World Changers Wednesday with Ardre Orie

July 29, 2020

Ardre Orie the Queen of Storytelling is my guest on World Changers Wednesday and for more information on Ardre Orie please go to

DERRICK Interview with International Singer/Songwriter Estelle California

January 27, 2020

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 Estelle California who is a singer/songwriter that was born in France. She started playing the piano when she was 5 years old, then saxophone and opera training. Her current life is a far cry from her childhood growing up in France, where discrimination was everywhere. In 2013, Estelle moved to Oakland, CA, where she felt drawn to the diverse and respectful community. Estelle’s lyrics offer an overall message of hope and gratitude. For more information about Estelle California please go to

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I dream big, there were always a voice in me announcing big things coming up, but before I would resist and be on the way with my small deprecating ego, but I worked on not giving it the wheel anymore, it got very small and now I work with this voice actively to create my vision. My goal is to make some social change, to rise people up to empower them and participate in a movement that changes the white supremacist mindset we have been raised in.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I guess that because I grew up with no TV or siblings I read a lot and that is part of why I express myself writing this way, also the music obviously, a lot of the academic teaching I had in music and school blocked me in many ways as I was never fitting the mold, and was pointed as not being the way I should be and so on, but when I got over it then I could use it a resourceful language J

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I would just say different and we all are, we just should be taught to embrace our differences and to be proud of them, it is the only way to be happy and to stand out. So for me I would say that the journey to get where I am today, that shaped me in who am to serve my music and my purpose is kind of unique full of darkness and gave me a lot to shine and give back, this is what the resilience is all about. And I am very grateful for all of what brought me where I am today, even the worst, there is nothing else I would like to do.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I think I am still realizing it, in a way, I always knew it was my destiny, even if I would forget sometimes, since I was a kid I had an idea, and recently all the winding and painful roads that lead to now, became so coherent.

I still doubt of course but I just don’t spend time in the doubt anymore, I know its not about me and I have been trained to do this all my life in all the ways not only musically at all but also my own strength and commitment and all, but also probably I have been trained from many past lives as well to do this … and that empowers me.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

There are so many, I met so many amazing people here in the Bay. But if I have to choose one it would be Geoffrey Pete, he has a building in Oakland with two venues, every Sunday evenings there is a jazz, blues concert with food and soulful people, my favorite evening of  the week. And Geoffrey is a spiritual teacher as well not even knowing it, but he feeds the homeless for each holiday and asks us to thank them for the opportunity to serve them…. I mean how can it get more beautiful and spiritual than this….

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

Oh My… you don’t want the list 🙂 I even had to do a brain training of two years to get out of the fight or flight reflex that was not letting my brain able to command my body anymore … its to say how the journey was long to imprint me this way this deep…. But as many abused people and kids I think I was almost always shining and forgetting also a lot. The brain copes by cutting away part of you history so you can survive, I had events in my life, I would forget for few years few times, and then they would come back to me with therapy or with my writings, when I have begun to write again as an adult around maybe 27 beginning to emerge from all the drama and trauma with therapy I realized how these texts I was receiving in few minutes at night or suddenly but with no will, were a truth I would have to hang on to. This is still how I receive my song in the same process of truth coming out of me and to me.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

I think each journey is different but for me the only key and still now, is investing time and money in me as my personal growth, my healing, my spiritual research and practice which is all the same actually and the Key to my music and my purpose.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

Maybe you already know it with what you read but I think that we never hear it enough, all what we have to go through, the darkness, makes us who we are, shapes us to do what we have to do and be in this life. We all learn through hard lessons and the harder they are the more light we have to give back and shine. There is no curse, all happens for you not to you, I had to repeat this one a lot believe me … J we all have something unique to give to shine, and the ones who puts us down are often threatened by our light, it’s a way for them to feel safer, it’s a confession of insecurity …nothing to do with us and our self worth.

If you are a looking to have a DERRICK Interview for yourself  or for your client please reach out to Derrick Hayes and if you are a booking agent, talent buyer, meeting planner or event planner you can book or Interview Derrick Hayes the “enTIEtainer” now by visiting, emailing  or calling (706) 615-1662

DERRICK Interview with Ghostwriter Becky Blanton

October 5, 2012

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 Becky Blanton who is a full-time ghostwriter, one of the “invisible people” behind the scenes of people’s dreams. She first spoke about being invisible at Oxford University during her TED Global talk. The invisibility she referred to then was what it was like to be one of the “invisible homeless.”

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

In 2006 I was living in a 30-year Chevy van in a Walmart parking lot with my Rottweiler and house cat. In 2009 I was speaking at TED Global at Oxford University in England, courtesy of Dan Pink, a best selling author and former vice-presidential speech writer. That’s a big jump to make in three years! So I’m finally living the dream I thought I would be living when I first quit my job in 2006 and started to freelance and travel. The first time I jumped for the dream I missed and fell flat on my face. But I learned that jumping out to seize your dream isn’t a bad thing even if you fail the first time out. It can sometimes seem like the worst mistake you’ve ever made, but then God takes the lemons and makes lemonade out of them. He always has a plan for good. If I hadn’t risked, failed, risked, failed and yet kept helping others even when I was down, I’d never be where I am today. I’m certainly not rich, but I’m doing what I love.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

God. Definitely God. Most people think God and Christianity is about not sinning or at least not sinning more than your friends, and about going to church, being a goody-two-shoes and all that. I call BS on that. I believe in a relationship with my creator. He knows me, loves me, is a daily, hour-by-hour presence in my life, encouraging me, caring for me. It’s such a peace to have knowing he’s in control of what is happening with me. It’s weird and even stupid to people who don’t have that peace and that relationship, but if you have it, it’s awesome.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I have an ability to get inside people’s heads and tell their stories. I have a natural ability to recognize and duplicate speech and personality patterns. When I tell someone’s story for them, in a book or article, I write so it sounds like they’re telling the story, but with a smoother, more professional quality. People will tell them, “This is the best writing you’ve ever done. It sounds like you wrote it, but I know you can’t write that well!” It’s funny. They can’t figure it out. That’s the challenge I like and the ability I bring. It’s very difficult to do, so it’s a definite advantage. Most people who hire a ghostwriter don’t want people knowing or thinking they didn’t write something.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I was homeless and suicidal. A friend of mine called me (I did have a cellphone I won in a contest), and told me Tim Russert, the former Vice President of CBS News, was talking about me on CSPAN. There I was, living in a van in a Walmart parking lot and the most recognized and famous journalist of the last 20 years was talking about me on national television. He didn’t know I was homeless at the time. I had written an essay for his best selling book and he said it moved him so much that he decided to add an entire chapter to his book so he could include my essay. The essay was on forgiveness. When I heard that I went into a bookstore, found his book, read my essay and just stood there and wept. I wanted to scream, “Look! I’m a writer! I’m a writer!” but I didn’t. I felt it and thought it, but that was my breakthrough moment. I went back out and got in the van and just sobbed…”I’m a writer! I’m a writer!” I think realizing that I was not my circumstances was made me realize I was ready to write again.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

Jesus Christ. I know people groan and roll their eyes when I say that, but the reason I say it is because he was the rebel of his time. He was willing to die for something he believed in, and he was willing to die for the people (all of humanity) he believed in and loved. He was homeless most of his adult life, yet more people throughout history know his name more than any other person. He achieved a following through his words, his stories, his parables and his actions. More than any other person in history he shows the power of story to change a person, and to change the world. I encourage people to learn about who Jesus was by reading about him, not by listening to what a church or any group says. Find out for yourself. He was amazing. He was a craftsman (carpenter), he healed thousands, cast out demons, walked on water, teleported, went back in time (meeting Moses and Enoch on the Mount of Transfiguration) and he warned us of the return of  the Nephilim, of forces and UFOs and just some amazing stuff – stuff that’s farther out there than anything you’d find in the movies Star Wars or the Matrix. He’s just incredible.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

I’ve failed so many times in my life and almost every time I’ve really blown it bad I’ve thought about ending it all. But I didn’t. I get a lot of hope and encouragement by trusting that God does have a plan for my life, and that nothing is an accident. NOTHING. I remind myself that I am NOT my circumstances. Things may happen TO me, but they do not define who I am. I have learned to stay focused on my core values of giving, trusting, loving and preserving. The story I think about all the time is about this rock climber who set out to solo climb a huge peak. She would have been the first female to achieve this really difficult climb. Near the end of the day she was exhausted, bloody, tired, out of water and finally decided she wasn’t going to be able to finish the climb. So she radioed for a helicopter pickup and they came and got her off the side of this mountain. As they lifted off and up she looked  down and saw she was only 50 yards from the top of the mountain! 50 yards! Another 30 minutes or so and she would have reached the summit. She begged them to put her back on the mountain, but it was too late. She gave up just before she would have reached her goal. I know in my life I’ve just hung in there, inch-by-inch and reached a goal I thought was out-of-reach simply because I didn’t give up. That’s hope. When you lose hope you lose everything. So I tell people to just get through the next minute, or hour, or day and the rest of the journey will fall in place. Look at how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Talent won’t get you where you want to go. Perseverance will. That’s why the world is full of extremely talented, gifted people who are working dead-end jobs, or who are broke and miserable. They have the talent and skills, but not the perseverance. It’s the self-discipline to keep going, keep plugging, keep doing that is what makes people succeed. You don’t achieve success by being good. You achieve success by slogging through the bad times, the hard times, the tough times and the poor and broke times. You just keep going no-matter what. If you don’t have a personal faith in God, you’d better find something to believe in, family, life, children or your passion, and focus on that when times get tough. If you don’t persist you won’t succeed, I don’t care who you are. You have to have hope in something or someone outside yourself.

Remember that you are NOT your circumstances. You may drive an old beater car, not be able to afford to eat out, even on McDonalds’ dollar menu. You may have to scrounge in the couch for change to buy groceries, but that’s just where you are, not who you are. Remind yourself that “God don’t make no junk.” And believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself I guarantee you no one else will.

Finally, keep a gratitude journal. Write down 5 things every day that you’re grateful for. You can’t repeat them. That means you have to find something every day…like, you’re grateful you’re alive, you’re grateful you have shoes to wear, you’re grateful you can walk…by the time you find five things a day to be grateful for at the end of a year you’ll feel like a billionaire. Gratitude is God, and life’s secret weapon to dispelling depression, fear, anger and hopelessness. Be grateful and watch your fortunes, your  attitude and your life begin to change.

Visit Becky Blanton for more information.