Kellen Coleman will share with us the amazing knowledge and wisdom he has been collecting through his fatherhood journey. Father of two little girls and owner of a PR and consulting firm and the publishing house known as Formenky Publishing, author of the LONDON & SYDNEY EXPLORE THE WORLD: TEXAS children’s book and co-author of other books, and being the primary caregiver to his kids Kellen will show us in a very practical way how to juggle so many hats and still do a great job.
“Being the primary caregiver because my wife works 80 to 100 hours a week like every other resident in this country, and not paid for that work, minimum wage payments and that’s just part of being a resident. Is being a primary caregiver, being an entrepreneur, running a PR and consulting firm and now starting the publishing company and it is all a team effort, couldn’t do it by myself. It is being able to wear multiple hats whether it is in 10 minutes, an hour or a day. You go from entrepreneur to dad, you go from being the disciplinarian to being the person who has to listen, I have two girls so I always have to listen, you know, that is a skill that I’ve had to learn. Having to be diverse and being able to multitask and also plan those trips to the museum, to the waterpark, while getting my work done, making sure that payroll is done, my whole day is diverse and I am never, never upset about it because this is what I chose and I love doing it every day.”
He will share his view on the current state of the children’s book market and on the struggles many people go through every day as not only single parents but also as people that didn’t listen to the wise words of our elders.
“So a lot of problems we have with dads is that people aren’t listening to the wisdom that the old people told them. Find a good mate, make sure you are equally owed and you guys are on the same accord and then go through the steps. But when people wanna have one night stands and say “oh, I can raise a kid by myself” and “I don’t need a woman” or “I don’t need the man” there is always problems, there is more problems.”
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate and learn as much as we can from Kellen on today’s interview as we did preparing today’s show for you. We do hope you enjoy it and learn as much as we did from it.
“My proudest moment is the everyday stuff, it’s the everyday of seeing good grades coming into the house, even though the grades won’t get you into college at this point. It is also seeing that messes into the shoes are sorted out before the TV is even thought of being turned on. Those are my proudest moments because it lets me know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.”
“Four years prior to that I had already created a page of a book idea that I wanted, but it wasn’t until, you know, every great thing comes out of a tragedy, so my mother was really sick and she ended up passing and I wanted to document my kids travel and someone that I showed it to said “You know what, I don’t think there is another book out there with two black girl travelling, in everyday real travel.”, you know, you always have some kind of fantasy rabbit doing something, but barbies go to the beach, and so do we. So I said “you know what? We are going to make a book, we are going to create a publishing house and we travelled to over 22 cities in less than about two months and I had a book. The hardest part was finding the illustrator and then being able to provide and pay for it, because it cost a lot of money to do. Being a dad, it’s all part of it, I see this as a legacy that my kids will keep going if they so wish to. My 7 years old London, has already created her first book of a puzzle book. It is about 30, 40 pages of a puzzle book and it is going to be kind of an additional read for our first book out. So it will be our second book on for Fomenky publishing and I am just excited to push this out because there are a lot of black books out there, there is a lot of books of color that you can find, but what I find is a lot of them have to do with civil rights, a lot of them aren’t really kid friendly and it is because adults are writing them with an adult mind. My wife and I, she co-wrote this book with me, we wrote it with the children’s mind, we kept it real simple and real true based on our daughter’s experiences.
“As a black man there is that propaganda that we are not there for our kids, but that is propaganda, I am a publicist, I am a consultant, I understand propaganda, Orson Wells to the beginning but the propaganda and the stereotypes are wrong and I know new York times has done stories on it, CNN has done stories that show that black men are actually more involved in their children’s lives than any other and I think that is because so many of us saw or had it happen to us where there was no father around and we said “we are not going to be that dad”.”
“For me it is being able to see that the methods that I am using to raise them are working and what I mean by that is I take a very hands on approach. I am not, I don’t want to say sensitive, but I am being very direct with my kids to the point where I am letting them know “you can get this for yourself.”, there is no reason for me to pour cereal for a 7 years old. A 7 years old have responsibilities in my house and I like that on a Saturday when I do get to sleep in.”
“For the dads that are out there saying “well, but I never could open a business” or this and that, well, I didn’t wake up with the business, I didn’t wake up with any support for a business ever in my life. None of the closest people gave me the financial or emotional support that you would think and I have been through what a lot of the dads have gone through. And we could go through a list of lines but I would say “been there, done that” and some of that is so personal it would take a whole other show to really explain that “been there, done that”. Almost lost everything because of the bad decisions that I made, some because the market was terrible and whatnot and there were no jobs and for every that you get in you would have to put in 100 applications, I have a master’s degree saying that and I know I am smart and great at what I do.”
“For dads who are really struggling, there is a way out. You just need to link up with some positive people because for every negative thing that you hear about yourself, whether that is your woman telling you that or whether that is yourself telling you that, or your mother, you need to hear about seven positive things to really bounce back.”
“The best advice that I got before becoming a father at a father’s class that I took voluntarily at one of the hospital which everyone has access to in this country Thank God is “you know as a man what your boiling point is and you will get to that point at some point with your kids. And when you get to that point walk away.”
London & Sydney Explore the World: Texas Adventure
“Let’s learn together. Let’s grow together. Let’s be dads together. Peace.”