Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Starting A Bearer And Delivery Business

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QUESTION: I am a chartered accountant and would like to start a bearer business. I would welcome any advice you have to go about this. I also need to know the best way I should go about getting customers, etc. Please do keep up the very good work you're doing.


Big profits, low barriers to entry and small start-up costs! That's a common perception of the courier service business which has made it a very attractive proposition for new entrepreneurs - but perception can vary widely from reality.
I'm assuming that as a chartered accountant you have already done the major financial projections, such as profit and loss, and cash flows, and are convinced that this venture may be lucrative.
I also hope that the assumptions on which those projections were made were realistic. Sometimes as entrepreneurs we get so carried away in how wonderful our ideas are that we neglect to seek answers to key questions like: 'Is there a sizeable market?', 'How will I stand out from the competition?' and 'Can I make enough profit?'
If you're a regular reader of my column, you will know I'm obsessive about doing credible financial projections before spending a cent on product or service creation.
As best as possible, follow the basic business start-up steps such as concept validation, service and business model refinement, in- depth research and planning and company registration.
These processes are detailed in my article of January 27, 2013: '7 Essential Steps to Business Start Up'.
There are a myriad of services you can offer, such as mail and package delivery, lunch or food deliveries, bearer rental, and others. But don't be fooled by the options. This is a very competitive industry with some large established companies and many small players competing fiercely for a share of the market.
Other industry dynamics you should note are that the mail-delivery market will decline in the future as more companies push electronic mail and bill delivery.
On the upside, the package delivery market is expected to grow exponentially as ecommerce expands.


I got valuable information from an emerging leader in the courier business, Erica Wynter, CEO of C&E Innovational Services and vice-president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica. She notes that, at minimum, this business can be started with J$100,000, assuming you already own a computer and would be operating from home. This amount would cover business registration, branded shirts, business cards, logo design, a mobile phone and recruitment of bearers with their own bikes, etc.
There is no mandatory certification or qualification. However, basic business knowledge, an appreciation of customer service, strong management and organisation skills, and familiarity with our road network/areas/addresses will give you an edge.
Wynter says new players are constantly entering and exiting the market, and in the last few years many competitors failed because they didn't sufficiently differentiate their offering and could not attract enough customers. This is why you must specify who you are targeting, the needs you will satisfy, how you're different and why you are better than your competitors.
Getting clients will not be easy. You will need to do a lot of networking, cold calls, emails, letters and other customer lead generation strategies. But even then, that won't be enough.
To get a foothold in this industry you will need to offer a powerful value proposition and game-changing services. Quite frankly, the market is so mature that you will need to woo your competition's customers with very compelling offerings.
Faster, easier, cheaper, safer are just some of the improvements the market will welcome. Do some research on the latest global trends, service innovations and new technologies related to the industry for insights and ideas.
Integrity, trustworthiness and reliability are critical for success in this business. As such, you have to be strategic and proactive in building your brand around these factors.
Now this is important - there are some major risks you will need to manage to reduce possible losses and damage to reputation. These include delivery delays, theft, breach of confidentiality and data security, and injuries/liability from road accidents.
These risks can wipe out your business. Wynter strongly recommends doing due diligence when recruiting bearers and getting police clearance and accident history. Good luck, and thanks for your kind words.

One love!

First Published in the gleaner byYaneek Page, a trainer in entrepreneurship and workforce innovation. Email: Twitter: @yaneekpage; website:
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Monday, 21 October 2013

How To Rebound From Business Failure

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Last week I met a woman - let's call her Sandra — who was forced to close her printing business in July because she could no longer cover her fixed costs. She is now job hunting.

When asked if she would ever start another business, she hastily replied: "Never!".
I spent nearly an hour making the case for why her next business will likely be much more successful and that failure can be a wonderful thing — points I'm sharing with you here because failure is always a possibility in business, particularly when operating in a small, volatile and contracting economy.

Failure is one of the greatest fears of entrepreneurs, but ironically often sets the stage for later triumph.
Former chairman and CEO of global technology giant IBM, Thomas J. Watson, captured these sentiments well when he said: "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you'll find success."

This may surprise you, but the fastest way to rebound from failure is to quickly concede that the business has failed and move on. It's the most urgent step.
Some entrepreneurs are operating businesses on a slow but sure path to destruction, yet they refuse to throw in the towel.

This prolongs the inevitable, wastes valuable time and effort, dashes good money after bad, puts them in debt, diminishes their business confidence and causes undue stress.
In assessing whether it is time to shut down, readers can refer to my article of August 25, 2013: '5 Signs You Need to Close Your Business'.

A key step to early recovery is proper and complete closure of the unsuccessful business. There shouldn't be any loose ends, especially given the Credit Reporting Act of 2010 and new entities which now capture and report on your credit history. It's best to fulfil statutory obligations, satisfy debts or make appropriate arrangements with creditors, protect your reputation and sufficiently engage employees, customers, bankers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Leaving debts unpaid will make doing business and accessing credit in the future very difficult.
Here's an example of how to manage customer relationships when closing: Last year when a company was going out of business it advised customers weeks in advance giving them the opportunity to redeem gift certificates and make final purchases, etc. The CEO also wrote emails to each customer thanking them for their loyalty, giving reasons for closing and promising a comeback.

This approach preserved the company and CEO's reputation and left the door open for future business.
Unfortunately, legally closing a business is very cumbersome. You must advise the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) and other licensing institutions.

An authorised company official must write a letter to the COJ requesting removal from their register, which should be accompanied by an accountant's letter certifying that the company has no assets or liabilities.
All outstanding returns and documents must also be filed. If there are assets or liabilities the company must be liquidated as detailed on the COJ's website at:
A tax helpline representative — 1-888-TAX HELP — advised that a closure letter must be submitted to TAJ along with your GCT certificate and certificate of closure from the COJ, if available. Companies with employees must submit final IT02, ET03 and S02 forms with payments.

A separate letter should be sent to the manager for customer service at TAJ requesting deactivation of the company's TRN. Finally, closure notices must also be sent to NIS and NHT.
With legal obligations satisfied, it's time to focus on your mindset. The most powerful step in recovering from failure is understanding and accepting that it is an occurrence, not a trait or continuous state.

There is absolutely no shame in failure. It provides opportunities to learn, innovate and grow.
Next is understanding why the business failed. This requires honest introspection and ideally guidance from a business expert or adviser. Did you have enough business training? Do enough research? Select the right location, industry or target market? Offer the right products? Have a big-enough market? Adequate funding? The right team?
Never discount the effects of business and economic environment as this can assist with managing similar risks in the future.

Learning key lessons is also essential. It's good to create a list of do's and don'ts which can reduce the likelihood of future failures. Learning from your mistakes will give you the experience and confidence to recover and start again — in your own time.

For Sandra and others in her situation, it will take time to heal and work themselves out of debt.
However, it's important to commit to continuous training, learning and skills acquisition to be in the best position to exploit the right opportunities.
One love!

Publish in the gleaner by Yaneek Page,a trainer in entrepreneurship and workforce innovation.Email:

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Question: I am 24 years old and in debt. I want to get out and I believe that starting a business would help. Long story short, I am the eldest of six children for my mother. However, I am the only one living in Kingston and in an effort to 'make life' I have wound up in debt. I had to get a job right after sixth form and is yet to finish university as I am currently on leave of absence due to financial constraints. I have sleepless nights to be honest. I thought about starting a chicken business in the country, restaurant, etc, but how do I get started? Am I being practical in spite of my financial situation? Help me please.

Ms Yaneek Reply: As sad as your situation is I was elated to receive your question. You've given me a timely opportunity to offer some hope, ideas and inspiration to thousands of youth, nearly 40 per cent of whom are unemployed, in a similar position and are desperately searching for a light at the end of the tunnel.
Let me categorically confirm that it is possible to start a business, get customers, generate revenues, cover your expenses and make profits - in this economy - with no money upfront. One of the biggest myths is that you must have money to make money. That single destructive fable has prevented many potential entrepreneurs from launching viable enterprises. I hope this article can change that.
Let me be clear - some businesses require significant start-up capital to get off the ground, but my point is that there are also worthwhile business ideas that can be launched without any financing. Before I give examples of such ideas, let me address the pessimists (who by now are complaining that I'm painting an overly rosy picture of entrepreneurship) by sharing some real experiences of entrepreneurs who have built businesses with no start-up capital in a down economy.
Shortly after the launch of my television series, The Innovators, in 2012, I read a wonderful blog post about the show. I was so pleased I sent a thank you message to the writer on Twitter. She responded with an offer, to boost the social-media marketing of the show. She then sent a detailed and impressive proposal outlining her plans to grow our online presence, etc. Her plan was accompanied by a list of her training & experience - here's what struck me most:
'Social Media Management; Website Development and Management (self-taught) - Approximately 1,000 hours of reading, practice and execution.'
Imagine that! 1,000 self-taught hours and all courses were available online, for free. The result is that she landed two contracts, received handsome monthly fees and did all the work from home. No office, no machinery or furniture, no stock, no start-up capital. She didn't even need to print a business card - we met and did business online. Importantly, she delivered. We now have a strong online presence on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook where we have nearly 20,000 fans. I've since referred her to many persons and she has steadily built an impressive clientele of companies and organisations.
Another success story I came across involves a lady who loved sewing. She became interested in making bags after getting a pattern from a church sister and figuring bags were always needed. Unfortunately, she had no formal training in making them and had no time or money to enroll in courses. She decided to explore YouTube, a popular video-sharing website, that has millions of training and self-help videos on how to make almost anything in the world. She watched many videos on bag making and started experimenting with different fabrics and styles. Eventually one of her creations caught the attention of a colleague who made an order and her clientele grew from there. She now runs a business with her husband making bags, lunch kits, hats and more. Many are centred on Brand Jamaica. There are many other examples I could share.
The key lesson from these examples is that starting a business with no money involves identifying a business opportunity, ensuring that there's a ready market, doing what you like, learning new skills if necessary, taking advantage of free resources (like the Internet) and employing creative no-cost strategies to attract customers. You can create a solid online business presence by building a free website and utilising social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, etc.
Ventures that lend themselves to limited start-up capital include blogging, ghost writing, refurbishing and repairs, virtual assistants, food, online training, cleaning services, staffing and more. Right now there are Jamaicans selling their services globally and earning in foreign exchange via websites like and, which lists 'gigs' like Jamaican recipes, tour services, scenic pictures and even patois services. Business is not an easy road, but these are great strategies to get started. Every great journey begins with the first step.
One love!
Click here to visit Yaneek Page and Sign up for her work shop

Yaneek Page is an entrepreneur and trainer in entrepreneurship and workforce innovation. Email:, Twitter: @yaneekpage , Website:
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Friday, 18 October 2013

Odesk- Stay at Home and Earn Money

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Do you have a talent/skill/a love for a particular field of work? Want to earn Money from home? If your answers to these questions are yes then odesk is the website for you! And guess what! You do not have to pay to sign up! oDesk charge you AFTER you have start making money


oDesk was founded by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. The two friends created a new technology 
platform (an online workplace) to allow distributed teams to work together and help instill trust in work happening
 via the Internet. oDesk, along with its network of freelancers (spanning any type of work that can be done via the 
Internet) launched in 2005.
As of 2012, odesk is the largest online marketplace in which independent professionals and their clients can 
establish and fulfill work arrangements. The company’s business strategy, including new pricing, is credited with
 helping it surpass competition to establish market dominance


oDesk allows clients to create online workteams coordinated and paid through the company's proprietary 
software and website. The name is a short version of "online desk"  in reference to the company's intent to 
anyone to work anywhere, anytime. Prospective clients can post jobs for free, and freelance workers 
(“contractors”) may create profiles and bid on jobs, also for free. The company collects 10 percent of the 
payment. Payments are made through oDesk, which handles many bookkeeping tasks for the transaction.
 In addition to the marketplace aspect and the payment/bookkeeping services, the company uses collaborative 
software, “oDesk Team,” that allows clients to see a provider's progress while he or she is billing time.
 The transactions are transferred into the contractors' accounts only after a 6-day safety period. The company's 
site is entirely in English, and all transactions are made in U.S. dollars.
The company describes itself as an online workplace. As of December 2012, oDesk had 2.7 million freelancers
 and 540,000 clients worldwide. In January 29, 2012, the company reported that its top 5 countries (in terms of 
dollars spent for oDesk contractor services) were (in rank order): (1) US, (2) Australia, (3) Canada, (4) UK, and (5) 
United Arab Emirates. oDesk reported that services paid by clients hiring through the site for the year totaled 
$360 million in 2012.
The specific areas of expertise supported by the site include web development and a wide variety of 
programming/software development skills, graphic design, writing and administrative support. The company 
provides voluntary skills tests in various disciplines from English aptitude to specific programming skills, and 
profiles include a feedback mechanism.

What are you waiting for? you have nothing to lose! Get Financially independent and be your 

own boss. Visiting their Website at or click here 
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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Real Issues in Jamaica

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My Views:

     Deprived of our natural resources; exploited by the multinationals and individuals who have no cultural ties to our country- leading to long-run cultural erasure and environmental degradation. Is it because we are America’s backyard? The big garbage bag! So everything that is thrown at us and we just take it. We have no courage, no thrust to elevate our society so we have resorted to the ‘Do has they say policy’. Life has always been rough in the Caribbean; it was built around genocide and slavery for Christ sake.

     We were awarded our independence from the British (1962) but the truth is we didn't fight for it,  it was just given to us. Look at British army; they would have absolute annihilate us. We got our independence in a time when the British were getting rid of some the smaller states because it was more profitable to do so because slavery ended and most of the resources have already been extracted.

     Now here we stand; we stand without money, security and not even an ounce of pride. A cry for help is definitely in order but from whom? Who will help us? No one is willing to bear the burden. To think how the dollar has been depreciating (102JA-1US) now is that good, our economy has collapsed. There is a slim/no probability of exchange rate appreciation.

     Then they come and parade in their green and orange suits. "Yes Oxtail, Chicken Back Done Wid", then why individuals have resorted to garbage consumption? They have ignored the central problem of economics, leading to faulty allocation of resources propelling crime because individuals don't have the access to jobs or education. How can you think of taking away/ reduce a teacher's pension. That bill shouldn't even pass the front door.  

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Broad Topic: Lifestyle Diseases

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Narrowed Topic: Factors that Contribute to the Development of Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

            “Type 2 diabetes is a slowly progressive disease that begins as a problem of insulin resistance in the body” (Dudek, 2007, p. 571). Insulin is the hormone in the body that controls the level of sugar in the blood. The inability of this hormone to carry out its normal function will result in a condition called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar (diabetes) (World Health Organization [WHO], 2012). The prevalence of type 2 diabetes among the pediatric population and teenagers has seen a rapid increase in recent years. According to Copeland, Becker, Gottschalk, and Hale (2005), the disease that was once diagnosed in adults only “has become very common among children aged 6-11 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years” (p. 181).  In a small country like Jamaica, about 10,000 children below the age of 15 years of age are living with diabetes. These figures has sparked many public concerns as diabetes and its related complications induce a high cost on health care, which will eventually have an impact on the country’s economic growth (Ministry of Health, Jamaica, 2011). The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents can be attributed to obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating patterns.

                        Obesity is one of the major risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. The occurrence of obesity among children aged 6-11 and adolescents aged 12-19 in the United States of America were 4.2 and 4.6% in 1963-1970 compared to 15.3 and 15.5% in 1999-2000 (Bloomgarden, 2004). This alarming increase in figures strongly suggest that the increasing rate of type 2 diabetes among this population is as a direct result of obesity, since the more adiposity (fat) that is present, the more likely it is that insulin resistance will occur. Insulin resistance is the decreased capacity of the insulin- sensitive cells in the body to react to insulin production.  In such case, the pancreas will be required to produce more insulin to compensate for this resistance (Copeland, et al., 2005). This excessive production of insulin will eventually result in pancreatic failure, furthering complications. According to Shaw (2011), fat cells produce a protein that “leads to the development of type 2 diabetes” (para. 2). Shaw further stated that this protein will cause the body to become “desensitized to insulin” (para .3).

                        Secondly, the less active children and adolescents are, the greater the chance of them having type 2 diabetes. In contemporary society, physical activity among the young is slowly decreasing. As mentioned by Ponder, Sullivan and Mcbath (2000), children are more inclined towards technological entertainment such as television and computer games. It was stated that about 53% of children ages 2-18 years in the United States “have a television set in their bedroom” (p. 95). After school hours, children may go off to watch television for many hours, while eating snack until bedtime. Programs that facilitate physical activity for the young are not readily available and if they are can be very expensive for parents (Ponder, et al., 2000). This lack of physical activity results in increased fat storage and eventually obesity. According to Gardner (2007) exercise facilitates the burning of surplus sugar in the blood and causes the cells to become more responsive to insulin, which will control blood glucose levels. From this argument, it can be deduced that exercise plays a vital role in the delay or prevention of type 2 diabetes in children, while the lack of exercise does the opposite; increases the risk.

                        Finally, the consumption of unhealthy foods on a regular basis by children and adolescents is another factor that leads to the development of type 2 diabetes in this population. In recent years, processed or ‘fast foods’ has become the favourite among pediatrics and adolescents. This is as a result of the lack of time and energy that most parents have to prepare a full healthy meal for their children (Ponder, et al., 2000). Foods such as pastries, breads, cakes and snacks are highly processed and essentially has lost most of their fiber content, gained a lot of high fructose corn syrup in most cases as well as Trans fatty acids (Sotir, 2010). 

According to Sotir (2010) fiber is a significant component of a healthy diet as it functions to keep blood glucose and insulin levels at equilibrium in the body. They are digested and absorbed at a slower rate than fiber less foods and they cause less sugar to be in the blood after eating, thereby putting less pressure on the pancreas to produce more insulin. Processing methods, damage whole grain products and cause them to have a higher glycemic index. Glycemic index measures the rate at which glucose levels rise in the blood. Since most processed foods do not provide fiber, the resultant effect would be type 2 diabetes. High fructose corn syrup is essentially used to “sweeten any processed food” (Sotir, 2010, para. 6). This kind of syrup when consumed over a prolonged period is used by the liver and stored as fat, and is evidently associated with type 2 diabetes. Sotir (2010) asserted that “high fructose corn syrup powerfully promotes insulin resistance” (para. 6). Trans fatty acid is another product of food processing, mainly found in potato chips, salad dressings and crackers which are among the favourite foods of young children and teenagers. As mentioned by Sotir (2010) , Trans fatty acids reduces the reactivity of body cells to insulin, by altering the normal function of insulin receptor sites, causing a buildup of sugar in the blood. Since type 2 diabetes is associated with many serious complications, children and teenagers can do themselves a favour by avoiding or reducing the intake of these types of food.

                        As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents are many but the three most important ones are obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating patterns. However, the likely occurrence of type 2 diabetes in this vulnerable population can definitely be reduced by encouraging them to take part in physical activities at their school, at least two times per week, be it sports, dance, etc. In addition, they should be provided with healthier meal options, as well as plenty water.

Bloomgarden, Z.T. (2004). Type 2 diabetes in the young: The evolving epidemic. Diabetes Care, 27(4), 998-1010. doi: 10.2337/diacare.27.4.998
Copeland, K. C., Becker, D., Gottschalla, M., & Hale, D. (2005). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescent: Risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment. Clinical Diabetes Journal, 23(4), 181-185. doi: 10.2337/diaclin.23.4.181
Dudek, S. G. (2007). Nutrition essentials for nursing practice (5th Ed.).United States of America: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Gardener, K. (2007, December 5). Fight Chronic Disease with Exercise. The Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved from 6 html
Ministry of Health, Jamaica. (2011). Act on diabetes now. Retrieved from news/1-latest-news/498-act-on-diabetes-now
Ponder, S.W., Sullivan, S., & Mcbath, G. (2000). Type 2 diabetes mellitus in teens. Diabetes Spectrum, 13(2), 95. Retrieved from
Shaw, J. (2011). How obesity causes diabetes. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from

Sotir, L.J. (2010). A processed food diet: The major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Retrieved March 03, 2013, from www.whole
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Jamaican Scientist- Thomas Phillip Lecky

     Thomas Phillip Lecky was born on 1904 in the parish of Portland, Jamaica. He was a young
man who always concern and interested in finding answers to questions that puzzled others.
Being such an intriguing person is love for research develops. He attend a farm school in St.
Andrew and under the guidance of HH cousins TP Lecky gain in depth knowledge in areas
which prepared him for the research world. After completing is studies at the farm school he
later went to Canada to pursue degrees in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.  He came back to
Jamaica in 1934 with his degrees but was not able to get a job in his desired field because he was
not white; he however got his chance in 1942 when he was place in charge of the breeding of
cattle at hope farm.
      His work was undermined and push aside for a number of years so he went and did is PhD in
genetics at the University of Edinburgh. After acquiring his PhD Dr. Lecky was determine to get
is work recognize worldwide and by 1952 he successfully created and registered a diary breed
called the Jamaica Hope. He was also instrumental in establishing three Jamaican meat breeds-
Jamaica Brahmin, the Jamaica Red and the Jamaica black. His works greatly improve the
productivity and economic situations of the small farmers in Jamaica and this was Dr. Lecky primary objective.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Mothers of the World

Women are better parent than Men

 In today’s society many people are of the view that men are as good as women in parenting. However, in my opinion, women are the ideal sex for parenting and are they are far more advance is this field than men based on their familiarization with caring for children, natural instinct of mothers and their opportunity to contact with the children.
     Firstly, women have already been familiarized with the taking care of a child from a tender age. They had to get accustom to house chores such as cooking, washing and cleaning. Unlike men, since they were teenage girls, they have been taught that their future responsibility is to make wonderful mothers. Furthermore, due to the belief that women who are not good at domestic duties will have problems in their family life, a great amount of pressure was place on them to acquaint themselves with motherly duties. Besides, men who are in charge of preparing foods, getting household tasks done are describe as acting like a girl, which results in their unwillingness to take part in such tasks. Hence, they are usually overshadowed by women in the role of parents.

     Secondly, it is the women’s natural instinct that really put them at an advantage in being better parents. Evidently, women are more caring and loving than men, thanks to the sacred and very close relationship they have with their offspring from the very first day of pregnancy.  Therefore, majority of the times children tends to listen and confide their personal problems to them without their being worried and hesitant. Without a doubt, there is always a wide gap between the father and children in a family because the father is seen as a strict and serious man, which also makes children reluctant to open their hearts. In contrast, women are considered not only better mothers but also close friends.
     Lastly, women have more opportunity to contact with their kids. Men are the providers, they are supposed to work very hard to support their wives and children therefore are not able to spend time with the children. We cannot deny that men are not important element in child rearing but women spend so much time with their children that it is really hard to beat them at their game. Can I safely say that women's primarily responsibility is to raise their children? 

In conclusion, even though men posses qualities to assist them in child rearing, women have mastered each and every quality therefore making them better at parenting.

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