[Entrepreneurs Impact 12] Journey Rawle Dundas

Childhood of Rawle Dundas

Rawle Andre Dundas, born in Guyana on October 28th, 1965, shares his life story as a pastor’s kid, flight attendant, and husband with 5 children.  His full name, Rawle Andre Dundas, includes the French name Andre, meaning “manly,” he is particular about accentuating the E. Throughout his professional life, he predominantly uses the name Rawle. In more personal settings, particularly from primary school and growing up, he is affectionately called Andy by those who know him well, whether from church or childhood. His father is Rufus Leon Dundas (88) and his mother was Hycinth Dundas. He recently realized that he may have relatives in Suriname when someone bearing his mother’s maiden name, Pickering, reached out to him. Rawle was born in Georgetown, Guyana, and lived there.

Rawle Andre Dundas has had the opportunity to travel around the world as part of his first job where he served as a flight attendant from 1984 to 1997 on board the national airline. While working, he also pursued his education, growing up before entering the Adult world. Rawle was deeply involved in church activities, being the child of a former pastor. He actively participated in youth leadership from his teenage years and held the position of head prefect at his high school. A reserved individual by nature, Rawle is quick to step in and help when there is a need or opportunity. Rawle has a happy marriage with his wife, who is in the US while he resides in Guyana. They plan to establish a base and retirement platform in Guyana within the next two years. Despite the distance, they maintain frequent communication and travel back and forth. Rawle, also known as Andy, has four children and one stepchild from his wife. Rawle has siblings and is the second one of four children. His older brother is Leon and he is currently residing in the UK. After a year Rawle came along,  Then there’s Denise Bonita, the only girl in the crew and the last sibling is also a boy. Around 2015, they established a family WhatsApp group to stay connected because his brother initially resided in Jamaica, and his younger brother was in Canada. With family members spread across the USA, Grenada, and the UK, they would often visit each other every year or every other year. While they conversed every week, the primary purpose was to foster good communication and maintain strong family ties. Growing up as pastor’s children, many of their activities revolved around the church. With two services on Sunday, occasional Sunday afternoon events, Wednesday and Friday church services, and Saturday visitations, their schedule was quite busy. Despite the church-centered lifestyle, their parents ensured they had a social life, allowing them to engage in sports like cricket, badminton, athletics, and some football.

Rawle did not pursue music, but his siblings were musically inclined, with one playing the drums and the others excelling in singing and playing instruments. Family gatherings and activities were common during holidays, creating a strong feeling of unity. As they grew older, Rawle developed a love for leadership and, despite not being very outgoing, he would step in when he saw a need. At the age of 17 or 18, he became the vice president of the Youth Society for the country’s churches, leading to a significant trip to Mexico in 1983. This international experience exposed him to different cultures and perspectives, fostering friendships with people from around the World. To fund the trip, Rawle’s group organized various activities, including grass-cutting, selling secondhand clothes, holding fundraisers, and organizing a concert. The experience not only enriched his life but also taught him valuable skills in planning, project management, and independence at a young age. Despite a tempting proposal to stay in the US during the return journey, Rawle’s commitment to his promise and responsibility to bring back what he learned led him back to Guyana to serve the church. This experience marked a transition out of high school and into the World of work, providing important lessons that shaped his life. Rawle and his team did not have the word “entrepreneurship” back then. However, as he discusses entrepreneurship now, it becomes apparent that they were entrepreneurs at that time. They did not receive sponsorship from churches, banks, or large organizations. Instead, they had to find a way to generate the necessary funds. Rawle and his team engaged in sales, particularly clothing and food, successfully raising the money required to independently travel to Mexico.

In the realm of academics and extracurricular activities, Rawle reflects on his experiences, carefully choosing the term to convey that it wasn’t just about fun but also involved significant learning. With a mother who was a teacher, emphasis was placed on completing tasks diligently, striving for excellence, and excelling in school. Primary school, covering grades one to five, proved relatively easy for him, who emerged as a top performer. Transitioning to high school brought new opportunities, sparking excitement about involvement in drama, class leadership, athletics, and even joining the first boys’ choir in the school. Throughout high school, Rawle actively participated in class and house leadership, showcasing his versatility. In the highest level, sixth form, he was elected as the school’s head prefect, indicating his successful engagement in leadership roles. Despite not always performing at the highest level academically throughout high school, Rawle learned valuable lessons. In one term, he did not perform well due to a lack of focus, but the experience taught him the importance of applying oneself. Realizing the need for focus and effort, he bounced back and succeeded in subsequent years. This taught him the crucial lesson that results don’t happen automatically; one must work toward them with dedication.

His Impact

At the age of 18, Rawle had his first unplanned entrepreneurial venture, gaining valuable lessons from the experience. Despite his parents not being inherently entrepreneurial, he acquired the basics of money and systems management from his methodical father, who held an office admin manager role in his company. Rawle’s entry into aviation after high school was not planned; however, he quickly secured a job due to desperation after unsuccessful applications elsewhere. In the world of work, Rawle was quick to notice inefficiencies in leadership, leading him to express his desire to lead if given the right team at the age of 19. This marked the beginning of his leadership journey in the working world, and his role evolved from a domestic flight clerk to an international flight attendant, demonstrating entrepreneurship by finding a niche and excelling in it. In 1992, Rawle seized an opportunity to become the first local flight attendant instructor in Guyana, showcasing his leadership and organizational skills. This position involved setting up systems, and manuals, and executing training, providing him with a taste of entrepreneurship within a national company.

After the airline closed in 1997, Rawle and some colleagues attempted to buy it, marking his first significant entrepreneurship venture. Though unsuccessful, the experience propelled them into various leadership roles. Rawle then transitioned to a job at Courts from 2003 to 2013, where he rose through the ranks to become Operations Director and then Customer Experience Director, successfully leading a new program called the Five Star Customer Experience Program. By 2013, Rawle fully embraced entrepreneurship, starting his own company focusing on leadership and customer service after being made redundant. Despite facing challenges and briefly returning to the corporate world for two years, he persevered, engaging with successful companies and delivering impactful training. Notably, he became a guest speaker and presenter at a leadership retreat for Ansa McCal, a regional multinational company headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago and has a presence in the Caribbean and beyond. Rawle’s journey revolves around enhancing performance, personal behavior, and fostering company growth through customer service and leadership training. His commitment to entrepreneurship has been a continuous evolution, marked by a dedication to personal and professional development.

Growth through experience

Years ago Rawle took on a Management position in a Hotel establishment that was not functioning as it should in the hospitality industry. He was able to move it from an ordinary operation to a consistently high-level performance as a reputable hospitality company. Rawle had to invest in the company by training the staff, and making changes in job positions and job functions to make sure that the operations were going to help grow the business. The hotel was located out of Georgetown, which caused Rawle to relocate, becoming immersed in and engaged with the community resulting in him connecting with persons and businesses and learning the culture. He was also able to directly deal with senior persons in the government and in corporations.

While Rawle acknowledges his contracts with reputable companies, such as Ansa McCal, as significant accomplishments, he emphasizes that his most profound impact has been on individuals. Through mastermind sessions, inspired by Napoleon Hill’s writings and John Maxwell’s teachings and training, Rawle has facilitated like-minded individuals coming together to work towards common goals, primarily focused on personal growth and communication. One notable success story is Marlon Joseph, a dissatisfied public worker who, after Rawle’s coaching, transitioned to start his own business and then founded the ‘Together we Win Business Network’ and experienced continuous personal and professional growth. Another success involves a former flight attendant trained by Rawle, who went on to establish a group of successful companies. For Rawle, the satisfaction lies not in accolades for himself but in seeing the positive transformations in the lives he has touched. He cites examples of individuals who pursued careers in law, politics, and government, illustrating the broader impact beyond entrepreneurship. Rawle expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share useful insights, change lives, and contribute to personal and professional growth.

Being part of OneShot, collaborating with Renato Archer, has been a rewarding experience for Rawle. Despite his introverted nature, Rawle seized the opportunity to connect with Renato, appreciating the positive impact that OneShot is making across the Caribbean, reaching into Suriname and the United States.

Lessons learned would be what Rawle calls one of the laws of growth, specifically the law of curiosity. The law of curiosity, for Rawle, extends beyond merely asking questions; it embodies a deep-seated desire to learn. Throughout his life, Rawle has been a dedicated learner, embracing the need to read, observe, seek wisdom, and adapt when necessary. The fundamental lesson he emphasizes is the importance of asking questions, seeking information, and taking leaps of faith.

Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Rawle recounts an instance when he initiated a conversation with a foreigner during a meeting. Despite not winning the contract, the encounter led to an opportunity where he and his team members were flown to the US, marking a significant experience. Rawle highlights the value of stepping out of one’s comfort zone, making calls, sending emails, or using modern communication channels like WhatsApp to explore opportunities.

Acknowledging that missed opportunities have resulted from not taking proactive steps, Rawle emphasizes the importance of being proactive, seizing opportunities, and maintaining curiosity about what life may offer. Drawing on his experience in coaching, Rawle combines elements of business coaching and personal coaching, aligning with the principles of personal growth from the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. He believes that, as an entrepreneur, managing oneself and making sound decisions are essential skills, and his coaching practice reflects this perspective.

Furthermore, Rawle advocates for optimism and resilience. Realism is crucial, acknowledging when something goes wrong, but dwelling on past mistakes is unproductive. Rawle encourages an optimistic mindset, focusing on what can be done to navigate challenges and avoid similar situations in the future.

Closing Remarks Rawle

“If it has got to be, it is up to me”, that means that the success of everything that I do is up to me. Rawle also used the quote of Eleanor Roosevelt, which says “No one can make you upset without your permission”. No matter what, things will always happen to us in life. Friends, family members, and colleagues may say or do things that can affect us initially. They might express things that make us not feel comfortable about it, but we must not allow them to make us unhappy. We can manage our emotions and our feelings and then choose wisely, knowing that the result we are looking for is up to us. Instead of taking too much time wielding self-pity, we can choose to be different. Choose to not be negatively impacted by what people say or do around you, but choose to be the one who makes the difference. You have to love yourself and first know who you are. You decide what is going to happen to you next by what you determine in your mindset.

Entrepreneurs Impact

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