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5 Skills I needed to learn fast to Survive 2021 as an Entrepreneur in the Caribbean

Every time I’m forced to review a LinkedIn Live show, it feels like my eardrum has an allergic reaction.

Does anyone like the sound of their voice?

These are the thoughts that clouded another year of lockdown in Trinidad and Tobago. If you told me in 2010 that I would be live streaming over 100 events in 2021, I would stare at you with distrust.

In January of 2021, I was cautious yet hopeful about growing our sales. I didn’t want to plan too far ahead, but I also reviewed the data, telling a story. I needed to spend more time on LinkedIn, invest in better equipment and tailor our services to the B2B industry.

Twelve months later and we’ve doubled our sales. Here are the five skills that I honed to achieve my goals.

Video Lighting

I never understood why we envy celebrities. If you had a team dedicated to making you look good, wouldn’t you be fabulous 24/7? It doesn’t help our mental health when we’re scrolling through their Instagram and wondering why not me? Well, I have some good news Candice, you too can get those likes. Invest in good lighting.

As a woman of color, it was essential to understand how my skin tone differs from most YouTubers, and their advice would need some tweaking. I also learnt about the 3 point lighting setup; brighter isn’t always better.

Here is a low budget option and the key light that every interview setup needs.

Audio Sound Basics

If you’re an aspiring podcaster and don’t know what a Yeti is, what are you really doing?

The marketing team behind the Blue Desk Microphone did an excellent job with influencers. I went with the crowd, and it was a great place to start. Eventually added a few accessories, such as a boom mic arm and shock absorber. After some lengthy visits to BH Photo in NYC, I made a note of alternatives and upgraded to the Shure MV7.

The quality is superior and there is no need for accessories because everything is built-in.

I’m still working on not moving around as much.

Video Display Resolution

My first LinkedIn Live was in my bedroom on my lame ass 720p laptop camera. It was scary and I felt it could be perceived as unprofessional. Regardless, I soldiered on, and those first attempts are the reason I’m more comfortable with the responsibility of managing my clients’ brand.

After signing my third client to our LinkedIn Live retainer, I upgraded from the Logitech 1020p to the 4k. I’m usually not for trends, but this was worth the hype.

The algorithm loves high-resolution videos and we saw an increase in impressions when I upgraded.

Makeup Artistry

The Makeup industry was valued at $532 billion in 2019 and is expected to exceed $716 billion by 2025. Multiple factors contribute to its growth, but none as impactful as influencer marketing.

Outside of not being able to afford a makeup artist every week, I would not have felt comfortable with someone coming to my home during the pandemic.

The democratization of makeup application allowed me to experiment and learn from popular Youtubers such as Jackie Anna and Robert Welsh.

As much as we believe that you should not judge a book by its cover, the numbers don’t support this adage. After learning about contouring and eyelash applications, we’ve seen a 100% attendance increase with positive comments about my appearance.

Live Video Hosting

Oprah is worth 2.6 billion dollars. Much of her wealth began from interviewing people on her talk show. After hosting more than 100 live events, I better understand her value.

It takes specific skills to navigate questions, emote without interrupting while making the discussion interesting for the viewer.

I don’t believe Oprah’s style reflects today’s distracted social media users. However, I took notes from Ali Plump, Hot Ones and Graham Norton. One of the biggest takeaways was research. It makes the guest feel comfortable and helps with the flow of conversation.

My extrovert nature paired well with my new skill because it was the only time I engaged with humans. It became an energy booster!


I got a call from a global company requesting a quotation for hosting. I declined. Although I’ve gained immeasurable insight into multiple industries, these are survival skills.

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when the main objective is to pay your bills on time. Luckily, I’m in a privileged position to be mindful of this fact.

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