Meet Dianne Roberts, the woman behind Roberts Caribbean: WIFE, MOTHER & ENTREPRENEUR
Interview conducted by Therona Lashington
May 13th, 2017
This MOTHER’S DAY Roberts Caribbean has decided to celebrate our Grenadian women. We began at home, and interviewed Dianne Roberts, the woman behind the brand “ROBERTS CARIBBEAN”, who is a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. This interview provides an insight into how she got to where she is today; not without struggles but she persevered. She believes that everyone can succeed if they put their “best foot forward”. Mrs. Roberts is an inspiration to all women. Read as I interviewed her about her journey to being a MOM-trepreneur!
Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I am a wife and a mother of three wonderful sons, a lover of Jesus Christ, a people person. I am the CEO and founder of Roberts Caribbean, Grenada’s leading indigenous real estate agency. I love nature and the outdoors, going on long walks, and simply enjoying the beauty around me; the tall trees, the busy butterflies, the mountains and the ocean. Basically, I am an Environmentalist at heart.
What prompted you to start a business? Why real estate?
I have always had a love for business. I grew up selling fudge and coconut “chip chip”. I used to sew and sell clothes that I made while attending university. I remember walking around St. Andrew’s selling clothes and shoes that my aunts sent from the USA. I believe these things have groomed me for the business world.
I have been involved in managing lands for almost 15 years. I have grown to “love the land we live on” because it provides so much of our basic needs. I have also realized that the buying and selling of property is an excellent way to improve the lives of people. So, I started a real estate company because of my sheer love for the land, and the power it affords to empower people.
How long has your business been in existence?
We have been in existence for just over three years.
Why did you start a business when you did? What were you doing before?
I started this business because the timing just felt right, and I wanted to explore different opportunities.
I was a teacher at St. David’s Catholic Secondary School for 11 years, and I also taught at the St. George’s University. I enjoyed every bit of my teaching career. In addition, I have been an Environmental and Development Consultant for the last 15 years.
How do you juggle family, business and everything else that you do?
It is not easy to balance family and running a business or pursuing your professional dreams. I am still working on it. I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of being a woman and an entrepreneur. I have made many sacrifices. I have had to work many long hours, sometimes even on holidays. I am trying to be more efficient now, and maximize my time during the day. Recently, I have had to make some very difficult decisions and give up big opportunities that were dear to me, so that I can achieve a more balanced lifestyle.
I do simple things. I go on walks with my kids regularly, we watch movies almost every week. We sometimes sit and “ole talk”, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I am trying to make a conscious effort to make more time for myself and those who matter most.
What do you think helped you along the way to where you are today?
A lot of things got me to where I am today. My parents who are no longer on this earth, my family, in-laws, teachers, friends, team members at Roberts Caribbean, even strangers. Someone might just meet me on the street and say “Dianne don’t give up, hold on, you gonna make it”.
My husband is extremely supportive; sometimes you just need a listening ear, and he is always there to listen and give advice where necessary. He allows me to fly! My sister is always reminding me that it will get better, just hold on. My most important help is GOD (Jesus Christ); without Him things would be chaotic. I trust in His words and His promises, and that keep me moving forward.
What advice would you give to other moms that are struggling to balance their motherly duties, work and other things?
Surround yourself with persons who are honest, who will hold you accountable, without always judging you. Pursue putting first things first. Walk in your own lane, and know that God has an AMAZING PLAN for your life, a plan to prosper you and give you hope and a future, a plan not to harm you. He who has begun a good work in you, will see it to the end. TAKE ACTION, nothing beats a committed person who takes action!
What has been your greatest challenge/s? And what are your greatest reward/s?
Balancing my life continues to be my greatest challenge. Being a professional demands a lot, sometimes more than I would like to handle. Sometimes finding time to do the little things that I enjoy, like reading a great book is not always easy. As a Christian, putting God first is challenging, but I keep trying. I believe, change is possible, so we have to keep advancing expectantly.
My greatest reward is being able to tangibly help someone to improve their life; for instance, being able to comfort someone during a rough time, share an encouraging word or bless someone financially are priceless. When I see my former students advancing in life, I feel a sense of purpose. I love to encourage and inspire others to greatness. As a real estate broker, being able to find a home or a plot land for a client is simply a joy. These are some of my greatest rewards.
What encouragement can you give to other moms who may be intimidated by the idea of starting a business?
We are all born to do something GREAT. We are blessed with different skills and passions. We bring GLORY TO GOD when we develop these unique abilities; in fact, by us venturing out and starting our own business or trying something new, we are blessing lots and lots of people. While taking a forward step is never easy, once we put our mind to it and remain committed and focused, it’s amazing the heights we will attain. It might be in business, it might be in something else, whatever it may be, we must try and do our best. I believe when we do our best, doors will open automatically, and we will be favoured in tremendous ways.
Being a woman in business I believe is much more challenging than being a man in business (no offence to my male colleagues). We are faced with a diversity of unique responsibilities, being mother, wife, friend, community leader and so much more. But you know what, we are born WINNERS; as women we are RESILIENT and STRONG. Success is part of our DNA.
We must not compare ourselves or compete with others. We will always find someone who is better than we are in a particular area, but there is NO ONE like you, NO ONE like me. We all have something amazing to give to this world; let us not rob the world by hiding in the shadows, VENTURE OUT; sing if you can sing, dance if you can dance, teach if you can teach, someone will benefit. In the final analysis, I believe we need to live our best lives NOW; and that means being true to who we are.
Thank you very much Mrs. Roberts for an excellent interview. Visit our website at www.robertscaribbean.com to find out more about the Company started by Dianne Roberts. We would love hearing from you. Please share your comments and thoughts!