By: Sonny Pinkney
Growing up his mother was addicted to heroin—while his father was a member of the bloods (gang). But, he didn’t follow the path of his parents. Instead, this individual overcame a learning disability that resulted him unable to read until the age of sixteen. He’s an extraordinary person that didn’t become a product of his environment, while facing obstacles that were placed in front of him. William Hollis, a former professional football player had aspirations of playing in the NFL; However, Hollis sustained an injury to his vertebrae which ended his playing career.
William was at a crossroad in his life, after the death of his mother, as a result of a heroin overdose, with no football career, no family and no support. He sought to discover his true purpose in life—becoming a motivational speaker. Hollis, a native of Pontiac, Michigan that speaks on his hardships that included him being homeless at one point and eating meals from a dumpster—when he speaks before his audience.
“One day I was having suicidal thoughts, and I had actually walked into a school to volunteer speak and a hour later, they were like: ‘William, how much do you charge?’ just like that. I walked in believing in God and just like that, I gave some kids some knowledge that I obtained from my short & long life; the hard life, [that] I lived. It ended up being my career. God gave me a gift, that very day and ever since I’ve been speaking ever since. Hollis stated.
He added: “Three years later, we’re over sixty million views on YouTube; made history in Milan (Italy); [I was] the first speaker to ever speak at Milan fashion week and we’re breaking barriers and we’re breaking records; I’m one of the youngest [motivational] speakers in the world—I’m actually number two downloaded speaker on the number one app in the world called ‘Pep Talk’ at twenty-eight years old.”
The former former Toronto Argonauts football player (CFL) whose primary objective is to “revolutionize the Urban Youth’s mindset by passionately voicing my shared life experiences” draws his inspiration from everyday life and his environment that he sees on a daily basis.
“I get my fuel off the pain of the world. Ever since, I was a kid—I can see when you can look at your mom, as a kid and tell that something was wrong, but she’d never tell you because she felt like you were too young to understand anyway…Every day in life, I can feel pain [and] I see pain…my demographics is [between] twenty-eight and thirty-eight years old.” Hollis said. He added: I tell everybody that I meet: They tell me that, ‘Roses can’t grow in the projects, I say: Roses can grow in the projects, if you can take care of the soil; So, I get my motivation from the soil.’
Though, William is known by many as the “Urban Youth’s Vocal Powerhouse” and has thousands of followers, he isn’t immune from going through turbulent times over the course of his life; Hollis’ motivational source for guidance is Family and God. He shared with feedbackthemagazine.com that he was homeless for a year, but he remained faithful in a higher power.
“My motivational source is my daughters and the Lord. The Lord is first. When I was down and out and homeless—there was a point when I was like ‘God isn’t real ’you can’t believe in that when I was at my lowest point, when I was down and homeless [and] when I was sleeping in my car—that’s when he [God] flew me to Italy.” Hollis stated.
Hollis, who also goes by “King Hollis” has been a motivational speaker for three years now, made history by becoming the first motivational speaker to speak before a crowd which included (socialite, reality tv star, businesswoman and model) Paris Hilton and (fashion designer) Philipp Plein during Milan fashion week and he expressed being a motivational speaker is something that you’re born with.
“[Because] you see life in another platform than everybody else. You see a person that’s motivated, is a person that can see positive any in a negative situation. He got a fire inside him—that as long as it’s still flaming he’s going to continue to fight… Hollis said. “You got to understand this: ‘You can’t choose motivational speaking—the people must choose you [and] you can’t choose when you want to talk, the people must ask you to speak.’
William, who refers to men as ‘Kings’ never envisioned that his message would resonate with people worldwide; and he wanted individuals to gain insight from his speeches.
“Real! True story! Everybody knows when that movie come on when it says, “Based on A True Story” it looks that much interesting, a true story.”Hollis believes.
Lastly, William disclosed his next goal to feedbackthemagazine.com and that is—he wants to become the number one motivational speaker in the world.
You can find William Hollis on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter.