Updated: Apr 10

Jehyve Floyd's book was published on God's timing and impacted lives before hitting the shelves. During the winter of 2021, when Jehyve Floyd and I connected, my father was in ICU fighting for his life. Simultaneously, my business picked up more than ever. Through the midst of it all, Jehyve’s book and support helped me get through one of the roughest stages of my life. The value of a book is much deeper than the content between the front and back cover. It stretches from what the author went through to publish the book and what impact it will have on readers. Godfidence will take your faith to new levels and remind you that there is power in vulnerability.

Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?

Jehyve: I've always wanted to tell my story to inspire others, but when I was overseas, I really had the time to do it. I was in a season of separation spiritually, mentally, and emotionally so I started journaling. The experiences and lessons I was writing down reminded me of the many books I had read in the past. I wanted to do something outside of basketball so writing a book became just that. It was a therapeutic process that allowed me to express myself wholeheartedly while inspiring others to be vulnerable.

Ross: How has releasing your book impacted your healing experience?

Jehyve: Writing the book was really therapeutic. It was relieving to let go of the hurt I experienced in the past and see how far I was able to go in spite of it. Now, I can honestly say I live in my truth, and it is a powerful feeling. I laid the foundation of my healing journey in the words I shared with the world, and it has touched and inspired others in their own journey.

Ross: What were the biggest challenges with completing your book?

Jehyve: My biggest challenge was my battle with perfectionism. At first, I would not be able to keep writing if I felt there were a bunch of errors or if my story did not make sense. I could not grasp how impactful my story is, so many times, I would doubt my own life story on top of my writing skills. Once I was able to link with other authors and Williams Commerce, everything started to fall in place and flow.

Ross: How did building a team impact your mission?

Jehyve: It made things easier for me. I am usually someone who tries to do things on my own but to have a team who had the experience of putting together such a project helped tremendously. I became part of a community of authors and publishers who are on the same mission to share their stories to inspire the next generation.

Ross: How has releasing a book impacted your career?

Jehyve: I think it was a weight lifted off my shoulder. My book screams, "I AM HUMAN TOO." For others to see what I had seen all along has been great for relationships and my purpose overall. I have a responsibility now to keep going and being that advocate for those suffering from any mental illness and boasting about how my faith got me through. It has given me the confidence I need to walk through life and just be me. Be the person God created me to be.

Ross: What would be a first step you recommend for those seeking to strengthen their faith?

Jehyve: The first step I would recommend is reflection. See how far God brought you without you taking time to notice He was right there the whole time. Imagine how great life would be if you could acknowledge His presence around you and within you. When you realize the power given within you, it gives us the strength and abundance to endure anything life throws at us. Faith is a personal decision. We either choose faith or fear, and that makes the difference between living and surviving.

Ross: What advice would you give to someone trying to publish their first book?

Jehyve: I would say don't overthink it. Publishing a book is not something an average person does, so that already speaks volumes of who you are. Connect with others who have already been in your shoes, and the process will become much more enjoyable.

Ross: Which books inspired you to become an author?

Jehyve: I am a fan of memoirs. Reading through someone’s life and learning from their obstacles have been a tool I use to further my own success. Authors such as Common, Charlamagne the God, and people we see every day inspire me because they gave me the idea that we all are authors in some way. But the one book that still holds weight in my heart is the Alchemist. I can read that book over and over again because of the jewels on each page.

Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?

Jehyve: I can see myself writing another book, but I am still digesting the life change my first book has done for me. I haven't had the same mental space to write as I did back then, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I am enjoying life and taking it day by day, so we will see!

Ross: What are the main takeaways you want readers to have from your book?

Jehyve: There are so many angles that people can take reading my story, but the main takeaway should be that it is okay to be human. We naturally have fear, but our faith will ultimately get us to where we need to be. Fear helps us survive, but love helps us live! Prioritize your relationship with God, and everything else will fall into place.

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While interviewing Pat Henry, I was reminded to never confuse an obstacle for an excuse. During the pandemic, her responsibilities of serving as a full-time payroll professional, wife, mother, and adjusting to an ever-changing world were justifiable reasons to hold her back from accomplishing her entrepreneurial goals. When we connected in December of 2020, she opened up to me about her aspirations of releasing three books in one year. Fast forward to the present we are here to discuss her amazing accomplishment of publishing three children’s books in 7 months.

Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?

Pat: Writing a book was a thought in the back of my mind since I was young. In 2019 I decided to put in the work.

Ross: What sparked you to take action?

Pat: I started reading self-help books and taking workshops to combat the fear of my fast-approaching empty nest.

Ross: What were the biggest challenges with completing your book?

Pat: Being a wife, a mother, having a full-time job, and trying to see the world all at once present some unique challenges.

Ross: When and how do you find time to write with so much to balance?

Pat: I have a legal pad on my desk and a notepad on my phone. I jot down ideas whenever I get inspiration. I have been known to steal any bit of time I can find (a 3hr road trip while my husband drives). My new process is scheduling an hour a day to sit with my ideas.

Ross: What advice do you have to other writers who are balancing so much and trying to write a book?

Pat: Prioritize writing. Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later to write for 30 days.

Ross: How has releasing a book impacted your career?

Pat: It has made the idea of retiring early attainable and more appealing.

Ross: It’s intriguing that you say it makes retirement more appealing. Could you provide more insight on that sentiment?

Pat: Most of us know that the expected retirement age is now well into the 70’s. I now have a vision of retirement before 55 with a goal of writing 2-3 books a year at my leisure.

Ross: What is your profession aside from writing?

Pat: I am a Payroll Professional for an IT company.

Ross: What advice would you give to someone trying to publish their first book?

Pat: Pull the trigger. There will always be things to research and learn. Don't let those things delay you any longer.

Ross: Which books inspired you to become an author?

Pat: My recent inspiration would have been Please baby please by Spike Lee. The English/Spanish version was free in a box of Cheerios.

Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?

Pat: My next step is to publish the full Twin Adventures series while finishing the YA novel that I started.

Ross: What inspired you to utilize twins as your main characters?

Pat: I wanted to cover the play/imagination perspective from a girl’s and a boy’s point of view at four without having two versions of the books.

Ross: What are the main takeaways you want readers to have from your book?

Pat: I want kids to tap back into their imaginations and for parents to allow that level of creativity to flourish.

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Going against the grain is often the most efficient path to your destiny. Reflecting on my journey made me conceptualize that I was molded to fight the inevitable until I went against the grain.

My first year of elementary school deemed itself to be the springboard when I jumped off the porch in life. That was the first year I began playing organized sports, made friends in my neighborhood, experienced a tragedy, and began working with my father.

The innocent childhood ambitions of becoming a Power Ranger or another fictional character died along with the person I watched lose his life while I was in first grade. Often, we miss the message in the mishap when we only view occurrences from a one-sided point of view. Once the innocent stage of my childhood vanished, my vision for the future became clear.

At a young age, I knew that I wanted to leverage sports after high school, become the leader of a major company, and impact the culture. Conversations with my dad, while we worked in the disrespectful New Orleans summer heat doing landscape and construction work, developed those ambitions.

Unsurprisingly, storytelling became my profession because my dad has a new story every time the sun rises. His passages instantly become the life of the party, priceless stories, quoatables, and laughs that are everlasting. My father was 41 years old when I was born. Therefore, many of our neverending conversations are about the segregation era, the civil rights era, his interactions with Malcolm X and Dick Gregory, and other historical figures from that era. Those conversations, coupled with racial instances that I elaborated on in Crabs In A Barrel, always kept impacting the culture at the front of my mind.

Go to college and get a good job is unarguably the most popular blueprint preached to most millennials during their upbringing. Many didn't become defensive about that approach until student loans began financially crippling the masses, and degrees often only led to decoration on the wall. It wasn't until recently that I stopped questioning if obtaining my college degree from Tulane University was worth it. My network, college-related experiences inside and outside of the classroom, added credential to my legacy, and social currency that my degree holds, made me forgo reconsidering the accomplishment.

Making my parents proud was what kept me passionately pushing at a lifelong dream that I rarely thought twice about accomplishing. The next step was to get a good job, but thankfully, that led me to discover the balance of living for yourself and others. When I reached my breaking point in corporate America, I deciphered where to draw the thin line.

Instead of chasing the dreams that my loved ones laid out for me, I let them be my motivation, rather than my dream dictators. We often take it personally when others don't see our vision, but life would be boring if we all thought the same way. The people that love me the most told me to get a job, even after my gift became exposed to the world, and my books reached the top charts amongst celebrities and famous authors that poured thousands of dollars into marketing their books.

We often confuse our loved ones' best wishes and goals for us as dream killing statements. Many millennials' parents preach that universal sermon to their children because they want a stable life for their next generation, but the receivers of those messages must be bold enough to go against the grain respectfully.

Striving to make my dad proud has remained a consistent mission throughout my entire life. I assumed that achievements such as playing sports in college, obtaining my bachelor's degree, or a professional accomplishment would serve as the way I made him the proudest. I often wondered which specific achievement made him feel that way, but it was easy to recognize that feat shortly after brainstorming.

When I was ten years old, two of my father’s employees flaked on the final day of an important project. Until that day, my job duties consisted of general landscaping duties, such as pulling weeds, raking, and other tasks that didn’t take much grit to accomplish. My responsibilities on the final day of the project consisted of breaking up concrete with a maul, carrying filled wheelbarrows of dirt and grass, and planting grass that covered an oversized backyard. When we made it to the job site at 7:30 am on a Saturday, he mapped out the instructions for the day.

My dad is a major factor for my high confidence, but his eyes were filled with uncertainty as he laid out the plans for the day. His doubt was washed away after we worked side by side in 100-degree heat, and I kept up with my assigned job duties. The dark skies threatened to wash away our progress as we transitioned into the afternoon.

As the clouds covered the 9th ward of New Orleans, the uncertainty crept back into my father's eyes. The look on his face intensified as the rain attempted to disrupt our project. When the rain, which was initially confused as hail, began rapidly falling, my dad stepped back into his client’s driveway. I saw him retreat out the corner of my eye. We were already soaked from the scorching summer sun, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to show my father that I had his back under any condition. A fire was ignited under me to come through for my dad when he needed me the most. That sense of urgency is applied to each project I work on, and when the opportunity presents itself to come through for others.

I casually asked my father which of my achievements made him the proudest before writing this article. He instantly told me this story I just shared, as if I never heard it before, and I smiled simultaneously. That moment made me realize that his DNA is deeply rooted in my business. Aside from watching my father go all out professionally by busting his butt in any weather on a daily basis to live out his passion and carry on his father’s business, his efforts to be a father figure to a countless amount of kids throughout Louisiana impacted me the most.

My dad spent several decades coaching, feeding, transporting, and most of his income and money (that he didn’t have) on pouring into thousands of kids. Him changing the lives of so many others is what made me the proudest of him. Many of the kids he coached even received preferential treatment over me, but his undying love and impact on so many people taught me that life is bigger than self. That’s the mindset I have when going the extra mile and providing value for others. I leveraged one of my dad’s talents to continually remind me of my business’s value and DNA. My father drew the logo for Williams Commerce.

Every time I look at the logo he designed for my company, I am constantly reminded that my purpose for starting a business was to provide value, go the extra mile for others, and make my loved ones proud.

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