Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Dolly Parton’s Advice to Gen Z: ‘Work Hard’

Dolly Parton’s Advice to Gen Z: ‘Work Hard’

It might be easy to just pass off Dolly Parton as one of country music’s greatest legends, but she has some advice for Gen Z people. Parton knows a thing or two about keeping businesses going. One of her interests is Dollywood, an amusement park where people can come see all things Dolly. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and remains quite popular.

While all of this might seem overwhelming to someone in the Gen Z world, Parton has a few words of encouragement for you.

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose,” Parton said in an interview with Business Insider. “That means if you really want to know who you are, you really got to put some thought, prayer, and effort in trying to figure out what that is.”

Dolly Parton Tells Gen Z About Dreams

“But dreams can come true,” she said. “I’m a prime example of that — just a country girl from the mountains.” All that is true, yet Parton has been blazing a musical trail for herself over five decades. She gained some recognition while partnering up with Porter Wagoner. But she broke away to have her solo career, which brought Parton plenty of hits and No. 1 songs.

One thing Dolly Parton has done, which Gen Z might pay attention to, is embrace opportunity. People get them all the time, sometimes at just the right time in their lives. Missing out on an opportunity also can mean not learning a life lesson. Parton offers some cogent words on what a Gen Z person can do with their opportunity.

“When you do get an opportunity to see your dreams come true, then you build what they call a brand, and then you’re someone that people come to trust,” Parton said. “And if those dreams come true, then you make deals with people.”

Parton has made deals with her music career. She recently put out Rockstar, an album where Parton sings rock music songs. This is a diversion from country music. If anyone could pull it off, though, then it’s Parton.

Musician Enjoys Her Cooking Time

Another road Dolly Parton has been walking down is in the world of cooking. This also involves putting the Dolly brand right into the mix with Duncan Hines. Parton has been working with Duncan Hines and Conagra, its parent company, to market Dolly-branded cake mixes.

She has five new mixes coming out. There probably are those who think Dolly Parton is off her rocker. Especially some people in the Gen Z crowd. Listen, though, to what she says about this cooking endeavor.

“People say, ‘Why are you selling cakes and pies?’ And I think, ‘Because I can and it’s good,’” Parton said. “That’s also part of my heritage. Even though I love the music, I love to cook.”

Much like in life, Parton has had to make course corrections in her journey. Yet she has never let herself get so down that she tosses in the towel for life. Parton has an abiding faith in herself and her business ventures. Her final words here are ones that Gen Z can hold on to forever.

“If you see that you’re heading down a path doing one thing and it’s not working out, I’ve always said it is OK to change horses in the middle of a dream,” Parton said. “Maybe you’ve learned just enough about the thing you were after that God’s directing you in a different way. So the main thing is just to work hard, believe in yourself — and do it.”