Interview with Patrick & Shani Muhammad: 'By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your play days into paydays'



South Florida based janitor turned serial entrepreneur, Patrick Muhammad took what some would call an unconventional route to his newest venture.  “What I do now has evolved.  It truly took my passion and has turned it into a profession for me. I can see myself mentoring and sharing my story with young people easily for the next 20 years.  I love talking to young people and showing them, what entrepreneurship looks like. I love sharing my stories of how I came to be.  I didn’t just wake up one day and have all the answers.  My wife and I bumped our head A LOT.  I just want to say to them, look…here’s the blueprint.  Start now, don’t wait until you’re 30.  Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, then became a baker now I am into motivational speaking. They just have to have the passion and guidance. Anything is possible.”

“Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay” is the 1st book in a series of children’s books authored by husband and wife writing partners, Shani and Patrick Muhammad. The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to their then 4 year-old Qadeer.   Patrick and his wife came up with the idea that they would write a keepsake item for all their children, detailing the road they took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays.  Once the book was published they both realized that the story could not only inspire their own children to entrepreneurship, but others as well. Shani figured out how to self-publish it and Patrick would take it to different youth groups in his community.   “I began shopping the book around to childcare centers and non-profits that served young people in the projects and the adults loved it.  “They really loved the idea that it was based on a true story and that the message was coming from a black male perspective. A story their children could relate to.  The images were brown like them and I just always got a positive response.  We took that book everywhere with us, and the response was this is a message that’s needed.  Children can’t be what they can’t see.”
Patrick currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three of his youngest five children.  He has a passion for planting the seed of entrepreneurship and carving out wealth building opportunities for his children’s generation. When he’s not writing books he’s on tour, speaking to groups of young people about basic principles of financial literacy and the benefits of early investing using cryptocurrency as a vehicle to establish future financial goals. When he’s not doing that…he’s on a creek with a fishing pole in his hand.

Shani Muhammad has been married to Patrick for 17 years now.  Together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.   Shani has spent the past 15 years in a classroom as a teacher. She too is a serial entrepreneur and has in the past owned a one-price shoe store, group homes and several online businesses. When she’s not working on the next children’s book in their series, she too enjoys researching and investing in crypto currencies and planning her family’s next “staycation.”

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to our then 4 year-old Qadeer.   My wife and I came up with the idea that we would write a keepsake item for our children and God-willing…grandchildren, detailing the road we took to becoming entrepreneurs.  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your play days into paydays.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

We have a picture book so for the illustrations, we put an ad out had a drawing test and just selected and contracted the artist we liked the best.  For the manuscript, my co-author is my wife.  She’s a former journalist and teacher so I was blessed to have her on my team.  If I had to do this alone, I would’ve needed an editor.  My advice would be about royalties and making sure you understand when you will get paid and how often if you are not going to self-publish. We had a problem in the beginning and tried to have our book published with 2 of the top 5 publishers on the market today and were screwed on the royalties. We decided early on that we wanted to know when books sold and be paid for them as soon as they were sold.  Who controlled our check was very important. I think 1st time authors need to understand that 1st and foremost.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

We self-published. Our answer as to why we chose self-publishing is above.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes, how little authors make the 1st year, how their royalties are broken up and how much marketing that’s required to get people aware of your work.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay is the 1st in a series of picture books. Our next book will continue to explore how Patrick turns his play into pay, this time using Bitcoins.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

This book also has a theme song. My wife and I wrote both of them in about 40 minutes, sitting on our couch.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

  The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your play days into paydays.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

 Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, and then I became a baker, now I'm into motivational speaking. With passion and guidance. Anything is possible.

About the Book:

Title: PATRICK TURNS HIS PLAY INTO PAY
Author: Patrick Muhammad & Shani Muhammad
Publisher: 5 Star Publishing
Pages: 40
Genre: Children’s Book

BOOK BLURB:
The first book in a series, "Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay", details the journey of an entrepreneur, through the eyes of a child. The book uses vivid illustrations and lively words, to explain the road little Patrick took into the world of entrepreneurship.  It demonstrates the benefits of tapping into your passion early in life.  “Patrick” tapped into his passion of baking to help solve a money problem.  This book also shows the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.  You witness a 9-year old take the power and control of his future into his own hands. You also see what happens when “Patrick” finds help in a friend, to help grow his business. Above all, this book motivates both young and young at heart and serves as a reminder that we all have the ability to turn our playdays into paydays.


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