If you don’t know where you’re going, anywhere, anything or anyone can take you there. You have to wonder though what a life without direction looks like. We have to be intentional about avoiding the equation of nothing + nothing = nothing. I can tell from our dialogue with visionary and animation creator, Carmen Rubin, that her journey, inspiration and ability to overcome and inspire others has been intentional and one full of beauty inspite of obstacles.
Rubin comes to us as a woman in business who began pursuing her goals at the tender age of 11. Considered by some as an at-risk youth and one who would never eat from the land of success, Carmen’s picture should be beside the word success when you search Google, Wikipedia and of course Webster’s dictionary. Rubin shares her list of accomplishments with the humble intent to inspire each Empower Magazine reader to take action on his/her own journey to success.
Q: How does your business empower others to succeed?
I believe my business helps others in many ways to succeed – some indirectly, others, directly. The company has been in existence for 6 years and has published six successful titles. The company also creates and produces animated children’s television shows.
When I visit schools across the country I often come across children from diverse backgrounds. As an African-American female author, children seem to be inspired by the fact that they see someone of color writing books for kids. Kids are also taught how to create books and find their voice through writing. All of the book titles encourage people (especially youth) to be champions of life. Entrepreneurship, literacy, winning, and music are common themes in our books. I wanted the publishing company to be up close and personal for other writers.
Q. Share a list of books you have written and published.
I have written two children’s books entitled:
- Ashti Meets Birdman Al
- The Gifted Guitar
I also have authored four empowerment books, including:
- WIN: Insights to help you win the game of life
- WIN: Insights to help the student-athlete win the game of life
- Thoughts of a Champion
- Social Eyes: A book of social network statuses that project positive energy on a global scale
Q: What inspired you to want to start your own business and empower others?
I am aware of the impact of seeing minority faces on TV. The Cosby Show, and others, set a high standard for me that I wanted to reach. What those shows did for me, I want to do it for others. So, I also write for TV and allow my gift to open the doors. It’s the trickle effect.
The moment I found out people actually care about what I had to say, is the moment I started speaking. Not much later I begin feeling the pull to speak for others. I care about a lot, so I have many subjects to discuss. Sometimes it comes out in a child’s voice; sometimes from the heart of broken women. Nevertheless, I speak it – whew, finally! Most of what I have to say is reflected in children’s books, TV, poems, screenplays, songs, etc. I am a perfect example of what happens to a kid when you unmute her button.
Q: Who empowers you?
Story time inspired me…kids love it! When you read a book to a child, you take them on an adventure to faraway places. Through books you can put them in time capsules, enchanted gardens, castles and school buses that fly. You can help them visualize music notes carrying them across the world to help someone. What I like most about books is that they can be warm and a home away from home. Who wouldn’t be inspired at the thought of having this much power as they read a book?
Aside from my family, children keep me empowered. They remind me to laugh and not take everything so seriously, and that I should remain as a sponge – open, absorbing everything around me. That has been the key to becoming a better writer.
What inspires me, as well, is seeing a person get up after a fall. When they win, I feel as though I am winning.
Carmen’s Inspirational tips for the audience
Favorite quotes come from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
“I always want to be clear on where I am going.” ~ Carmen
Find Carmen on her journey of future projects to come:
• Chronicles of a Big Sissy (YA book)
• Chicken Taco (children’s animation)
• The Organics (children’s animation)
• Sophie and GG (children’s animation)
• Chasing Coyotes (Film)
Can we agree that we were made to overcome, be an inspiration and to empower others? Let’s be like Carmen and use the gifts within to birth goodness, empowerment, entertainment, books and education for all to enjoy and benefit from. As I’m listening to this awesome innovator, creator and animation queen, I hear her eloquently say that she “has no time for excuses.” I can’t say I blame her when you realize how much we have within to empower one another to seek the streets of gladness, rewards, success, empowerment, ability and overcoming!
Check your direction, but more importantly allow this article to help you to start driving!
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More about Felicia Smith
Felicia Smith is an author and Empower Magazine columnist. www.queendreamz.com