Doyen “Dolo” Grant has long subscribed to specific principles that have brought him success in a wide range of areas such as business, entrepreneurship, fitness, and most recently as an author. In his new book, Life | Fitness | Success – Why Not You?, the first in a three-volume series, Dolo details his inspirations through photography, unique quotes and personal anecdotes. Learn more about how Dolo chronicled his fundamental principles for achieving his goals below:
Walk me through the inspiration for Life | Fitness | Success – Why Not You? What was the initial vision/goal and what planted the seed?
As a trainer and motivator, I’d always say uplifting things and motivational one-liners that I didn’t even realize until one of my clients pointed it out to me a few years back. As other people and clients also made me aware of this, I realized my words can help a lot more people beyond my immediate reach and thought of capturing them on paper. Over the next three years, I’d jot down quotes and affirmations in my phone as they came to me little by little. Next thing I knew, I’d compiled over 300 unique uplifting quotes. I knew I’d want to write a book and put them on paper but didn’t know when.
Why a book as opposed to another platform/medium?
I chose to write the book because it was a way for me to leave a lasting footprint. We say things and it gets forgotten, or post things and they get scrolled over, but a book in print and ink will last forever for my kids and their kids [to read] over time. I wanted this to be a piece of my legacy. Also, where I’m from people don’t write books! I always strive to set the bar high and be the first to do things!
In the book, you talk about some of the people and life experiences that have influenced your life and career path. What type of feedback have you been receiving from family, friends and other readers?
Everyone is really proud and super excited to be involved or even mentioned in the book! I believe that for young men, your coaches help you the most as mentors and father figures when there aren’t any other options available. My coaches were honored [to be referenced] and I’m happy to make sure their tutelage wasn’t wasted. Friends love it. Some say it gives them a pick-me-up when they need it and others say it’s pretty dope to know some of the deeper quotes came from my mind as I’m pretty much a jokester 90 percent of life [laughs]. My mom is beyond elated as she showed the book off at work DAILY when it first came out! I just wanted to make sure her years and efforts spent raising me weren’t in vain.
Can you talk me through the publication process? How did you decide on the publisher?
The process was pretty cool. When I was initially searching online for publishers two years ago, I got annoyed and I stopped. A few weeks later, Kayode Smith, founder of K.E.Y.S Publications and a good friend of mine, called me and literally said, “I just thought of something. You ever thought about putting your story on paper? You’ve got a story to tell and people will love it!” I replied, “YES, HELL YESSSSSSS!” He then told me he was starting a publishing company and we took it from there. The rest, as they say, is history.
Your book references discipline and how that influences your fitness level as well as achieving other goals. How do you continue to motivate yourself physically?
Discipline is very important to me as it’s necessary in anything we do to achieve a goal. Without it, we are just running in circles wishing things will happen for us or banking on getting lucky. I’m constantly motivated to just do more than I did yesterday. It’s metaphorical in a sense but it’s merely pushing yourself to do more than what you ever thought you could. I push my body to its physical limits every time I work out, which in turn sharpens my mental toughness. Once you combine the two, there isn’t much you’ll allow to defeat you- your body and mind just want more success and positivity in all ways.
You’re a personal trainer, entrepreneur and now author. Any other spaces you’d like to tap into?
I’m also an investor, public speaker, chef and caterer and run businesses in those spaces as well [laughs] but I’d sum up my life visions as an entrepreneur. I like to grow businesses from the ground up and actually work. I’m a product of the grind and appreciate and love the feeling of seeing a vision set, a plan made and then [crafting] the necessary steps to start that endeavor. I definitely intend to open a restaurant in the future, – that’s after I open my own gym and release my other books [in this series] as well as a cookbook. Yeah, I got a lot brewing over here [laughs]. I’m pretty much open to anything if it solves a problem and helps people.
What advice would you offer to someone who is thinking about leaving a job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship?
DO IT! Plain and simple. My younger athletes, close friends, and mentees ask me this all the time. It’s probably the biggest and hardest decision you will ever make because it will immediately affect your present and ultimately your future, but if you go to bed and think about [your passion] and you wake up and think about it and you walk into “work” and think about it, that is 100% what you should be doing. Just because of the love and passion you have for that career path, you won’t allow yourself to fail. But if you never try, you’ll always wonder “what if?” as everything passes you by and true happiness is lost from not chasing your dream. So again, in two words: DO IT!
This book is the first of a trilogy. What are some of the other themes you plan on exploring in upcoming volumes?
Well, the title says it all and they will cover more themes surrounding Life, Fitness, and Success. The quotes will be expanded and there will be more depth as the progression of the books go through my life…telling stories and accounts from early childhood in the first book, adolescence/college in the second volume and adult life and present times in the third. I relate the quotes and affirmations to the times and phases of growth through life lessons I’ve learned and earned. So in the first book, there were more quotes about starting a goal and finishing a task, things of that nature. In the second book, you’ll see more of a learning and building a business theme, learning lessons the hard way themes. As for the third book, that one will be the largest of all 3 books as so much was learned and produced over the last 10 years of my life. More love, more resilience, more persistence, more gratitude…EVERYTHING. I’m really excited to drop that one for sure!
When can we look forward to Volume 2?
I’ve been super busy training and preparing for the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon this November so it has halted production for a bit but we are back on track immediately after, so stay tuned for a late summer/early Fall 2019 drop for Volume 2!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Believe in your art and your words. I’m nowhere close to being some big-time author but what I do know is that if someone wants to listen, others do too. Believe in your words and know that they can speak volumes louder than you can imagine. Words live long and words carry on forever, so when they are in print, they are more precious and timeless for all to remember.
What is your definition of The Quintessential Gentleman?
I’d say the Quintessential Gentleman is best described as one who represents himself well, with class, dignity, and pride. A man who does it for the culture and for the giveback. One who goes after life with selfless thoughts of making people close or far from him better in any aspect they may need help with. That’s a QG.
Volume 1 of Life | Fitness | Success: Why Not You? is now available on K.EY.S. Publishers’ website.