Interview by Maria Rochelle
Meet Tony Rouse who is an author, speaker, and emcee as well as creator of “Scent” a new candle on the market.
First off, I just want to say I love your book “My Life as a Thought…A Journey of Grace, Growth & God.” I laughed and cried a little and reflected on my own life. It’s a very unique book filled with wisdom, some humor, pop culture, quotes, spiritual insight and love. Your thoughts were enlightening and refreshing and yet quite profound as well. Tell me what sparked you to write this book?
Honestly, I needed something to do. I was unemployed at the time and just didn’t know what I was going to do next , and I just had to take what I had and next thing I know I had written 3 books with complete edits and formatting for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kindle (Plug.). A part of it was that I just wanted to share with people a conversation of what goes on in the mind of Tony Rouse and with the setup… how it relates to the reader’s life at the particular point in time. It is written in reverse chronological order over the course of 10 years.
As a writer, I know it can be difficult at times just to put pen to paper at times due to just how life can be so busy and so forth. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be an author such as yourself?
Do it. Think Nike and “Just Do It.” Also one of my favorite clips from The Office is Dwight Shrute saying “Do it. Do it Now. Dooo It.” I mean you can come up with 50 different formulas and all of this other stuff, but if you never do it… it’s never done. So just do it. One of the biggest things that helped me was that I did it over tim e. My Life as a Thought… is a chronicle of over 10 years. Takeover Tuesday was written over 2 years and Dare 2 D.R.E.A.M was 5 years in the maki ng. With Dare 2 D.R.E.A.M. I carried a piece of paper in my wallet with the title and the 10 steps that eventually became the book. The idea to make a Dr. Seuss meets Business book with illustrated pictures was already there, but I still had to DO IT to bring it to life .
You have mention in a prior conversation that you cover three arenas in your work through: ministry, marketing and motivation. How does all of that work together to achieve whatever it is that you’re working on?
It’s everything I am. Ministry is simply serving people and that’s what I do. I understand God loves people and thus I love people. Love is many things, but don’t mistake it for weakness. A part of it’s nature is correction and I only say that so people don’t get it twisted or confused thinking it’s a less than force when in actuality it is the most powerful thing on this planet. The marketing side of me is simply what I’m wired for. It’s funny… It has been consistently said over and over again that “Tony Rouse can sell anything.” While I always find this funny, it’s not completely true. Here’s the deal: I can’t sell anything I don’t believe in. And to even take it a step further, I don’t sell anything at all. I offer an opportunity that I know is amazing for people and I just present an invitation. It’s your choice if you want to take it. Life will still go on. The motivation side is that I think people downplay their true power. Like they are nervous or scared of walking in who they truly are. Now I’ll be the first to tell you I only understand it because that was me. I had a hard time accepting the very thing that made me stand out. I wanted to blend in and not be noticed, but the truth is when you are gifted in a certain area you do a disservice to other people because they need what you have because they don’t have it.
You have your candle “Scent” that is on the market as of this past December. Was there anything that inspired you to create the candle?
Well as the story goes, I had it in my heart to build a hotel. I knew the name, what it looked like, how the service is executed, the restaurant inside of it and even how the logo is displayed on the outside building and the interior for the room doors. This was easily a $50-100 million dollar vision. I’m talking Steve Wynn (billionaire hotelier from Las Vegas) level… And I just thought “How?”. So one of the things I do is pray the Word of God. And there is a verse in the Bible that I consistently go to and that is James 1:5. And this is a paraphrase, but it says, “Any man that seeks wisdom, let Him ask of God who freely gives it.” And so I asked “God, I know this hotel thing is something that’s in me and I want to do, but I don’t know where to start. Help. I need your wisdom and guidance because I don’t know.” And about a day or two later I simply heard “Candle.” My response was “Huh?” I’m like I don’t know anything about a candle. I’m not even into them like that. So I sat with it and I didn’t have any money to launch a candle line, so I started with what I did have and that was Google. I went into research to even see if it was possible for me and then one thing led to the next thing and now we have had a billboard in Times Square.
With the candle already out there, you’re also creating a cologne as well from the same scent. What is the progress on that so far?
Looking at all aspects. Currently the candle is taking off and people love it. Right now I’m working on R&D for packaging and the longevity of it.
What legacy do you want to leave for the next generation?
That it’s all possible. Your capacity to achieve is based solely upon what you believe. It doesn’t matter where you came from or who your parents were or are… The question is: What are you willing to believe that is possible for you?
Tell me three fun facts about you.
I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall. My first concert was Third Eye Blind. I was in a Tyler Perry movie.
What quote do you go to for motivation?
There are a couple of them: For as long as the Earth remains there will always be Seed, Time and Harvest. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.