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 Travis Hunter who is an author, mentor and father. His first novel, The Hearts of Men, was originally published in 2000 by Hunter’s own company, Jimrose Publishing House. During the 2000 Book Expo America in Chicago, Hunter handed out copies of his self-published debut and one week later received an offer from Random House’s imprint, Striver’s Row/Villard, for the re-release of The Hearts of Men.
Hunter lives in a suburb of Atlanta with his son Rashaad. He is the founder of The Hearts of Men Foundation, Inc., through which he mentors and provides meaningful opportunities for underprivileged and at risk teens.
D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved? I’ve written eleven novels, One off Broadway Stage Play and I wrote, directed and produced a short film based on my novel, Dark Child so I have achieved a lot in terms of the goals I set for myself. But I’m always pushing to take it to the next level.
E is for Encourage. What encourages you? I’m encouraged by many things. One is my family. I want to lead a life where a real legacy is involved. Another is in the past I had a huge fear of failure which kept me from trying things that I believe would’ve given me lots of fulfillment.
R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out? I’m very creative so that’s my gift. I’m also a very happy person by nature, so I try to bring joy to every occasion.
R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now? I gained confidence in my writing as my readers provided feedback on my first novel. It (The Hearts of Men) became required reading at Florida State when I didn’t even have a degree.
I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why? Wow. That’s a good question and I don’t I have a solid answer. I think people should learn more about our history and not the tidbits they give you in your school text. African Americans are a very resilient group and I think if the kids today learned more about our history, they might not take life for granted as many of them do.
C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue? I’m in the business of writing books for black people so I go through my feast or famine moments. My son keeps me motivated and once again that fear of failure.
K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders? You have to stick to your goals, write out a business plan and tweak it as needed. Trust yourself. There is no such thing as job security anymore, so you have to believe and invest in your own vision. After all you wouldn’t fire yourself.
Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with? Life is what you make it. Things may be tough, but so are you. If you think you can or if you think you can’t you are absolutely right. I think Henry Ford said that. Also my dad used to tell me; nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream. Wake up and start living.
Visit Travis Hunter for more information.