Morning Cup of Joe – Born To Die

As I sat on the tourist filled train patiently yet eagerly awaiting my stop, I put my book down and took a moment to inspect my surroundings to see who my temporary neighbors were. To my immediate left a new couple embrace as they lovingly stare into each others eyes. Behind them an elderly man focuses intently on the stories of the day written in a semi-crumpled newspaper someone left behind as an unruly and clearly unsupervised child raced up and down the center isle of the pod.

Sitting directly across from me is a man, seemingly tired from a long days work as he unsuccessfully attempts to take a quick nap before he reaches his final destination. His weathered uniform with dusted flour stains and slightly worn cap deduced that he must be a line cook at a restaurant. What stood out most about this man was an abnormally large tattoo scribed from to the top of his forearm all the way down to where his wristwatch would normally go in a dark green hue that read “Born To Die.”

As I looked momentarily trying to avoid being caught staring, I started to wonder why anyone would get a permanent reminder of something so dreadful and uninspiring? I started to think about what his life-experiences must have been to motivate him to get this “message” tattooed on himself. How bad does life get for you to think and even believe that you were in fact born to die?

While death is a guaranteed experience that we all grudgingly yet inevitably share, I am not entirely convinced that it is something we should remind ourselves of daily. Our focus should remain on maximizing the beauty, opportunities and blessings each day presents. I truly believe that our thoughts have the incredible power to become things. I also believe that there is an immeasurable amount of power in the written word and the message you continue to drill into your head.

You create the reality in which you exist. If you want the best life has to offer, you must first believe that you deserve it then go and create it. The world has the potential to give you constant reminders that you simply dont measure up. Dont allow a third party to run your private corporation! In other words, OWN YOUR DESTINY!

To The Top!
Joe Paul


Joe Paul is an author, speaker and coach.

5 Lessons Learned After I Was Fired

5ThingsFIREDThere aren’t too many people who can say that they’ve been fired. Let me rephrase that, “There aren’t too many people who will tell you that they’ve been fired.” Let’s face it, whether you’re at fault or not, it’s an embarrassing experience.

The Human Resources Manager who almost never comes to your side of the building enters unexpectedly. With a folder in hand and an austere disposition, she heads directly into the meeting room where you usually have your one-on-one meetings with your manager. Moments later, you hear the familiar clicking sound heels make against a hard surface as your manager’s matte finished red pumps begin to peek around the corner. The most difficult moment you could imagine was about to happen.

She approaches your cubicle, and calmly asks you to gather your personal effects and join them.

For some people, this story is all too familiar. The fact of the matter is most people don’t talk about getting fired. And why would they? It’s not an experience worth bragging about. And if you do decide to share, some falsely believe that somehow it must have been your fault; especially if they’ve never been fired.

If you have been separated from an organization or what everyone else calls “fired”, I am happy to say it doesn’t have to end there. In fact, it doesn’t.

Here are five valuable lessons learned after I was fired.

1. Life Goes On
Life Goes OnIt is not the end of the world. Don’t get me wrong; at the time of the separation, accepting the fact that life goes on was the furthest thought from my mind. Besides, the idea that I should somehow immediately overcome this traumatic experience was absurd. As an HR professional, I have conducted countless separation meetings; all of them successful. I base that success on the fact that none of the employees I was firing went “postal”; most of them embraced the change because of how I packaged the message. During one particular meeting, I remember telling a very emotional employee that this is not the end of their story; they must continue to write. This may be the final chapter with this particular organization but it doesn’t have to be the final chapter in your book. Take a moment to think back to a time when you experienced adversity, with time you eventually overcame it. With time, all wounds eventually heal. The amount of time you take depends solely on you. The sooner you realize that failure is an event and not a person, the sooner you can move on from this. It may not seem like it now but trust me, life really does go on and you really will get back on your feet. The “how” and “when” is totally up to you.

2. Manage Your Time Wisely
use your time wisely (1)
Most people have difficulty finding the silver lining to the dark cloud that is created once you are fired. Here’s an upside to losing your job, you now have time and a whole lot of it! This new found freedom and increase in down time should not be wasted on wondering what you could have done differently. It’s over; use this time to plan ahead. Right after I was fired, it took several weeks for the dust to settle and for me to pull myself up from my bootstraps. It took several weeks too long. What I would have done differently was immediately pull out a pen and a pad and start brainstorming ideas about a future I wanted to create. Understand that looking for a job is a fulltime job in itself. The sooner you start looking, the sooner you may find it. Use this time to organize your life and prioritize what is most important. Immediately file for unemployment, even if you think you may not be eligible. Although the amount may be miniscule compared to your previous salary, it’s certainly better than no income at all. Besides, collecting unemployment insurance isn’t a new job; it should not be viewed as income. Your goal should be to return to work as quickly as possible. You would be surprised how many resources are available to those who are unemployed. Visit the Department of Labor’s website ( to view a list of resources available to you. Here’s an article that lists 10 FREE Government Resources for the unemployed.

3. Do Something You’ve Always Wanted To Do
today-do-something-youve-never-done-before From every negative experience, the opportunity to accentuate the positive exists. I know some of you may be thinking, “What could possibly be positive about losing your job?” One thing I learned after I was fired is that you need to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Losing your job can be very stressful, especially if you haven’t planned for it. And believe me, most people don’t. If you have a dream, pursue it. I decided to focus heavily on starting my own business and taking all of the valuable knowledge, skills and abilities I’ve acquired over the years to market myself as a free agent while doing something I love. For those who aren’t quite ready to start their own business, focus heavily on pursuing your next opportunity or go skydiving. Yes, skydiving. After you lose your job, the last thing you want to do is stay depressed. Believe me, you will experience some form of depression because it is one of the stages of grief after you experience a loss. Losing your job is not exempt; you can’t avoid it. What you can do is limit the time you are depressed by doing something you love or trying something new. Remember, tremendous success always comes at the risk of great failure. Now is a really good time to create and execute your bucket list. After all, what do you have to lose?

4. Count Your Blessings
Count Your Blessings
One important lesson I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way is the fact that no one is entitled to anything. A false sense of entitlement can potentially ruin your life. We all make the mistake of expecting more than we are blessed with ignoring the magnitude of the original blessing. If you are on this side of the dirt, you are already immensely blessed. There was a man who complained about not having shoes until he saw a man with no feet. It isn’t a crime to want more, it really isn’t. However, wanting more must mirror the time and effort you put into acquiring that which you are expecting. In my case, it was money. I wanted more money. I was already earning six figures and most people would be satisfied with that salary. Yet I wanted more and truly felt I deserved more. I completely ignored the man with no feet. I was blessed yet I still wasn’t satisfied. There is a distinct difference between desire and greed. Greed is attempting to possess more than you need or deserve and desire is simply wanting something very much. I was greedy. Don’t allow greed to block you from your blessings. Being employed is a blessing, don’t take it for granted. It’s insane how many people complain about their jobs never stopping to think about those who are unemployed. I was one of those people. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I didn’t want to look at the big picture. Just because you think you deserve something doesn’t mean that you actually do. Sometimes it takes others to recognize your contributions and quantify your value; and sometimes that takes time. Appreciate what you have because it could all be gone tomorrow. Count your blessings; being gainfully employed is certainly one of them.

5. Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
Money Saving
My father always says, “Son, make sure you save as much as you can. You may not need the money today but you might need it tomorrow.” He’s absolutely right but how many of us actually live by this unwritten code of the “Traditionalist” generation; babies who were born between 1929 and 1945. My father was born in 1943 and he’s sort of a hybrid between this generation and the Baby Boomers. Either way, he has always preached the value of saving a majority of your income and not spending unless you absolutely have to. In a world where we focus more on wants than needs, it is reasonable to assume that it’s much more challenging to save; especially when everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses who may actually be in debt themselves. What I learned (the hard way) was that he is right! I had no idea I was going to be fired but I did have about three months of living expenses saved in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, three months is just not enough. Finding a job takes time, lots of time. Some people who lose their jobs can take up to 18 months or more to return to the workforce. I had the opportunity to save so much more and the time and income to do it but I didn’t. If you are like some people who falsely believe the good times will always be good, then you are in for a rude awakening. Some of you may be thinking, “I will never get fired because I am a great employee.” From an HR professional to you, it can still happen, even to the top performers. Companies downsize and reorganize all the time to ensure that they protect their bottom line. Unfortunately, when assessing a company’s bottom line, one of the first items on the list of sacrifices is human capital. No one is exempt from this unless you are the one making the decision. You can’t predict the future so you might as well prepare for it.

After a traumatic experience you are left with two options; either sink or swim. Sinking is easier but swimming is worth it. Don’t wait until you lose everything before you start to appreciate what you have. Losing your job is not the end of the world; it may actually be the start of something great. Embrace this change and believe that this new course of direction may be where you were intended to go in the first place.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Joe Paul is an American author, keynote speaker and life coach based in Washington DC. He tweets @JoePaulSpeaks. To connect with Joe Paul, please visit, email or call 202.553.7718.

Morning Cup of Joe – Actions, Not Words

If someone loves you, trust me, they’ll show you. Telling someone you love them does not take much effort, showing them does.

Above all else, love yourself first!

To The Top!
Joe Paul 20140714-084346-31426866.jpg

Morning Cup of Joe – Give Something Back

Give Back2One of the main requirements of success is that you give something back. Being successful doesn’t mean that it’s a personal achievement because no one whoever became successful did so on their own. Which is why it makes complete sense to turn around, reach out and bring someone up with you.

To whom much is given, so much more is required. Success certainly comes with a price. We have all been uniquely blessed with specific gifts and talents. There are some who have yet to recognize their gifts as truly gifts. Your gift is the “thing” that you are able to do almost better than everyone else. Once you’ve recognized your gift, it is imperative that you begin focusing on how to share this gift to the world. Sharing our gifts with the world, if executed correctly, is exactly what will yield us financial freedom. In essence, when you do what you love and love what you do, the money will come in abundance.
Give Back
Many of us are past the stage of recognizing our gifts. For the most part, most people know exactly what their specialized talents are yet a majority of those people will not do anything about it. For those of us who do, we must not only find satisfaction in earning but equal, if not greater, satisfaction in giving. We are blessed in order to be a blessing to someone else. What good is a man’s treasure if he cannot share it with the world? I’ll tell you, it’s worthless.

To whom much is given, so much more is required. You have used your gifts to receive your blessings but the transaction is only half-way complete; the final piece are the blessings you give to others. Most people don’t realize that their blessings come from blessings others; which explains why less and less people give. Understand that we are all connected. And since we are all connected, it is imperative that we understand that we all have a humanitarian obligation to support one another. You are absolutely your brother’s keeper.

If God has blessed you with increase or abundance, the expectation is that you will return the favor by being a blessing to someone else. This is a requirement of success. In order to receive, you must give.

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Morning Cup of Joe – Hard Work, Work

I have a confession to make. At one point in my life I actually thought that there was a substitution for hard work. I falsely believed that there were shortcuts on the road to success. No seriously, I thought it had more to do with luck and being at the right place at the right time but I was sadly mistaken. The time I spent looking for shortcuts was certainly time that I could have invested to vigorously pursuing my dreams.

Think about the most successful person you know. What do you think separates them from everyone else? What makes them successful? What are they doing that everyone isn’t? I can tell you what separates them from everyone else; it’s hard work. I’ve seen people with less charisma, less talent, less appeal become more successful than others simply because they chose to work harder than their counterparts.

hard-work-quote-1Understand that anything worth having never comes easily. Whatever you want in life you have to vigorously pursue. You have to chase it like you don’t know any better. You have to work like hell to get it and work even harder to keep it. There are no shortcuts. There are no handouts. Don’t expect people to just hand it to you because it doesn’t work that way.

What you should understand about hard work is that it is not prejudice, it’s not racist or sexist. Hard work is not exclusive to a particular group of people and neither is success. However, success is the result of hard work. While you are sleeping, your opponent is working hard to make sure that you are not better than they are. Your opponent is taking 100 more practice shots than you are. Your opponent is waking up 2 hours earlier than you. Your opponent is out creating opportunities while you are sitting at home waiting on opportunity to come to you. It doesn’t work that way.

It is a common thought that successful people experience success because they are lucky or blessed with talent. The truth is, successful people simply work harder than the average man. Luck is the byproduct of hard work. That’s the secret to success.

Victory does not always go to the person who is the smartest or the most talented but to the person who works the hardest.


To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Morning Cup of Joe – Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Failure 2Do you ever wonder why there are only a handful of people in the world who experience off the charts success? Well, I have and I’ve discovered there is a really good reason for that. One of the main reasons why only a few people experience this type of success is because they do not stop at the first sign of failure nor do they stop at the first sign of defeat. They keep going! Unfortunately, most people want the fruits that are available for someone who commits themselves to hard work but are not willing to commit themselves to the hard work necessary to bear the fruit. Hard work is only half the battle, the fear of failure is the other side of the coin.

The main reason why so many people don’t try is because they are afraid to fail. It’s as simple as that. They are afraid that if they try they may not succeed. My question to those people is “How do you know if you’ll succeed or not if you never try?” Theodore Roosevelt once said “It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” I believe that 100%. Failure sucks but not trying because you are afraid is far worse.

Failure is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can experience. No one wants to experience failure; not even me. Yet I know and understand that failure shows up right before a win; sometimes several times. When Thomas Edison and his team of talented engineers were trying to figure out how to bring light through a light bulb, they failed hundreds of times. That did not stop them. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” It is because of the way he viewed failure coupled with great tenacity and an unwillingness to accept failure or defeat that we can flip a switch and say “Let the be light” and it actually works. That is the risk you must be willing to take if you want to be successful; the risk of ongoing failure.

In order to be successful you must take risks including the risk of failure. Failure is inevitable, success is not. The good news is, one typically comes before the other. The fear of failing can be debilitating, it can also be a great motivator. Remember that F.E.A.R. is simply false evidence appearing real. We create our own barriers to success. The main barrier to success is the fear of failing. Do not be afraid.

    A few of my favorite quotes on the fear of failing…

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – JK Rowling

“There is only ONE THING that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Take a moment to check out my radio show!


Morning Cup of Joe – Trust Yourself

Trust YourselfOne of the greatest barriers to success is placing your trust in someone else’s opinions about what you should do with your own life. Everyone will have an opinion as it relates to your life but only yours matter. Often times we seek out the advice and guidance of others to help direct our path, all the while we are the answer to the questions we’ve been asking all along. One of the most important factors to experiencing wild success is trusting yourself.

Growing up, my mother would constantly say how proud she would be if her baby boy ever became a doctor. I didn’t think her vision for my life was far-fetched nor did I think it was unreachable; it just wasn’t my goal. It wasn’t a future I envisioned for myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I had no idea that I would become a keynote speaker either. My goal was simply to use the gifts God has blessed me with to help leave an indelible mark on the world by positively affecting the lives of those whose paths I am fortunate to cross.

One of the most common mistakes we make on the road to success is talking ourselves out of inevitable blessings simply because we don’t trust ourselves enough. In my humble opinion, I do not believe that there are right or wrong decisions but rather each decision we make leads us closer to our predestined fate. Those same decisions should be yours and solely yours. Everyone is equipped with an incredible sense of intuition, always trust yours.

The fact is, right or wrong, you must live with every decision you make. It’s critically important that you trust yourself and trust that the decision you make is the right one for you. Do not be misled; am I saying not to seek the advice of others? Absolutely not. I’m just saying to trust yourself a little more. You may not even need the advice of others. The answer you seek is well within you.

The late visionary Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t let the noise of other peoples opinions drown out your inner voice.” Remember to trust yourself always.

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Morning Cup of Joe – 6 Rules of Success

SuccessAnyone who has ever amounted to anything became a diligent student of their craft. They learned the ins and outs of what makes someone successful in their industry. They’ve read countless books and articles on how to perfect their craft by learning from others who have been in their field and have experienced some form of wild success. As a keynote speaker it is incredibly important for me to learn from other successful speakers. My principle goal when studying successful people is to learn about the nuances of what works and what doesn’t when you’re on stage. I study other speakers as if it’s a final exam that I want so badly to ace.

While studying I received a phone call from one of my very good friends and I explained to him what I was doing. He explained how he is also a student in his craft and how he’s constantly learning about new things and how to be better at what he does. He is an engineer. He directed me towards a commencement speech given by Arnold Schwarzenegger to the graduating class at the University of Southern California where he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. The speech is entitled “Six Rules of Success.”

Over the next several Morning Cup of Joe’s, I’m going to break down Arnold’s six rules in order to help you better apply it to your life and experience the wild success that Arnold has.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success
1) Trust yourself
2) Break the rules
3) Don’t be afraid to fail
4) Ignore the naysayers
5) Work your butt off
6) Give Back!

Here’s a link to the speech. Check it out!

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks

Morning Cup of Joe – Last Minute

Procastinate3 “If you do it when you’re expected to and do it right the first time, you won’t have to worry about doing it over.” I can still hear the house mom’s voice in the group home I grew up in when I lived in Miami. She would tell us this when we had to redo our chores, which all of the youth in the home were required to do. She never made idle threats and none of us in the home were brave or senseless enough to challenge her. Well, there was one person who thought he could and was sadly mistaken. That foolish person was me.

Kim, our house mom, would always tell us that if we did not complete our chores from the day before that she would wake us up at three in the morning to complete them. We never believed that she would do it but we also never challenged her. Until one day when the list of chores stated that it was my turn to rake the leaves in the front and back yard. I had homework and a big test I was preparing for so I figured I’d get to it the next day. Kim had other plans for me.

I was fast asleep, perhaps on my second dream, when all of a sudden thunderously loud knocks began to break down the door. I looked over at the alarm clock and it was exactly three in the morning. I thought the house was on fire until I heard, “Joseph! Get up and get out there and rake those leaves like you were supposed to”. I always thought she was bluffing about that threat until I was raking those leaves at three in the morning and was still expected to go to school the next day.

That day, I was forced to understand the importance of getting a job done when you are expected to get it done. Even more so, I understood the importance of getting it done right the first time. I also learned that procrastination only delays the inevitable. Simply, you have to get it done anyway so why not get it done when you’re supposed to. Stop stalling and get it done.

There are some things that you have been putting off completing for whatever reason. Choose today to get it done. There is no reason why you should wait another minute. Get it done and get it done right the first time.

Procrastination is the thief of time. Stop waiting and start acting.

To The Top!
Joe Paul
Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Tel. :202.553.7718
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks