With over a decade under his belt, serial entrepreneur and publicist Ivan Thomas has added author to his already impressive resume with the release of his new book Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness Within.
Ivan is a rising mogul who has represented people and brands like Xerox, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nielsen, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Waka Flocka Flame, actor Darrin Henson and many others. Ivan has dedicated the majority of his career to elevating small black businesses while inspiring business owners. He spoke to us about the things that inspired him to live his life inspiring others and more.
Speak to us about your book Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness Within. What prompted you to write the book?
Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness Within is a book that shows people how to think and act BIG. It is about helping people to eliminate the self-limiting beliefs and actions that lead to mediocrity and missed goals, and encouraging them to embrace a success mindset so they can launch into the lives they've always wanted, personally and professionally. I wrote the book because I am a strong believer in the law of attraction. I am also very passionate about motivating and inspiring people to become the best versions of themselves because I believe God has equipped each and every one of us with gifts and a purpose. Many of us just don't know how to tap into them. Looking back to my journey to self-actualization, lessons I learned from highly successful individuals, stepping into entrepreneurship, and ultimately launching my own companies - there are many things I learned along the way that I felt could help others to bring the best out of themselves.
What was one thing you found yourself struggling to overcome throughout your journey? I struggled with the feeling that I needed to please and accommodate others all of the time. I often shortchanged myself by putting my needs, priorities, and goals for my life on hold, but then I would sit around and be upset about it. I had to learn to project my voice and stand firm in my decisions, whether people liked it or not. Additionally, I had to stop being a procrastinator and being complacent. That required me to step outside of my comfort zone and to really push and stretch myself. It was tough in the beginning, but once I learned to embrace the challenges and navigate through uncomfortable situations, my life changed for the better.
What do you feel people's hindrance is when attaining success?
Doubt, fear, and honesty. Many people have self-doubt about what they are actually able to accomplish in life. They may want an amazing, successful life, but they don't think it's truly realistic for them. They fear to fail and being vulnerable to the opinions of others as a result of mistakes they might make. So, on top of their own self-limiting beliefs, they allow others to project their doubts, fears, and opinions onto them. Lastly, and most importantly, many people struggle to be honest with themselves. In order to get the most out of life, you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and be truthful about who you are, what you are, and where you are. Naturally, we try to justify things, but if you can't be straight up and say...I'm not doing enough. I'm not working hard enough. I don't know enough and I need to step my game up...Then you don't stand a chance at real success. Success starts internally.
What has this current period of quarantine and social distancing taught you? It has taught me to be appreciative of the simple things which, as it turns out, actually are the most important things. Such as having a life and enjoying time with my beautiful wife and kids. Being able to step outside and hear the birds, smell the fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of nature. It also reinforced to me the idea that we have everything that we need. Like I mentioned, we all have gifts and a purpose. Too often we want to reach outside to take our lives to the next level, thinking that we need someone else to do it. I used the quarantine to learn more about myself, to read and study, to develop new ideas. I was able to finish my book, get in great shape, and I launched two new companies during the quarantine.
Being a Black man in America, what kind of change do you hope to see for our community and future generations?
I want to see true justice and equality. More thriving black businesses that give back and contribute to the overall growth of the community and society as a whole. I want to see young black boys and girls dreaming big and understanding that they can do anything they put their minds to, if they put in the work, stay focused and embrace positivity over negativity. I want to see real unity and us again embracing the fact that it truly takes a village.
Available exclusively on Amazon, get your copy today!