My mom bought a Powerball ticket last week and my dad said he wanted his $2 back. She said she’d happily pay him back with her winnings. My dad’s out the $2.
That’s the problem. My dad says nobody wins the lottery. He calls it a tax on the stupid. I wouldn’t go that far, but I see what he means. There are just so many people in the lottery that the chances of winning become incredibly small, like one in 175 million this time around.
Then there’s this. Would you really want to win the lottery (yes), but what about that long list of winners who end up losing everything - their happiness, family, even their lives - because of their lucky lottery ticket?
Arthur Brooks, free market guru and familiar name thrown around my house, explains it like this:
If not money, then what do people really crave? The answer is earned success, the ability to create value with your life or in the lives of others. It does not come from a lottery check or an inheritance. It doesn’t even mean earning a lot of money, given all the blissfully happy social entrepreneurs I’ve met who are basically living on ramen noodles and tap water.
To earn your success is to define and pursue your happiness as you see fit. It’s the freedom to be an individual and to delineate your life’s “profit” however you want. For some, this profit is measured in money. But for many, profit is measured in making beautiful art, saving people’s souls, or pulling kids out of poverty.
Earned success is the real jackpot. Somebody may need to clue in who ever bought that winning ticket at the Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Florida on all this. If it’s just one lone winner, he or she is going to claim the largest jackpot in American history, a lump sum payment of $370 million.
Anyway, my dad says he already won the lottery when he married my mom and had my brother and me.
Peace Love Profits (& Powerballs),
Tags: Blake Kernen, peaceloveprofits.com, Powerball, lottery, Arthur Brooks, Zephyrhill
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO says he only wants cool kids to shop in his stores. He apparently thinks thin is in and other sized kids need to shop some other place.
Will his brand of bullying have any impact on the company’s big, fat (sorry) bottom line? We’ll weight and see.
Peace Love Profits,
I saw a post on Instagram over the weekend that made me laugh out loud. It said, “if Monday morning were a student, it would be that awkward girl who reminds theteacher about homework and loves horses.” For the record, that’s not me, I do have a thing for horses, but not homework.
That girl (whomever she is) and I do have something in common. We are gearing up for a great weekend. This Saturday, always the first Saturday in May, is the Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses. The first leg of the Triple Crown. For horse-racing fans, it’s a favorite. This marks the 139th year of the Kentucky Derby, where an elite group of three year-old Thoroughbreds run one mile and one quarter track. It takes a little over two minutes, but it’s been dubbed “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
The Kentucky Derby ushers in an entire month of horse-racing mania for me and for millions of others. It’s followed by the Preakness Stakes later in May, and the Belmont Stakes in June. And if the horse lords have any say in the matter, a Triple Crown winner will be coronated at the end of it all.
But believe it or not, the horses may be the “mane” event, but they are not the whole story. There are the trainers, owners, and jockeys who all figure in this race front and center. And, one jockey in particular this year, has me doing a victory lap before the race has even started.
Her name is Rosie Napravnik. That’s right, I said “her.” Rosie is one of only a few successful female jockeys in history. And, she’s the only female to be running for the roses this year, although this isn’t even her first time doing so. Rosie rode Pants on Fire in the 2011 Derby and finished ninth, the best finish ever for a woman at the Derby.
Rosie comes to the Derby already riding high, having just come off a big victory at the 2012 Kentucky Oaks, the first female ever to win there. Since she started her professional career eight years ago, she’s racked up more than $48 million in winnings and this year, has been in the money sixty percent of the times she’s left the starting gate.
Horse-racing is one sport where men and women compete against each other, and from what I’ve heard, some studs aren’t ready for such a ride. Rosie recently said in an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes, “There are still owners and trainers that don’t want to ride a female. The only way I deal with that is… to try to beat that person in a race.” And, that she does.
Twenty-five year old Rosie is hoping to ride into the history books this weekend at Churchill Downs, and silence all those ‘neigh-sayers’ once and for all. I’ll be watching for the ginger-haired girl from Jersey (not me, the other one) as she and her horse, Mylute, make their Run for the Roses.
I wonder if Rosie was ever that awkward 7th grade girl, loving horses and her homework. This one can only hope so.
Peace Love Profits,
A truly inspiring day at the office. Thanks to CNBC, my dad, and all of his colleagues.
Peace Love Profits,
The third Thursday of April is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, one of my favorite days of the year. I love going to work with my dad, 4am wake up call and all, it’s something my younger brother and I truly look forward to each year.
There’s a bunch of reasons why it’s a great day. For one, I think my dad works at a really cool place – a TV network. Also, it’s the one day of the year when I get to spend time with my dad’s colleagues and their kids. And, who doesn’t love to learn new things, meet new people, and miss school and not have to feel guilty about it. But, the best thing about going to Take Your Kids to Work Day is seeing my dad do something he truly loves to do.
My dad found “it” and he’s lucky he did, because finding “it” is truly important in life. “It” is figuring out what you really want to do in life, going for it, and doing it. It’s earned success, finding out what makes you happy, working at it, and achieving it. Earned success can be anything you want it to be – writing beautiful stories, being a musician, painting, being a doctor, helping others, bankers, lawyers – something that brings value to your life, and other people’s lives. For most people, earned success is one of the most gratifying and satisfying feelings in the world.
This weekend for science homework, I had to watch Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement address at Stanford University. It hit home for me. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on YouTube. Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to find what you love.” Basically, just go for it, earn your success, live every day like it’s your last, love life. There’s going to be more than a few stumbles along the way, but “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards“ and “you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Entrepreneurs and innovators already know this. For them, it’s really not all about how much money they make, or even how many times they fail before making any money. The average entrepreneur makes under $45,000 per year, and fails 3.8 times before succeeding. It’s their desire for earned success, doing something that they love, and the satisfaction and happiness that comes with it, that keeps them motivated.
Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women founded the Take Our Daughters to Work Program in 1993, and in 2003, boys were included. The idea is to expose children to different jobs and careers at an early age, with the hope that this could help them in the future find a career they are passionate about. Today, more than 37 million children and adults participate in the program.
You know what, you may not find your dream job when you go to work this week, but you’ll have a lot of fun looking for it in your parent’s desk drawer (maybe not the best idea). But, if you follow Steve Jobs’ advice, someday in the future, you’ll look back and be able to connect this dot to your dream job.
Peace Love Profits,
In honor of Earth Day, I am re-posting a video clip of the work I do at the arboretum in my town. The arboretum is one of my favorite places. I value the work I do there and I think the arboretum values it also.
I didn’t know where the arboretum even came from, or even thought about where it came from, until my dad and I wrote our book. It’s all thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of a man named Stewart Hartshorn – a true capitalist, entrepreneur, and inventor. (Just try to guess what he invented!)
He was businessman, and in the 1870’s, owned all of the land in my town. He saw value in it as “a harmonious community for people who appreciate nature.” He also saw it as a moneymaker, and it sure turned out to be one. You can read all about his inventions, patents, and business ventures in Chapter 3 of our book, Your Teacher Said What!?
Mr. Hartshorn’s daughter, Cora, left seventeen acres of land to my town when she died to be used as an “Arboretum, Wildflower and bird sanctuary.” Almost 150 years later, my entire community gets to enjoy the rewards of Mr. Hartshorn’s hard work. We also appreciate a new generation of capitalists, who currently contribute their time and their money to make sure the arboretum stays just how the Hartshorns hoped it would.
Hope you enjoy the video clip. Happy Earth Day.
Peace Love Profits,
I did it, again. I ate the last Girl Scout cookie in my house. The 2013 Samoa season is officially over for me. And, even though it happens just about the same time each year, I’m still never quite ready for it.
When it comes to selling cookies, you could say Girl Scouts take the cake. They sell about 200 million boxes each year, which brings in more than $700 million dollars in revenue. (Dad, Girl Scout cookies are not made out of Girl Scouts, a joke he had to share with the CEO of Girl Scouts. I don’t think she loved it quite as much as he did). During the selling season, Girl Scout cookies become the best selling cookie in the country, stealing the top spot from the other favorite, the Oreo.
So there’s no doubt about it, Girl Scouts sell a ton of cookies each year, but that’s really not their most important product. Girl power is, and if you’re familiar at all with the Girl Scout program, you know there’s plenty of this to go around.
For the past 100 years, Girl Scouts have been inspiring and empowering girls to be the best they can be. It’s about building courage, confidence, and character. Girl Scouts make a promise to serve God, country, and to respect each other. We also strive to live by the Girl Scout Law, by being considerate, courageous, and trying to make the world a better place. And guess what, it works.
Forbes Magazine calls Girl Scouts the “ultimate pipeline for women leaders, in their families, their communities, their organizations, and their country. “ And, there are numbers to back that up: 80& of women business owners were Girl Scouts, and two-thirds of the female members of Congress were also.
For me, it may have been all those badges I wanted to earn and all those cookies I wanted to sell. I was an entrepreneur and I didn’t even know it. I had to set my goals high, figure out how to get it all done, and just go for it. I thought I was just spending time with friends, pretty much unaware that I was learning how to work in a group, cooperate with my peers, and help others. I guess that’s how the Girl Scouts is supposed to work, with people learning through life experiences, and having fun while they’re doing it.
Yes, I am high on the Girl Scouts of America, or maybe it’s just a slight sugar rush from my last Samoa. But whatever it is, I know more than 59 million women have spent some part of the life as a Girl Scout, and millions more will make their pledge this year to make the world a better place. That’s what I call a pretty powerful business plan.
Peace Love Profits,
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Did you know, one out of every 88 children in the United States will be diagnosed with autism?
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Please wear blue today to show support for individuals around the world affected by autism. Let’s celebrate them today and everyday. Here are ten things that we now know about autism that we didn’t know a year ago.
Peace Love Profits,