It is often a herculean task for black inner city youth to break the cycle of poverty, violence, condemnation and marginalization into which they are born. For young black males especially, it would seem as though society has a preordained path for them. One that takes them as far as you could imagine from anything positive, progressive or prestigious. So then, how does one young man from the inner city, raised in a world that seemed hell-bent on grinding his self-esteem into dust, manage to blaze such a fire-bright trail towards success?
It’s the question that I traveled all the way to Grand Rapids, Michigan to have answered. At the end, every mile it took to get there was worth it. Kris Mathis is noted as one of the most in-demand speakers today. His book “From Success to Significance: The 8 Keys to Achieving any Goal or Dream” is life-changing. Through his book,  blog, videos, newsletters and live appearances, he shares his profound insights regarding self-improvement and motivation. His clients include Arbor Circle Corporation, Grand Valley State University, IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) and Rusinga Mwisho Mother and Child in Vienna, Austria. He has spoken at dozens of high schools, colleges, professional events, and churches across the globe.

What makes him so special though is how openly he shares his life experiences. Not everyone is willing to openly discuss the gritty, ugly parts of their life. But Kris holds no punches with what he shares. Indeed, being so open about how rough his life has been compels us to grasp his practical life lessons and run with them. If these principles were his stepping stones that raised him up and helped him achieve his dreams and goals, well….we had better try using those same principles as well!

Having read his book, and soaked up its ideas, I was thrilled to finally meet Kris in the flesh and hear him speak in person. I looked forward to hearing some more about his candid experiences. He showed me around town, and specifically, his child-hood home. As we chatted about his up-bringing, several questions kept buzzing in my head: “How does a young boy consistently dream, in vivid detail, of a better life for himself, when his thoughts could so often be interrupted by prostitutes at work just outside his bedroom window? How does a young black man, without the guiding hand of a father or any other male role model…hitting roadblocks, turned backs and negativity…still navigate his way towards success?”

When I sat down with him for an interview, I found the answers to these questions and  more. He’s the guy that will keep banging on the door until it is opened … he’s the guy who will go out in the hurricane even when the weatherman tells you to stay inside… he’s the man whose spirit is forever striving and fighting, even when his body gets weak.  I promised you authentic people with inspiring stories that will motivate you to be a better you. Kris Mathis helped me fulfill that promise by agreeing to chat with me. So, watch the show, get inspired and let’s learn how to live life dynamically!

– Sharon Mayers
Host of, My Big Red Couch