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Meet Monti Washington also known as Montivation. As a TOP Motivational Speaker, Monti has been recognized as “America’s Adversity Coach” He comes in and shows students how they can achieve, overcome, and turn obstacles on campus into real life success.
Monti isn’t your average motivational speaker. His presentations about real life experiences he’s had leaves students feeling confident in themselves and inspired to live out the best version of their lives. Sometimes speakers come in and just lose your attention, but not Monti Washington. He’s able to keep students fully engaged with his humor and ability to use his experience to relate to his audience. Leaving them with knowledge, skills and motivation needed to be successful both in the classroom and outside of it.
What’s your backstory?
Monti Washington: I grew up a product of a one-night stand in a hotel room. My mother was a prostitute and a drug addict. I never met my dad and spent most my childhood sleeping in homeless shelters, parks, and crack houses. Eventually I was taken away from my mother and put into 12 different foster homes over the course of 3 years. I then was put into foster homes where I was beaten, hospitalized, and locked in a room for nearly 23 hours a day. Eventually I got out of that situation and was put into a better home, but that experience left me without any confidence and stuck in special ed classes until 8th grade. I eventually worked my butt off graduated high school with honors and went on to graduate college with two degrees. After college I moved to LA where I have been living since pursing my acting career and building my Speaker/Coaching business.
What techniques and methods do you use day to day to stay continuously motivated, focused and proactive when fear, hardships and procrastination have the best of you?
Monti Washington: The methods I employ to keep myself motivated day to day are simple but get the job done. The first thing is to disconnect from social media. I follow a lot of successful people and have friends who are killing it! And when you’re having those moments of doubt your extra vulnerable! So, I avoid that subconscious need to compare yourself to others which leads to you feeling like shit. I also consistently do my morning routine of prayer, meditation, affirmations and reading my vision! I have about 30 minutes to an hour routine that bypasses how I feel and gets to the core of who I am. Meditation and prayer is to get into a place of gratefulness, saying my affirmations out loud gets me activated and pumped to take on the day, and reading my vision helps to remind me of what I’m working towards and helps me to put things into perspective. Lastly going to help someone! Giving back to people or volunteering gets me out of my head and ego! It’s a natural high when you can help someone less fortunate than you!
If someone wanted to emulate your career what are sometimes you would suggest them to do?
Monti Washington: First is know your strengths and weaknesses. Jay Z said, “Everyone has a genius level talent in them”. Know what makes you a genius? Know what your naturally great at. Focus on your genius and your strengths. It’s hard to be successful being just “good” at something. Greatness is tied to massive success not mediocrity and just being “good”. So, know your genius! Secondly know yourself! Know what makes you unique and embrace that wholeheartedly. The greats we remember as unique individuals, Lebron, Kanye, Marilyn Monroe, Steve Jobs, Prince, David Bowie the list goes on. The icons we remember because there is no one else like them. Not being yourself is identity theft. So, stop trying to be like someone else and embrace yourself fully! Lastly use “No” as your vitamin. Embrace every failure and learn to make it work for you! Every Win in my life came shortly after a loss. It’s part of this journey that you can’t avoid!
What are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
Monti Washington: The most important project I’m working on right now is my online programs and writing my first pilot I plan to star in. I get a lot of people asking me how to make it touring and speaking. I have things that I do consistently and that are unique to me that I believe will give others the best chance to be successful with touring and speaking. I would love to help others get their message out there as well. On the acting tip, I have had an idea in my head for a few years now for a new show I believe people can get with it. After spending the last year reading and taking reading classes I’m able to get it into script form now. I will be starring in it and excited to get this out to the world. Acting is not moving as fast as my public speaking is, so I have to take things into my own hands and make my own way. So, I’m very excited of all the work it’s going to take to make it happen but I know the payoff will more than worth it!
What 3 tips would you give to yourself if you had to go through your life again?
- Talk less and act quicker on opportunities that come your way!
- Have confidence in yourself from the start. You are the shit!
- Stop worrying about what others say and how they feel about you. Stay in your lane and move past all of that negativity.
When was a time you wanted to give up but didn’t?
Monti Washington: It was my 2nd year living in LA and my acting career hadn’t pickup up and I was getting maybe two or three low speaking gigs that year so let’s just say I WAS DEAD ASS BROKE! I had only $20 to my name to last me for 3 days until I did security at this night club. I was on the bus and this woman was with her son in a wheelchair and her little daughter next to me. She politely asked me for a few bucks and I told her no. At the time that $20 bill was all I had to my name and I couldn’t let go of it. I got off at the next stop and sat at a Coffee Bean and cried my eyes out for a few minutes. I felt like shit to be completely honest with you. I thought I was going to just give up acting and speaking and just get a 9-5 because it was just too hard. Then later that night I went back to the friends couch I was sleeping on at the time and made a promise to myself never to be so broke that I’m unable to help someone who really needs it. That became a motivating moment in my life for sure.