Joseph Fountain on Faith, Getting Started, & Stepping Up
From the talent showcase titled Motivate, my previous Flawesome Academy workshop, husband, father, and motivational speaker Joseph Fountain has been an incredibly inspiring man about town in Richmond, Virginia. I had the wonderful pleasure of chatting it up with him before the New Year as he talks about being a motivator for those in the community. It wasn’t until today, I was able to get my hands on the audio file to post this, but I believe it is just as powerful now as it was a few months back.
From his own testimony, he used to work as an engineer. He was laid off before his son was born, and after being rejected by many jobs while trying to get back into the workforce, he felt led by God to use his gifts to work for himself.
Joseph discusses not growing up in the most pristine of environments, describing his upbringing as rough. He was torn as a young man to make money and provide for his family. He talks about learning new avenues in life to provide for himself, his wife and children. He believes that God has better for us all, and that God saved him to go down an enriched path to motivate and help others find better ways to live.
Joseph wants to inspire those who have endured struggles and obstacles in life.
“We think we need a whole lot to get started. The most you need is having faith and belief”
Joseph encourages people to start where they are in order get started in their dreams and goals. He states that we will never really ever get our ducks in a row, in order to make a difference. He firmly encourages others to start moving and to make things happen no matter where you are in life.
Like me, he credits self-education such as Google, reading books, and networking as a way to propel him into a direction of being a self-starter, an entrepreneur, and a motivator. He chalks that up as his faith being the size of a mustard seed to jump from nothing to something incredible.
He says that most sit with the “I don’t have this…” mentality, and that’s the reason why they aren’t where they should be or even where they want to be.
He list some of the things he has done to motivate himself:
– He admits that he learned from the temptation that he faced often
– He prayed to God for a different life and different circumstances, he desperately sought change and a way out of his situation
– He got on a right path towards working & getting out of school
– He encouraged more prayer and understanding for the plan that God had for his life
– He read biographies of wealthy and influential people who possessed the type of success that Joseph wanted for himself and his family, in order to learn the lessons that those people have overcame
– He learned that the process is not our business but God’s business. He teaches that our reactions to life’s challenges is our business. “What are you learning from this?” is the question you should ask when you’re faced with challenges and life’s adversity.
– Realize that “its” bigger than you!
– If you don’t try or pursue what’s been on your heart, who will?
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned was how to trust God”
When you learn to trust God, you can get over hurdles. Joseph definitely encourages everyone to surround themselves with people who are equally encouraging and positive. He says steer clear of the haters and naysayers just because you fear being alone. He says avoid secluding yourself from the world when you’re going through something, instead fellowship with others on the same spiritual level and positive direction as you.
He recounts the time when he was laid off, how some people wanted to reach out to him, not to be friendly or caring, but to be nosy and see how he was dealing with those struggles. We both laugh at this, because we both understood the feeling of mistaking such people as friends interested in some new gossip, while we’re trying to be optimistic about our circumstances. He chalks that up as people, not interested in seeing you succeed ahead of them, so they remind you of your obstacles. He encourages us that some people are bitter because they don’t believe that you should make it. When we decide to step up and do greater, we force those around us to get their affairs in order and step up as well, or get left behind.
“At the end of the day, this is your life… it’s for you. God didn’t give them the vision, He gave it to you”
Joseph admits that this positive mentality isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. He stated that anyone hating or blocking you, believes in you just as much as a fan and a friend. That’s why they’re mad, because they see greatness in you as well, if not more than what you can see.
When it comes to the state of our country and the awfully apparent racism still prevalent amongst certain groups, Joseph touches on his feelings about the senseless deaths of African American men all over the country. He admits that one part of him is angered, yet another part of him is inspired. He is a father and a family man, who feels pressured to help our younger generation more. He thinks about his son and the world that he has to raise him up in, and he ponders on ways to combat this.
Joseph is a firm believer of us treating ourselves with the same respect that we want from those outside our community. He knows first-hand how certain things like racism, classism, and other forms of prejudice can thwart a community. He says using each other, our knowledge, and or resources to make a difference will be a huge positive impact. Collectively, we both agree that there is definitely work to do. He says to do the best we can to show that we are working and standing together in general. He presents a call-to-action to more black men showing leadership and making a difference. We have to be more thoughtful, and ask men to stop playing childish games and stop concerning themselves with the temporary things in life.
Joseph encourages our leaders to come from a place of experience and transparency. He states that many leaders don’t realize that they are talking “at” young people, instead of to them from a place of empathy and understanding. He tells about his own experiences to convey a message to our youth that he isn’t too far removed from the life that our kids know about now. He shares alternatives, instead of preaching what you should and shouldn’t do, to help them understand that there is a better lifestyle waiting for you.
He is currently working on a foundation with his wife, whose efforts will be to help families in need of resources and guidance to steer from the wrong path. Joseph understands how people judge others based on the outside appearance of what someone’s situation might seem.
He plans to put together a men’s empowering event, to educate men on ways to deal with their emotions and decision making. He wants this event to help through life, relationship, and families decisions and strategy for all men alike.
“Time moves so fast… take life serious. Ask God ‘what are you trying to show me?’ Whatever God gives you, use it. Ask God to guide you.”
Joseph strongly encourages others to find your purpose and do what you are gifted to do. A message that is insanely powerful, delivering what I like to call high level motivation.