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News fills and empties your bucket whether you like it or not. Some married couples might feel the mood of their partner first thing in the morning is much more important than anything else in the world, but in reality it is a passing whim and probably forgotten a few hours later as more important issues determine the mood of the day.  

Mood and confidence walk hand in hand in life and they don’t just affect personal attitudes, they embrace business and have far reaching vibes across the world thanks to Mr. Internet.  Local news hits its audience largely through the morning newspapers, radio and television, but international news is relayed over the globe through websites. Never has breaking news been so instant as in the modern world where good and bad news can be relayed to millions of people in seconds.

Unfortunately in the media bad news is bigger than good news so lost aircraft, terrorist killings, disease, financial woes and violence tend to push the good stories into the background.  Bad news also lingers in the mind for long periods and it affects the way we live our lives and do our business. It takes a strong personality to block out bad news and in the case of business people it has to be ring-fenced to ensure balance is in place when making important decisions. It also places a huge responsibility on high-powered people and institutions that have to deliver bad news as the consequences can be far reaching.

For example, why should Barbados still be suffering from the knock-on effects of global recession seven years down the line when the demise was caused by big financial institutions in large developed countries? Our island and its people had nothing to do with the deception and fraud at the highest level of big corporate business yet the negativity and damage it caused has eroded investor confidence in our real estate product and virtually destroyed the growth and success hard-earned pre-2008. Bad news in Europe, North America and the Far East inevitably creates negative vibes across the world and deflates customer confidence in areas far removed from the troubled sectors. At local level the news that Sagicor, one of the cornerstones of Barbados business for decades, is to re-locate its Head Office because of our current economical and financial status is a kick in the teeth to many Barbadians even ‘though the company now has a higher Trinidadian shareholding than Barbadian.  The news was a bad blow for investor confidence and public morale. 

As a small island fighting tough economic challenges we need customer confidence more than ever. We depend heavily on the tourism and construction industries and overseas investment in our real estate. We need the Barbados bucket filled with good news about the quality of our products, services, lifestyle, government, people, education and environment. We have so much to offer and as the tourism and real estate sectors continue to claw their way back to more prosperous times we don’t need our bucket emptied by negative news and sensationalism from politicians, news reporters, outside institutions and doomsayers with limited knowledge. Yes, the events need to be reported, but with balance and clarity so that confidence in the country is not destroyed and our bucket remains half full not half empty.

We have to accept politicians on different sides of the political divide lambast each other at every opportunity, but does it need to be played out in the media every day? Do we need to see so much negativity and dismay on the front pages when there are good stories on the inside pages that would make more worthy headlines?

And yes, the property market is soft and there are less potential purchasers around these days than pre-2008, but agents are reporting an increase in enquiries in 2015 and more sales than last year. Prices are more realistic than they were several years ago and mortgages are available. Yes, they are more difficult to obtain and lending terms are tighter, but interest rates are lower and banks are liquid with funds they must lend. 

There’s plenty of good news out there that can be promoted. This is a buyer’s market so let’s capitalize on it.

Don’t let the doomsayers control your mood or confidence-fill your bucket with the good things that are happening every day in Barbados. Things may be more challenging these days, but in the words of American statesman Joe Kennedy when the going gets tough, the tough get going.





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