26 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Testimonial from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

There’s No Place Like Home
by Krys Harrison

In his “Experience” essay, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “I grieve that
grief can teach me nothing”. St. Croix is grieving. We are grieving a
loss of stability, structure, security, financial comfortability and
most importantly…hope. Our people are dismissing our loss of hope
like an accident of lust as inconvenient as an unwanted pregnancy and
just as inconsequential too, if you could harden your heart to cut it
out. Our grief is teaching us how to do nothing but mask our pain and
lash out or in my case…move away.

I am not proud of this fact but I can admit that once upon a time I
too had lost my hope in St. Croix. I felt that in order for me to
fulfill my life’s purpose and achieve my goals I had to go to the
states. When I saw the economic climate nosedive I abandoned ship. The
Titanic was sinking and either not wanting to go down with the ship or
see it made me leave. I thought making it meant making my way off of
the very same island that nurtured me, molded me and is at the core
the very foundation of who I am. Through the good, the bad and the
ugly St. Croix has been here for me when I needed her. A chance
encounter best described as divine intervention with Andrew Morrison,
the CEO of The Small Business Camp helped me remember that instead of
expecting St. Croix to be here for me, maybe I should be here for her
as well.

I had been back home about a week when I met Mr. Morrison by fate at
The Bistro in Gallows Bay. My return home was prompted by a bruised
ego, a broken heart and an all around need for an escape from my life.
It was supposed to be brief. Temporary enough to allow me to mentally
hit the reset button all the while taking what I needed from the
island and not thinking about what I could contribute before I
ultimately went back to the states. I have been guilty as a lot of my
peers are of treating St. Croix like a mistress. Never committing but
always expecting her to be there. Andrew Morrison essentially an
outsider shamed me in the most enlightening and friendly way into that
realization. He saw something in my home that I had become too jaded
to see myself.

He has created a Small Business Camp; a 16 week program funded by a
grant from the US Department of Commerce, the Economic Development
Authority and overseen by Ms. Cusa Holloway that begins with an
intensive 3 day seminar designed to help you find your calling, get
out of your own way and into your own business. Andrew sees the
possibility for all around entrepreneurial success on St. Croix and
he’s helping us see the possibility as well one conversation and one
workshop at a time. Most importantly he’s taking our blinders off and
introducing us to a new focus. For example, I make my own t-shirts
because I like to wear things that I don’t see in the stores. For me
it’s fun, fashionable and not a big deal. For Andrew Morrison who
noticed one of the t-shirts I had on it was a possible money maker, a
business and a very big deal.

We spoke over coffee about my t-shirts, who I am and who I want to
be. By the time the conversation we had finished Andrew had succeeded
in inviting me to his Small Business Camp training that got me
thinking that I could be exactly who I want to be and do what I want
to do right here at home. I am seeing St. Croix through different
eyes. My direction has shifted and I am a resident here again. What
began as a hiatus from an uncertain existence in the states has turned
into a purposeful quest to make the best life possible happen here on
St. Croix. And I know I can do it. My experience at the Small Business
Camp so far has restored not only my hope but my excitement. I’m
looking forward to achieving the goals I set out and more so I’m
excited to do it here because I know unequivocally without a doubt I
can. The testimonials of other St. Croix residents attesting to the
business transformations they were able to achieve with Mr. Morrison’s
guidance make me hopeful for my own future testimony.

Of course there are skeptics and naysayers. But Andrew is making us
believers not just with words but by his actions. I am proud to see
what my neighbors are achieving under his guidance. Disbelief is a
crime that many of us are committing but the eloquence of living and
the fervor of survival are surely to be our best defense. Andrew
Morrison is giving us the tools we need to wage war against our fear,
the resources to get out of our own way and the encouragement to do
better and be better

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