Eat, Drink and be Irie!

daddy-daughter2 This Bud’s for You, a slogan once made popular by Beer Manufacturer Budweiser. Well, say it isn’t so as Budweiser announced layoffs recently. Company executives revealed that this plan had been in the works since June. It just seems odd during the Holidays when there are more house parties and office socials that Budweiser would be downsizing.


The President of Budweiser was quoted as saying, “these decisions are a result of a careful review of each department.” Maybe this doesn’t affect you directly. You’re still looking to get dressed-up for the concert. You’re looking forward to getting “footloose and fancy free” or “jiggy with it” depending on your school of music. The Holiday season is a fun time to eat, drink and be irie.


However, if you were to take a page from the President of Budweiser, this might also be a good time to take stock of where you stand. Even with the current recessionary trends this is the time of year best noted for giving. People are busy shopping for their spouse, children and BFF. As you review your holiday giving this is a good time to practice “paying it forward.”


Consider this real life encounter of two women who run into each other at the Department store checkout counter. One makes clothing purchases that rings up in the hundreds. The store has a give-back special where for every $100 you spend you get back $25 in coupon savings. So, as the first woman pays for her purchases and receives the coupons she turns around to the second woman on the line, hands her one of the coupons and says, Merry Christmas! This is just one example of holiday giving.


Have you seen the January ’09 issue of Oprah’s magazine? On the cover it shows Oprah “before and after.” In the before picture she was slim and trim but in the after picture she appears pleasingly plump. Maybe after careful review of her goals Oprah decided she wants to switch that image. After careful review of your goals (in between the giving and the good times) maybe there’s something for which you’d like to reverse the “before and after” results to make you more on point.


Mega successful people like Oprah are able to achieve their goals and live their dreams because they are usually drama-free, ego-free and not hung-up on ideology. This minimizes the issues and baggage that block their dreams, the way clouds block the sunshine. Isn’t that what the good times are all about? Making sure you live your life like it’s golden. So, go ahead and have a blast this holiday. But make sure you take time to review your giving, goals and enjoy the good times as you rise and shine in 2009. Cheers!



Rise and Shine in 2009! That’s the way I see it for the upcoming year. If there’s anything I can do to serve your business/career/empowerment interests then give a brotha a holla! In the meantime, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanzaa… you get my drift. Blessings!

Music Soundtrack – Island Flava “Double-Play” 

Play first audio track here

Play second audio track here

Take Your Dreams off Layaway and Put them on Steroids.

daddy-daughter2 Layaway is back! After a brief absence from store counters, the big box stores like Wally-Mart and Targee have decided to bring back their layaway programs. It seems that these incentives were suspended as credit cards became more widely available. The thinking was that since more and more people could buy on credit there were less and less people needing layaway.


Makes sense, right? Well now that the credit market has dried up, the return of layaway is a major news story. This old-school form of credit is making a comeback. Layaway allows stores to make advanced sales before all the money is in. It allows consumers to commit to a purchase by paying over time. If layaway can be taken off the shelf and brought back to life would this be a good time for you to take your dreams off layaway as well?


The thing with layaway is that you can put yourself on a payment plan. It gives you another option if you can’t come up with all the money upfront. Similarly, if you take your dreams off layaway you will put yourself on a payment plan. This payment plan can return dividends or deeds depending on whether you’re starting a business or simply doing some good in the ‘hood. Whether your dream is in the idea, launch, growth or legacy phase of development it still takes faith to see it through. So, you can take your dreams off layaway and put them on steroids by setting a target and a task.


Remember as a child putting that puzzle together that you received as a Christmas gift? At first you didn’t know where to start. You looked at the box cover to see the desired outcome. You then might have flipped over a few pieces trying to get some sense of order. Maybe you decided to zero-in on some object in the picture to begin putting the pieces together in that area. After some time you could see the puzzle picture taking shape.


Living your dreams is a lot like putting that puzzle together. First you have to get a sense for the big picture. What are you shooting for or aiming to achieve? What’s your big-picture target? Then you have to identify a task or set of tasks that you can zero-in on. This will provide a sense of order, increasing familiarity and focus in those areas. These tasks are essential because whatever the mind can conceive it needs some action in order to be achieved.


Taking your dreams off layaway also means you have to set a time. That’s one reason why layaway can be so effective. The store knows that there will come a time when the customer makes the final payment. In addition, the customer knows that there will come a time when the product becomes their own. In living your dreams you have to set a time to get serious, get started, get moving or simply take it to the next level. After some time you will see the big picture taking shape. Even when doubt creeps in, as it sometimes does for us all, we just have to be reminded that our steps are being guided by the spirit of history. Well, it’s two weeks before Christmas and maybe your gift to you is that you put your dreams on notice!



A special Holiday Buy One Get One (BOGO) discount offer for my latest book entitled Becoming Layoff Proof: What it Means to be the CEO of Me Inc. Email my Publicist at with any questions or to reserve your autographed copy now. Otherwise you can visit the Book Store to order online.

Music Soundtrack – Urban Flava “Double-Play”

Play first audio track here

Play second audio track here

Deck the Marketplace with Lots of Value.

daddy-daughter2 The Black Friday sales numbers are in but the retailers aren’t ready to celebrate yet. With a shortened holiday shopping season and with less money to go around it’s not clear whether to be happy or worried. The question that many retailers have begun to ask themselves is “how can we maximize the value we deliver to the marketplace?” The same might be true for consumers as well as working professionals.


If you’ve ever asked this question then a quick movie review might provide some clues. In the holiday flick Deck the Halls starring Danny Devito, the discovery is made of an Internet site where they could locate the neighbors’ house. For some reason when Devito entered his home address there was no such luck. So he decided that in the spirit of the holiday season he was going to decorate his house so brightly that it would be visible from outer space.


Hold that thought as you think about the work you do on the job or the product/service you provide as a business owner in the marketplace. Whether you work on an assembly line or write punch lines, whether you’re starting a business or looking to grow your business there is a process for going from good to great that involves:

1.       Researching


2.       Prototyping


3.       Networking


4.       Fine-tuning


Did you know that one of the ways Colleges/Universities attract revenue is through research? This is where time is spent checking the laws, the facts, the history, the validity of an idea or invention. While we all don’t have the funding like these institutions we can still put our ideas in motion by first doing some research. Research will get you to open doors, roll over stones or turn pages that you would not otherwise. And this is oftentimes where an ‘aha moment’ occurs.


After researching the business concept or project idea, it helps if you can develop a prototype. Before a new car makes it to the assembly line it first shows up as a model. This allows the automaker to develop a working knowledge for the concept vehicle. Some prototypes are built on paper while others are built by hands. A young Miami Pilot showed how to do just that when he recently flew a model plane that was built by inner city teenagers.


If you’ve ever been shopping at a Wholesale Marketplace you’ll see networking in action. Effective Networking in the 21st century is part social, part strategic and part situational. When you walk up to the table where product samples are provided for taste-testing chances are the store clerk will strike up a conversation. After handing the sample to you the clerk will say what aisle the product is located. Now, not all products are “sample sold” in the same way. It depends on the season or the situation.


After marketing the concept to customers, your boss or even your peers you will be provided feedback. This is good information for making your idea even better. Danny Devito stumbled on similar feedback which helped him to succeed with his idea. After researching, prototyping and caroling with the neighbors his goal was reached. The world was now able to see his house with the click of a mouse because it was shining bright enough for even God to see.



A special Holiday Buy One Get One (BOGO) discount offer for my latest book entitled Becoming Layoff Proof: What it Means to be the CEO of Me Inc. Email my Publicist at with any questions or to reserve your autographed copy now. Otherwise you can visit the Book Store to order online.

Music Soundtrack – “Good for the Soul”

Play audio track here