have the same thing in place, then it’s it’s going to hurt you in the short term. Right. And you need to get over that point. You need to see it as if someone, one of us makes it, we all make it kind of like it’s it’s that you need to get to that mentality. And it might be your turn the next time.
If you see carry the Caribbean, as one, as soon as Curacao makes it, there’s a trickle-down effect, economically like pure tourism to Aruba. Right. There’s like, Oh, wait a minute. I could go to the Curacao, but I could also have to, to Bonaire. I could hop to Aruba. So there’s a trickle-down effect.
There’s an, especially with tourism, there’s the put the Caribbean on the map kind of feeling that would help you in econ in, in, in the economy. The other part, I feel like sports would help you with nation building. And this is also a long rant, but I feel like if you get to the point where you value what you have, and you instill that in your youth and your children right now, you might not see it now, but in 10 years, that person would have a totally different view of what is.
A great place to play. It might not be the premier league. It might be somewhere else. It might be like the African player said, go back to Africa and start there, lead there, right? There’s this value you put in there, but you have to instill it. You have to have it. And this is where I, I feel like these, these events, these, the fact that Curacao made the move, the fact that Suriname made the move, opens the door because we had success.
There’s more acceptance. I, I mean, I, I don’t know if you read the comment, but I left the comment on the, your comment that if they don’t have success, you’d probably hear 50% of them said, yeah, you see, we didn’t need the diaspora. We didn’t need the people from outside, you know, but it’s it’s the success that kind of opens up simple where you went, so we want to see success and it makes it a lot easier.
But after you do it, make sure that you instill those values, make sure that you. Say that I love the way Suriname and Curacao are both have marketed the way they are going through the world cup. Right. But at least the qualifying, I mean, it’s sports connects in that way. And sports could be the bridge, in my opinion, to that nation building part that I want to say it’s like just this trust in yourself, just this patriotism that we’re missing in the Caribbean as a whole, and this, this, this is back to the history why we’re missing it. And we’re still young. And I mean, we’re, you know, that’s not going to that, but it’s, it’s very much, if you want to dig into that, it’s, it’s, it’s worth it.
But the fact is we’re missing it. So you need to build it. And that 19 year old, luckily now. Has some examples. And in the beginning they were examples of people playing in another, in another league in an a, for another country, like Suriname has a lot of those. At least you have heroes. That’s the first step.
At least you have those heroes. And then 10 years later, 20 years later, you have your own team. Second step. So that for that 19 year old, it might be a bit too early to say, Oh, value this more because you don’t have to, you can’t, you can’t ignore the fact that it’s a personal decision and he has to look out for his career.
I mean, if you, if you’re 19 and you get to the premier league and England tells you, okay, you can play for us. And you have a better chance to get into that team. And you have a better chance to, to, you know, make money or make millions or whatever, then I’m not going to hate you. Right. But you have to create first the environment that you could come back to.
So, or come back to Suriname and you have a chance. And this is something we can’t ignore that in the end. It’s a personal deficient for the 19 years. If we go back to your example, you can’t hate that person. If that person decides to play for England or, or the Netherlands, right? Because it’s a personal decision.
You have it easy on the side to say, yo know, you know, you got to love your country, come back. But you know, sports is sports is a killer because situation and you don’t know and it’s, and this, you have one knee injury, one practice it’s over. So, I mean, on the other hand, make your millions, while I’m saying this, while going back to my other points, create the environment where it’s valued, right.
Create environment one where it’s valued that you play for the natural team. So you feel it and like create the environment where you can actually be successful in there, which. Both countries have now. Right? They’ve they value it more. I see that every day I see the whole marketing campaigns. I see people posting it.
I love it. I mean, they, you feel that it’s more valued compared to like 10 years ago. Yeah. And, and that’s an environment you need to create. And if we get children, at some point, we can instill that same value. And the other hand you have to be yeah. The fact that they invested in it and they got some good coaches, you know, the success part is actually easy because if you fail that you set yourself back like five years, you know?
So it’s, it’s, it is a combination of those things.
Diego: [01:16:52] you really went off on that one end. No, no, no, it’s good. I think you’ve connected it fantastically. To that point of connecting the islands together and then being creating that network to become that bigger link between the,
Gyanno: [01:17:14] I didn’t answer your question fully.
Diego: [01:17:17] That’s why I went back to it. Okay. If it’s simply done there, but I think that brings us to the end of this Social Confoes. So as we close off, where can people find you what can people expect from you in the next period? So this is your moment to do your plug, whatever.
Gyanno: [01:17:36] Okay. So if you want to connect with me, LinkedIn is this is very business, like connect with me on LinkedIn.
If you want to see more of my, my photography and my social life, then you can follow me on Instagram. It’s all @gvkanten. And for edge up, I want to say go, I like the pages because actually right now we’re in In a rebranding phase. Cause I, the whole thing, isn’t this not going to fly for much longer.
So if you follow it, you would be kind of like, you know, back to the ground, the ground breaking of a new a new, I wouldn’t say era, but that sounds good. So LinkedIn Instagram yeah, those two.
Diego: [01:18:21] Awesome. So you’ve guys heard it check them out and look forward to that new branding of edge up. Cause now he does have the funding to spend on it.
All right. Well with that, we are closing off Social Confoes for tonight. Thanks again, everyone for tuning in. Thank you, Gyanno for tuning in, from Curacao and sharing your thoughts, your knowledge, your experiences. This episode will be released on Saturday on the podcasting platforms. Thank you guys for tuning in life and asking the questions and without further ado, Jean-luc roll us out
Jean-luc: [01:19:01] all right. Thank you for watching. This was Social Confoes see you back next Tuesday at 9:00 PM. Bye bye.