career

a lot of you want a job but you don't want to work. are you gonna step up and be charles barkley or what?

Recently, the entire basketball community was saddened to hear that a revered NBA player by the name of Moses Malone passed away. Malone was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players.

Charles Barkley who played with him in the beginning of his career in Philadelphia was asked to speak at the funeral.  During his eulogy he spoke of the role Malone took in his career and called him a father to him. He made quite a few humorous remarks from their days together but there was one piece of advice that Charles received that stood out the most to me. Malone was chastising Barkley for his laziness. When Charles protested this assumption, Malone told him the following:

a lot of you want a job (career) but you don’t want to work.
— Moses Malone - NBA Hall of Famer

The advice is simple and each of us at some point in our life may have received some sort of similar advice but I wonder if we have really heard this for what it is meant to be. It is mean to be a call to action. 

Suddenly it seems we have a culture of laziness in our country. People have higher expectations and are more optimistic than any other time in history. Apparently as a country we have raised confident and optimistic children. The country has also produced a very lazy work force. These two wouldn't seem like they go together but the truth is that the confidence that has been created has developed completely independent of the idea of work. 

With the advent of microwaves, computers and cell phones, our society waits for nothing. The answer to virtually every single question is at our fingertips in ways it has never been before. Nobody has to actually be patient anymore. Because of this, people expect success and money to come quick. The focus is now on labels and dollars. 

Today people are anxious to move ahead, to make more money, have a fancy title, receive perks etc. Generally in my experience there are three types of people in the workplace

  • money is the priority

  • titles and forward movement are the priority

  • head down, work hard and hope someones gives me an opportunity

the first two groups tend to be the squeakiest wheels of the group. They were taught to speak up and ask for what they wanted, they were told they were the best, they were told that anything is possible  

they had money and all that goes with that. This is not to imply that everyone is rich but parents of the last couple of generations worked hard to provide their children with things they never had so 5 year olds have i-phones and i-pads. High school kids wear designer labels as the rule instead of the exception now. 

Very few have heard the word no.

I originally wrote this post weeks ago and put it on hold because I know it may be controversial so let me clarify something...not all "millenials" are like this...not all parents coddle their children...no all who never hear the word no end up being lazy. But as a general society/culture I think we can all agree that there is a marked difference between the world we live in today and that of the past when we talk about work ethic and effort. I don't blame parents, teachers or anyone else. I blame the computer, the cell phone, social media...yup I said it. The reason that people don't know the difference between hard work and a sense of entitlement is simple, they don't have to. When everything is so easily accessible things like that get swept away. 

How do we then convince people that laziness isn't in their best interest and that they do in fact have to "work for" whatever it is they want? I'm going to share a little secret with you, as with most of the the things I write about, I have no idea the answer to this question. I can only share my experience. My experience, just like yours is the most amazing tool for education, here are a few of the things it has taught me. 

Mentors change everything - Just like Charles, I too have had people call me out on my crap and when someone you respect and admire does that, it does something to you. I mean, Harry would have been nothing without Dumbledore and I think we all know that.

Who is your Dumbledore?


Never underestimate the power of a good failure - yeah yeah yeah...Jordan failed a million times and didn't make his high school team...blah blah blah. It's easy to spout out quotes like that but the most driven people take failure as a personal affront...they get mad and instead of taking out on someone else they use it to challenge themselves for the next big thing...

what wonder has occurred because of you failing?


People are always worried about Bob. "What about Bob?" What Bob is doing is none of your business. Do you want to be average or do you want to be amazing? If it is the latter then why would you compare what Bob "gets" away with or does to you? Who cares what he does? It matters what you do and if you spend a chunk of your time worry about Bob, you get less done.

more like "who cares about bob", am I right?


Some people just have bad taste. It's true...I mean did you know there are people out there who DO NOT like ice-cream? I mean how is that even possible? If people can turn down the creamy deliciousness that is mint chocolate chip then obviously those people might not think you are so great either. But like I said, not everyone has good taste so just on't get them something the next time you are in the Baskin Robbins drive-thru line. (YES they do have those.)

do you care if they like your flavor?


so I guess the real question is...

do you want to be Charles Barkley or do you want to be a Carl Herrera?

(no offense Carl, sure you're a stand up dude.)

but the answer is always gonna be...

always be charles barkley

in my book anyway.


so, who are you gonna be? tell me below...

 


"the power and blessing of being a woman"

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

In a shock to everyone I know, I missed the Emmy's this year. It is a shock because I am actually known for my Award Show parties. Sadly, this meant that I had to watch clips afterwards, What really makes this sad is the fact that it really felt like the Year of the Woman (again), at least from social media and traditional media following the event.

Obviously everyone has been talking about the speech made by Viola Davis which and for good reason, it was beautiful, poignant and thought provoking. It aligned so clearly with not just the issues of women of color on television and movies but the entire culture of race continue as a global community to perpetuate. Between the increasing racial tensions in our country with regard to law enforcement to the Syrian Refugee Crisis we remain a world where hate spreads.

If you were to ask most people if they are filled with hate or are prejudiced against other people, they will say no. Nobody admits to being hateful. They make excuses for what they do based on a variety of experiences, religion, history etc. Think about it, most people will admonish the atrocities of World War II and the concentration camps or the Civil Rights Movement yet so many are standing by and watching as the refugees are hit with fire hoses and dogs or another video of a black American being beaten or killed by an officer of the law. 

So what does all of this have to do with the title of this post?

The other speech that impacted me but got less coverage was that of Regina King. Her speech was not necessarily out of the ordinary for an acceptance speech except for her seemingly very sincere shock at having won. There was one section/line though that stopped me.


It is a small but powerful sentence that I haven't been able to get my mind off of it since. It seems that we hear and see in the media a lot of the negatives and burdens of being a woman but rarely see the "power and blessing" being extolled. It is why I think this phrase needs more attention.

I study, speak and educate on women and it took me a minute to determine if I had ever expressed the power and blessing I feel being a woman. My stomach dropped as I realized that I don't honor that enough. Women are the most powerful force in the globe. Many will argue with me I am sure but let's really think about here.

  • 1st and foremost we are the caretakers of the world. Without women, our children wouldn't become healthy and contributing adults to society. Women literally are raising the future.

  • We are responsible for 80% of all purchases

    • advertiser's want our money

  • We have a seat at the table - in some cases at the head of the table

  • We are big in numbers and we are good at organizing around a cause

  • we have more women in high places

  • the power to influence - in my mind, women are the most influential people and yet in the past have never received credit for this 

  • We are educated 

    • 70% of all high school valedictorians are women

    • 62% of all associates degrees

    • 57% of all bachelors degrees

    • 63% of masters degrees

    • 53% doctoral degrees

now that is power...


So that is the power of being a woman, let's talk about the blessings.

It's a blessing because we have a voice and using that voice is changing the world in big ways. I feel blessed to call myself a woman when I see all of the amazing things women are doing. I feel blessed to be/have:

  • We are blessed enough to live in a time where we can get educated and fight for a career, a family and more and there is power in all of that

  • lots of conversations around women and girls now

  • to have a voice

  • empathetic to others

  • to be a caretaker

  • to be able to like sports and wear nail polish at the same time

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

  • that women in my generation earn more than our mother's and grandmother's on average and get to spend that money the way we want and still are selfless enough take care of everyone around us

  •  I don't have to wear heels to cook in ( I actually don't have to cook) but I can

  • I can do anything I want but I don't have to do anything I don't want to do


Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

The real blessing in my life is that I get to help other girls and women by sharing my experiences

There is power and blessings in being whoever we are and it is imperative that we dig in to realize what it means to us so that we can celebrate and express gratitude for who and what we are. Once we realize our own blessings we can be more empathetic to others and open up opportunities for people who don't have them; whether it is welcoming refugees into our country and caring for them, volunteering our time to help others or opening up roles for women of color and other individuals in our art. You may say these have nothing to do with each other but the do. The art that these women do open our eyes to the experiences of others.


Quick tip, be sure to look up the show Regina won her Emmy for, American Crime. It was an amazing look inside ALL sides of a single situation and the struggles we still see around race and gender in this country.


50 women led companies growing in their purpose

Recently, Forbes named the 50 Fastest Growing Women Led Companies in America and I think that is pretty cool. It would be even cooler if one day there didn't have to be a list separating the genders when it came to top business but progress should still be recognized here. One of the best parts about the article is that they talk about misconceptions around female entrepreneurs and dispel some common held myths that women aren't good at starting successful businesses. 

So rather than listen to me babble on this gorgeous Friday why not read about these amazing women instead? As you read it, think about what you want to do. What is stopping you? 

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

So if you haven't found what you love yet, maybe this list can help inspire and move you one step closer to finding out. The list includes businesses across the spectrum so even if your exact purpose isn't there you get the chance to see the wide variety of options that are out there for all of us.  

Enough already, let's get to the list. Click below to check it out.

The 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Led Companies in America

From interior design to home security, here are the top companies spearheaded by women on this year's Inc. 5000.

BY ELAINE GODFREY - Editorial intern, Inc.com@elainejgodfrey


At the end of the day I have spent my life searching for my purpose so anything I can do to share what I have learned or people, and companies that promote something similar I will do. Learn a little bit more about my journey here.

Have a great weekend everyone, go out there and do something you love. Hope you come back Monday.

eww...verbal diarrhea is so not cool (seriously dude, it's not a good look)

I should start this post by coming clean. I am so guilty of this that my picture should probably be next to the definition in Webster's Dictionary. 

It is because of the fact that I am basically an expert in this that I can give advice on why it is just not cool. First, let me explain. Verbal diarrhea sounds pretty gross. It is supposed to. You have experienced it before I'm sure. It is when someone feels they have to speak about everything and they just keep talking and adding so much information that it causes a mental overload in the people who are listening. Once they are done talking, you actually feel like they just threw up (their words) all over you and now you want to take a shower because you just feel gross.

One of my motto's has always been to stand up, speak up; stand out, speak out. so you can imagine why this one might be a struggle for me. In the workplace there are generally three types of people in a conference room.

  • the person who diligently takes notes and nods their head from time to time but says very little

  • the person who participates sparingly and calculated, waiting first for what the boss and everyone is going to say

  • then there are the people that have to speak so bad that they sometimes have to sit on their hands to stop themselves from jumping in

that's me

yes I like to talk and yes I have a perspective and opinion and I suppose I just feel like if I don't say anything nobody will know that. This by the way is perfectly normal and acceptable. When it gets to be too much is when it starts to backfire against you. I am also very fond of the saying

You don't have to tell everyone, everything.

I am fond of it because it is something I need to be reminded of constantly. When you tell everyone everything some interesting stuff starts to come to the surface

  • you start to become the white noise in the room

  • they stop thinking what you have to say is important or valuable to the discussion because you couldn't possibly have an opinion on everything and be right

  • people start to get antagonistic just to see if they can get you rattled

  • it doesn't create a collaborative environment

  • other group members will back up, not wanting to delve in to the discussion that you may be so passionate about for fear of getting cut off

  • you may go one step too far in what you say and kill your whole case

How does a serial verbal up-chucker move past their tendencies? 

Like most things in life, this has a simple solve. Let me explain.  Most people enter a meeting room with some sort of agenda. You want the other people in the room to buy into your idea, appreciate the work you put into something or help you get something off the ground. When you have verbal diarrhea, you come in hot, guns blazing for battle. This is before you even know if a battle is necessary, it puts people on edge.

If you prepare for the battle, however, things go differently. Understand what your goals are going to be before you head in to your next meeting, ask yourself one or more of the following questions:

have i eaten yet?

I know you're laughing at this but it's like the Snickers commercial says; "you're not yourself when you're hungry". If you're going to get people to collaborate with you then you need to be on your A game, so get something in your belly. Besides, food is amazing so why wouldn't you want to be eating all the time? 

It is also good to be well hydrated and have used the restroom, this might take a while.


who do i expect will be in the room & who do i expect will object to what i am bringing to the table?

This is sort of a "know your allies", "know your enemies" kind of approach. There is nothing worse than going to battle in the boardroom and watching someone switch sides in the middle. It throws you off you game and is often difficult to recover from so know who you are going up against. Know their arguments, position and where they are vulnerable or open to suggestion.


what is your point? what is your ultimate takeaway?

the things that almost always accompanies verbal diarrhea is panic, fear, a bad feeling in your stomach that you aren't being heard or not being understood. What if that is your own fault? What if you didn't come in with a clear idea and path to explain your position? You think that you are prepared but are you really? I will admit, I am an extremely passionate person. I will fight to the death for what I believe in with high emotions and vigor. That being said I have been in situations where someone came back with some good counterpoints and I was there with my mouth open and nothing coming out because they stumped me. I under estimated the objections to what I was bringing to the table and then wasn't prepared to argue against them. Rookie Mistake.

I guess what I am really trying to say here in WAY TOO MANY WORDS...(hard habit to break), is be aware and keep the following in mind...

  • be aware of your surroundings

  • know who you are going after

  • know what you really want to happen

  • know when you have lost your audience

  • know that sometimes silence is best

I realize I am trying to blog for the masses, but I will readily admit that this one is for me. Everyone has a journey and if you're lucky it takes a long time to get to the end. Make sure you are enjoying the view and course correcting along the way.

naysayers, killjoy's and confused admirer's

Happy Monday. Today I want to continue our conversation from last week in the post from Friday, "red rubber balls, coffee breaks and other musings". Today we talk about what happens when you go after your purpose. I want to talk about the part the everyone avoids, 

the haters. 

At some point in every journey you come across people who don't quite see your dream as clear as you do. Here's the thing. It's ok.

it's not their dream to understand.

WOAH! right? We spend so much of our lives worried about what everyone else will think, how they will perceive what we are doing, whether or not they will like what we do and who we are. 

who cares?

I mean it, who cares? In a perfect world, everyone would love everyone and everything they do. This isn't a perfect world and that alone makes it perfect. confusing? yes, but having naysayers more than likely means you are headed in the right direction. I am not sure why it happens but for some reason it scares people to see other people doing better than them. These people are not mean by nature and deep down they probably do want what is best for you but there is something in our chemistry (especially women) that makes us think it's either them or us. Like there is limited pool of happiness in the world and you either get a big gulp of it or nothing at all. We see other people doing well and we long to have the same success for ourselves. We start playing the good old comparison game which nobody ever wins. 

The moment of discovery can find you at any stage of life.
— Kevin Carroll

Got a little depressing there for a minute, didn't I? My bad, but I wanted to make sure you really get what I'm talking about. There is some good news though.

Are you ready for it?


The good news is that when you follow your purpose or passion, you become a megaphone to others. Living your purpose gets so loud, others can't help but hear and want to get loud themselves. I am about to rock your world but did you know that it is never to late to be happy?

there is not limit to happiness on this earth

There just isn't. Go ahead, research it. We do not have a "don't fill past this line" in us with regards to happiness. Quite frankly the only thing preventing us from being happiness is ourselves. We are scared, lazy and doubtful and so we are prime targets for the naysayers who would come and knock us down. 

But I have a secret tip for you on how to ignore the haters in your world. If you remember this one simple phrase...

Rocked your world again, didn't I? Well, I can't claim ownership of the phrase, it is actually from the video you will see below. It's perfect though. Think about it. If you realize that everyone is an admirer of what you are doing, things get really easy. Some are confused, and that is fine especially when you consider the following:

not everyone understands genius at work

normally people's negativity has nothing to do with you

not everyone is going to like you

sometimes people admire you from afar

it's your purpose not theirs

It's not always easy to ignore the haters, I get that. There is more than one time where I was crushed by someones opinion of my journey. I would get knocked around a bit but eventually I would get up. Then I started thinking about that saying... "haters are just confused admirer's". I am not saying that a little phrase will solve all of your problems but it does help to put things in perspective and sometimes a little perspective goes a long way.

Check out the second video of the series, with Kevin Carroll speaking on haters. 

Now that you know how many admirer's we have, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to plow through the confusion and going after your purpose? Tell me below in the comments. See you Wednesday when we talk about the next step, the people who lift you up on your journey. 

P.S. I want to clarify that I am NOT endorsing this Where Dreams Meet Reality group that sponsored these videos. I am not familiar with them in anyway and tried to research them but found no site available. So ignore the parts that speak to that and really listen to the message Kevin is providing. That is what I am speaking to.

a red rubber ball, coffee breaks and other musings

I thought I would end this week talking about advice. Advice can be tricky. Everyone has an opinion but what really makes you listen to one person more than another?

I am not sure I have a "real psychologically proven" answer for you on that. I can only speak from my experience. I think that the advice we take is the kind that speaks to us because our inner voice was already headed in that direction to begin with. You have probably felt it before. It is that gut feeling you get that something is just right. You have those ah-ha moments that Oprah always talks about. 

man i love those moments

I had one of them years ago that feels relevant to what so many of the people who email into me are going through right now. Let me set the stage for you.

It was the late 90's, early 00's. I worked at Nike. Sounds like the dream, right? Yes and no. At this point I was working in customer service. If any of you have worked in customer service then you know how taxing that type of work is. You answer hundreds of calls a day and a large majority of those people are mad at you. I mean technically it isn't you that they're mad at but they are focusing all of that anger at you. The only way to explain it is to just say it.

it sucks

On a random Friday while I was on the job, our team was called in to a meeting in the Steve Prefontaine building. Most of us entering the room had a bad attitude. It wasn't that we wanted to feel that way, but the job had gotten to us. They brought in a man by the name of Kevin Carroll. If you have never heard of him before, don't fear. I will share one of his videos after this post. Kevin Carroll is an amazing person who's job title is simply "katalyst".

catalyst - noun
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change:

a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
— dictionary.com

Ok, first of all can we just talk about what an awesome word that is? My goal is to one day be a catalyst for change in this world. I want to make the world a better place. So does Kevin. 

Back to the story...

On this particular day, our managers had brought Kevin in to motivate us. He did that. He did it in a way that in it's entirety would not translate for anyone who wasn't there. But there was this one part...

I am paraphrasing but, he said some version of the following: "If you are unhappy with what is going on then you need to take a look at your situation and make a decision. Look at what you are doing and ask yourself,

"is this my life?"

"is this what I want to do?"

"is my job the whole of who I am or one part?"

or

"is this a coffee break on the way to what I want to do?"

It was that simple. Instantly my eyes flooded with tears. While I do enjoy a good cry, these tears surprised me. I was in the first row so of course Kevin saw my tears, which was quite frankly mortifying. In that moment though I felt connected to him and what he was saying. It wasn't even the meat of what he was talking about. It was this small side note that just resonated with me so strongly. The meeting ended and I am sure I eagerly approached him afterwards and blubbered something incoherent. Afterwards, I went home and I started to image...what if? 

Those words he spoke started me on a completely different path. Look, change didn't happen over night. Trust me, I still had a lot of battle scars to endure but this was the "CATALYST" for the journey. I am still on that journey but I have figured out what I want to do. I stopped taking so many coffee breaks and I am working towards my purpose.

So in an effort to be some small form of a catalyst for others, I ask you this?

is this your life?

is this what you want to do?

OR

is this a coffee break on the way?

what is your red rubber ball?

Put the coffee down, leave the coffee shop. It's time to get to work. It is time to do what you are are meant to do. Stay tuned because Monday we talk about the "naysayers, haters and confused admirer's" and learn how to fight them off as we chase our own "red rubber ball". Till Then, have a safe Fourth of July weekend.

 

P.S. Kevin Carroll speaks all around the world. His focus is on the idea of PLAY and how play can change the world. His mission surrounds a story of a red rubber ball and a never say never disposition. To learn more, check out Kevin's website

http://www.kevincarrollkatalyst.com/ 

P.PS. I want to clarify that I am NOT endorsing this Where Dreams Meet Reality group that sponsored these videos. I am not familiar with them in anyway and tried to research them but found no site available. So ignore the parts that speak to that and really listen to the message Kevin is providing. That is what I am speaking to.

SOURCES:

Image source: http://stephanieoduenyi.blogspot.com/2012/08/another-plus-for-oprah-as-her-favorite.html

The most difficult word in the English language

Recently I went through a transition within my career. I left a company and industry I had been working in for almost 12 years. It was an extremely exhausting process. One filled with pain, anger and uncertainty. I chose to full-heartedly embrace that transition because I could see where it was leading. I didn't see the end destination necessarily but I could see how this was the right road to try and walk down. That vision is a beautiful thing but it doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

Typically, transition doesn't have that much appeal for people. I happen to know quite a few people who have been in flux for months and are coming up to a large transition in the workplace. I get calls every single day from people requesting help with their resume's and Linkedin profiles. They express uncertainty and feelings of fear, anxiety and in few (very few) cases a little bit of excitement.. This, of course is understandable, we as humans do not respond well to change.

In terms of change at work, the number one reason that people have feelings of anxiety and fear is because so much is unknown. it makes sense, think about the beginning of time and cave men were the hunters of the family.

Risk society is the manner in which modern society organizes in response to risk.
— wikipedia

There was so much unknown in their lives and therefore they were in a constant state of fear. It works that way for "negative bias" which we have discussed before but it also exhibits itself in other ways. One of those ways is something called "risk society".

transition
[tran-zish-uh n, -sish-]
noun
1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change:
— www.dictionary.com

A fancy term to say we freak out when we think something is on the line. So how we do stop freaking out? First things first, let's really talk about what the word "transition" really means. The first thing that stands out (at least to me) is that none of the words used to describe transition carry a negative conotation. In fact the definition actually describes a process of MOVING FORWARD.

You may have notice the painstaking efforts I made to stay away from the word "change". I did that because I think that words causes seizures in people or something. But in the end it all boils down to change. We as a species do not take well to change.

I found an article from Forbes Magazine written by Jacquelyn Smith with some great tips for transition, "12 Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Change at Work"

12 tips is great and the article is actually worth a read BUT...if you are anything like me, 12 feels like a lot. (said as I ramble on for multiple paragraphs). For this reason I thought it might be good to focus on one that isn't on the list. 

STOP TALKING

How simple is that? The first thing everyone wants to do when they freak out is find out as much information as they can from any source that they can. The problem with this is that it turns into one giant game of telephone. Remember that game from childhood? Nothing correct ever comes out on top in the game of telephone.

It is important for me to note that I did NOT use this advice when I went through my work transition. I looked for information any and everywhere I could. That is why it is my advice to you. I lived through it. I came out on the other end but I had a lot of bruises along the way. This is my advice. stop talking about it. stop listening to it. Whenever possible take the telephone away from your ear. Having rumors swirling in your head only brings about more fear. Imagine if you got the heck out of the game and could just wait for the real phone call to come in.

If you need to talk to someone, make it a friend outside of work and talk about something completely unrelated. Make it one of those friends that makes you smile and laugh and get silly with them.

Yup, I am talking about good old fashioned taking your mind off the situation. It is not avoidance per se, it is redistributing your energy into something you that doesn't make your blood pressure raise. 

SOURCES:

http://bit.ly/1eZI4BO

http://bit.ly/1uDecdJ

http://onforb.es/1JsnMe8

http://bit.ly/1CIh2DR