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Did you ever feel like you wanted more out of life? Did you ever feel like you had a story to tell that could help others? Did you ever go against the norm and jump out on faith because YOU had faith in yourself? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then you’ve taken the first steps in discovering your power…the power to inspire, the power to motivate, the power to be GREAT! I was at a point in my life, as you all know, where I began to crave success and I wanted so much more out of my LIFE! Randomly one day, I did a search for John Starks because I thought he’d be a great person to interview. For whatever reason, there wasn’t much current information on him, but I came across a photo. A photo of him and a gentleman named, Jim Hernandez, at an event. So, I sat for a minute and I pondered on this…hmmm, barely any information on one of the greatest NBA players for the Knicks, but this guy has a picture with him? Who IS this guy? I began reading things like “motivational speaker talks with youth…” and “Jim Hernandez speaks to high school class…” and then it started to click. This wasn’t just a random person that I had come across, this was the person who was going to kick start my passion to continue on my journey with a purpose.
He has no clue (well, now he does), but he began to motivate me before I even had the chance to speak with him. So, I knew what my next step had to be…to reach out and give him kudos for just merely having a presence in the world that is built on inspiring others…and that’s exactly what I did. I also had the urge to share his success and passion with my readers! So without further ado, I introduce to you, Jim Hernandez, motivational speaker/mogul in the making. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, NY (no he’s not a distant relative lol), he spends his time traveling all around the United States encouraging and building up our youth. He teaches them to think BIG and to consider sharing THEIR stories and one day becoming a motivational speaker as well. With so many things discouraging our young people and the exposure that they get to violence and drugs and poverty, it is his goal to show them a different way! Check out what he has to say to the Dreamworld:
Did your environment (neighborhood, school, family, etc.) give you the motivation to want more or did you possess an inner-desire?
It was a combination of it all. My neighborhood, school, community, friends, all of my peers always looked up to the SAME people. We ALL admired rappers, actors and athletes. But what was it about all the people that we admired that made them successful? They learned how to manage and develop their talents. I always knew there was more to life than working 9 to 5, putting money in a 401k and just growing old. I didn’t only know this, I understood this and I WANTED MORE. My family is a HUGE support system and always encourage me to go out and do my thing. I get my drive from my mother and my personality from my father.
How does one go about discovering what their dream is?
A LOT of reading and surrounding yourself with positive, powerful, influential individuals. You have to have a different state of mind which is different from everything you have done before which has NOT produced the results you have desired. Understand that if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. If you’re not growing, you’re declining. You have to understand the only difference between winning and losing is taking the first step. Take that step towards what you believe in. This applies to any area of life, do not be afraid to fail. Take risks: If you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. There is a lesson in all that you do. Invest time into yourself, invest time into your God-given talent and once you do that, then and only then will your PURPOSE present itself to you.
Has your success as a motivational speaker provided a life where you don’t need a traditional 9-5?
Yes it has. I have had the blessing to live out my dream because I believed in myself and was not afraid to fail. One of my favorite author’s, Tim Ferris, who wrote “The Four- hour Work Week” allowed me to look at life from a different perspective. I call it the “What’s the worst that can happen” point of view. If I leave my job and things don’t work out what’s the worst that can happen? I have to get another job, I may get evicted, things may not work out. Whatever the “Worst case scenario” was it didn’t involve me getting killed or hurting someone else. So … Why NOT take a leap of faith and that is exactly how I went about it. I still have the resignation letter from the day I quit too.
What do you think contributes to your success, allowing your audience to trust your words?
I am not afraid to be myself and share my story. I am very honest and transparent and allow that to pour out of me when I am on stage. We ALL have unique stories and this is something that I realized at the age of 25 while on this journey. I keep things SIMPLE. My mantra is Be REAL. Be RELATABLE. Be READY.
What do you think is your God-given purpose in life?
I notice that when I speak, people listen. It’s something that I realized early on. People value my opinion and the advice I share with them. When I first began searching for myself and my God-given talent, what I saw was that other people around me were inspired, others were motivated and encouraged to do the same thing. That is when the LIGHT-BULB over my head went off. I wanted to take that and enhance it, I want to share my story and my wisdom with more and more people. My God-given purpose is to simply SPARK the imagination and creativity in the mind of as many people as possible till my job here on this earth is done.
What do you say to the young person in the audience who doesn’t think they can be successful or overcome their circumstances?
I would first ask them WHY do they think that they cannot be successful or overcome their circumstances. It is not always about what you say to a person. Also take the time out to listen. Some people already KNOW what has to be done but just don’t believe in themselves enough to do it. Sometimes it may be a lack of guidance, direction or maybe even a positive role model in their lives that is keeping them from reaching their potential. Encouragement, support or even a listening ear will push a person just enough to help them embark on their journey thru LIFE.
But remember, you are as you THINK. Many of us base what we THINK off of what we see, know and are taught to believe. The young person in the audience would first have to be open to the message and let it into his heart and mind before any transformation can begin.
What are your long-term career goals?
Speaking to a million youths, bringing awareness to Motivational Speaking in urban communities allowing the youth to share their stories through public speaking, travel to as many places around the world as possible, create a financial life-style space for my family & myself and just continue to have as much fun as possible as I continue this journey.
What’s something funny/quirky about you that most don’t know?
I am a super-hero on my spare time. Shhhhhhhhhh …
We can all use an extra PUSH and sometimes all we have to do to get it is, LISTEN! Thank you for joining the Dreamworld, I hope you got the inspiration you needed today!
Want to see Jim in action? Check out the below video or visit www.jimspeak.com:
I think we all reach points in our life when there’s a fork in the road. We have the choice to either go left or right, not knowing which direction is the correct one. I’m more of a choose-neither-kind-of-gal and see what happens if I go straight! It’s how I’ve chosen to live my life and whether or not it was ever the best decision for me, it’s gotten me to THIS very point in my life. Do I have regrets? Sure do. Are there things that I would change if I could? Absolutely. However, in the end, all of the choices that I have made for myself, were means to a lesson. So, what sort of things have I learned? I’m blessed even when I don’t get all that I pray for, I love like it’s going out of style, I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, I will forgive someone a million times without them doing the same for me, and most of all, I am able to accept the consequences for my actions even if “in the moment” I don’t want to.
On the other hand, something that I struggle with DEEPLY is accepting the criticism of others. Because my heart is so big and I love so hard, sometimes I feel like I can’t do much to offend those that I love the most, but I now know that this is so far from the truth. I’ve had people teach me some crazy lessons recently and their words have stuck in my head. I’m guilty of holding some to such a high standard that is virtually impossible for them to ever meet. When they fail at living up to my “standards” I am the first one there to make them aware of their mistake. I’m also guilty of being so easily filled with anger when my feelings are hurt and what’s inside of me comes out through my words…words that can be hurtful. I’m also very emotional and with emotions come blurred judgments. And these are just a few.
You may be wondering why I’m disclosing any of this. Well, I believe that it is our (the world’s) responsibility to openly share parts of our journey that could prove to be helpful to others. I want to be the best representation of myself to the world and as I grow, I realize that no matter how many times I fail or I fall down or I take the wrong path at the fork in the road, I still have to live with myself. I still have to look in the mirror and look into the eyes of the person staring back at me. One thing I am sure of is, I am completely grateful for the people that have stuck by my side. I am forever grateful for those that have chosen to make me a better person rather than giving up even when I made it the easy option. It is because of them that I have lifelong friends, strong family ties and the motivation to be a better woman.
With this in mind, I made a list. A list of things that I want to work on within me because whether I choose left, right or straight, the path begins and ends with the person walking it…and I want to be a wise traveler.
1. Cut back on cussing (totally a work in progress, but the change starts now-words are powerful)
2. Listen to others speak, more than I listen to myself speak
3. Start admitting when I am wrong
4. Tell my family/friends “thank you” and “I appreciate you” more than I point the finger
5. The people that walk away…let them!
It’s a small list, but it’s my start. No one is perfect, so I challenge you to make your own and do your best to stick with it!