An Interview with Author Shawn Singleton II

As a Husband and Father of 4, I desire to bring a unique style to writing, speaking, and coaching to keep all age groups engaged and equip you with the right tools to help you achieve and sustain the life you desire to have.

As a child, I strived to be one step ahead of his peers in his mannerisms and dreams for his future life. I desired to be a servant leader everyone would look at who demonstrated the ability to make the right decisions, making others’ lives around me better.

By the age of 11, I had to become that leader in his single-parent household, which began to prepare me for life as an adult. With no strong male presence in my life, it didn’t prepare me for life with his own family. I didn’t know how to be a true man of the house, and Brick-by-Brick was simply an idea masked by misdirection and misplaced identity. There was always a motivation to be better than the family generation I had seen come before me. My environment led me to believe that money was the cure to living a whole, happy life. Except, the older I became, the more that ideology seemed to be flawed.

I have spent the past 14 years learning how to become the man I desire to be, but I never witnessed-learning how to continue being a better Father than the one I never had. Brick-by-Brick has come to life, as I share how each of us can create a solid foundation in our lives regardless of the traumatic experiences we have encountered or the environments surrounding us. Reshaping our minds, putting away the shovels and not being defined by holes they have made in our lives.

I strive to lead my family with the utmost integrity and honor and truly exemplifies the benefit of what a strong foundation can do in your life. I have taken the Brick-by-Brick mindset and impacted others’ lives as you can see the evidence, first, in my leadership at home then, in business and the community around him. When I’m not helping others change their lives, I spend my time with my family, volunteering, and excelling in my career as an Engineer.

I love to exercise, cook, and have a generous heart focused on making everyone else’s life better.

How do you see this book being relevant today?

This book was written for today! What I did was intentionally write this book for future experiences from past experiences and research I spent six years studying. I studied and made it an effort to understand how to create consistent success in our lives, and it wasnÕt until I almost lost it all that I figured out what it was that caused everything to explode. 2020 was a year that impacted everyone Ð but I donÕt think people realize how much of an awakening it was for this generation of our reliance upon everything else around us to tell us who we are as a person. ThatÕs why I start with that year Ð and push and pull the reader into their own thoughts, imagination, and experiences to bring this book to life!

Why do you think you the right person to write this book? How do you think your qualifications or experience make this a better book?

People who come from very little and still experience exponential hardships Ð donÕt usually follow similar stories as myself or end up with a passion to impact the generation that I have. The uniqueness in my situation and experiences in my life have made me the perfect person to write this book about creating sustainable habits for consistent success! ItÕs honestly what makes this book so much better than other motivational books Ð because it places you not only inside of my experience, but it walks you through the lesson the was learned and contributed into the success I have achieved both personally and professionally.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

It was the year my 5th grade teacher, challenged me the very first night of student orientation. I remember walking into the classroom and my mother was speaking with the teacher about how I need to be challenged because I struggle with maintaining focus if IÕm not challenged. Little did I know he was a Marine veteran who knew exactly how to challenge young men like myself to be better in all areas of life. That night I remember him creating a complex math equation on the board and he asked me to solve it. I had never seen this problem before, but he started walking me through the problem with just his voice and it challenged my brain to think differently. From then on it was this constant use of his language to push my brain to do things I didnÕt think it could do Ð that I learned that language you use has the power to change someoneÕs thinking! ItÕs what started the journey of me learning how to do the same and do so through my writing. 

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

IÕve read so many motivational/self-help books in my life that I grew tired of the writer making demands on the reader that required imitation. I donÕt want TO BE like you, I just wanted to THINK like they did so I could produce those results inside of my own life. I took that philosophy and put that info my writing as the only demand I make from the reader is that they be wiling to challenge the norm of what they thought was possible and what they believe was possible for their life in the introduction! The rest of the book is me delicately demonstrating the problem with one form of thinking Ð and unearthing the solution to their life problems and challenges that exist in changing their focus. They learn how to do that for each major area of THEIR life Ð not trying to become me or imitate mine. 

What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before publishing this book?

I spent 6 years crafting and designing this book. Asking every question to anyone who would offer to mentor me or give me guidance. I never rejected advice Ð I listened and tried to make it better. It wasnÕt about challenging their idea or entering into senseless debates. I was focused on their perspective because I knew they were either older and had more experience, or similar in age but had a different story to tell. I then took what I was reading and practiced it over those years to see which ones led to sustainable growth and repeatable outcomes not just one-time success.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read ALL my book reviews! I think listening to those to paid you with their time and money Ð deserve your humility to read what they wrote about your work. ItÕs a great moment for reflection and indication if your writing produced the intended message to the intended audience! IÕve not received a bad review yet, but I believe itÕs because my book was written to get your brain to generate actions you should take for your life and not teach you how to imitate mine. If I get a negative review, IÕll treat it the same way as I do the positive ones. Ironically, people donÕt like to critique themselves as opening as they do others, but either way, IÕll learn from it and continue to get better! TheyÕre entitled to their opinion as long as itÕs not slanderous or offensive. Those will always be removed. 

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

There arenÕt really ÒsecretsÓ but there are things that if you read too fast Ð you will miss. The reason I wrote the book 72 pages was not because I wasnÕt a strong enough writer, it was intentional. I believe that we all only need to make the smallest changes in our lives that will make the biggest impact on our future. I wanted you to use my book as a guide that will help you regardless of the season of life but available for each aspect of your life that creates the solid foundation you would be creating or building from. 

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

If I could do something differently, I would probably have started writing sooner and reading a lot more outside of my school assignments. I think reading is what really makes a great writer Ð and while I developed the habit earlier on, I stopped reading for fun as I got older. I certainly have reunited with my love for reading in recent years, but I wish I utilized the time I had when I was younger to explore possibilities and push my brain to make better decisions. I donÕt regret anything, but I think if I had sought after some of these books IÕm reading today (that were published during that time period) it couldÕve allowed me the opportunity to be more creative. IÕm happy to continue the journey and continue getting better but using my words to create change in others.

What is your favorite childhood book?

My favorite childhood book was The Lord of the Flies! I learned so much from that book itÕs unreal! The amount of psychological education of the human brain illustrated in that book was the best I have seen since I read the book ÒThe Hatchet.Ó It painted a prime example of how capable we are as human beings to trigger survival instincts that we will literally do anything to survive, and these were just kids! ThatÕs how I knew there were adults who also had this survival instinct and will do anything to survive Ð which is why my book focuses that drive and focus on ourselves because once we change our mindset -the things around us can begin to change too!

Have you written any other books, or do you have any books planned for the future? Tell us as much as you are willing to share!

There are plans for another release which will probably be the best book I have ever written! The title will be 20K Mindset: 5 Principles for Sustainable Life Leadership! The release date will likely be in 2023 as we gear up for an amazing year of speaking, workshops, and conferences across the nation. The next big release will be our eBook series where we provide 60 jammed packed pages of ways you can maintain success in your life! Subscribe to For the Youth Podcast on Apple or Spotify to stay up to date on book releases! To learn more about me or if youÕre interested in my hosting an event in your area visit shawnthespeaker.com!

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