Inspirational media sensation Willie Moore Jr. doesn’t mince words in his new book, Happily After All: How to Keep Your Relationship Going When You Are Tired of Trying. Alongside his wife Patricia, Moore reveals the uncomfortable realities that come with dating, marriage, and parenthood to provide no-nonsense solutions to anyone who wants to build a happier, healthier relationship.
Find out why this former R&B singer known as Pretty Willie decided to pen this raw and humorous road map to navigating the difficult challenges within personal and family relationships.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote the book because when I was young in my relationship there wasn’t any literature to tackle the real issues. Most books told me just pray on it and I prayed on it but the issues were still there. So I wanted to make a book that would be transparent enough for young couples to really get what they needed out of their relationship.
What’s the story behind the title?
Most people think that marriages are happily ever after, but the truth is [they are] Happily After All. After all the trials, the triumphs, the victories, and the problems it culminates into a beautiful thing we like to call a relationship.
What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?
We hope that readers get from reading our book is that they can be transparent and comfortable in being uncomfortable. Sometimes people think in relationships that every day is going to be a great day. But that is totally not the truth. Prayerfully, they can read something and hear something in the book that challenges them to stick with their mate.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took seven months. Honestly, I’ve been writing a book for the last three years but unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it. I hooked up with an amazing co-writer by the name of Nigel Lewis and [he] and I were able to expedite the process to get this amazing product on the shelves.
What was your regimen to complete this book?
Tuesdays and Thursdays we wrote right after the radio show. We would go back and forth so it was really really easy for us to get it done because on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. or sometimes 7-10 p.m., we would really dig in and make sure that we got the book done.
How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution?
I think it was a natural evolution to be quite honest. I’ve always done music, I’ve always done something in front of a television, but I had to make sure that people could put something in their hand that represented me. What better way to represent [me] than a book? At the end of the day, a lot of people have a lot of literature out there but we believe that we have a voice in the earth that is unique. So we want to make sure that the world is able to invest in their relationship and get some insight through our uniqueness.
What is unique to the experience that you create?
The uniqueness is that we are not afraid to go deeper. Most things are so surface that it just feels good. Well, we don’t want you to feel good. We want you to feel uncomfortable and once you feel uncomfortable, we think that it will provoke the change that you need in your life, in your relationship, and in your business. So this book is going to challenge you in the area of finances; how you can be better in that area. It’s going to challenge you in the area of infidelity; we’ve been through that, we had to fight through that. So we challenge you when it comes to what you watch on television. We talk about pornography and how that took away the intimacy [of] our relationship. Because of our transparency, we believe that s going to set us apart from most authors.
For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
Become a master of grind. Most people think that it’s just going to come and some people prepare so much. Never be afraid to dive in. So many people are so interested in planning that they miss the opportunity to get involved. It’s some things that you will never discover until you immerse yourself into the opportunity. So what I’m asking people to do is get immersed in your craft, get immersed in what you think God is calling you to do. From that point, I think you can go to the next level.
Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about what you do? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
No, I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Everybody’s experience is individual. So at the end of the day, everyone has their ups and downs but I think our uniqueness is setting us apart.
How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I measure success through my family. If my kids are happy and my wife has a smile on her face, I know I’m winning. When it comes to business, of course, we set our objective, we go after our goals, and we take whatever plans of actions it takes to get there. What we do is, we reverse engineer. Before we start any goal, we try to look at it and see what does this look like 10 years from now. We reverse engineer it back into that day. So I challenge entrepreneurs, I challenge people who are in any type of business before you pick up a client before you pick up a new opportunity, Reverse engineer it. Some people waste so much time because they are so focused on the immediate.
If you focus on the immediate, you will always miss the ultimate. So we make people and force people to live in the ultimate. So no matter what issues they have in the immediate, they can get past it because ultimately they have a goal and vision in mind and it starts to make sense.
Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
Number one, my role model is my father. He was a sharecropper out of Mississippi. He took his brand to the army and he went from the army to St. Louis, Missouri. He actually worked as a custodian all of my life. Now he is a greeter at Home Depot, but if you look at his portfolio and what he was able to invest with that job, you would be surprised that his portfolio is stronger than mine to be quite honest. He said the reason his portfolio is so strong is because he understood what to want. Some young people just want too much. My outside mentor is Eric Thomas, I had the blessing to travel with him the whole month prior to this interview. It’s just amazing to be up close and personal with my mentor, learning so much and thinking so different in a very short time.
Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
One book is the Bible. One work is my dad. One performance would probably be seeing any of Tyler Perry’s plays. Seeing that he was able to exhibit resilience, not stopping after the first one did not go exactly the way he wanted. Seeing his brand going from a performing artist to a television person, to a movie creator, and to just an amazing guy traveling the country adding value to people. Not through his talk but through his works. So I would have to say, Tyler Perry.
Why do you consider continued learning important?
If you are a leader, leaders are readers and leaders are learners. So if you’re a leader and you stop learning, that means that sooner or later you won’t be leading. I personally read at least 10 pages a day. I’ve been known to run through two to three books a month. Right now, I’m on a teamwork book and I also am reading the five love languages, kind of refreshing myself on that. So leaders are readers so continuing learning is so important.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
Yes. I am the head of not the tail. I am above and not beneath God is for me and not against me. Then I have a list of names of people that I call out every day of people I want to work with, rub elbows with. And that the end of all of those declarations I say, God, I want to thank you that my name is in the mouths of people of influence and they are thinking of ways to bless me every single day. Flatout
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Probably YouTube, YouTube changed my life we went from a brand that was mainly music to a speaking brand, a comedic brand to people who want us all around the world to add value to them. We got a chance to do it our way. We didn’t have to pretend to be something we’re not. I thank God for YouTube cause 10 million people are watching what we put out.
Please define your personal brand.
What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Antigua, Barbados: 3065 beaches and the people there are amazing and I just enjoyed wearing the same outfit 2-3days in a row and nobody notice. Cause they are not flashing. So shout out to all my people in Antigua
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Probably would be the focus. Social media has allowed people to focus on too many things at the same time. In order to get to where you are supposed to be you have to a laser focus on something. Where you’re energy goes that is where everything flows. So if you can keep your energy moving in one direction I believe you can get your goals a lot quicker if they allow themselves to do that.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be a little gentle sometimes, I can be a little pushy. I am a St. Louis, New Yorker. I know what I want when I want it and how I want it done. I am learning to be gentle with team members because I don’t want to push people away because I see. It’s my job to help them understand what I want the goals, the time. I want to be a lot gentler with people is something I am working on.
What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
I would say my dad is iconic from a person to go from being a sharecropper to raising a son and having a family. When all roads say you will never do this. He did and he took humble jobs when he was able to save and do what he needed to do. My definition of iconic is how you leave a legacy for your family. Everything that we do now has a WilFlo stamp on it. And WilFlo means Willie and Flora more combine so they will live forever. I still call my dad every single day of my life. Because I am indebted to him that is iconic most kids are not calling their mom and dad’s everyday single day. He was so consistent in who he was and what he does. I will give that to Willie J. That is what I call myself Willie Moore Jr. Cause I don’t want you to mistake me with the great man Willie Moore Sr. is.