Carel Pedre is a radio and television personality based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Pedre hosts “Chokarella” in the mornings, and occasionally a nightly show edition he calls “Chokarella After Dark”. One of the biggest lessons we can learn from his journey as an entrepreneur-media personality is that just because you’re from—and you live on a little island—doesn’t mean you have to think small. You should think beyond your wildest dreams and beyond. Okay, so I have it down to 5 lessons. Let’s see what they are…
1. Your comfort zone feels good doesn’t it? Well, get out.
In an interview with Kreyolicious, Carel Pedre revealed that he was born and raised in a city called Port-de-Paix. Well, according to the website DistanceCalculator, Port-de-Paix is about 182 miles away from Port-au-Prince—also known as the city where everything happens in Haiti. Port-de-Paix looks very pretty from the photos on Google Images. It looks almost like the Garden of Eden. Perhaps Carel should have remained there, and become the local radio personality, broadcasting from a hammock while enjoying the breeze. But he had bigger lobsters to grill, and fatter pieces of griyo to fry and savor. Bigger lobsters….like the launch of PleziKanaval.com, a website that posts Haiti’s carnival songs and promotes Haiti’s artists. Fatter pieces of griyo…as in speaking engagements at U.S. universities and hosting gigs all over the USA and Canada.
2. Don’t fly off the handle just because someone has criticized you. They might have very valid points.
Carel has said in interviews that twice he was told by two key radio personalities that he didn’t have what it takes for radio broadcasting. Had he packed his bags, and gone back to his hometown, who knows where he’d be right now? Instead of throwing a fit for the rest of his lifetime, he continued to work on his dream, and perfecting his craft. He worked on the aspects of his delivery that he was lacking in. These days, aspiring media personalities in Haiti and elsewhere look up to him and consider him a role model. Now, instead of getting microphones snatched from under his lips, he’s passing microphones on to others and sharing his platform. He’s also helped others gain exposure by holding a radio personality contest for aspiring radio anchors.
3. Never feel you’ve arrived (even though you have).
Continue to challenge yourself. You can get out of one comfort zone, only to retrogress to a zone that’s just as comfortable—if you don’t check yourself periodically. Carel saw the need to do a radio talk show that could go beyond the scope of “Chokarella”, and launched “De Tout et De Rien” (Everything and In Between), with co-host DJ K9. He continues to work towards Chokarella TV, the small screen edition of “Chokarella”—not to mention other projects he hasn’t publically discussed.
4. It’s not enough to be first at doing something.
Some pride themselves on being the first to do something, and then grumble when others take their “first” to the next level. Observers maintain that Pedre is the first radio personality based in Haiti to launch his own website. He could have accepted his laurel for that “honor” and call it a day, but instead continued to innovate. He launched an app to go with his radio show, and thereby drew tech enthusiasts and a young and loyal demographic to “Chokarella”. He monitored the reaction to the app, and made note of user feedback and implemented improvements in the next update for the app.
You didn’t manage to buy an airplane ticket for a trip to Haiti when Chris Brow-won and Lay-toe Win performed in Port-au-Prince? Well, Carel Pedre’s got you through Randevou, a series of expertly-edited videos chronicling major cultural events in Haiti.
5. Think service first—and think service…always.
Yeah, think about others…not just yourself. Share the love, and be genuine about it. Sometimes it’s when you do things without an ulterior motive that you’ll get the best kickbacks. During an earthquake that took place in Haiti in the early 2010s, Carel used social media to broadcast its devastating effects to the world. One click led to another, and to another, and his profile as a journalist and media personality was elevated several notches. He continues to boldly use his platform to speak about everything from deportees from the Dominican Republic to intellectual rights and other causes.
There you have it kreyolicious cherries, 5 Success Principles Learned from Carel Pedre….
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