Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Ron Walker. I am an empowerment author, motivational speaker and serial entrepreneur. I’ve written numerous books as both a ghost writer and named author. I’ve recorded several motivational CD’s and am a partner or owner of a few businesses.
How did you get started as a writer?
For me, writing was something that served as an escape from my early life. The words I wrote allowed me to create a world that I could easily control and guide, unlike the world I was actually living in. From there, it became an outlet, a cathartic experience and then developed into a possible career move. I realized one day that people would pay for my words. So, I wrote a book, went through the traditional steps of publication, but decided to simply print and market my book on my own. I went from fiction to nonfiction when I realized that I was a strong enough speaker to simply sell books as a compliment to the spoken word and help people in more ways than simply offering them an escape. My writing became a way for me to help guide others towards greatness.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I always liked writing, but I wouldn’t say that I always wanted to be a writer. I wrote for fun, but started getting recognized for my writing ability in school and at church. That led me down the path of writing as a career option.
When you started your career, were you surrounded by a support unit?
Any one that makes it anywhere makes it because of those that support them. No matter how independent a person is, no one makes it without a team of some sort. I was blessed to have a team of individuals around me that were proficient in web coding, marketing, pr, etc, but I also have to give credit to my parents and other friends that were there to keep pushing me when I didn’t think I could do this. We don’t always give credit to those around us, but everyone contributes to who we are and where we get in life. I consider the people that print my books, flyers, shirts and other promo material a part of my team. I consider the book store owners, facility managers where I’ve done events, pastors of churches where I’ve spoken and teachers and principals part of my team. They make it possible for me to do what I do and become the person I’ve become.
How did you turn your writing into a successful business?
Determination and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen if you give up. I’ve been writing and speaking for over a decade. My first book was published before social media and web based companies that help authors today. When I first started I had to make calls to companies and store owners using the Yellow Pages. I had to do a lot of research in order to find the things I needed. Now, the internet makes research, promotion and networking much easier. But whether you’re cold calling or tweeting, you have to be determined and patient in order to build a foundation you can stand on and launch a career from.
Was there ever a time you wanted to give up on your passion? What made you keep going?
We all hit road blocks and want to give up sometimes. My latest book, “I Almost Gave Up,” is all about just that. Focus is the key. We have to be able to focus on what’s important. In my motivational CD, “Dollar and a Dream: Succeed or Die Trying,” I talk about having a “why” that keeps you motivated. Purpose is what drives my passion. When I want to give up, I look at my kids and their future. They are my why and what keeps me going. I know they need to see an example of success and what’s possible so I keep pushing even when I want to give up. It takes a minute to remember my why sometimes, but eventually I snap back to reality and get back to work.
Did you ever doubt you’d be this successful?
No. I thought I would be more successful. I’m doing well, but I’m no where near where I want to be or where I thought I would be, but so is life. It doesn’t always give us what we expect, but what would be the fun in living if we knew exactly how things would turn out at all times.
How important is it for you, to create a good work/life balance?
Extremely important. I used to be quite the workaholic, but now I spend more time living than I do working. I’ve realized that a happy life makes me more productive. Enjoying the fruits of my labor empowers me to labor more efficiently and effectively.
How important is it for a budding writer to networking and building relationships?
Building relationships is important in everything we do. As an independent, you have to because no one else is going to do it for you. I don’t have a big company behind me to facilitate things so I have to make sure that I build relationships with people and companies so that I can get stuff done. When I ran out of money at one point, it was because of relationships that I was able to get back on my feet. It was because of good relationships that I was able to get graphics for free or cheap, studio time for next to nothing and it allowed me to produce a product to get back on my feet.
What qualities do you look for in young writers that you work with?
Persistence, patience and determination. Many times people come to me with big dreams, but I can tell they lack one of the three. Without them, it’s very difficult to move from Step 1 to Step 2, 3 and 4. There are so many great ideas that never got executed because the dreamer lacked patience, persistence or determination. I can’t stand starting a journey with someone only for them to falter after hitting the first road block. In order to make it, we must have patience, persistence and determination.
What’s the best advice you can give aspiring writers?
Stay vigilant. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble and don’t let people talk you out of your dreams. Let them live the lives that others allow them to, go create yours.
What’s next for you? Where do you see your brand and company(ies) in the next few years?
In lights somewhere lighting the way for someone else.
Check out some of Ron's work below!