I was so inspired when I read about Solomon's story that I had to share it. He tells a story of a troubled child who today is a successful young man and an inspiration to all. I was delighted when he agreed to a 'Spotlight Interview' and he was very honest with his responses.
He started off by explaining to me that his time at school was far from "pleasant because of my stutter and my inability to express myself." He was bullied because of his speech impediment which subsequently lead him to becoming involved in numerous fights. This ultimately lead to him being excluded five times during secondary school. He was brave enough to share with me that he was at a very low point during this time, so low in fact that he began to "hate me too" and went on to self harm. "It got to a point where I felt like there was nothing to live for at all."
Time for a Change
It was when he saw his mother cry that he realised he had to make a change. He shared with me the "wise words" she imparted that "still resonate with me today":
"Son, having a bad background does not mean your back will always be on the ground. Just because life beats you down, it doesn't mean you don't have the choice to rise. You are perfect Solomon, don't listen to anyone, you are perfect. Change your life around, do what you love most and get paid for it!"
The next day he decided to use his lunch money to buy sweets instead of lunch. He would then sell the sweets he bought for a profit to his peers at school. Despite his "stock" being confiscated several times, (as of course, this is not allowed at school!) he "would just use the money I had to buy more and start again, I wanted to be rich Patrice, I wanted to be rich!" He had made hundreds of pounds after a few months but realised he would not become "a millionaire" by doing this so he decided to find another way to make money. He had also come to an important realisation- he had very rarely stuttered during this time...
With his new found confidence he set up his own company-AttireX after becoming the top salesman within a clothing company, (owned by Kevin Patrick- who owns Label Noire). His company has gone from strength to strength and he has been named one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in the UK.
He has many new and exciting ventures planned- a "luxury fashion brand", along with another TED event. He also plans to visit schools, colleges and universities in order to speak to students about believing in themselves; he wants them to know "that they can do anything they want in life, just because something happens, it shouldn't hold them back".
I asked who inspires him and if he has any phrases or 'words of wisdom' that help to keep him motivated:
"Kevin Patrick is one of my biggest inspirations along with my mum and other business moguls who battled adversity such as Jamal Edwards, Lord Sugar and Richard Branson."
"The two quotes that keep me going are: 'aspire, believe, accomplish' and 'one day people who never believed in you will brag about how they knew you'."
Solomon is a hard working and talented young man. At just eighteen years old he has accomplished so much and he should be so proud of himself. He is yet another example of how hard work pays off. He did not let his speech impediment stand in his way, instead he used and continues to use it to show that nothing should prevent you from succeeding in life.