“I wanted to give people something they needed before they passed away or before I passed away-- if I would have taken my life that day.”
Some people are called to inspire. Some are called to call and then others are called to BOTH. From special education, homelessness, and near suicide to a now captivating International Motivational Speaker with over 60 million total views on Youtube, William “King” Hollis, 29, is impacting the lives of many. From students and everyday people to celebrities and pro-athletes, he‘s taking his personal journey and packaging it into the gift that keeps on giving.
“I was able to work with Phillip Plein, an international fashion superstar, for Plein Sports. I did that event when I spoke live at Milan Fashion Week. I have the #1 football speech in the world ( and I literally just surpassed Al Pacino’s ‘Any Given Sunday’ speech on youtube) so that’s a pretty big deal. The NFL has taken notice of it also and I was actually invited to the NFL Honors this past weekend to meet all of these great NFL players who’ve been listening to my work for many years and like I said, this is the year that it’s all coming full circle.”
“I was born in Pontiac, Michigan and I bounced back and forth between my grandmother and my mom’s house. My mom was dealing with a heroin addiction, she was molested by her father as a child and never got help so she struggled with life-- and just fighting to be the best woman she could be. But I think that she did an amazing job as a mother.”
“Like any other inner city kid, you know, some parents are on drugs, or some parents are alcoholics, but you know, in our neighborhood, we’re not about to run away from mama. There may have been things going on but we couldn’t go to school and talk about it.”
“So I understood at a very young age that if I did that then I would get separated and one thing that I never wanted to do was be separated. Ultimately, growing up down there, like I said, I was back and forth, dealing with crime, and then I got an opportunity to go to LA when I was 15. My cousin played in the NFL and I never really spoke to him too much, but when I became a big name in high school football he said “Will, you ain’t gone make it there, let me bring you to LA”. So I basically ended up moving with him and that’s when my life really changed.”
“I got exposed to people walking outside and saying 'hello' or 'how you doing?'. Growing up in the hood, you literally believe that 'good is bad' and that 'bad is good' like most of the younger generations now. So when I moved to LA I started to learn a whole new way of life. I stayed in Marina Del Ray. So a few houses down from Dwayne Wayne, right next door to Ken Norton, and I was actually outside when they shot the movie Enough with JLO. I was a real “Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ I believed (laughs).”
“That changed my life and I realized that if you can change the environment of a child then a child can flourish in any environment. So as far as my childhood it was very hard but it was something that a lot of my peers in my old neighborhood were experiencing and by the grace of God I moved to LA and God opened my eyes to a broader horizon. It made me want more in life. I told myself that If i came this far I can’t just come this far.”
“The first time I ever spoke I was getting ready to commit suicide. I went to a school and volunteered. I was speaking in hotel rooms and just trying to build my coaching career and I just got so low and had suicidal thoughts. I went to a High School and the first time I spoke, within five minutes, the kids were in tears. Then after I left the school, about ten or twenty minutes later, I got a call from a staff member that worked at the High School and she basically asked me how much I charge. So literally the first time I spoke... that’s when my career started. My whole career started through me wanting to help people. I wanted to give people something that they needed before they passed away or before I passed away if I would have taken my life that day. My whole life has been like that. It’s always been about doing something to uplift, inspire, and to make people smile.”
“The beautiful thing about me is that when I was already famous and I had a little name for myself and my buzz was growing, I was still practically homeless. So i have a saying: 'God makes you rich on the inside before He makes you rich on the outside' and that’s what he did for me. People think it was all bad but God spoiled me. When I needed meals I got meals and when I needed underwear I got underwear. When I needed a home, I got a home. I never questioned. I always had faith. That’s what it was all about. Ultimately I ended up meeting my queen and she loved me and I found the right queen along with that belief and it just went to the next level.”
“I believe that my entire life I fought for other people’s lives. I never did anything for myself. So when you start to fight for other people and not yourself, you immediately start to mature. You Immediately start to seize moments in every opportunity you get because you know that this person that you love the most isn’t strong enough to do it. So it’s almost as if you’re operating as if your life is on the line. My whole life was me operating as if my life was on the line. People wonder how I was able to record these speeches when I didn’t have a studio and I said I researched it. I Googled it or I Youtubed it. Always have the mentality that ‘if I stop grinding I’m going to die out here...and everything I love will die too’."
“So you ask yourself this question. Would you fight...for everything you love? With everything in your body? Every single day? Knowing that if you don’t do this it’s closer to death for everyone that you love. The last place that I saw my mother was in handcuffs and shackles, running out of a store stealing food while I was an all american Linebacker. I flew back in town just to see my mother. The last place I ever saw her was in a courtroom, in shackles, with men standing around her. So when you go through that. God instills something in you.”
“It’s a strength that not too many people gain or ever understand. It’s a belief that not too many people believe or ever understand. You literally watch God GIVE you your purpose. He GAVE me my purpose. God came to me. He came to me. He helped the kid that was in special education, buried his mama at 37 years old and his uncle was the one who sold it to her. So when you go through that kind of stuff, what’s an obstacle?”
Stay humble, stay grounded, get used to pain, get used to human beings letting you down, don't ever depend on 'man' to direct your life. The first person you go to is God. Stay engulfed in that Bible. Just study your word. Always try to look at yourself as a spec of dirt on the ground. Never look down upon people. Always answer emails and always answer DM's and always comment back when people message because those are the people that love you. Love who loves you. I used to go to all these people’s IG pages and look at all of the followers. I always looked at who they’re following and I think who are they NOT to follow people back? We have literally trained our world to be followers. No one wants to be followed any more. Follow the ‘everyday’ man and support the ‘everyday’ queen that supports you. No matter how big you get, never stop taking those calls and never stop helping. Never stop walking in the hoods and projects and getting out and showing them a better way...getting out of your car and parking it to really go and talk to them."
"The beautiful part is that I grind so hard to blow into this superstar speaker but it’s only to bring light back on to the place that I love the most. That’s the hood all over America, the souls that don’t want to live anymore, and I want them to look at me as that broken child or that broken man that wanted to commit suicide and who had all these odds against Him and see that He made it. So that when they ask who did it? I want to be able to stand on a mega stage and say God did it. Whether you believe in Him or not... I told you. He did it and He’s real. That’s my main goal. I’m just a disciple, I’m a messenger, I’m nothing."
Photo Credits: @Williamhollisspeaks (IG and Facebook)
Want to view more of Will's captivating speeches? Check them out here:
I didn't Come this Far to Only Come this Far (967,000+ views)
Young King (927,000 views)
Your Gift (313,000 views)
The Most Influential Football Speech Ever (142,000 views)
You Can't Stop Now (73,000 views)
Motivational Speaker William Hollis Makes History at Plein Sport Debut in Milan
Plein Sport CEO Phillipp Plein Talks About Show Using Motivational Speaker Will Hollis