Upgrade U or You’re Fired!

daddy-daughter2 Well, what a week it’s been since Barack Obama took office as the nation’s 44th President. This was such an historic event it leaves us all with so many show and tell moments. Some people are still speechless while others simply want to pinch themselves. The current mood in the country is like the best of times and worst of times, all at the same time.


The first order of business has been to focus on the economic crisis. There are reports in the news that a Bailout is coming. As the Congressional Leaders iron out the details we might also want to perform a self-check in the meantime. With increasing layoffs being announced each day it’s clear that we’re in for a rough ride. Now that Obama is President it’s time to upgrade U ‘cause a change is gonna come for you, for true.


The question is what kind of change? The current economic climate leads us to think that it’s time to upgrade U because you got next:


  1. To be Hired
  2. To be Fired
  3. To be Sick & Tired

As the marketplace continues to bleed pink slips it will eventually arrive at a point where things have to clot. Between now and then, this period offers up the opportunity to find a new job, or a better job or to move closer to your dream job. It offers up the opportunity to go from pain to promotion or from guts to glory. It allows us to grow personally and professionally. If you were given the choice of having a half-baked potato or a twice-baked potato (with all the fixins) which would you pick? Chances are the twice-baked, right? Well if you want to experience life as twice-baked (with all the bling bling) then consider the following key areas.

At birth we arrive on earth as a brand new human being. Each individual or person learns to talk, walk, and grows from infant to teenager to adult. Over time the change in physical features are self-evident. However, the changes in personal strengths are made possible through self-help. You learn to tie your shoelace, brush your teeth and comb your hair at an early age. You also learn to read, write and apply yourself to be functional. There are some things you never need to learn again but there are others you need to expand on or re-learn in order to upgrade U. So, what are you doing to grow as a person?

Some of our most exciting times in life begin when we’re teenagers. You learn to drive. You go on your first date. As time passes you experience some other firsts that you never forget. Then you might settle down with the person you consider as the love of your life. Relationships can go sour for reasons tied to money, infidelity or insufficiency. But oftentimes an underlying reason for the break-up is when one spouse outgrows the other. While we all arrive at a point in life where we’re no longer growing physically, there is still a need for us to grow emotionally as well as spiritually if we want to maintain our sanity. So, what are you doing to grow as a friend or partner?

Eight is Enough was the title of a ’70s TV sitcom and might also be the words used by the new parents from California of eight kids. They will certainly need help with raising their clan of six boys and two girls. They will have a lot of stories to tell as parents about the uniqueness of each child. This litter-like birth will attract worldwide media coverage and might even make it into the Record Books. Becoming a parent is one of the most precious experiences life has to offer. However, your most precious testimonial is not what you say about you or what your peers say about you. It’s what a child says about you because they can see right through you. So, what are you doing to grow as a parent?

No matter how young or old you are you can learn something new every day. Here’s something that might surprise you. Did you know that the whistles used by NBA Referees have a wireless connection to the game clock? When the Referee blows the whistle it’s supposed to automatically stop the clock. Gone are the days when a whistle was just a whistle and gone are the days when your day job is just where you go to work. Nowadays people are looking for ways to apply technology and to have their passion go to work as well. So, what are you doing to grow as a professional or to move closer to landing your dream job? 

At the end of the day if your boss, your spouse (the real boss) or your child were to say to you, “Upgrade U or your fired,” what would it mean? It would be a major call to action. Well don’t want for those words. Yes you can change your situation, your thinking or direction in real time. As you do you’ll see your results take-off over time which will trigger a sense of possibilities for a lifetime.

Music Soundtrack – Funky “Double-Play”

Play ‘Upgrade You by Beyonce,’ track here

Play ‘I Can Change by John Legend,’ track here

America, We Can Be One.

daddy-daughter2 “It’s pretty amazing to watch Democracy and Capitalism at its best and sometimes at its worst.” That was the point made by a TV Commentator as he was asked about the different ways that people are cashing in on Obama’s election victory. There have been ads in the media for everything from magazine cover pages, to decorative plates to even basketball sneakers. The Commentator goes on to say, “it’s a good thing that Obama makes his own income as President and as an Author.”


With the inauguration of President Obama now behind us let’s recap what we just witnessed. Four years ago the country was introduced to a young man with a funny name at the Democratic National Convention. At that time he was the junior Senator from Illinois who spoke with clarity of conviction. Two years ago he announced his candidacy for President and took to the highways and skyways with a slogan of “Yes We Can!” His early Election Primary/Caucus wins in States that are not urban or considered democratic strongholds proved to be a turning point.


This got the attention of the pundits and critics. It might have even caused Black America to take a second look. As Election Day approached it became more apparent that Obama was poised to make history. The results came in that night and Obama was declared the President-elect at 11PM Eastern Time. Cheers began to rise from those who worked hard to make this victory possible. Tears began to flow from those who could look back on the pain and sacrifices of the past. The promise of Dr. King’s dream had finally come!


During the campaign Obama touched on some hot-button social issues like Fatherhood. This made some in Black America mad. The overall campaign was built on a promise to make change. Most Politicians choose change as a theme to run on. It’s a logical fit because it conveys the message of out with the old ideas and in with the new. Out with the Old Boy’s Network and in with some new blood. However, he was able to capitalize on this change message in a new and exciting way.


First he made it known that the change was going to occur from the ground up and not the top down. Why was that significant you ask? Because he was able to change the way people see change. Our human nature is to resist change. People think change is good as long as they’re not the ones having to change. It’s been said that you can’t change people. You can only change yourself and watch people or the situation change around you.


If there were a Men’s relay team of public officials who made this victory possible it would be Dr. King, to Rev. Jesse Jackson to Colin Powell to Barack Obama. So we witnessed Obama make history in becoming the first African-American President of the United States. You go Bro!  We have seen signs of him beginning to make change from his time campaigning through his transitioning role into the Presidency. Now we have to support our President as he works towards making good on his campaign pledges and on the long-standing promise of America. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Music Soundtrack – Only in America “Double-Play”

Play ‘America’s Song by David Foster,’ track here

Play ‘My People by Angie Stone,’ track here

Your Dream, My Dream, Dr. King’s Dream.

daddy-daughter2 What do Dr. King’s dream and American Idol have in common? You will arrive at the answer in a minute. Over 40 years ago Dr. King echoed the words “I have a Dream!” He went on to say that it’s a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. That sounds all nice and uplifting but what did Dr. King mean then and how do those words play out today?


Most people can relate to the ideals of the American Dream. For some people, it’s about going from nothing to something, from rags to riches. It’s the idea of making a living and living your making, by doing whatever you like. Dr. King’s powerful words remind us that America is the land of opportunity. The power of his words was rooted in your dream and in my dream.


So how do you know what is your dream? How do you build a business around your dream and build that dream around your business? How do you connect the dots of your dream? Well, here are a few suggestions for marking the dot and hitting the spot in living you dreams.


1.     Your Work-life


2.     Your Friends & Family


3.     Your Self


4.     Your God


Caution: this is not my attempt to brag but instead to testify as a ‘living your dreams’ witness. Back in the mid 90s I received feedback on my job that proved life-changing. It wasn’t really new information as much as it was new attention. This aha moment was a turning point because it put a spotlight on my hidden passion and untapped potential. If there is a job or personal experience from your past that keeps coming back at you then maybe that’s your dream waiting to blast off.


The feedback caused me to poll my friends and peers. I wanted to know how they would describe me. Their comments hinted that I was already doing for free what I now do and get paid. Whether it’s working with your hands, your mind or your heart, what your friends tell you can be further fuel for taking the dream journey. Listen to those who know you well or work closely with you. But be careful of the dream-busters and dream stealers.


As I began a career makeover I was inspired to answer this question, “Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?” Back in the late ‘60s the Executives at Sony sat around a table and asked the same question about their product line. After long discussions they arrived at the invention of the Sony Walkman. They concluded that this device would be a hot item for the increasingly mobile consumer. The Walkman has since made its mark, made the company millions and died. If that question was good enough for Sony then it was good enough for me. It has helped to focus my business in the areas of speaking and training, publishing and broadcast radio. These are the areas I hope to make my mark while I yet have life.


I must confess that I also went to a Higher Power which played out something like this, “Hey Big G, what’s the reason you made me?” The response was sort of like this, “Son, I made you and your fellow humans a little lower than Angel status. I also gave everyone three human attributes that make you uniquely unstoppable. Your Calling is how you make Big G look good. Your Purpose is how you serve some earthly good. Your Passion is how you “do you” where someone might say… man, you’re good! In other words it’s all good, so stick with Big G and I’ll reveal all three!”


After trying out my ideas and jump-starting my dream I was ready to leave my full-time job as a Computer Engineer to pursue my dream full-time. This wasn’t easy as in one sense I was going from hero to zero. How did I know it was time?  Some kind of confirmation or validation helps. Have you ever been to an event where parking is free once you get the ticket stamped at the front desk or by someone in authority? Well, once Big G provides the revelation the rest is up to you. Along the way you will receive feedback from your life’s journey to be used for connecting the dots. The validation you receive from Big G, the marketplace, peers, friends and family provides a free pass for letting your dreams live.




You may have noticed that Oprah has recently become more public about her struggles with weight. Many of us on the dream journey have to work tirelessly through various struggles as well, including rejection burnout. Any successful dreamer will tell you about the series of No’s they had to overcome on the way to the defining YES! One take-away from Oprah is, “perfect we’re not and perfect we will never be. We’re all just on the road to perfection that is not available in this life.”



By the way, I’m working on some projects for which I’ll need your help and support. If that’s alright with you then please visit Doc’s Books for Hire to get more info. Thanks!

Music Soundtrack – Living Your Dreams.

Play audio track here

Running Your Business or Career Like a Celebrity Chef.

daddy-daughter2 “Welcome back from the Holidays and thanks for tuning into today’s segment of Cooking with Doc, with your host Chef Boyar-D-O-C. Today we’ll be cooking up a special Island recipe that can be used to prepare Jerk Chicken, Pork, Shrimp and maybe even Goat…” That might sound like a great intro for a new TV show, but it’s just my imagination. However, it’s a good place to start talking about running your business or career like a Celebrity Chef.


Not long ago while TV Channel surfing I stumbled on a show where the host was sharing tips on preparing a certain holiday meal. The Chef (along with his assistant) was working with a four-burner commercial-grade stove. He started out by working on the meal with one pot on the stove. As he got going another pot was added on the stove until eventually all burners were fired-up.


I don’t envision being up to commercial-grade standard as a Chef any time soon. But I was inspired by the Cooking Show. As you position your career or business for the next level of success it makes sense to turn up the heat in the following areas:

1.     Mindset


2.     Method


3.     Motivation


4.     Money


If you’ve been following the News you’re probably aware of the plight of the Big Three US Automakers. Some wonder whether they’re going to make it through these tough economic times. The concern that many industry critics have is whether the Senior Executives are operating with the right mindset or are they simply out of touch. This might then raise the question, “do we have the right mindset to live our dreams or to follow through on our resolutions?”


As a former Software Engineer I can tell you that there was a way of doing things. Not that everybody’s way was the same but there was a methodology to be followed. This was necessary to help minimize errors. This was done to help streamline the product’s development. This was a must so that there was a system in place. As you turn up the heat this year make sure there is a method to your madness in order to move closer and closer to your greatness.


Everybody needs love some time and everybody needs a little motivation as well. Maybe next time I can share more about how I stay motivated but for right now this is not about me. There are many tried and true ways to stay motivated but one of the best is to continually provide excellent service to your boss, clients, customers or loved ones. This will help to put a feather in your cap and as a bonus might turn into a pay raise, increasing revenue stream or even a strong personal/professional connection.


Money makes the world go ’round, that’s what they tell me. We need not live and die by money but we need to position our skills, talents and abilities, products, services and personalities in a way that returns maximum market value. You can choose initially to focus on mindset or method or motivation or money in your preferred order. But once you turn up the heat and things get cookin’ in all areas, others will feel your passion, be blessed by your flava and as you do more of what you love, the money will follow.

Music Soundtrack – Latin/Pop Flava “Double-Play”

Play first audio track here

Play second audio track here