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Ep#46 Tony Gaskins: Respect My Story

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Shawn A.: 00:00:00 Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the podcast and I am here with my guy, the one and only Tony Gaskins. How's it going today man?

Tony G.: 00:00:09 Going great. Thank you so much for having me.

Shawn A.: 00:00:11 Man. I'm excited for this one man. You are like the guru on all things, relationships are your well known author, celebrity coach man, and I'm just excited to bring you in on the show and I kind of want to know like, I want to go back to the beginning so people can, you know, get an idea about you. Take us back to like where are you from?

Tony G.: 00:00:29 Um, literally like where I grew up.

Shawn A.: 00:00:33 Yeah man, let's go.

Tony G.: 00:00:35 I'm from Urbandale Florida, which is a small town in the middle of Tampa, Florida and Orlando. Florida is in between the two of them. And so I just, you know, I come from a humble beginning, mother and father in the home. My Dad was a police then he was a fireman. My mom worked, you know, state farm insurance for like 15 years. And you know, your typical upbringing. And then it was when I started to try to find myself and go out and look for me, you know, that's when things started to change and go the wrong way for me.

Shawn A.: 00:01:12 Wow. So you said you started going the wrong way, like you're growing up in Tampa, right? And you're growing up and learning all these different things as you were in school. Like it was that things that were catching your attention that we're getting you in the wrong direction or what?

Tony G.: 00:01:26 Yeah, it wasn't really at school for me, it was more so, um, when I turned 18. Oh Wow. Because I got in trouble and in ninth grade got arrested for stealing from the mall with my friend. And, uh, so we went to jail for, you know, maybe a few hours. And my mom picked me up. Ironically, both of our dads were pastors, you know, so my dad had a very small church and his dad had a small church in the same little city. Um, and we just were out, you know, doing the devil's work, I guess you would say. And, but from there I was pretty, you know, clean cut until I turned 18 when I went off by myself when I went to college. And that's when, you know, the monkey jumped on my back so to speak. It was a battle.

Shawn A.: 00:02:19 So you had this incident that happened, you were in ninth grade, right then when I asked her to have it for you in ninth grade, like where were you feeling like, like after you were calm and like it was brought up and you have this, you know, there's great family background. Like how did that make you feel?

Tony G.: 00:02:32 You know, it was embarrassing. It was embarrassing for my parents especially, I mean not as much for me because it was kind of like your stripes so to speak. You know, you get arrested, you go to jail as a young black man. Around that same time, a lot of guys are dropping out of school. Um, a lot of guys are starting to sell drugs, starting to smoke and so do different things. So for me it was kind of like, those were little stripes, you know, of, of being a bad guy. And not be in the spoil care, um, from the good home with a two parent home. Cause most of my friends didn't have the father in the home. And so, you know, it, I felt unrightfully privileged. And I think a lot of times when you're young you don't realize your blessings are. I remember asking my parents like, can y'all not come to my football game?

Tony G.: 00:03:23 Like why did y'all have to come to every game like nobody else? Parents come. You know, I felt I was unrightfully privileged because I had two parents. But being in a environment that was so many single parent homes, it was, I felt weird. I was like, Dad, you know, you mess it up. My story, you know, when I, when I go to the NBA or the NFL, people going to think I didn't earn it because I had a father. You know, and this, that, that backwards mentality of some black Americans in certain places throughout America to where you, you become so accustomed to seeing brokenness and to seeing dysfunctional households that when you have one that is functional, you almost don't know how to, you know, act in it.

Shawn A.: 00:04:16 Wow. So growing up it sounds like, were you ever like in environments, which appears in your homeboys and they were going through hard times and struggles and you just felt like, you know what, I can't even relate because I can go home right now. I see both of them.

Tony G.: 00:04:31 Right. It was, it was just kind of weird because my best friend, his dad has been in prison all our life. I don't even know what his dad is in prison for. He's never even mentioned it. So it has to be that bad, you know? And so he was in prison our entire life. I met him when I was five years old and he's still in prison and we 35 wow. So, so I don't even know what he went to prison for. And, and then my other friends, you know, didn't have their father, um, or if they did, you know, the, that was a little different than mine. Maybe a little distant didn't really come outside and play with them, teach them, you know, stuff on the court. Um, so it was an awkward feeling because I'm like, you know, why am I favor, you know, who am I and why do I have this situation when everybody else just kind of going through these struggles,

Shawn A.: 00:05:23 how did you come over that? Like how did you get a past feeling like that?

Tony G.: 00:05:27 You know, I never did as a, as a youth, I, it actually made me want to do more of the wrong things because I want it to be accepted. And I think a lot of times people who end up in the street life, we don't, we're not real about that. We're not real about that. Nobody is forced to the streets, you know? I mean, not nobody, 90% of the people who end up in the street life made a choice is, is that 10% who they were born to a mother who was strung out on drugs and a father who was abstinent absent. So they had to go out to sail, drove to buy food to feed themselves, literally cause their mom was high. That's less than 10% of the people, most of the rest of us. You know, you had either a strong mother or two parent home and you made a choice because you thought that was a rite of passage to becoming a man. And so that's kind of what I went through.

Shawn A.: 00:06:38 Wow. So it sounds like a lot changed for you at 18 when you went off to school. Right. Tell me a little about that. What happened?

Tony G.: 00:06:45 I was on a full football scholarship, so $30,000 a year. Wow. And I red shirted my freshman year, which is, you know, for those who don't do sports in college, it's a red shirt is like a free year. It doesn't count against your eligibility. And so you will technically be in school five years and you just practice with the team, but you don't play. And I, red shirted is very, very boring. It's very boring. And I just kinda got caught up. I was, I was used to being the man on the football field and on the basketball court all through high school in the newspaper every day, number one in my county. So when I went to college and now I'm not playing, I felt like nothing because it's like where do I get my attention from? Where do I get my shine from? And I started selling weed in college, you know, so I started selling weed because my cousins back home was selling weed in Florida. I was in college in West Virginia, so I had to get the weed and Florida traffic it from Florida to West Virginia and then sell it to the kids who was smoking. I didn't smoke and so, but everybody was smoking. So I saw an opportunity. And so that was kind of like the entrepreneur in me that pays off legally today. But at that time it was like I was seeking, you know, attention. I was attention seeking and trying to be affirmed.

Shawn A.: 00:08:10 Wow. So when you're out here, you know West Virginia, your traffic and from Florida and you, you know, you make any sounds and making these deals, the people realize it was you. And then did it get to a point where, you know what, I'm probably going to lose my college scholarship doing these type of things.

Tony G.: 00:08:26 Yeah. You know, my whole team knew it was me and, and ironically right next to me was the head coach's son. So I believe he probably told his father and his father probably didn't want me to go to jail or anything, but it distracted me. It took some of my attention. So after three years I, the coach kicked me off the team. You know, he, I knew it was because I stayed injured because I was, I wasn't living right. You know, so my father didn't play sports in high school, you know, and he dropped out in 12th grade and took his GED. I think he didn't walk the stage. And so my mother, she graduated but didn't really go to college. And so it was a situation to where I wasn't really prepared for college hours of basically a first generation college student. And definitely, you know, first generation athlete. Neither one of my parents played sports at all in, in pop Warner, little league, middle school, high school. So I didn't understand the level of sacrifice that it would take to be successful as a college athlete. But I had all of the physical gifts. I was the absolute most athletic on my team and I had, I had been that way my whole life. I was always the high scorer in basketball and I was always the leading rusher and football, but I didn't necessarily understand sports, how to be successful at it.

Shawn A.: 00:09:57 So you get kicked off his team and from what I'm hearing from you right now, this hat to buy farm B, you're now what moment? Right.

Tony G.: 00:10:05 You know, at that time it was like, wow, man, it's shocking, you know? It was really shocking. I didn't know how to process it, you know, tried to fight it. They let you appeal. I tried to appeal the school, came back and said, well, you know, we take the coach's side on this, instead of giving you the $28,000 a year that you were getting, paying your full tuition, we'll give you 14,000 and you still can come to school, but you got to pay for 14,000 which of course, you know, my parents now have 14,000 that they could pay. So it was, um, it was time to go home and get in the student loan debt.

Shawn A.: 00:10:43 Yeah. Yeah. So student loan debt is something we all are like, I'm aware of and where the, you know, they're calling you when they're asking those different types of things. So you go back home, you have the student loan debt, like where were you going to do next? Like did you think, okay, I got go get a regular job.

Tony G.: 00:10:57 Right. I tried to, you know, at first, um, because I went to a private school my 10th grade through 12th grade year, so I was fortunate enough I was recruited to play basketball, which recruiting is illegal, so you can't technically, you know, say that. But I would route it, um, to play basketball. And so that's how I got to the private school and then they have financial aid there. So to, so my school was paid for in high school and I met some, you know, high powered individuals. And so when I came home, um, I was able to reach out to some of those connections and get some, you know, regular jobs. And so all through college, while I was in West Virginia, I was able to work a summer job. When I was in high school. I was able to work with some, a job one summer because of one of the business owners at my private school.

Tony G.: 00:11:46 And here I was 16 years old, making $250 a week, you know, with no bills. So I'm making $1,000 a month with no bills and I just could spend that money how I want it to. So I was live in lavish and, um, so I kinda had this favor that was following me through my life. And my mom, she always says that, she said, you been favored since your feet hit the ground. And I've had this favor that followed me through my life and I didn't really understand it. I didn't really realize its presence. Um, but, and I took it for granted and, and so you would think that would be my moment getting kicked out of college, losing a full football scholarship. But I was not in love with football. I actually did not like football. I actually did not watch football on television, you know, I just average 10 yards a carry and that's what got me my scholarship. But I didn't really understand the game, you know, to truly be honest.

Shawn A.: 00:12:46 What's the biggest, what's the biggest lesson your mom ever taught you?

Tony G.: 00:12:50 Uh, you know, she, she said so many little nuggets to me and everyday she dropped off to school. She would say steady to be quiet and show yourself approved. And she would always have like these different little, you know, quote, she would say, uh, in every arena and it would come from her mother, my grandmother. And then my dad, he was more long winded, you know, so that's where I get my long winded and is from. And he had a lot of wisdom, you know, so that made me start thinking 20 years, you know, ahead of my time. And I honestly think that that was a part of my problem because I felt like I experienced the world in a much deeper way that the pace that my peers were moving at was very slow to me. And so that Kinda made me want to do more. And I became restless and reckless, um, taking risk because I felt like I had a greater command on my environment. So, you know, the lessons that I learned really came from life, not really from my parents because I was at that age, I wasn't listening. You know, I wasn't paying attention and, and then it just starts to hit you later, you know?

Shawn A.: 00:14:06 Wow. So you go back home, right? Honestly, you continue to learn different things, but I heard you, you Kinda took a job with counseling, right?

Tony G.: 00:14:15 Tell us a little bit about that. That was, that was a little bit later. I tried to work in the grocery store and my ego just would not let me, I had been used, I was stocking groceries and I was probably 21 and I'm like man, you know I was used to being a ladies' man cause I was an athlete and I'm hitting in here stocking groceries and all these beautiful girls who go to the college, to my college of the street, you know, coming in here and I'm stocking grocery and man I look like, you know. And so after about three months I, I quit that job and then I say, hey, you know, can you help me get on in a warehouse, go to the grocery store, have warehouses. So I went, I went to the warehouse. So now I'm in a warehouse and around this time I met my wife and so now I'm in the warehouse and is backbreaking work.

Tony G.: 00:15:15 I'm like, man, you driving a fork lift and you, you got to get off the fork lift, grab these boxes, stacking on this Palette, you know, on the forklift behind you. And then you can keep going through the warehouse, stacking it up, like you know, this geometry, this, you know, and then you got this thing that's tall, I'm five 10 so this thing gets six, six, four and this. And you got a wrap Saran wrap around it as you're doing this. And then you hit a corner and it all tip over crane and you've been stalking it for hours. I say, man, I'm not, I'm not built for this three months. I quit three months I quit. And then that's when I went full time in the streets and I'm like, I tried to be a pro athlete. Wow. I saw three options coming out or where I come from small town, you know, Carbondale, Florida.

Tony G.: 00:16:15 And at this time, after college I moved to Tampa, which is to me the big city. And um, I saw three options. You can be a pro athlete because I'm from Urbandale and Tracy Mcgrady is from Urbandale. So I'm like, you can be a pro athlete like Tracy Mcgrady. You can be, that's your first option. Then you could be overworked and underpaid like your parents. You make an honest living. I tried that and I didn't like any of it or you could be a drug dealer and so my next option, but to be a drug dealer. And so I was full of time in the streets and, and then I met my wife. Wow. I had met her around the warehouse time but then she left me like a two months in because I was too toxic to controlling. I was too insecure, too jealous and she left me.

Tony G.: 00:17:08 And so we didn't talk for six months and then come back around. We bumped into each other just on happenstance because one of my friends wanted to connect with her roommate and I didn't try to get her back or chase her and she didn't try to come back to me. We just, she said we need to take a break. And my ego at this time, very air, very egotistical, you know, like a lot of star athletes and I Kevin Mover, I went back to my ex, she went back to her ex, me and my ex stayed together for six months. Her and her eggs. He flunked back out of the relationship after like two months and so she was single, you know, but um, next four months I didn't know him and I bumped into or trying to connect her room at one of my friends and that's when my life started to change at this time.

Tony G.: 00:18:01 At that time I was what some guys called organized pimp, but it wasn't really organized pimp. What it was is I had a group of college girls who will call the dazzling dimes and it was an idea from one of my friends. He was like my best friend that I grew up with. Like, man, you got all these women, you've got all these girls, man, you need to do something with it, make some money off of it. I was like, what do you mean? He was like, man, you need to get like a troupe of girls or something. How do you women working for you? And so here I am as we start to dazzling dimes and it basically was girls who was like a twerk team. If you ever heard of a twerk team south is the thing in the south. So they just would go to different clubs.

Tony G.: 00:18:49 We would go to all the different clubs and, and the promoters would put them on the stage. And while the songs planned, you know, the top Song Tei, whoever, you know, uh, they torquing, you know, and they got on like little boy shorts so it looks or summit and they had on matching shirts with a number on the back of it. It helps, you know. And so that was another entrepreneurial venture and I, I made $900 I think, um, in that and everything was kind of for free. And then my mom, she came to me, she says, son, you need to let that girl stuff go. You got them girls, you're in the club. That's, I'm embarrassed. I'm a shame. Somebody say, you know how you sign it doing, what are you up to? Because they all know you as the star athlete. I would just like, what am I supposed to tell them?

Tony G.: 00:19:32 Oh, he worked with girls in the club, you know, I'm supposed to say. And so I, I met my wife, she went on one job with us, which was to the club for the girls to be VIP. I can be for, you know, pro boxer who made it and pro NBA player who made it from where we from. And we all grew up together. And so now data pro athletes making millions and I'm the ladies man with the girls. So I brought the girls to do the VIP. I can, they just stand in the VIP, look pretty. And my wife went with us on that trip and we were driving my dad's car. He had a little Lexus and I had the girls lapped up in the back sitting on each other loud cause it only seat three. They sit in on each other lap and I'll put my wife, the queen in, in, in the front seat.

Tony G.: 00:20:23 And she went, saw what it was like. And then after that she kind of told me like when we started to get serious, you say, look, you're gonna have to let that go. And I was selling drugs at the time and she'd say, you know, you're gonna have to let that go. Um, and, and that's when my life started to change. You know, she was with it for a little minute, but I think she was, as she explains it to me, if she knew the first around that she met me that I could be her husband. Yeah. But when she cut me off, she had to eat that, you know, she had to live with that decision and when she came back she tolerated some mess so that they give me some time to grow up. Yeah. It was just a couple months though,

Shawn A.: 00:21:11 man. I mean, that makes so much sense, man. It's so crazy because I come from that same type of backgrounds. So like an age of 14 I started throwing these parties go off to college when all the states, all the clubs automate life vineyards. We probably would've hired Tony the brain to do something like that. So that's so real, man. We tried to grow a group before. I can only imagine the different personalities you have to deal with. And all of those days, man, say you get the lady or your dreams to take you out of the streets to take you out of the mindset to grow you up and level you up. Right. What was it for you with having that background? I noticed you talked about your father being, you know, the guy of wisdom and things like that. How did you formulate all those things together and start taking it to social media and blow up the way that you have?

Tony G.: 00:21:59 Um, I started working in a group home in 2006, I think it was, and I got my wife and she got pregnant. She got pregnant and then when she was probably three months pregnant, um, I proposed to her on Christmas and then we got married, uh, March 30th in 2007 and Twitter had just started in 2007 I didn't know about Twitter. Um, and I wrote a book and I published it February of 2007. Got Married March of 2007, turned 23, March of 2007 and we had our son April of 2007. Wow. So my life was going really, really fast. And after having my son not long after I got my first royalty check and it was $300. So at the trying to go legit, I get a royalty check, this $300 and I'm like, and it was for like three months of sales, you know, a book sales.

Tony G.: 00:23:09 I was expecting that check to be $12,000 because of and just my ignorance of how it works. And um, so I went back to the streets against my wife's wheel without her knowledge and when she found out, I remember her crying, she left the house, she went and get some counsel, you know, I think from a pastor, her uncle, she came back, she had glasses on cause you wear contacts normally she had her glasses on, her have an opponent tell her face was a nose was red. So I could tell she'd been crying and um, and I think she was just depressed. Like wow, I'm in school to be a doctor. She's a biomedical science major. I get with this guy, I love his mind. I love everything about him, but then he keeps, you know, he'll dig to this image and he doesn't know his purpose and who he is.

Tony G.: 00:24:05 And so she said, you know, I'm gone. I told you if, if you're going to be in the streets, I can't be with you. So she basically was telling me, yeah, we've been married for like two months, but three months, but I'm going to leave you. And so she left and she was gone for like three days and I was begging her back, calling her nonstop, calling her nonstop. And then on third day she answered the phone and she said, look, you know, I consider giving you one more chance what? You're going to have to promise to leave the streets forever. You won't have to go to anger management for trying to hold me when I was trying to leave because you're trying to leave out bear hug and you know, an older. And so we were tussling. And so she said, you don't have to go to anger management or get some kind of life coaching, you know.

Tony G.: 00:24:53 And so I started doing coaching with my father. Um, who he wasn't a pastor at the time. He had gone through stuff in his life and my mom had got a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Um, and so I went to him and to get the lessons that he learned from life and I was finally receptive at 23 years old and it was 23 years old that my life started to change, that I started to turn things around and I set a goal to be on Oprah in two years. It was 2007 and I started pitching myself to Oprah everyday, everyday, everyday telling different parts of my story. And then eventually in 2009, um, Chris Brown and Rihanna happened. And in my relationship before my wife, we had physical altercations, not to that extent, but screaming, yelling, pushing, shoving. When I was 19, 20 years old playing college football and I was dating the girl, she was a college soccer player.

Tony G.: 00:25:54 And so we was a recipe for disaster complete, you know, just opposites. She believed in violence in a relationship. She believed in it. She thought that meant love. And so that was a later became, to my knowledge, came to my knowledge from my sister. She told my sister that she loved to get under my skin and make me mad. And so she would kind of push buttons, mental abuse, and then it would turn into more. And I was in that situation for two years and it was toxic for like a year. And then I left the relationship because I'm like, this is just too much. It's too toxic is tool. It was like spiritual warfare. What if like, and so when I saw Chris Brown and Rihanna, I realized that that was spiritual warfare, that it was two spirits having a human experience, but the spirits are opposing.

Tony G.: 00:26:45 And so one is trying to control the other and they're trying to control one another. So now it becomes a tug of war and a survival of the fittest. And when you can't express yourself verbally, things get physical, physical. And they was young. They have been for them around the same age that it happened for me. I thank God it was never as bad as it got for them, but it still was the same underlying emotions. And so I pitched again, I had given up on pitching myself and I sent another pitch through and I wrote, I was my own publicist, so I did all my own pitches. I wrote their own pitch and everything and I wrote it and I say, I said I was Chris Brown. I know what it's like to be him and I know how he can change and I know how Rihanna can change, leave the relationship and not attract another situation like that. Um, and I told my story of a piece of it and to please let me come on your show and share my story with your viewers. And I was at the group home working as a counselor in the group home and I looked at my phone and then says, Chicago. Wow. And it was like a day after the pitch goodness. And it's at Chicago and I picked it up and just like, oh, Hi Tony, this is such and such a producer from Harpo productions, from the Oprah Winfrey show. And I was like, what?

Tony G.: 00:28:22 My clients was on 24 hour supervision, but I left them in there by them, by themselves. I went out the back door and I sat there and I, you know, took the call and I talked to her, not very candid, I was very candid. I was trying to sell myself. I was old selling myself. I was stretching the truth. I was exaggerating, you know, trying to make it more than what it was. And Man, she held me to it. She stoned me with it, you know? So the stretching of the truth that I told in the email that I wrote, like a poet, I wrote it like a poet and just kind of like poetry. It's kind of like wrap too. When you write in the words, magnify the situation that may not have been on that level. And so she made me read it on air and it wasn't the full, it made it much sound much worse than what I actually went through.

Tony G.: 00:29:20 But I have put myself in that position, you know, trying to find a platform to tell my story. And, uh, it was alive, airing. It never aired again. It wasn't recorded. So it's not on youtube. You can find it online. Um, and I, and I think that was the vine, you know, because it was such a humiliating experience for me to kind of, to take my skeletons out of the closet. And I think a lot of times, you know, people have these situations to where you have skeletons in the closet and a lot of, especially men and women too, but humans are afraid to bring their skeletons out of the closet. And so I say, you know what? I'm going to take my skeletons out of the closet. I'm going to put clothes on them and I'm going to send them into the field to do God's work.

Tony G.: 00:30:13 And so I turned my mess into my message and I turned my pain into purpose and I turned my mistakes into lessons. And I use my story for God's glory to show the redemption. Um, cause I was raised a Christian, but I, I really didn't live it or understand it until I became an adult. And a lot of people don't believe in it and things like that. But I believe in it 100% whole heartedly because the lifestyle of Jesus Christ is what changed my life. Had I lived the lifestyle of, you know, peanut and pooky and booboo and all these guys, you know, from the hood, I will be in prison or the grave. Um, what I started living the lifestyle of Jesus Christ at 23 years old. And that's what saved my life.

Shawn A.: 00:31:04 That's a powerful story man. And I think you might get you to just stand right there. There's so many people that listen to this show and do to this podcast that can relate to everything you said. But now they're understanding that there is a way out and they're looking at you as no way out. And so what was it for you? When was that moment for you when you knew that, okay, I'm doing something right. I'm on the right path and this is the direction I should go.

Tony G.: 00:31:29 Um, so at that idea, Oprah, you know, they didn't mention my book, anything that the producers, she ordered my book from the independent publisher. I was using the Internet, publish how I was using, um, but they didn't mention my book and I was like, I was in the limo with my wife going back to the hotel and I'm sitting there and I'm like in tears pretty much. And I'm like, man, I just embarrassed myself. Everybody who knew nothing about, you know, my past it in relationships and how toxic I was. Now everybody knows and I'm sitting there and I'm like in tears and I'm like, man, why did I do that? Like, yeah, nearly every man I know has gone through what I, what I've gone through, but they take it to their grade. And why did I expose myself like that, you know? And then it dropped in my spirit email Tyra banks producer, cause I had been in touch with them as well.

Tony G.: 00:32:27 Um, but they kept trying to put me on, you know, monkey sambo shows. And I'm like, look, I'm not trying to be a celebrity. I'm trying to live a life of significance. I'm not just trying to be on it, on be on TV, you know, I gotta be on the shoulder that's positive, that has, uh, a message. And so I emailed him and I said, hey, did you see me on Oprah? He said, yeah, I did. You were amazing. It was like, we would like to bring you on Tyra show, um, next Tuesday, and this was a Thursday. He say, so can you get to New York? I was in Chicago, so I had to fly back to Florida. And then the next Tuesday they flew me to New York and he said, we want to bring you on, not as just a guest, but as a featured expert with your book in hand.

Tony G.: 00:33:15 So here I am, 25 years old with a self published book full of Typos and grammar errors because I didn't even finish college. And, and this guy telling me I'm going to be on Tyra banks showing myself published book that my wife had invested in and pay $1,600 for me to publish. And I'm going to show this book to the world, to her millions of viewers and I'm gonna be sitting next to a doctor and the doctor is talking about toxic abusive relationships, you know, domestic violence. And I'm telling my personal story of being a toxic lover in a relationship and with a bunch of young people on the stage telling their story. And um, that was kind of confirmation. That was like

Tony G.: 00:33:59 Goss and Ami. I took you to the highest heights so that you can expose yourself so that you can be humbled so that you can assume this role, but humility and service without your ego. Because had you rolled in like the knight in shining armor, it would have been to your destruction, but because you've exposed yourself now people know that you were flawed individual. Just like they are and now they know what you did wrong. So now the adversary cannot l and throw that in your face. Your legacy will be written by you because if you don't expose yourself and you try to be perfect, somebody else will have the final say soul of your legacy. So every mistake I made, I put it in a book and I told him on interviews, I told her on Oprah and that was kind of, I didn't have the wisdom at the time.

Tony G.: 00:35:09 I didn't understand what they would do to bill Cosby. I didn't understand what they would do to Michael Jackson. No, I didn't know that will happen too. Where when a person is about to die or after they die, they take taken, take their skeletons out of the closet and they ruin their legacy. And God had given me wisdom at 25 years old. Really at 22 cause I wrote my in my book to expose myself. So it kind of was the m and m eight mile tactic. Yeah. Um, when, when he took him, you know, describe, describe himself and his freestyle. So now when it was dude turn everything that dude was going to say, he had nothing to say and I never forgot that either. And so now it's like nobody can say, oh, Tony was a womanizer. Tonia was toxic and control and Tony was a drug dealer and this breaking news, nobody can say that because I've already told that story.

Tony G.: 00:36:12 So now what you have to get out from my story is the redeeming power of Jesus Christ and whether you are atheist or Muslim or whatever the proof is in the pudding. You gotta. You got to respect my story because this is what I lived in. This is how I changed and I remember I have to go on Oprah and then doing local news and Tyra banks and then right after that, and I did the 700 club, which is on Trinity Broadcasting Network. Yeah, I remember seeing a counselor, she said on the local news, she was like, a lot of people say that their faith changed them, but that's, that's an excuse. That's a cop out. Your faith can't really change you. You got to go through counseling and you got to go through like a program, and I just kind of laughed at it because there was no more wisdom that I could get from a man or a woman. Then I couldn't get from the Holy Bible and I started reading two chapters a day. I started studying, I started living by it, and it became my guide for life and then everything in my life change because I had now instituted morals and values.

Shawn A.: 00:37:23 Wow. I mean, how important you think it is for somebody that's listening right now, if they are afraid to, how important you think it is for them to tell their story?

Tony G.: 00:37:33 I think it's everything because if you don't tell your story, then your life was useless. B, if you don't tell your story, then you were just a social security number. You would just the ID number. If you don't tell your story, but when you tell you a story, you write your name in history. When you tell you a story, you tell the world I was here. When you tell you a story like my God, rest his soul. Nipsey Hussle, you know, I was listening to his album and it was so, it was so crazy for me because I had started studying him and I have what I call like study of greatness. And so as I see somebody who's greatness in the making, I started studying and I had studied, started studying him about 40 days before his passing. And so it hit me so hard and I could tell from his music and from what he was saying that most likely he's killed people.

Tony G.: 00:38:32 He never said it because that would be incriminating, but I could hear in his music that it was so real that it was so real. And in that you know, people are losing their lives. His best friend lost his life. Steve will be of the barbershop after soul. I fast. I could tell that most likely he had killed people in his career as a gangster or if not kill people at least shot him or shot at him 100% that's a lot. The tail, that's a lot to admit to. But in his coded language, he was saying that to the people who were in the streets, who would he know what he means. And then he was saying, I did what you did and I probably did worse than what you did, but look at me today. So if I can mature, if I can change, you can mature and you can change. So I was studying that and, and because of the depths of his words,

Tony G.: 00:39:41 I saw his untimely demise happening before it happened. And I remember when it happened, my wife, she came in, she's screaming. She was like, oh my goodness. Cause it, when they hit the stage, she said, oh my goodness you just said is you spoke this on that man though. What? She said, that's the her words. Um, but I mean, I didn't really speak it on him cause I don't have power of somebody else's life. But I had just bought her that morning. I had just told her that morning, um, that I saw that happening because in, in my studies of his interviews and his music, I said he was too deep. He was in too deep. This was not somebody sitting in their bedroom with their blinds open, looking outside and stuff happened in writing and in their notepad turned it into rhyme. This was somebody who was in it and if a meal was a lesson and it was a lesson on legacy, it was a lesson, alternative mistakes into lessons and it was confirmation for me from God.

Tony G.: 00:40:52 Doesn't like keep going. I keep on keep sharing your story and make sure that you've got your ducks in a row. They should. Did you put things in place because you never know when your voice, when you shifted the culture, when you shift in the atmosphere, you never know when your number will be called. You never know when the person right next to you from where you from because of the the life that you walk. Because I was in the streets because I was doing dirt because I was out there. You never know when that's going to come back to haunt you. So make sure that every day you do your best work and that you add your voice to the world. And I was like, wow, it hit me, you know, so hard. I was just, I was floored. I'm like, man, what, what is, what's going on? And I still have not gotten over it yet. And then today they haven't, you know, his funeral here in a little bit. And so it was, it was, it was so real for me. It was so real and I never met him in and that was shook his hand. But it was a message for me that I decided to, you know, go harder, do more,

Tony G.: 00:42:12 you know, punched the gas to the floor and make sure that I'm living a life of significance and thinking about legacy.

Shawn A.: 00:42:19 Yeah, that's so true. I mean, that's so real. And, and, and you know, his whole motto was the marathon continues and I think that the victory lap is Alan was, which was crazy. But I think so many people now are getting hit to him and I think he's going to be beyond bigger now because they're going to look back like you said, his words and his lifestyle and look at the, the biggest thought is why he wanted to do for his own people, but at the same time he still was heavily involved in, heavily around. And the sad thing about it is, as you grow up in me, think about it, your goal is to get out of the hood and want to do things for the hood, but when you do things for them and things like that happen, I mean it's just tragic man.

Tony G.: 00:43:02 And to be honest with you, um, I live where I ran the streets and that's why here, uh, where I live, nobody knows that I live here. It's a few people and I don't do anything in the community and I don't have a, a store or anything like that in the community for that very reason. Because of that fear that somebody can, somebody can clock you and they can watch you and they can, uh, they can schedule your demise. And so because of that, fear is like waiting until that time to where when you know that you are a culture shifter,

Tony G.: 00:43:48 everything you say or anything you say and anything you do, you gotta be ready to die. And when I say that, I don't mean by, I don't mean being killed by the government. I mean energy moves, energy, energy shifts, energy. So if you're doing positive things and you're radiating positive energy, you're stirring up negative energy in your, in the people who despise you in the people who NVU. And the greater you become, the greater their energy becomes. And now this is an opposing energy. And there's no different than what you see in a marvel movie is no different than what see in every comics. Superman. Batman is good versus evil. And a lot of times people get into conspiracies about government this and government that, but it's literally just good verse evil. It will be a human trying to hurt a human. And, and, and it may not always be death. It could, it could be something as simple as they come slash your tires. It could be something they start spreading lies about you to people who are mutual connections and say, Oh, well he did this and he did this because now you're making progress and they're standing still. So even with the work that you're doing,

Tony G.: 00:45:09 uh, when the Lord calls me home and I prayed, I said, you know, a hundred years old, this interview or live on, and you will be one of the few interviews that I've granted that will be added to my legacy.

Tony G.: 00:45:27 and people don't, you know, think about that. So now you become a part of my work. You become a part of my legacy. So as great as I n I used great loosely, as great as I grow to become, this interview will grow and go with me. So people will be able to place it in a chronological timeline to chart my growth. And there you will show up in that process

Tony G.: 00:46:03 and now, but at the same time, you are transferring energy. So the guy who hates you from third grade, this going to make them hate you even more. The girl who hates you because you broke her heart, your first law, she's going to hate you even more, you know, sold now it's be, it's just how energy works. And if somebody is crazy enough, if they own cocaine or some type of drugs, synthetic weed, you know, if they're going through, if they got a bipolar disorder or some type of disorder that could make them go too far on the other end of the spectrum. And if they close enough to touch you in whatever way it may be, they may do that. You know, I had an aunt who she would just so bitter and so hateful and so spiteful. She will call the police on people and say, Hey, they selling drugs in the house.

Tony G.: 00:47:03 Wow. And not be selling rather than police come raid the p bowels, she would call people jobs and she would say, you know, such as selling draws, they show job, you know, synthesize, you know, doing this and people, people jobs, we'll be ready to firearm. Wow. Color to me in the right. I'm up and about to get him fired. And so that's what I mean. She saw people married and happy with their spouse and a new car and a new house. And this could be own sister, this could be her own mother. I remember this aunt, she called the police on her mother who did nothing to her but try to help her. And this was a grown woman in her thirties or forties and

Tony G.: 00:47:46 she did it to my mom, her sister. And so that's how I saw it. And I started to realize that it literally could be when you started to pursue greatness, it could be the person in the house with you that we'll try to hinder you. It could be your quote unquote best friend, as jealous of you. And I think that's what people got to think about is stepping into your purpose, step into your greatness, leave a legacy, but be ready for everything that's going to come with it.

Shawn A.: 00:48:22 Man did this, this interview is iconic man. I gotta I, I cause everything you saying is spot on, but you got to, you got to realize when you're going out there and go right and you're going at the dream as you pursued as dream, you leveled up the highs, had a lot of people on the show, a lot of celebrities on the show. Now I'm one on one with you. People aren't going to watch what you're doing. They're going to want to either clap for you on, silently hate on you. And you have to realize and that is what you're going for and you have to think about impact, value, legacy. And that's what we're doing here today. So I want to ask you the question we ask every single person has ever been on his podcast and as if you were a person that just dropped out of school, whether you're still in school right now or you graduated and you can't figure it out. And you asking yourself the question of the show, school's over now. What, what advice would Tony Give?

Tony G.: 00:49:16 I would say the sit down with yourself and get in silence where no music, no TV, nobody talking to you. And if you have to do this an hour or 30 minutes every day, sit down with yourself and let your spirit minister to you to identify your purpose, to identify your pain, know that that will be tied to your purpose and identify your passion because you may be able to marry your purpose and your passion together. And when you discover that, I had a coaching call yesterday and later said, I don't know what I want to do, do, I don't know who I want to be. She's 38 years old and you know she working at a cell phone repair place and she lived on island and she's, I don't know what I want to do, who I want to be one. Look at her Instagram.

Tony G.: 00:50:14 I realize this woman has traveled to see more countries and more places than 99% of people will see in their light and she works at cell phone repair so she doesn't really make money. I said, that's the guilt you love to travel. That's your passion. You can not only be a travel blogger, but you could be a travel agent. You got a whole business that's making some people six figures and you're just sitting on it because you didn't realize that your passion could become your purpose. It could become a profitable business. And it's also, it can be tied to purpose because, and this is what you have to do, that after you identify the passion and your gifts, you so to speak, and you marry the passion and the gifts and you find profit, even if it's just making a dollar, then you got to give it purpose.

Tony G.: 00:51:11 So I, her example, she would take underprivileged kids and her foundation would raise money to take them on a trip or something like that, or abused women when they leave that relationship, take them to a resort for three nights to get pampered. And so now you're making profit from your blog, from your podcasts, from all your travel tips and your travel agency. But now you give it purpose to where it's doing something greater than just making money. And so that's what I would tell every person, sit and spend time with you because every one of us, we have natural gifts that come to us very easily that does not come to everybody else the same way. My latest book, uh, make it work, make it work is like a 250 pages. And I wrote the book in five days. Wow. And it's got five star reviews on Amazon.

Tony G.: 00:52:14 Last I checked, it was like about a hundred reviews and it's still at FiveStars. And people have been writing me from around the world, even different continents telling me that the book is changing their life and that they read it a second time when going on a third time and they got the audio book and a hardback book. And I'm blown away. But I wrote the book in five days when I hear a lot of people say it took them a year or two years or three years to finish their book. I'm going away next week, the right book number two in that particular book deal. Um, and I'm on the right it and I'm going to be going to seven nights. When I come back home, the book will be done and I have to realize that that is a gift. So what did I do with that gift?

Tony G.: 00:52:57 I don't have a college degree. I went to school for I think eight years. Um, yeah, for eight years and never finished my degree. But any degree I could have gotten at college are earn more than that degree would have paid me because I found my purpose and my passion. And so what I did with that ability to write a book and publish a book is I became an author consultant for $2,500. I teach you how to write your book, how to create your outline, how to create your writing schedule and how to self publish your book. So $2,500, I can do 10 or 20 of those a year. Then I became a ghost writer for $10,000. I can write four or five books a year. And so now I took that gift that comes easy to me and found a way to turn it into pro stream of income to profit.

Tony G.: 00:53:53 And so everything that's out here, every gift, every passion that humans have can become a business. And that's what, and and very long winded way to say don't lose hope, don't look down on yourself, don't feel like you got to, you know, be a slave on somebody else's job. And I got a quote that went viral and they thought it was Steve jobs quote and thought it was everybody quote. And it says, if you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs. And it was a little worried at first, but the worst meal so online took and change it to, if you don't build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs. And that quote, I typed it sitting in front of my job, that counselor job and I posted it on Twitter and my Twitter was viral at the time and that quote went over a hundred countries went viral. I saw it on commercials, I saw paypal or using it in their marketing and two other guys used it. And so they, it's attributed to them too. But I know where it come from. And um, and I say that to everybody, you know, build your dream. It's cool to have a job. It's cool to work in your career, but create something that you can't be fired from.

Shawn A.: 00:55:10 Man, that's powerful man is dope man. And you dropped so much, not shift for us today. So if someone was trying to get in contact with you, how can, where can they find you?

Tony G.: 00:55:18 Uh, Tony you can hit the contact. It comes right to my phone. If you want to do coaching, I still do coaching. I try to do at least like five to 10 sessions a week. A one on one coaching. And then on social media is Tony Gas and everywhere. So Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. I have a podcast where I answer questions from people, um, on love and relationships and youtube channel. So everywhere has Tony Gaskins.

Shawn A.: 00:55:45 Awesome. And for nausea or lesson to always remember, dream it. Believe it. Go out and get it, man. That's it man. I appreciate you so much Ma'am for your time, man. This is iconic man. It's going to be legendary for real.

Tony G.: 00:55:58 Awesome. Thank you so much for having me

Shawn A.: 00:56:00 man. I appreciate you man. I do got one sidebar question for you unless you go, um, for me, I been had the opportunity to be around and my lats, Dave Mattson, us, you name it. I'm worried I want to get this show and I want to get more like PR and I also want to get it more into the community and black community and getting that involvement. What advice would you give me or and, or who is there? Is there somebody that you, that I should know that could help me? What advice would you tell me about that,

Tony G.: 00:56:26 that um, to be honest with you, um, I think that you probably just could use a booking person who ha who goes out and writes the, all the celebrities to book them. And then just by getting those names and having those names that you can interview and you do a video interview. So this is becoming more popular. That's why I said yes. I say no to all interviews. Um, unless it's, you know, Oprah, a breakfast club level. And so when I, this one, because it was on Skype and because it was different and because of your kind of, you know, pitch and how it's set up nicely, I say I can take this one serious. And so that's why I said yes. So you positioned to really get anybody you want to on the show and then make sure you publish in them on Youtube and the person's name when people search in their name, people would already have traction.

Tony G.: 00:57:26 So get divine Franklin, get Eric Thomas, you know, getting those individuals, um, get the game, get Tyrese, get, you know, people get boots to get people who are out there who may not fit right inside of schools over, but they, they're promoting the album. And you know, I was able to watch so men initial hustle interviews cause he hired, you know, um, different people, you know, to secure those interviews for him while he was promoting himself. And at the time it maybe it didn't seem like it was doing much, but now you see it, you know cumulated so I met a lady yesterday name April love and I didn't meet her yesterday. I've worked with know she does, she does like PR and brand manager, you know, and I can connect you with her. She has a great spirit. You're very selective on who she works with, but she is somebody that can reach out to different celebrities and you know, connect to um, with different people. You also can reach out to Karen civil. Um, cause she worked with a lot of the rappers and um, and I have probably three or four emails for k for Karen, her and I, you know, don't communicate, but you can tell her, you know, Tony Gaskins sent me your way. Um, let me see if I could find your email.

Tony G.: 00:59:00 Okay. Shawn. Anthony, I'm going to save.

Shawn A.: 00:59:04 Yeah, man, it's so hard. Not Messing hard, but it's so hard to find. So he would say, well we'll tell you one that works to west have been working well for me. Is that I, like, I've been at Mama's house, guys were foreign to me and I was, and we sat down and talked for a longest time. He's had everybody on his show and he said, listen shot, I don't even know no other black male podcasts is in this space that is doing it like you. And that's something. And I sat down with Mamzer, I had to name one single, this is why I'm hot and Ma'ams told me whenever I'm on anything and I'm around Amy celebrity, don't be afraid to say that because like that's something that like that's what I make. I'm like Whoa, like they're going to really be like, okay, I should take this serious or why would I not want to do this? So I got to play that card too. I think.

Tony G.: 00:59:48 Yeah, everybody kind of, I mean some people against the media and you don't like it. Me, I don't really like it cause you know, you're answering the same questions over and over. And I think that's the thing is like, you know, honing your craft, you know, own your craft and make sure like the day you did really well, you, you heard what I said and you picked up off what I said and then you asked me another question without, without just having a list of preset questions that didn't go with what I just said. So that's the gift in itself. And um, and keep getting better and keep getting deeper. You know, so you're, your interview should not just be an interview, it should be like a, a transformation for the interviewee. It should, it should be like a coaching session because you ask a coaching as a life coach.

Tony G.: 01:00:35 All I do ask great questions and the answers are already inside of you. So your interview, a person should feel like they just had a therapy session. It should feel therapeutic because the question they were asked, they've never been asked a question like that before. So you have to create a set of questions that's in your reservoir, your repertoire that is deeper life meaning questions so that when a person hears that question, they really kind of got a poles and they got a, hmm hmm hmm, I have no heard that. You know what? Hold on. I've never been asked that question before. I, let me think about that. That's where you want to put people at and that's what's going to turn into to epic interviews that will transcend time and that will cross all barriers. You know, all demographics, all races and religions and so, and it just takes spending time with to, you know, spending time with you, interviewing yourself an interview as zig Ziglar calls it, you know, interview looking within and saying, what question would put me on my butt?

Tony G.: 01:01:45 You know, what question, which is not my stock song. It really against it. The harder things without embarrassing people or making them feel stupid, but just what, just really making them feel like you are the most iconic, intellectual, unique being on the face of this earth. And I want to walk around in your mind, have questions that make them feel like that and that's going to take the level of your interview to a whole nother level and then that's going to make that person to share the interview. So this was a great interview. This is an interview that I feel like I would tweet out, you know, tweet link tool, um, and have it on, on mediums that are easily accessible. You know, one, one fault with podcasts is people just put it on podcast outlets. Not everybody wanted to download on ice on their phone because they're, they don't have storage. Yeah. And it's all podcasts take up a lot of storage, but when you put it on a site like youtube, they just can click the link and watch the video on, you know, and it just makes it easier and it does involve down their phone.

Shawn A.: 01:02:55 That's dope man. I'm just definitely do that. Um, I'm having a lot of visuals for you. I'm not you. Some visuals that you see, like the pictures you could see, like the audio and things like that. Um, if you don't mind, man, I'd love to kind of keep your contest. I can send it directly to you, especially like emailed you. Okay, great. Cause let me see. I see. Yep. Got It. I agree. I'm going to see a whole bunch of stuff when I get it, man. And now we're going to, we're going to send the man on fire, man, next 40 hours. You can see a lot of people sharing and a lot of people at you. Okay. Okay. Awesome. I appreciate you brother.


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