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 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...


words, words, all kinds of words... i put my thing down, flip it & reverse it

Ok, so I realize that those are the lyrics from 2 different Missy Elliott songs, but whatever, it got your attention, didn't it?

I love words. It seems weird to me that we don't pay more attention to words in our every day lives. Words change, explain,  comfort and at times even confuse but at the end of the day our lives are surrounding by words. Many use words to tear down and destroy people, places and things, which is very unfortunate. On the other hand, some people use words to lift up other people and bring positivity where there otherwise may not have been any.

It is because of this that I believe in borrowing a few words for yourself that you can lean on, words that can inspire you...

words you can live by.

It is because of this that years ago I decided to choose a few words that best represented me as a person. I called the exercise "5 words". The words change from time to time as I change, which is what should happen. So here they are as of today...

my 5 words...

Art work provided by:    Ponder and Muse (Kristin Crocker)

Art work provided by: Ponder and Muse (Kristin Crocker)

Here's the thing, it isn't always easy to "live life in an exclamation point". You need help. Having words that remind me of who I am and what I want out of life, keeps me in the exclamation point.

Check out below to hear more about the concept of 5 words and then tell me...

what are your 5 words?

tell me in the comments below...

jiminy cricket is a liar too.

Jiminy Cricket lied to us!

I should have probably followed that with some eerie dum dum dum" music for a more dramatic effect.

Sure he was best buds with Pinocchio (also a liar by the way) and he was really good at making it all sound amazing.

when you wish upon a star
makes not difference who you are
anything your heart desires
will come to you.
— When You Wish Upon A Star from Disney's Pinnochio

That's great and all, plus it's a very catchy tune but a wish is all it takes? I don't think so.

We live in a "wishing culture" and it's destroying our potential. Controversial, I suppose but I stick by my statement. Let me explain.

From our earliest memories we are taught to wish. Blow out your birthday candles "make a wish". See a shooting star, "make a wish". Write a letter to Santa Clause, "make a wish". Find one of those wishers in a field, "make a wish". In the U.S we put a lot of stock in wishes and dreams, heck our saying is "living the American dream." 

We are still a country of dreamers but something happened along the way, between the "greatest generation" and now. The dreams are still there, but the actions have fallen out of favor. The discussions of American ingenuity and hard work seem to have gone to the wayside. You can find motivational speakers, websites, tv shows, life coaches, books, music that inspires us to dream and wish for something better but where are the same people, places and things telling us that the wish is just the beginning?

the wish is just the beginning 

A wish is just that, but when you combine a wish with drive, dedication and HUSTLE, wishes become reality. Isn't that what we want? to make dreams come true just like Jiminy sang? The song is deceiving because it tells us that ALL we need to do is wish. If only it were that easy.

Anderson Cooper was on Oprah awhile back and said a quote that has always stuck with me; "Hope, is not a plan."  I remember at the time, writing the quote down because it was so simple and elegant but so on point. 

Hope, faith, wishing are crucial to survival, in my opinion. We can all wish for more, wish we could be or do something different, hope for a better life but until there is a plan in place, it is just something nice to think about from time to time in between life moments.

We have to be the architects of our wishes. We have to take the first step. Some lucky people get nudged but for most of us, we actually have to learn to walk towards are wishes. All it takes is one step. It can be big, or small, it doesn't really matter. I mean baby steps are still steps, so why not take one and see what happens." There is magic in taking steps towards something wonderful.

We struggle with moving forward. I suppose it's kind of like learning to walk for the first time, we're afraid of falling. But what are we going to do, never walk? NO, so we get up and we get a bruise or two (for us clumsier people maybe more than two.) But once we walk, we get to run!

So,  I want to challenge you. Next time you see a shooting star, admit to having a birthday, write to Santa or come across a wisher when you're on a walk, make your wish. But before you open your eyes, make sure the wish comes with a promise to take that one baby step towards making the wish happen. What do you have to lose? Bruises heal, missed opportunities however stick with us forever.

I want to apologize for putting Jiminy Cricket on blast. I didn't mean to hurt him or that beautiful song. Wishes do come true but not with out a a few bruises, sweat and tears but I suppose that doesn't make for a good fairy tale, does it.  I think I'm gonna go for a walk, till next time.

National Lemonade Stand Day!

When I was about 12 years old I lived in a condominium complex. My parents worked, as many do. Often my younger brother, otherwise known as my partner in crime (PIC) and I would get bored of the neighborhood and since we always had to remain in ear shot of our step-dad's whistle, we couldn't really go far. Like many kids, we would develop games, tell stories and come up with crazy cockamamie schemes. Eventually these schemes brought us to the idea that we needed to make some money. 

Couldn't find a pic of our Kool-Aid stand, so I found this one online. Hopefully these kids and their parent's won't mind me borrowing their image .

Couldn't find a pic of our Kool-Aid stand, so I found this one online. Hopefully these kids and their parent's won't mind me borrowing their image.


We wanted to put our 79 cents on the counter at 7-11 for our cherry and coca-cola mixed Slurpee. (You know you mixed flavors too, remember Graveyard style?) Oh and how bout those 7-11 nachos? Mom was not going to put her money up for those bad boys so we needed a plan. Enter the beloved Kool-aid stand.

We would search the couch cushions for some change and walk across the street to Howard's Thriftway where we would get the 10 for a dollar packets of Kool-aid. Mostly red flavors because everyone knows they are the best. Then we would grab handfuls of the free dum-dum suckers at the cash register that they saved for little kids and stuff them in our bags when the cashier wasn't looking. I'm pretty sure she was on to our plan but she never said a word.  

Sadly, I couldn't find a picture with the original Howard's Logo as it changed to Lamb's and is now a Whole Foods. But this is what it looked like.

Sadly, I couldn't find a picture with the original Howard's Logo as it changed to Lamb's and is now a Whole Foods. But this is what it looked like.

We would then hurry home to make our special Kool-aid drink and drag whatever we could find in the house out to the corner of the parking lot to set up our unique business. We sold our delicious red concoctions for 25-50 cents depending on the day and then we set up those dum-dum suckers and sold them for 5-10 cents. We were true entrepnuers. 

So imagine my excitement when on the radio yesterday and found out that May 3rd was National Lemonade Stand Day. Did you know there was such a thing? I had no idea until I woke up yesterday and heard it on the radio. Do you know what I did? I grabbed my keys and hit the road on search of a lemonade stand, that's what. To my shock and dismay I couldn't find one. Even on a gorgeous day in Portland when the Spring weather was all sun and high's in the 70's. I literally drove to multiple neighborhoods across the city in my search.

This disappointment compelled me to come home and determine if this was actually a real thing. Low and behold it totally is. After reading about the program, I have to say I actually got a little sad that I didn't find one.  Here's why. The program was started in 2007 as a way to  help young people learn how to be entrepreneurs. The program hels them start, own and operate their very own business and doesn't just set them outside, it actually helps them create a business plan and learn what making a profit and building a business is all about. BOY, we sure have come a long way from the lemonade stand my brother and I had back in the late 80's.  This program now helps more than 2,000  kids across the country and now has partners like Google to help them grow even more. HOW COOL IS THAT?

When I think back to our time at the Kool-aid stand, I only have fond memories. It really did help us learn the value of money and how to work for it in some small way. Truth be told, my brother and I never stopped working after that experience. We started car washes, sold old toys and eventually started working real jobs as soon as we could get our work permits.



If not for that stand, I'm not sure we would have had that push to want to work so hard. The other kids in our neighborhood and school didn't seem to have to or want to work. Apparently they got their Slurpee and nacho money some other way.

I wish I would have found a lemonade stand today to give to other kids the same feeling I had back then but I love this program and now that I know about it, I can't wait to support it. To find out more about this great program, click on one of the lemonade images or go to

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Recently I found a survey done on Linkedin. The survey asked 8,000 people around the globe what they dreamt of being when they were kids. Can you guess what types of answers came in? If you look at the list, you might discover one that was on your wish list. However, the survey also discovered that only 8.9% of the respondents actually work in the field they dreamt of. Why have so many of us abandoned the dreams we had when we were young?

10 most common childhood dream jobs.png

The survey gave a number of reasons for the low percentage. They ranged from changing interests, difficulty getting a job, expensive to go after their dream (think cost of college).Of course some had concerns over money. But regardless of the reason, it is sad to see so many move away from their dreams, especially when you consider the quote below.

The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents.
— Nicole Williams - Connection Director at Linkedin

I believe one reason for this is that we are asking the wrong question. Why do we ask kids what "JOB" they want to have when they grow up? Shouldn't we instead be asking them what they like to do NOW? Shouldn't we be asking them what they like to do? We should even be asking questions like what do they think they are good at or what do they lose time doing? It is crucial that we ask them these questions, not just once but frequently

When I found my purpose/passion a few years ago, everything came into focus. I realized I was put on this earth to TALK. I should note that I discovered this while on stage in front of 400 people in a Marriott conference room in North Carolina. I call it my "Beyonce Moment" because it was in that moment on stage when I actually had a conversation with myself.

Dawne, you are killing it. You sound so smart. People are laughing, they think you’re funny and your outfit is on fire. Holy Crap, I love this. If I had a wind machine, this moment would go down as the most epic of all time”
My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

The truth is I felt like this must be what it's like to be living in your purpose. It was life altering but it also hit me like a ton of bricks. How had I never realized this? Every job I had ever imagined myself in was centered around talking (SNL cast member, Broadway star, the next Barbara Walters, a get the point). To make matters worse, I asked my Mom when she knew I was a talker. She didn't answer me, instead she texted me this picture of my baby book. You'll notice it says that I started talking at 6 months! Did you know the average baby starts talking at 18 months? (Yes, I looked it up). It was always there. I wasn't paying attention because I wasn't looking for what I was good at or what I loved doing, I was looking for a job.

In an effort to help other people find their purpose, I want to share a few of the questions I ask myself. It is important to dig deep and understand what the questions really mean. I keep a journal for just this purpose. Each year I ask myself the same questions. (these are just a few of them) I do this so I can make sure I am not missing anything and I am moving in the right direction.

What did you want to be and what are you doing to make your dreams real? Tell me in the comments.



P.S. I have decided not to suggest a book today but instead I want to compel you to pick up your own journal and start answering your questions now. It is never to late to go for your purpose.It's yours nobody else's. You have to pick the journal that is best for you, but if you want a suggestion, check out Compendium who makes some great books to help inspire you in your writing. Click on the image to find all sorts of great journals.