G.O. For Change

Changing people, places, and things one blog at a time…

Posts Tagged ‘blog

I Want to Be: A Hot Dog Vendor

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Aaron and his hot dog cart, in downtown Baltimore

For the last couple of years, there has been a vendor that I see weekly, without fail, outside of my job.  Characterized by a colorful umbrella, and huge signs, Aaron has posted in the same area for years. Prior to that, his carts were seen on college campuses, and other government buildings.  Most of our conversations have surrounded music, or even different types of ways to top a hot dog (I prefer the “Coney Island” hot dog).  Recently, Aaron took a vacation to London (yes, London!), and before he left, I wanted to pick his brain about what would a person need to do, to become a hot dog vendor. Here’s what he shared:

  1. Location, Location, Location!: Aaron stated that to have successful customers, you must have a successful location.
  1. Plan EVERYTHING: Aaron says that he wanted to own a hot dog stand since college. While everyone was attending job fairs, he was writing down ideas, pricing information, marketing strategies, and scheduling.
  1. Do your research: Figure out what exactly you need for your vending license, what is the sales tax in your state, and requirements for selling food.
  1. Be prepared to fail: Aaron wanted everyone to know that “do not think that everything is going to work out. Have back up plans, and also, possess the ability to get knocked down, get up, and keep your focus on your goals.”

As always, thanks for reading.


P.S. If anyone, after reading this, starts their own hot dog cart business, could I get a hot dog named after me? Names like the “Big Garry”, or the “See.Plan.Do. dog” would work…right?


Written by Garry O'Neal Jr.

November 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

I Want to Be: A Barber

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There are many occupations that people would love to be involved with –bloggers, hairstylists, trainers, coaches, as well as a host of other dream jobs/careers/hobbies.

Here is the thing-the occupation that you may have daydreamed about CAN BE A REALITY! There are people (some you may know), that are in the fields that they have stopped dreamed about, and started making it happen. To bring home this fact, this series, “I Want To Be” will be highlighting people already IN these positions, so that 1- you see that it IS doable, and 2-learn from the tips that they have generously offered. The bottom line is, there are MILLIONS of people living the lives they have envisioned. Why can’t YOU?

Mr. Rauf Smith has been cutting hair since the age of 9. Now, Rauf is now the owner of The International, a barbershop located in the Waverly area of Northeast Baltimore. Have you desired to be a barber, or to just  the art of cutting hair? Rauf has offered the following tips:

  1. Be an apprentice/Enroll in a barber school: By being an apprentice (learning under the tutelage of a Master Barber), or by attending classes at a barber school, they will equip you with the knowledge to equip you to be a barber.
  1. Know your tools: Knowing how to effectively use guards, clippers, shears, combs, and other equipment, as well the proper way to sanitize your tools, is critical in keeping you and your clients safe.
  1. Study & Practice: Although Rauf has been cutting since he was a kid, he says his STILL studies new styles, and different techniques.

If you have ever desired to become a barber, here you go!

As always, thank you for reading.


Rauf Smith is the owner and of The International, where they believe that “EVERY MAN NEEDS A HOBBY. EVERY GENTLEMAN STAYS WELL GROOMED.” 


3122 Greenmount Ave 

Baltimore, MD 21218


 Hours of Operation

10am to 10pm Monday through Friday

8:30am to 5pm Saturday

10am to 4pm Sunday


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Recently, there was a hashtag, #endfathersday that showed up days before Father’s Day, which caused a lot of controversy. Although #EndFathersDay was found to be just  a hoax, people still used it to spew a lot of hatred. My dear brothers and sisters, allow me to share my thoughts on the subject:If you are in favor of this “ideology”, I will pray for you. I can’t imagine the person who is so full of hatred and anger that they would even consider engaging an ounce of effort into this….madness. I assume you may have had unsuccessful male interactions (either from a father, or boyfriends), and for that, I can see where your suppressed anger and disappointment may manifest itself into childlike behavior, such as a hashtag, a rant, or passive aggressive behavior in your life towards males.

At the end of the day, if there were some external factors (i.e. father who was absentee, or abusive etc.)that were out of your control, I pray that you release yourself from the past. I cannot imagine the pain that you have experienced, and for that, I pray you get the help and support you need . Do NOT allow the past to hold you hostage from your present and future.

If your anger stems from poor male relationships, (i.e. boyfriends, father of your child(rens), I hope that you look at the situations, and learn from them. While it is easy to point the finger (and you may be completely valid in your judgement), I also challenge you to accept 100% responsibility for your role in the situation.Were there things that you accepted,despite your better judgement? If you saw those red flags, and choose to ignore them, then you are just as much to blame.

Bottom line, if you decided to “SHIFT” you can now rejoice in the fact that you now know what you DON’T want in relationship. I hope that you take time out, release yourself from the past, and keep optimism and joy in your heart. Allow the men who have done what they are supposed to do,to be honored and praised. You are better than that……right?


As always, thanks for reading
Signed,A Proud Dad (Garry)

New Year REVOLUTION: Making your resolutions STICK!

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Happy New -Year!!! First, let me say THANK YOU! My blog has been viewed over 5,000 times in 2012, and if you have read every one of my articles, or even just one, I thank you for time that you have shared reading my thoughts- at work, at home, even from your cell phone.

The ringing in of the New Year comes with different traditions- eating black-eyed peas, the watching of fireworks across the night sky, as well as the infamous “New Year Resolution”. If you are a fan of social media, you probably still see resolutions are being proclaimed- “NEW YEAR, NEW ME”, and other various statements about changing in the upcoming year flooding your news feed.

Here is an ASTONISHING fact: 50% of resolutions fail within the first week, while 90% fail within the first month. This means that as we are close to the end of the first week in 2013 you, or someone you know is dangerously close to ending their resolution.

One of the definitions of “revolution” that I particularly like is “a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.” While I am not telling you to start assaulting fast food employees if they ask you if you would like to supersize your order,   I challenge anyone who is in danger of not returning back to the gym after the 3rd day, or reconsidering ending the non-beneficial relationship that you swore you would do, or ______________________ (insert life-changing resolution here) to make a REVOLUTION so that you can live the life that you envision! This radical change in thoughts, actions, and beliefs can ensure that the goals you set can actually be completed. To help you with this task, here are a few things you can do to keep your resolutions:

  1. ENVISION your goal: See the goal that you want to achieve. Envision how you would feel when you accomplish the goal, what it would look like, and what comments people may say.
  2. BE SPECIFIC:  “I am going to lose weight” is not good enough for a goal. You should have specific goals that you can track. If losing weight is your goal, how many pounds would you like to lose? Is there a deadline? (there should be) This way, your previous statement of “I am going to lose weight” can have more flesh by stating: “I am going to lose 15 pounds by March 21st”. See the difference?
  3. PLAN: Planning is CRITICAL to your success in your goals. If your goal is to return to school, the first question you should ask yourself is “HOW”? Research the steps you need to take, write them down, and then…
  4. EXECUTE: This is where people get somewhat discouraged (don’t be). Once you envision what you want, specifically documented your goal, and have a game plan, now it is time to get it done!
  5. GET SUPPORT: Enlisting friends, joining a support group, or simply asking someone to be your accountability partner increases your willingness to continue in your goal.

As always, thanks for reading.


P.S. While January 1st is a great starting point to start goals, I also believe any day is a great day- October 19th, December 5th, June 3rd,-any day can be the starting day to get started!!

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