This interview was made possible by our friends at Guidant Financial:
The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing.
Countless individuals vow for a change. Be it spiritually, financially or mentally, goals cannot be accomplished without the encouragement to take the necessary steps. With a guiding hand and powerful words, Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes is here to help.
Derrick is a highly sought-after speaker nationwide. He has been featured as the keynote speaker at several events sponsored by such entities as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Brown Sanders College, Georgia State University, Tennessee Childcare Facilities Corporation, Mississippi 4-H, and many others.
As a featured writer, Hayes has had articles and columns appear in several publications and on many Web sites.
MO: How did you discover that you have a gift for motivational speaking?
Derrick: As a senior at Tennessee State University Andre Lee and I were in a partnership called Hayes & Lee Creative Relations. One summer we wanted to do business with the Nashville Urban League and we called to ask for an opportunity meeting.
During our discussions with NUL they suggested that it would look good before their board if we had volunteered and provided help to one of their programs. Since we were young entrepreneurs Andre and I were asked with one day notice to develop and present a motivational program to two separate groups. NUL had a youth job training program where one group meets in the morning and the other meets in the afternoon.
At first we laughed because we just wanted to make money and never really thought of motivational speaking as a career option. We accepted the challenge and gave back through our first presentation entitled “If I Can, You Can, We Can”
In “If I Can, You Can, We Can” we used the game of UNO to teach youth about how to use the cards that they are dealt with in life and that you may not win the first time but if you keep playing the game of life eventually things will fall in place for you.
When we finished the youth along with the administrators of NUL gave us positive feedback. This is the moment that I realized I could become a great motivational speaker.
MO: What’s a Derricknym?
Derrick: James Amps was in town giving a speech one day at an event in Montgomery, Al. James inspired me by saying that one day I would write a book. I thought about it and realized the world wasn’t ready for my autobiography.
I remember I had a list of acronyms that totaled over 100. I wrote some more so that my list grew to over 200 acronyms. I added a short motivational paragraph to each acronym and put them all into alphabetical order.
A decision had to be made in what to call them so I put Derrick in front of acronyms and Derricknyms were born. Derricknyms are defined as acronyms with a touch of Derrick where words and names are motivational messages. The first book I wrote was entitled Derricknyms From A to Z. Derricknyms From A to Z went on to sale over 4,000 copies which were sold mostly through military bases and out of the trunk out of my car.
The Derricknym Challenge was created where if I couldn’t turn a name into a positive message within 30 seconds a person would get a free copy of my book. I have never lost a Derricknym Challenge.
When I moved to Atlanta I met Al Tucker. Al saw me use my gift of Derricknyms and how I would write one for people on anything including napkins or receipt papers. Al designed a business card where it had a space for each letter in someone’s name so that I could leave them with a personalized business card. The card I use today is similar just bigger. I use a card with the size that can be used as a business card or post card.
One of the most frequently used Derricknyms is W.O.E.I always tell people to make sure they give others a W.O.E. daily. Hayes says, “In the general context, a woe is a problem.” In the Derricknym fashion, it is a Word of Encouragement.
A good friend and mentor of mine named Ty Howard told me one day that if you don’t feed your people someone else will. Ty writes a daily Inspirational Booster and distributes them throughout his social networks. Ty inspired me to start the DAILY (Dream And Inspire the Life in You) Derricknym. Here is an example of a DAILY Derricknym – I Need YOU (Your Optimism Unconditionally).
After a year of distributing the DAILY Derricknym through Facebook, Twiiter and Linked In I wanted to expand the Derricknym brand.
I met with Kris Green of 92.7 FM as he was looking for ideas for Inspirational Wednesday. Once a week we would take the DAILY Derricknym and turn it into an extended motivational piece and present it on radio. As we were live we would tape and share it later on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/encouragement4u .
Another way I share my gift of Derricknyms is by designing personalized 8×11 Derricknyms for individuals so that they can download them and print them into a frame. Derricknyms have been given to people for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and graduations. Business owners and meeting planners have ordered Derricknyms for their staff at meetings, conferences and events. For more information on Derricknyms please go to http://www.derrickhayes.com/derricknyms/
I do Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences and events where each attendee has the opportunity to receive a personalized card where their name is turned into a positive message right before your eyes. I also do Derricknyms for charities with Donate 4 Derricknyms. Organizations looking to make fundraising personal and fun can contact me.
In 2008 when the recession started I looked for cost effective ways to market what I do. I found out about gift bag requests and I developed the Derricknym Gift Bag Program. Gift Bags have allowed me to market Derricknyms at over 100 events all over the world and for Free. Gift Bag Marketing inspired my eBook entitled Put It In The Bag: Guide For Entrepreneurs to Market In Gift Bags For FREE at Meetings, Conferences, and Events all over the world. http://www.derrickhayes.com/books/
MO: Why do you always tell people to make sure they give others a WOE daily?
I believe there is power in words of encouragement and if we speak life into each other and not death our world will be a better place. When I was growing up I was real creative with words but they were used to hurt others and not help them. One day I learned the power of turning things around the hard way.
A few years ago my ex wife and the mother of my children said she no longer wanted to be with me. In order to start over I moved from Alabama to Georgia.
Mind you, I had limited money, no job, and no place to stay. A childhood friend said I could sleep on his floor until I could get back on my feet.
I was thinking about how my life had changed and I said woe. I looked into the bible and I saw woe is me. Next I looked into the dictionary and it read that woe was a trial or tribulation.
This is when I heard a voice say “Before you leave work or go to sleep tonight, give someone a WOE, a Word Of Encouragement.”
I started to see things in words that I had never saw before. In the word life is the word if and if you don’t try who is to say you will succeed. Life does one thing to you it takes you through something only to make you do something.
Inside the word look is the work ok. My mother was dying of cancer and she said that it doesn’t matter how things look because everything is going to be alright.
I wrote down the word arrive and crossed out the first r and placed it at the end of the word. It spelled out A RIVER. When you arrive on time and arrive with a purpose things in life your life will begin to flow just like A RIVER.
MO: Have you ever found a person that weren’t able to motivate or inspire?
Derrick: There are people that no matter what you say or do it won’t be enough. The key in whether you get a chance to motivate or inspire someone is if they let you into their life.
For example my step daughter is 16 and there are some things I do that get her going and there are others that she blocks out and wants no part of. The wall that she puts up between us is that I’m not her biological father. Knowing this has helped me not only deal with her but also with others that we have to communicate with on a daily basis.
Here are 3 Things to do when others put up their motivational wall:
1. Be professional at all times.
2. Discuss issues when they are necessary.
3. Ask them for permission to present something new to them.
Simple questions that can build the relationship are may I share something with you? or would you like to know why this happened? When they say yes it opens the door for you to motivate and inspire them.
MO: Can you talk about your new venture, Motivation to Your Mobile™?
Derrick: Motivation to Your Mobile™ is an extension to the uplifting and inspiring messages that I share on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter on a daily basis.
I learned that people are looking for something positive to help them start their day and with research I found out that there are 5 times more mobile phone users than there are internet users. The title Motivation To Your Mobile came to me after combining these two thoughts together.
Motivation to Your Mobile™ is a free downloaded on Android and iPhones. The applications are developed with the help of longtime friend Joe Kuryla of Protify. For more information on Joe and Protify please go to http://www.Protify.com.
Through years of utilizing social media I have worked hard to use my writing to capture the attention of fellow entrepreneurs, social media consumers and experts across the country and abroad.
Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan, connected with Hayes and believes the mobile marketing concept Hayes is launching has a mass appeal.
“In our fast paced entrepreneurial world we all need an energy boost from time to time. Derrick Hayes provides daily quotes to help millionaires like me stay on top of their game,” says Michalowicz, who started his first business at 24.
To learn more about Motivation to Your Mobile or to download the app for Android or iPhones go to http://www.motivationtoyourmobile.com.
MO: I’d like to hear about the inspiration for your book “Grow the F Up” and the creative process behind writing it.
Derrick: I was talking to a friend one night and he was frustrated about a relationship. He was so mad at this person that he said “They need to Grow The F Up.” I can’t put in print the exact F word that he used that night. After I heard what he said I was given an inspirational idea. I told him he should write a book called Grow The F Up. The response he gave me was that he could not attach his name to a title called Grow The F Up.
I thought about it for a few days and I said to myself, if he won’t write the book then I will write the book “Grow The F Up.” All I had was a title with no concept of how to deliver the book to you.
Since the title of the book had the word Grow in it I started to look words up in the dictionary that dealt with Growth and Maturity.
The first word I looked up was Grow and it meant to produce by cultivation, to raise, to develop naturally, to increase in size. The next word I researched was mature. It was defined as ripefully developed come to suppuration, resulting from adult experience, due for payment or bill.
Suppurate means to form to pus, fester. In order for us to Grow The F Up we have to suppurate in order for us to separate. Before something forms on the outside it was growing all along on the inside.
As I kept looking at the title I realized that one thing that we keep on the inside is forgiveness. I’m here is to inspire you through the F Word FORGIVE. When each day ends it is important that we forgive others and most importantly forgive ourselves. Once we forgive we start to live and unconditionally we “Grow The F Up.”
The Acronym F.O.R.G.I.V.E.
The F is for Factor. You have to realize that you have potential. This will open up doors for future success.
The O is for Origin. Look back on your life to see where you have already made an impact. This is a key area that will open up the future to you.
The R is for Relate. Take time out to understand others so they can help you succeed. Partner with others that can lead you to victory.
The G is for Growth. Are you finding value in what you are learning so that you will one day add value to others? When you build positive relationships both parties will elevate.
The I is for Income. Once you begin to grow you will be in position to increase. Income is a bi-product of your efforts.
The V is for Visual. Growth and Income puts you in position to improve or enhance your image. How people see you is everything in the beginning. This area gives you access to people and opportunities.
The E is for Esteem. Once you access you have respect. You will begin to feel like you are part of something. Belonging is what can determine if you quit or keep going. When you feel good you put in work and make a difference that breaths significance.
FORGIVE and you shall receive.
Grow The F Up is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Grow-Up-Practical-Forgive-Unconditionally/dp/1440438838/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340920011&sr=1-1&keywords=%22grow+the+f+up%22