Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Keith L. Brown, “Motivator of the Millennium,” who was identified as a “Special Ed” and “At Risk” student, primarily because he talked too much, was too hyper, and wanted to give “all the answers”; ironically, these are a few of the same traits that make him one of the most sought after Professional Speakers, Consultants, and Trainers on the planet.
Named a “World Class Speaker” and one of the top speakers and consultants in Education by “Insight Publishing,” Keith empowers hundreds of thousands of people annually, many of whom are in colleges, schools, school systems, supplemental education agencies, family advocacy agencies, foundations, government agencies, Faith Based Institutions and private events.
D is for Dream. What is your dream?
It is my Dream to inspire the masses globally with a message that transforms their “impossible” into I’M POSSIBLE. I endeavor to give people a roadmap to not just success but Significance. Success is often defined by individual accomplishments, but my dream is to take people from the limited mindset of being successful to a servant leader mindset of being Significant.
E is for Encourage. What Encourages you?
I am encouraged by the youth I serve daily across the country and the world. Although there is a universal sense that our youth are apathetic, there are far more youth doing positive work and living with purpose. I am encouraged by youth featured in a new book I co-authored with Dr. Marina Gillmore and Dr. Monique Henderson entitled, “Inspirational Youth: Transforming Average to Extraordinary.” I am encouraged by a Mary Pat Hector, who at 15, has dedicated her life to eradicating bullying as she works tirelessly as the youth director of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. I am encouraged by Joey Gigunito, who at 15, started the Where is the Love Foundation, and the mission of the foundation is to finance orphanages in Kenya. I am encouraged by these and other youth who are living a life of service and yes- SIGNIFICANCE.
The Resources that make me stand out are my passion and ability to connect. I was actually labeled “Special Ed” because I was too hyper. I am still too hyper and passionate and energetic and just plain OVER THE TOP when it comes to inspiring and moving the masses into their destiny. Although I don’t consider myself the best at what I do- I sincerely believe no one does what I do in the manner in which I do it. I am able to connect because I am not just a professional speaker, I am an audience member at the same time I am on the stage. I connect because I am transparent and real. When audiences hear me, they know it is not just what I do or say, it is genuinely who I am. Because I bring forth a great deal of energy and passion, and I am able to connect, that transfers directly to the hearts of the people. Anyone can get to their heads. I however, endeavor to get to their hearts.
R is for Ready. When did you know you were Ready for what you are doing now?
I realized I was ready in the year 1999. I was teaching in a small rural town in Middle Georgia, and one night after working out at a local gym- I was driving home. As I turned on my radio, the song “You’re Next in Line for a Miracle,” by Gospel Legend Pastor Shirley Caesar was on. I wept for hours and drove around town for hours. It was at that very moment I knew God was beckoning me to “Step out on Faith” and empower the masses, not just in one sensational school but in schools across the world. And because I obeyed, I went from impacting the lives of 500 students annually to now over 500,000 people annually. It has been an humbling and fulfilling experience all at once.
I is for Individual. Can you name one Individual that others should learn more about and why?
I feel others should learn about Jarel Jones, a Graduating Senior at Stephenson High School. I met him on yesterday as I delivered the keynote address for the Pre Commencement Services. Near the end of my presentation, I chose him to come up and receive a Scholarship from our company, 20/20 Enterprises. The scholarship is given to a student who has overcome the odds and inspired others. Jarel was lifted into the air by 20 fathers in attendance, and the audience of nearly 1,000 people erupted. The miracle is Jarel has been lifting people since the third grade as he has battled brain cancer. I was told he never complains and has lived with a dignity and grace only a vessel of light can live with. My life was forever changed by this young man, and others should learn about his story and ability to persevere.
C is for Continue. When things look bleak and not optimistic what makes you want to Continue?
When things look bleak or I am at my wits end, I Continue due to the following quote: There are two great days in your life- the day you were born and the day you discover WHY you were born. On my worst days, I do not focus on the “how” “what” “when” or “where.” I focus on my WHY. My Why is my reason for living. My WHY is a compilation of all I am and will become. When I think of being labeled special ed and at risk, I remember my Why!!! When I think about the blockages I once had in my heart, I think about my Why!!! When I think about the brother and sister I lost to debilitating diseases, I think of my Why. When I think about my life- it is a mission, not an intermission. I get fuel from inspiring and empowering others, and that is my Why. Failing does not make me a failure. I am aware there will be harvests and droughts in my life; however, I am steadfast in both, knowing my WHY is greater than any setback or obstacle.
K is for Knowledge. What keys to success can you leave for others?
I sincerely believe the keys to success and significance are as follows:
- Treat people right. I believe when you treat people with respect and dignity, you will reap a bountiful harvest of endless blessings and opportunities will show up when you least expect them.
- Don’t live to prove others wrong; it is wasted energy. Instead of proving others wrong; prove yourself RIGHT!!!
- Surround yourself with people of vision and purpose. I tell young people all the time: The company you keep will determine the levels you reach.
- Stop spending money you don’t have, buying things you don’t need – to impress people who don’t care. Investing in resources and materials to enhance your purpose will bring forth economic stability and ultimately prosperity IF invested properly.
- Networking=Net Worth. Learn from those who are GREAT at what you seek to do or become. Speak to everyone because the person you ignore could be the KEY to your growth and impact on the planet. Build relationships because relationships will transform your dreams into reality. I network daily, whether at an event, in the line at the grocery store or simply talking to people on the street. Network often!!!
In closing- Each day you awaken and your feet hit the floor, start clapping. Why? It may be the only standing ovation you receive all day. Start the day by giving thanks and then celebrate the gift you are to the planet because that is what you are- a GIFT!!! Never let anyone’s negative opinion of you become your opinion of yourself, and never let anyone tell you what you can’t do- especially if they’ve never done it!!!! Live your life with purpose on purpose and when doubt attempts to creep in, remember my global quote: not impossible/I’M POSSIBLE!!!
Thank you Derrick for being a MOVEMENT not a monument!!!