Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Motivational Speaker Anthony White Reflects on His Own Hardships and Inspires Others
Anthony White is a motivational speaker who got his start when he received an offer to be on the Rising Arts Podcast in October of 2020. He was interviewed by Gene Davis about his book, 1 Second 7 Days. It is a brief yet deeply moving memoir about his life in a dangerous city.
Gene asked Anthony what else he would like to do to impact people on a larger scale in the world. The author said he’d like to go into motivational speaking.
Photo Credit: Andrew White
Tell us about the beginning of your career as a speaker.
Gene kindly connected me with a couple of people, and those people gave up on me and got busy with their own lives, but I took matters into my own hands. By the beginning of 2021 I was in magazines from all over the world, on radio stations, and on more podcasts. There was a lot of traveling. Next thing I know, I’m speaking on The Michael Colyar Morning Show. You can find me on Amaze TV, 20th Century Studios, Roku TV, and Amazon Prime. I spoke in Africa, the U.K, and India. By February 2022, the University Of Akron had invited me to come speak at their college; it was the “Anthony White Mental Health Seminar”. I ended up reaching over 50 million people by speaking in a little over a year, virtually.
What is your favorite cause to speak about?
It has to be mental health. I’m noticing that a lot of people are becoming more aware about what mental health is and how It truly affects your everyday life. The human mind has more connections in it than there are stars in the universe. I think people don’t pay attention to reprogramming their mental state, and it's very important. We all get programmed every day of our lives and we pick up habits and feel emotions like happiness, sadness, stress, doubt, or anger. You have to learn how to control these emotions and be aware of how to react. For example, when you hear the word “no” you may act out or shut down. I always say “no” stands for “Next Opportunity”. Or I say the way people act towards you “doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you”. The more you practice changing your mind, the more it becomes an automatic reaction. That’s how you know you’re learning and it’s having an amazing effect on you.
Where was your love for speaking in front of people born?
Once I figured out I truly made an impact on other people, that’s when it was born in my heart. I always helped others every day; I wouldn’t let a day go by without doing so. It didn’t matter if I just met you. I always felt a warm feeling knowing I was helping. I’d see these people a year or more later down the line, and they’d say, “Anthony, if you hadn’t given me that advice back then, I wouldn’t be where I am now”. It always made me feel like I wanted to cry with joy because I always wished someone had done that for me growing up, someone who had shown they cared. I’m so happy to be that person who shows people they are not alone. That’s when I knew this is what I loved.
What do you feel when you're on stage?
To this day it just feels like a dream come true to have people come out to see me speak so they can learn. It’s a feeling I really can’t describe. I get on stage and just smile at first and look around. It’s kind of like “wow, I’m really doing this”. I really feel like a kid in a candy store. I worked so hard to get to where I am now and I know it’s only the beginning of the journey. It can only get better from here. I’m just truly blessed.
Who inspires you the most as a speaker or as a coach?
Les Brown, Inky Johnson, Eric Thomas. There are not a lot of African American motivational speakers, so I’d have to say they really showed me I can do this, no matter what I face or how I’m looked at in life.
What makes you speak?
I want to show that you're not the only person going through a hard time. No matter how tough your life story is, I promise you can get through it and become the person you want to be. My mother had nine kids, raised none. I was born as a premature crack baby, the youngest of the nine kids. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio seeing killings, robberies, house fires, drive-bys, and stabbings, and being abused. I’m not the only one with a tough story. Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone needs their story told, listened to, and welcomed with open arms. I wanna show them they're not alone, because I’m right here with you no matter what. I could meet you for five minutes and I’m going to say some type of wisdom to help you in life. You're going to remember me when you go through that lesson in life and that’s what I leave behind with people. That’s why I speak.
What projects are you currently working on?
I recently started my own podcast, Fighting For Attention. It offers early-morning motivation Mondays through Saturdays. On Sundays I do celebrity interviews, so they can come explain their life story to us and share the trials and tribulations they’ve been through to get to where they are now. You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, IHeartRadio, and more. I have an upcoming interview with the famous Steven McCoy in July. I’ll be on his show, Sessions with Steven. I can’t wait to be on his show; we’ve grown to have an amazing friendship and I’m nothing but proud of him. I’m looking to set up a tour with Steven as well, so stay tuned!
I’m also expecting my first child! Honestly, I’m so excited for my child to be here to share moments. All I ever wanted in life was to put the love I never got into my own child, and to give them the world.
What would a perfect world be like?
In a perfect world, humans would eat what’s right for their bodies, not just put anything and everything into them. I see everyone taking care of the environment. Everyone lends a helping hand, everyone’s genuine. Everyone understands each other and communicates well, no matter the situation.
I see all homeless people getting help to get off the streets and obtain the life they want. If the world was perfect, there wouldn’t be any mass murders like we’ve been seeing or any innocent black people being killed. It would all be better and fixed.
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