“I look at the world without walls. I never met anybody that I was afraid to go talk to, or shake their hand or introduce myself. So my biggest challenge is to not let the naysayers get me down, which doesn’t happen often. But everyone has feelings and no one likes it hearing those negative things. Like, people often talk bad about Topeka and about the people who are propping up Topeka, so my biggest challenge is to not let negativity win over.
I also don’t want to let anybody change me. There might be different corporations in the future that may want my services, but I never want to become a robot. With all the outside noise, the challenge is me staying who I am. I don’t want to become the status quo.
Somebody once told me ‘If you’re complaining about something and you’re not doing anything about it, then you’re part of the problem.’ So I decided that I needed to do something. It didn’t happen immediately, but it made me stop talking about stuff that I wasn’t going to try to fix. A lot of times we just like hearing ourselves talk. Now I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying to uplift the city however I can and try to continue to support local. If I don’t have any money to give, I give my time or share my insights.”
‘What are you the most excited about?’
“What I’m most excited is how this Pay it Forward came about. Over the last couple of weeks I had somebody pay it forward to me. There was an oversight on some funds that were supposed to go one of the companies I was partnered with on a project and it didn’t get paid. Me and the CEO of this company are talking and trying to figure how to make this thing right, so as that’s happening, I get a call from that CEO a half hour later telling me that an anonymous donor took care of the whole total.
At that point is when I said ‘I’m going to start paying it forward on a weekly basis.’ So now I’ve been getting all this traction from people who want to get involved. And not all of it involves money. For example, we’re going to be going to some of these senior centers and we’re taking hair dressers and barbers and beautify the people and a lot of other things. We want to pay it forward with kindness for a better community tomorrow.”