Tony Gaskins successfully juggles his roles as husband, father, author, life/relationship coach, motivational speaker and filmmaker. Gaskins bypassed the typical route to destiny to trek a dangerous trail that had the potential to land him at the undesired destination. Although his childhood included strong, upstanding rearing, Gaskins jeopardized his full football scholarship when his actions led him to his removal from the team after three seasons.
Upon his return to Florida, Gaskins gravitated to the street life, which led to a wakeup call one evening when a local gang robbed him. Realizing how easily his life could have been taken away instead of his possessions, Gaskins decided to transform himself to begin walking in his purpose.
Gaskins wrote and published a tell-all book, entitled, What Daddy Should have Told? This project boosted Gaskins’ opportunities to teach women the secrets to dating at the age of 23. Following this, he continued to share his experiences by sharing his story of being a “grownboy” meandering from one toxic relationship to another. Lastly, Gaskins wrote “Reclaiming Our Youth” and told his story as a rebellious teenager, living the Street life and then teaching about the pitfalls that came with it.
In 2009. Gaskins was invited to the sets of The Oprah Winfrey and The Tyra Banks Shows, opportunities which catapulted him into a larger market where he could more widely share portions of his heartfelt story with the world.
Today, Gaskins is a highly sought-after life/relationship coach and motivational speaker. His clients spread over several continents and range in age from 16 to 65 years old. Gaskins admits that the wisdom and favor is all from the grace of God and none of his own. In his own eyes, he is just a humble servant, teaching not from a college degree or textbooks, but from real life experience and God-given wisdom.
Q&A With Tony Gaskins
BS: As explained in your bio, you’ve made some difficult decisions. Would you change any of them if you had a chance?
Tony Gaskins: People say everything happens for a reason but I believe many things happen because we make them happen. If I could do it over I would do it right! I would take the high road instead of the short cuts and I would have still reached this point but with more validity and credibility. But since I’m here and I got here the way I did I make the most of it.
BS: What sacrifices have you made to be where and who you are today? How do you believe one should choose which sacrifices to make?
Tony Gaskins: I sacrificed some “friends.” I sacrificed some “pleasure.” Sacrifice whatever it is that won’t move your life forward. Our life is a movie script and in a good script you have to cut the scenes that don’t move the story forward and that’s what we have to do.
BS: Did you always have the ability to advise others and motivate them? How did you realize that being a motivational speaker was your “nitch”?
Tony Gaskins: I’ve always been a “coach” since the age of accountability I’d say. It started about 9th grad for me speaking into the lives of others. It was one on one or small groups though. I never really dreamed of being a speaker. That was a route the journey took me on its own. I speak because the world needs my voice and it’s bigger than me, but not because I want to. It’s purpose over passion for me.
BS: What do you hope that your audience capture the most from the tips and tools you provide for their betterment?
Tony Gaskins: I want them to understand that life is for a purpose that it’s bigger than ourselves. That each human should make a contribution to humanity and the world around us that will live on after we are gone. I want people to understand that they are somebody and that they can do something!
BS: What pitfalls have you encountered and overcome?
Tony Gaskins: My pitfalls were created by my decisions. Decisions to steal, to cheat, to beat, to lie, to deceive, and to mislead. It is our decisions not our conditions that determine the outcome of our life. So I had to overcome the hurdles I put in front of myself by choice. Nothing just “happened” to me. I created the chaos and then had to figure out a way to come out of it.
BS: Will you continue to be a motivational speaker for the next 10 years, or are there many other ventures in which you’ll partake?
Tony Gaskins: I will speak for the rest of my life! But I’m also a Life/Relationship Coach, Author and a Filmmaker so I’m working on a lot of projects and we are putting out a lot of material.
BS: Who is your role model?
Tony Gaskins: My role model is Jesus Christ! He is the only perfect man I know and that’s who I want to be like.
BS: How do you juggle your career with being a father, husband, author and life coach? What keeps you going?
Tony Gaskins: I delegate my time. I plan my tomorrows today. I live my life by the compass and not by the clock.