This year at Orange Conference 2018, I released my very first book through Orange Publishing. Reach Records recording artist, Tedashii wrote the foreword, and many of my greatest friends and mentors gave me some pretty humbling endorsements. The book is called FIND YOUR VOICE: Capturing the Power of Influence to Live a Greater Story.
The two biggest questions I get about this book are these, “What is it about?” and “Why did you write it?” In our short time together here, I’d like to attempt to answer these questions as well as give you a glimpse into some of the concepts that are foundational to the premise that this book introduces. I think the first few sentences of Tedashii’s foreword will help us begin this journey:
“To most, this may seem like just another book on personal development, but it is so much more. This is a manual, a roadmap for survivors, on how to navigate the congested highways of our thoughts and emotions to find the road we were meant to travel so we don’t just survive but thrive.” – Tedashii, Hip Hop Artist and Public Speaker
I think T. Dot so eloquently paints the perfect picture of what this book is about. It’s a roadmap for success. Success in God. Success in Life. Success period. This book gives a very practical and simplistic yet hopefully thought-provoking approach toward demystifying the cloudy road that is success. I deal with what I believe is a highly underestimated tool of success that is so commonly quoted and so heavily preached that I think we walk right pass it, INFLUENCE. This book is about The power of influence and how you use it. We also discuss three major areas in which influence should be watched closely in order to achieve the success we are, in fact, searching for.
Now that we’ve answered “what” lets talk about “why.” I wrote this book because I was tired of so many leaders, young adults and students falling into the same, “lack of success” pit. Now, I wanna be clear on what we’re defining as success. I’m not defining success as having a lot of money or being well known. I’m defining success here and in the book as purpose. FINDING YOUR VOICE is about finding your purpose in this life. Your unique contribution to this broken world we live in. And sadly, yet true, there are so many people dying without truly living it out or struggling very hard to discover and deliver it.
I am burdened to attack this problem because I TOO was a victim of it. Not only did I almost destroy my chances of ever living out my god-given dreams as a teenager, but once I recovered and truly discovered my unique direction I struggled soooo hard to walk in it. To the point where I was so depressed I almost gave up on everything and everyone because of the fatigue and frustration of failure. Have you ever been there? Do you know some students that are there?
If so, this book is for you and them.
There is a way out. There is a way forward and the key to getting there is by understanding “The Power of Influence.” Now, just before we wrap up for today I want to leave you with an excerpt from the book that gets you started down the path until you can read the full manuscript. My hope is that every leader, student and parent that desires to do something great in this life or help someone else find their greatness will pick up FIND YOUR VOICE today. Not just to buy another book, but to receive some help as they travel through this faith journey on their way to significance.
Here’s an excerpt from FIND YOUR VOICE about the power of influence:
Influence is leadership, and leadership is influence. When you say, “Someone is influencing you,” you’re essentially saying, “Someone is leading you.” Leadership can be intentional or unintentional. You may not even know you’re being led. Or you may not even know you’re leading someone else. Either way, it’s leadership. Think about it for a second. Say you want to be an Olympic gymnast. There are potentially two ways to do it.
One way: You could find a coach to train with for years before you go on to win the medal. Or another way: Just hang out with Gabby Douglas (a lot), learn from her in passing, and become like her (or at least something close to it). As unrealistic as that sounds, situations like that happen all of the time. People become amazing just by hanging around amazing people. Whether it’s intentionally following a coach’s leadership or someone hanging out with an Olympic medalist, the outcome is still the same: GREATNESS. The path isn’t as important as the outcome.
That doesn’t mean some methods aren’t more effective than others. In the case of Olympic gymnastics, having a coach is way more effective than just hanging out near the high beam. However, both paths lead to the same place. Knowing when and how to make the most of your surroundings and connections is what this book is all about. THIS IS THE POWER OF INFLUENCE. Influence comes to us in more than one way. The question is: Can you see it happening? Will you recognize it in your own life? This, my friends, will determine what you get out of the influence and leadership in your life.
For centuries, we’ve seen unforeseen influences take down countries, celebrities, regimes, and powerful men and women. We’ve seen unforeseen influences kill people. That’s because when you’re unaware that someone or something is influencing you, it leaves you in a very dangerous position. But when you can see it, that’s when you begin to access the power of influence in your life. Then you can begin to manage it. And when you can manage it, the game changes!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope to see you soon!
To read the rest of FIND YOUR VOICE purchase it here for yourself, your leaders or your youth group today!