As a youth, Aldric Marshall was labeled a “slow learner.” That was just the beginning. After wrestling with the unexpected and a confounding series of setbacks, including rejection and growing up in an intensely violent home, Aldric redefined his life. In doing so, a confident, prolific, ambitious leader and author emerged. Today his messages include an ensemble of motivational teachings rich enough to evoke and inspire all of humanity. With an arc of revolutionary fervor and zeal, Marshall transforms the way – and what – disenfranchised people see. With astonishing candor, the first-time author recounts his poignant true-life story of overcoming a multitude of challenges. He has created the life of his dreams as an entrepreneur, educator, and motivational speaker. Recently, I sat down with him. We discussed his childhood, his love for inspiring others, and of course, his freshman book, “Success Behind the Scars.”
Fran Briggs: Good morning, Aldric. Thank you for making the time to meet with us today.
Aldric Marshall: It is my pleasure to be with you, I’ve heard so much about you and the wonderful things you are doing. Thank you for having me.
F. B. You are welcome. Aldric, could you share with us a little more about your background?
A.M. Growing up as a youth and then as a young man, I was unable to read. Still, I graduated from high school with a 2.0 GPA. I enlisted in the military and got kicked out for not passing the aptitude test. I witness a lot of domestic violence in my home as a young boy. It put a strain on my ability to function as a normal child in school. I have heard it all; from, ‘you’re going to be a wife beater, you will never amount to anything, to, you will go from one dead end job, to another. I am here to tell you: somebody’s comment about you does not have to be your reality. Sure enough, I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth in fact I can count the spoons we had in my house.
F. B. Your highly-anticipated book, Success Behind the Scars, is scheduled for release in February, 2009. Can you share a synopsis?
A.M. The book talks about how I grew up in a home with domestic violence, how I was labeled a slow learner, and kicked out of the Air Force for failing an aptitude test. I had to get a job in a dirty scrap yard separating metal for a large air craft company. That scrap yard was where I learned how to read. In Success Behind The Scars, I recount my poignant true-life story of overcoming a multitude of challenges to create the life of my dreams, becoming an entrepreneur, educator, and now a motivational speaker. I reveal the secrets of my success and inspire readers to boldly go after and achieve their dreams!
F. B. Whose counsel have you benefited the most from?
A.M. The one and only counsel and examples that everybody can benefit from is Jesus; that is whom I have benefited the most from.
F. B. What were some of the biggest obstacles involved in your decision to become the leader you are today?
A.M. This decision came very easy for me. As a speaker, I would witness other kids who had the same emotions that I did when I was in school and growing up. I saw these ‘obstacles’ as a blessing to help others.
F. B. What’s apparent is your passion and dedication for teaching others how to succeed. When did you realize that you had the ability to ignite and help others empower themselves in their daily lives?
A.M. When I would speak to kids and witnessed a positive change in their lives. Parents from all over would come to me and ask me to speak to their children about the issues they are going through.
F. B. Most mentors had, or have had mentors themselves. Did you have a mentor who greatly influenced you as a youth?
A.M. The community at large greatly influenced me as a youth. When I realized that it was I that was causing most of my problems. That’s when I opened up to seek help. I was not able to read and perform like most normal children. There was a fear of being exposed which greatly intensified my ability to move forward. Fear is something . . . It will keep you griped and under a rock if you let it. Another key person was my Uncle Claude. He was very inspirational in my life. My Uncle Claude realized that school work and all it was to offer was not clicking for me. What he did was tap into my strengths. He showed me how to work with my hands. There are many more individuals who greatly influenced my life. There are just too many to mention.
F. B. What are the visions you concoct in your mind which drive your desire to inspire?
A.M.I remember reading something. It said, ‘To the the world you’re just one person, but to one person, you may be the world.’ The hands-off approach that people have toward our youth in our communities has resulted in our kids losing their smiles, their glow, and their hope for a future. My inspiration is when I see a lost smile, a glow and a hope for the future. That’s what, drives me.
F. B. Aldric, in your book you mention that you went from working in a scrap yard, to managing a multi-billion dollar company. Can you tell the readers how you did that?
A.M. I did it with perseverance and persistence. I wanted to create a better life for me and my family and show other young men that whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve.
F. B. Currently, you are a Project Coordinator for Florida Resource Center For Women And Children. Would you describe your role for us?
A.M. My role as a project coordinator consists of bringing economic development back to communities where most of our urban community has lost hope for the future. My role also includes encouraging, uplifting, motivating, and giving each and every individual the attention that they need, and the self-worth that is required to be future leaders and role models.
F. B. Many authors have a favorite author. Do you have one? If so, who is it, and why?
A.M. My favorite author is John C. Maxwell because when I was in the scrap yard learning to read, the first book that I read in its entirety was The Success Journey by John C. Maxwell. His book continues to inspire me to this day. Not to mention, John is a dear friend of mine. He is also one of the pastors at my church. I have the pleasure of speaking with him each Sunday he comes to minister.
F. B. What has been the most moving experience since writing your book?
A.M. The most moving experience I’ve had since writing my book was to know that it would help many people, and to know that my book crosses every culture, economic status, and genre.
F. B. Did you ever second-guess your faith or ability to write a book? If you have, how did you overcome it?
A.M. Yes, I have second-guess my faith in writing a book because of my background of not being able to read as a young child and totally hating school. Writing a book brought on multiple challenges. But those challenges quickly were overcome by the three things that I call ‘The 3 D’s of life.’ They are Determination. Dedication. And Drive.
F. B.What makes you most happy?
A.M. What makes me most happy is when I spend time with my family, and see them happy.
F. B. What advice do you have for the aspiring author?
A.M. My advice for the up and coming and aspiring author is that if you have a dream of becoming an author – or even speaker, or motivator – don’t let your fears or anyone stop you from achieving your dreams. They ( your dreams) are there for the taking.
F. B. What’s next for Aldric Marshall?
A.M. I plan to take my message to the world. I want to help inspire, motivate, and deliver the message that, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I was a young boy that grew up witnessing domestic violence and being told I would never amount to anything. I was bombarded by all sorts of negativity and unable to read. Still, I graduated with a 2.0 GPA. If I can achieve my dreams, then the next person can achieve their dreams as well.
F. B. Thank you, Mr. Aldric Marshall. It was both an absolute honor and pleasure speaking with you today. I am believing nothing but the best for you in all of your endeavors.
A.M. Thank you.