Goat Wrestling Perseverance

Episode 32 - $1.97 in the bank. No one knows your problems. Find out how to get out with Donna Drake and host Dave Swanson

June 23, 2019 Season 2 Episode 32
Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 32 - $1.97 in the bank. No one knows your problems. Find out how to get out with Donna Drake and host Dave Swanson
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Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 32 - $1.97 in the bank. No one knows your problems. Find out how to get out with Donna Drake and host Dave Swanson
Jun 23, 2019 Season 2 Episode 32
Dave Swanson / Donna Drake

"What I do is 'paint with people.' We have an amazing team of correspondents with unique expertise and it is our pleasure to bring positive messages of hope and inspiration to empower others!" – Donna Drake

Donna Drake is an international award-winning creative artist, writer, producer and actress. She created "Live it Up!" to share positive messages of hope that inspire and empower those who need it most.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Donna showcased her beauty, talent and scholastic achievement at an early age, winning the title of North County Junior Miss in 1983 – a pivotal moment in her young life.

She followed her passion for art and music to the East Coast and spent most of her early career at Technisonic Studios, selecting music and sound effects for radio and television commercials. She went on to produce and host various television, film and multimedia projects, including her popular public-access show "Indies Insider" – featuring intimate discussions with film directors and actors – and the art-world podcast "After Party."

An active voiceover talent and actress with a lengthy stage and screen résumé, she became director of creative services for WLNY-TV on Long Island in 1997, creating exclusive promotions for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!" and other popular programs. She later served as director of client communications at the strategic marketing firm Progressive Marketing Group, where she developed client branding messages and hosted numerous successful podcasts.

As president of the Drake Media Network, Donna has provided PR and advertising services for top-tier clients throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including The Melting Pot Restaurants, America's premier chain of fondue restaurants. In 2006, she authored her first inspirational book, "Got Cancer? Just Roll Over and LIVE," a memoir dedicated to her second husband, Tom LaScala, and she's currently working on more motivational volumes.

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Show Notes Transcript

"What I do is 'paint with people.' We have an amazing team of correspondents with unique expertise and it is our pleasure to bring positive messages of hope and inspiration to empower others!" – Donna Drake

Donna Drake is an international award-winning creative artist, writer, producer and actress. She created "Live it Up!" to share positive messages of hope that inspire and empower those who need it most.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Donna showcased her beauty, talent and scholastic achievement at an early age, winning the title of North County Junior Miss in 1983 – a pivotal moment in her young life.

She followed her passion for art and music to the East Coast and spent most of her early career at Technisonic Studios, selecting music and sound effects for radio and television commercials. She went on to produce and host various television, film and multimedia projects, including her popular public-access show "Indies Insider" – featuring intimate discussions with film directors and actors – and the art-world podcast "After Party."

An active voiceover talent and actress with a lengthy stage and screen résumé, she became director of creative services for WLNY-TV on Long Island in 1997, creating exclusive promotions for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!" and other popular programs. She later served as director of client communications at the strategic marketing firm Progressive Marketing Group, where she developed client branding messages and hosted numerous successful podcasts.

As president of the Drake Media Network, Donna has provided PR and advertising services for top-tier clients throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including The Melting Pot Restaurants, America's premier chain of fondue restaurants. In 2006, she authored her first inspirational book, "Got Cancer? Just Roll Over and LIVE," a memoir dedicated to her second husband, Tom LaScala, and she's currently working on more motivational volumes.

Nationally Syndicated TV Show

Youtube Channel - Subscribe


Dave Swanson

Website

Book 

Goat Wrestling Perseverance Clothes 

Free Chapter of my Bestselling Book? 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/GWPPodcast)

Donna Drake:
0:00
Welcome to goat wrestling perseverance podcast with your host, Dave Swanson. He's wrestled with goats, climbed mountains and bicycled across America. He wants to help you with your dreams and goals with one perseverance story at a time.
Dave Swanson:
0:22
Welcome to goat wrestling perseverance podcast. I am here with a guest today that has a TV show, live it up, TV show that is nationally syndicated on Isp t v.com but beyond that, she's had such amazing guests on the show such as Jay Leno, Tony Bennett, Kevin James, one of my personal favorites, but not only that, she grew up in a group called the futures of America, which was a patriotic singing group that she did from when she was a teenager to 23 years old and not only that, I have the host Donna Drake have a weekly television show that delivers hope, motivation and inspiration. Donna, thank you so much for being on the show.
Donna Drake:
1:03
Thank you, David. It's a pleasure to be with you here today.
Dave Swanson:
1:07
All right, on goat wrestling, perseverance. We jumped right into this story and I think I know a little bit Donna, but this is a story that definitely needs to be shared with the audience.
Donna Drake:
1:17
Okay. So my, uh, show came to me in a dream in 2008 while I was sleeping and prior to that I had gone to Philadelphia. Uh, but they have laid off a lot of people. They were going to do a show about paying it forward. They laid off all these people, they weren't going to do the show. So my dry home in October of 2008 until I had the dream December of 2008 about doing my own, showed provide hope, motivation and inspiration. Um, I basically had this dream and it was so profound that I sold everything that I owned and I invested it in myself. But that was back in 2008 and then somewhere around 2014 if that wasn't perseverance enough, um, I kind of lost everything. There was a moment in time that I had a dollar 97 in the bank, so I went from having half a million dollars to a dollar 97. And that was basically because I put my trust in somebody that I thought was going to be the nirvana of big media mogul that was gonna take my show and run with it and make many beautiful things happen. Uh, but they got in some legal trouble and that all wet completely. So I basically went into Citibank. I stuck my ATM card in and I had literally a dollar 97 I called the card back out and I told the people in the bank that I wasn't going to close the account and they were like, wow, okay, you go Drake, you go a little Drake. Um, and since that moment of just not quitting on myself, um, and really becoming resourceful and that's basically what, what I learned, I learned from that crazy challenge of putting all my faith in else instead of just myself. Um, that, you know, I guess I learned how to be resourceful because when you have to start from scratch and you have nothing, you learn how to rebuild yourself. And that's basically my story of perseverance.
Dave Swanson:
3:15
You know, you bring up an interesting point in that story and that, that we always want to believe in somebody else to get us to where our dreams are, you know, to, to, to help us guide us there. And it's not easy to build that kind of trust with somebody. How did you know, at a certain point, obviously beyond, you know, it didn't work out or you found out what was kind of a sign to you that this is somebody I trusted and maybe I shouldn't have?
Donna Drake:
3:44
Well, what had happened was, is that there was a major person in the media world and I had been on a trip with my daughter, Elise in Barcelona on an art trip together. And we were there and the headlines of the newspaper, because it made global attention, um, basically said that this person was going to be getting in trouble. And when I called, uh, the person's, uh, team to say, hey, listen, what's going on here? And they said, oh, don't worry, everything's going to be okay. I was like, oh, there was just something in my gut that said, I'm all in and I don't have the ability not to be all in, nor do I have the wherewithal to wait to see how this is going to turn out. So I had to pull my brand back and had to just kind of, you know, I had $20,000 worth of credit card debt. It wasn't that I had a dollar 97 in the bank, actually had a negative, you know, $20,000 to my name at that moment. And that was basically what told me that, um, it wasn't an option. I was way in over my head and didn't really know where to turn. So, you know, some of those early moments of, you know, what to do, how am I going to pay the rent? How am I going to put food back on the table? How am I going to get myself out of this? Because there were a lot of promises that had been made to me. Like, you know, a nice chunky salary, a beautiful office in New York City. All these things that we had been planning to do together from April of 2014 until August of 2014 I'm just kind of vanished. And at the time I felt like a victim. Um, but then I realized that, like I said, in hindsight now, that was probably one of the biggest, amazing things that have ever happened to me was that life lesson. So I kind of turned my life around in that moment.
Dave Swanson:
5:26
Yeah. You know there, when you start to get into a new business or new venture, whatever that is, you had been in it for a while. And for people like myself to try to pivot that want to do a podcast or one of the do public speaking or want to write a book, it seems that there's a crowd of sharks just waiting around for you looking to target those people to take their money knowing that they don't know any better. You'd been in this industry for a while though, and so you knew, you know, there's a reputation, there's all of that. But for a lot of the people know in this audience that listens to this show, they're talking about wanting to do something new or something, you know, how do you even figure out, I mean you said you had a gut feeling, but you didn't have that gut feeling when you first met that person. So what was, I guess that was kind of what I was thinking is like when you first meet somebody, you kind of feel yes or no with that person.
Donna Drake:
6:18
And so yesterday, well, this particular person was pretty famous and so the reputation had preceded them as being like, yeah, amazing. Like, Huh. But it's important to always do your due diligence in business, you know? So even though, you know, don't judge a book by the cover, I was judging it by the cover thinking like, oh this is going to be amazing, you know? So I think doing some research is an important step no matter what. Um, there was something else that you say, said Dave, could you rephrase that for me?
Dave Swanson:
6:50
Well, I mean going on to the next thing that I wanted to, I, your story just got to me, it's like you look in the ATM, you got a dollar 97 and you had to take that next step, obviously was the next step towards something. What was it? What was it, you know, where was that next step going?
Donna Drake:
7:10
Well, it was basically building up the Ford again, you know. So I went to some friends at long island cares to the Harry cheap and food bank and I said to Robin, I said, I might might need food. I mean like things that I would have never experienced before. And Robin was really kind and she was like, oh my gosh. She's like, yeah, Don, no problem. She goes, I think you're going to be fine. She goes, but I'm glad you're here. So I kind of, I went all the way down, you know, in order to kind of like piece things back up and because of what I do and because of the reputation that I had already built, um, I really couldn't let people see that I was struggling. So I had to put on my happy, most optimistic, best face and put my best self forward. So I didn't really let a lot of people know that I had, um, had egg on my face that I had put my trust in the wrong person or that I had made a bad business decision. So I just kept dancing and smiling and had it, had a good attitude and eventually things kind of turned around. So, um, the best part about it was, is that I went into my brand with a bigger, more passionate heart than I had ever had because there's that same, failure's not an option. We'll, failure was not an option. It was, you know, I'm gonna, I have to survive. How am I going to survive? What am I going to do? And, um, I even took a job, I took a part time job at a movie theater, um, selling tickets, you know, cause I needed some sort of income. So my friends said, hey, yeah, no problem. I'll help you out. So I went to the cinema arts center and when people would see me at the front reception desk, uh, selling tickets, I told him I was doing research, you know, they're like, oh, what are you doing here? Why, why are you so in theater tickets? And I was like, Oh yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm researching a project. Well, the project I was researching was myself, you know, so it's all good. Life is just, um, a happy journey. And I've always been a very optimistic person. And it doesn't mean that, you know, I'm naive and I don't think I'm going to have challenges in business, you know, ahead of me, I will, but at least as I'm going through this or is we all go through these types of things, those experiences and those challenges kind of make you stronger. It makes, makes you a better fighter. It makes you more agile on your feet. Um, so I guess that's one thing that I have always consistently had and that's my happy attitude.
Dave Swanson:
9:36
Yeah. I can only imagine after something like that happening and you had this weekly television show, this is supposed to deliver a hope and motivation and inspiration to people. And here you are in the midst of one of the biggest crisis in your life. And like you said, you have to go about with a smile on your face. And there's a phrase I hear all the time, I don't like it, fake it until you make it. But in that kind of moment you, I mean, I can't imagine working at, you know, you're, you're sitting there doing tickets at the movie theater and that's not like it's a job that gives you health insurance, you know, this is, this is a job that paid the rent. It paid the rent. Exactly. It took one portion of one of your debts that you had. And I think when you break those things down into smaller things about how every little contribution helps, I think that's what gets you through it.
Dave Swanson:
10:28
Every single action that you do, smaller, big, it's definitely going to get you back to that place you need to be. And so fast forward a little bit, your brand is where that is now you're doing well. How did, how did that happen? I mean, I know there, there's a gap there of about five, six years or so and now where you're at now and so you're, you're leading fundraisers, you're helping out, you're doing all these different things. Like, what's, what's the mindset when you think back to that moment and say, I'm glad it's, that's what it did to me for today.
Donna Drake:
11:02
Yeah. I think that I've been consistently myself since I've been about five years old. So no matter what the outside challenges are, you know, I've weathered a lot of storms. I was widowed, you know, my mom passed away when I was pregnant with my son. So I'm the type of person that just kind of thrives. So I've always done the same exact stuff. So I no longer judge myself by the amount of money that I have in the bank because my mindset, my ability, my talents, my spirituality are consistent no matter when I have $1 million in the bank or when I had that dollar 97. So for me, um, it's just maintaining that strong sense of self and purpose determination. Um, and knowing that money does not define me and nor will it ever. So it kind of completely changed the way that my left brain in my right brain kind of communicate with each other. It's made me a more empathetic person. It has made me a kinder person, a believe. And somebody asked me the other day, three words that I use to describe myself in one is kind a, one is effervescent and I'm eternally, I am, I'm very optimistic, you know, so I'm always the type of person that's going to see the good in people and the good experiences and that's kind of just who I am. So at the core of my being, um, I love my job. It is an honor to be able to shine a light on what other people are doing in our community, whether they're a celebrity or an unsung hero, you know, somebody that's running in a nonprofit organization. So I love what I do and I don't do it for the fame or fortune of the money. I do it because that's my mission in life to make the world a better form, brighter, beautiful place.
Dave Swanson:
12:53
Okay. So your optimism is still shining through and in some of the next things that you're doing, you have a book coming out where you're a chapter in called manifesting your dreams. You're also headed to Japan to shoot a couple shows. And not only that, I believe you said you had a show at playstation tomorrow, so you're continuously bringing optimism wherever you're going. You want to talk a little bit about the book and what that kind of process was for you to be able to put that out there.
Donna Drake:
13:21
Um, yes, yes. Uh, through social media for the last seven years, almost consistently every day I do these live it up, tips of the day and through those lifted up tips of the day that offer like these little nuggets of happiness and joyfulness. Um, somebody said, oh, you really should write a book. And I got a call one day from Marla Mckenna who said, I heard that you should be one of our chapters in the book. Do you have a very interesting story? And I do share in that book about the dollar 97 story and some other really cool moments of perseverance, but it's called manifesting your dreams. Uh, it is a collaborative book. It's got, I think about 15 different stories that are going to be talking about people's paths and journeys where they've overcome a challenge or they've manifested a dream. And for me literally it was a dream. Like it was a computer download December 28th of 2008, um, that I've just been manifesting ever since. So I'm excited about that.
Dave Swanson:
14:17
And one more thing for the audience here is that you're going to go record I think two shows in Japan and what's that going to be like? Is this something that you've done before where you've gone to another country such some shows there? Is this kind of the first time you've done that?
Donna Drake:
14:33
Um, well, we do travel all over the United States and last year I went to Nova Scotia, uh, and did the wharf rat rally. Uh, which was fabulous. And that's on all my social media, some of those segments including getting to interview a woman who, 93 years old who actually I was able to encourage to get into the sidecar of a motorcycle. And why them that is significant because she was the very first, she and her husband were the very first people that owned a motorcycle dealership in Nova Scotia. And here I ran into her and I, I said, oh, did you want to go on this sidecar? A red with beanery? She goes, well, nobody's invited me yet. I said, well, I'm inviting you as she got in the sidecar. And it was, you know, just to see that joy in her eye is something special. And so yes, I'm very excited to now be invited by Japan. They want to increase tourism, especially with the Olympics going there in 2020 so this is a spa that invited me to go and we're going to be including two sponsors. So we have room for two sponsors to attend with us and we'll be doing two half hour specials on all the wonderful things that are hard to do in the ways to live it up in that region.
Dave Swanson:
15:39
All right, well that's awesome. I think that's such a great thing to be able to not only, you know, spread your show to another country and also do that, but be part of something that I know that you take pride in around being patriotic with the Olympics. I know that that means a lot to you and there was a story you shared. I didn't want to do it a disservice by not telling it correctly about a veteran that her GI seeing. And so, uh, if we could tell that story, I'd love to hear for the audience and then we'll kind of wrap it up from there.
Donna Drake:
16:10
Oh, Dave, thank you very much for asking about that. Um, yes, I grew up in the patriotic singing group called the futures of America in Florissant, Missouri where we sang songs from the thirties to the seventies. We always did a patriotic finale and um, yeah, there was a moment that we were singing at a veteran's hospital and uh, uh, we were thinking grand old flag and all the nurses started crying and we really weren't, you know, we thought, wow, this is great. It's a great moment. They really love the show. And the reason that they were crying is that there was a gentleman in a wheelchair, that trend who hadn't spoken in 10 years. And, uh, sorry, I'm getting a little choked up. Every time I tell this story, I'm told the story lab ties, they started singing. And so the nurses were crying because here was this veteran that was singing grand old Vikas.
Donna Drake:
16:55
And, uh, they said he hadn't spoken in 10 years. And it's amazing that the power of music or the power of that moment, uh, profoundly changed all of our lives. And I was young at the time, so I didn't really know the significance of that. But it's one of those things that has empowered me to do what it is that I do. And I think that's one of the reasons. I mean, I've, I grew up always singing great patriotic songs. And one other just quick share is that, um, when nine 11 happened, Dave, I was working at the television station and it was those lyrics from all of those wonderful words, uh, that here in New York kept me going. And, uh, we would, I was just typing up some of the copy using some of those song lyrics and having those lyrics go through my head over and over and over and over again.
Donna Drake:
17:44
I'm just really inspired me to continue my love for this country, to be grateful every for my freedom and I know the sacrifices that you and all of your friends have made on my behalf. And so I just want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. Um, there's not a vet that I wouldn't just want to be give a big old hug too. So I'm all about peace, love and understanding. And in my own small way, I think my television show, uh, tries to shine a light on that. The joy of really, truly being free.
Dave Swanson:
18:16
Well, you know, the, the power of optimism is probably one of the most powerful things that we have in our life. And You keep sharing it with everyone regardless of where you go. And I just want to say, Donna, thank you for being on the show today.
Donna Drake:
18:28
Thank you so much. Big Hugs. You see my little tears in my eyes cause we're doing this. Like I see you Dave. Big Hugs. Thank you so much. God bless.
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