Indie On a Mission Makes it His Business to Tell You
Have you ever met someone that you knew you'd like, but you just don't have the time during your first meeting to get to know each other? Every time you see that person, you feel a "click," and you have this gut feeling that says, "You know, I really feel a synergy here. I'd like to get to know that person." But then, you know how life gets in the way.
A few months later, your paths cross again and you have a minute to chat. Your gut feeling is confirmed.
That's what happened when I met Marlon Smith, motivational speaker and co-Executive Producer of the multi-media stage play, "Real Men Talking." Marlon and I had been in the same room numerous times before we had a chance to sit down and chat.
Why is this Indie, husband, father, motivational speaker and all around nice guy so engaging? Well, you'll find out in this interview.
dM: Marlon, there are so many angles to come at you with so I'll just pick the one. What is so special about Real Men Talking?
Marlon: It's more than just a stage production. There is a need for it in our communities today. The play engages the audience to think about the choices they are making. Many of our young people (both boys and girls) are bombarded with different images, not all of them appropriate, as to what a REAL man is.
Is it the bling? Is it having beautiful women hanging on your arms? Is it having a baby? Being a responsible father?
We traveled the country interviewing men from all walks of life. Dr. Cornel West. Musiq Soul Child. Common. We tapped athletes, businessmen, politicians and more to find out what real men are talking about.
This production brings it all together in a family friendly, fun, multi-media event.
dM: How did the production come about?
Marlon: In 2004, I delivered the keynote presentation at the National Alliance of Black School Educators conference in Dallas, Texas. The theme was: "The plight of the African American male student." Part of my presentation focused on the need to do something different to engage today's young people and empower them to better themselves. This production, 4 years in the making, is the result.
dM: From a personal perspective as a father, husband and business person, how do you better yourself, and how do you encourage others to do the same?
Marlon: As a motivational speaker, I encourage people to look at their lives as a wheel with 6 sections: Spiritual, Health, Finances, Relationship, Career/School and Emotions. I ask them to think about where they are in each of these crucial life areas. This quick exercise gives a person a snapshot of where they are strong and where they are weak in their lives.
Anyone can quickly see what needs improvement. This knowledge empowers you to take action to improve that particular area. Another thing that helps me is journaling. Recording my life's thoughts and experiences gets me out of the "busy-ness" of life so I can reflect on where I am and what I need to do.
Because I have benefited so much from these lifestyle choices, I developed a 40-day online course to help people maximize their potential and maintain balance. My "Living With Purpose" online course leads people to some incredible breakthroughs I have personally experienced in just 40 days.
dM: How did all this work to help others start for you?
I had a great job at Hewlett-Packard, but in 1992, I felt a need to realize my own personal mission, so I resigned the position to launch Success By Choice. Since then, I have capitalized on many opportunities to inspire positive change in as many people as possible.
dM: What's your philosophy of life and business?
Marlon: I am very grateful that God has allowed me to do what I do because I feel that it's what I was born to do. In my own life, I have discovered that true change is a process and not a one-time shot. Consequently, whether I'm delivering a formal presentation or talking with you on the street, I know it's not enough to simply motivate you. I have to also follow through with the reinforcement needed to actually see the change come to fruition.
Since I can't be everywhere, I developed a curriculum that can. Everyone can create everlasting change through "Living With Purpose: 40 Days to Being Your Best," which anyone can download online.
Real Men Talking is the result of a series of events and collaborations, each of which incorporates my personal decision to live by the Living With Purpose course work that I share with others.
dM: Where can we see Real Men Talking?
Marlon: Across the nation in major cities. On May 30, we'll be at the McGlohon Theater in Spirit Square in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tickets are available at the Blumenthal Center's website or call the box office at (704) 372-1000.
Other cities where we have appeared or will soon appear include: Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Nashville, New York, Detroit and Washington, DC. Visit our website for more information.
What do you think?
I don't know about you, but I'm ready! The babysitter is lined up and my husband and I have purchased tickets to Real Men Talking in Charlotte next Friday. Even if you're not in a city they are playing in, you can enjoy lots of trailers and high energy presentations at the Real Men Talking website.
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Jacci Thompson-Dodd, author