August 13, 2014
From Homeless to Motivator: How One Man Turned His Story Into National Inspiration
What advice would you give people who want to build their own brand?
Trust your individuality. Learn from everybody but don’t try to be anybody else but YOU! “Consistent Qualityâ€ was my motto early on. Find something you do well and consistently find ways to make it better. When you focus on the quality of your brand and commit to making that strong, the people will come. Become a significant part of their life and they’ll propel you into a successful future.
You’ve started an organization, Thousand Kings Foundation, Inc. Could you explain what it is, the purpose of starting it and what your long-term goal for it is?
Starting out, my goal was showing the young men like myself, growing up in my old neighborhood, that they had other options. I wanted them to see that there were people they didn’t even know rooting for them, I wanted them to see they had a place in this world. Moving forward, the goal has been restoring the “villageâ€ feel. I want us to take better care of one another. The foundation is committed to restoring our place as royalty in our own kingdoms.
Since people feel they can relate to you and/or your past struggles, how do you think you would be able to help people in terms of entrepreneurship? Is entrepreneurship for anyone and if you come across someone who may not have the skills necessary to be successful, how would you tell them?
I believed entrepreneurship was for everyone until I became one. It’s a lot of work and at times overwhelming. You learn a lot about yourself as a person, how to manage and handle risk, prioritizing, and the biggest of all being sacrifice. You become a forward thinker, always trying to stay ahead because you realize if things fail, you only have yourself to blame. I left myself no room for excuses, I knew if things were going to work out that it would be because of the work I put in. If I came across someone who was maybe lacking in certain necessary entrepreneurial skills, I would just be honest with them about what I viewed to be their strengths/weaknesses. I would ask them how they felt they could grow and then give my opinions on how I felt they could do that as well. Sometimes it’s not our aim that’s off, it’s just we’re shooting at the wrong targets. I would just try to give them some direction and tools they could use on their journey. I don’t believe in shooting down dreams but I do believe in preparing people for certain harsh realities.
Some would consider you a leader, what constitutes a leadership in your eyes? How is one able to lead?
Experience qualifies the leader. Example distinguishes the leader. Approach determines the effectiveness of the leader. For me, a leader is somebody with a vision, as well as the drive/commitment necessary to make that vision a reality. A leader is a glorified servant, the more effective the service, the greater the leader. Life takes us through many different processes that often times share the same principles. A leader masters these principles and shares them with whoever they are able to help. While we’re all on different journeys, a true leader is able to establish a common goal and get the right people working towards it.
Wanting to be the voice of this generation is not only a big task, but a big risk, especially with the antics of reality TV participants and the culture of hip-hop. Based on what is going on today, in terms of what our children are seeing, how do you plan on being that voice that can lead them in a more positive direction?
In the midst of all the antics, games, and stunts being pulled these days, we all still need something REAL. We all need something that brings us peace, joy, and substance. We crave it, even if we don’t know that’s what we’re looking for. When I say I want to be the voice of this generation, I’m saying I want to try to make sense of the mess. A lot of people in entertainment follow me, whether it’s artistes, actors, reality TV personalities, etc. Even they are subconsciously looking for something to make them feel whole, or better, or okay about life. We’re so good at destruction, I want to make constructing cool again. Since few things have more power than words, I use them as my tools. We never forget what heals us, so it’s become my mission to speak to people’s pain. Pride, anger, bravado, isolation, they’re all products of pain. I want to be the one who helps people sort through it all.
What do you want your legacy to be? How will Rob Hill Sr. be known when it’s all said and done?
I want to be known as somebody who did what he could to help people. I want to be remembered as a servant. Somebody who wasn’t scared to step up and speak life to the hearts of people! If nothing else, I’ll be known as a contributor, an integral piece of productivity, somebody who gave more than he took and left people better than when he found them. I never want anything I say to come off as the “perfect wayâ€ but I do desire everything I put out to contribute to positive change. At the end of the day in my heart, I’m just a helper.