Keyon Clinton wants Detroit to get 1% better.
The execution coach, motivational teacher and author recently spoke to rolling out about how he’s working to improve his community.
What is 1% Better?
We’re a holistic growth and development company where we focus on personal and professional development. What we are doing this May 28 is we’re having our 2nd 1% Better speakers conference. This is where we take 12 to 20 speakers do an intensive comprehensive program. We teach them everything from start to stage, so that they can share their story, [and] create massive impact and income in their lives. The reality is, everybody has a powerful story, but what we do over here at 1% Better is we teach you how to find that power in your story to actually impact folks in your community.
What’s the best piece of public speaking advice you’ve ever received?
You are in control. When I finally understood the power of being in control while being the one who speaks, the one with the message, the one who can control the room and the energy in a flow, it built up the confidence I needed to deliver a powerful speech or a powerful message, because most people are afraid of what people are going to say, what they’re going to think. Well, they’re going to say what you tell them to say, they’re going to think what you tell them to do, they’re going to move in a way you want them to move, so as the execution coach, I teach people how to find the power in their voice. How to control the the room, so they can deliver these life-changing messages.
You also made a Forbes list, right?
Yes. I was on the Forbes Next 1000 entrepreneurs, of all the entrepreneurs all over the world in 2021. I’m extremely blessed and excited to have made that list with some amazing folks.
What is your story?
I [was] born and raised on the east side of Detroit, 48205, and I [call it] the infamous ZIP code, because it is [in] the top 10 worst list of neighborhoods you can live in the United States of America. Even though [I had a] single-parent mom of four boys, I started selling drugs at the age of 9, I got involved with gangs, [but] at an early age, I’ve been able to defeat all of the odds. After graduating high school, I went to Michigan State University, where I obtained my electrical engineering degree. It took me seven long years to get my degree, but I retired in just three short years because I realized I was living the American dream, and not Keyon Clinton’s dream.
You did what in three years?
I retired in engineering in three years. Yes, sir. I walked away from a six-figure career. People thought I was crazy. I believe the gift God put inside of me was bigger than the box I was in.