South Florida based janitor turned serial entrepreneur, Patrick Muhammad took what some would call an unconventional route to his newest venture. “What I do now has evolved. It truly took my passion and has turned it into a profession for me. I can see myself mentoring and sharing my story with young people easily for the next 20 years. I love talking to young people and showing them, what entrepreneurship looks like. I love sharing my stories of how I came to be. I didn’t just wake up one day and have all the answers. My wife and I bumped our head A LOT. I just want to say to them, look…here’s the blueprint. Start now, don’t wait until you’re 30. Passion has no age requirement, and has no limit on how many you can have. I started out as a janitor, then became a baker now I am into motivational speaking. They just have to have the passion and guidance. Anything is possible.”
“Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay” is the 1st book in a series of children’s books authored by husband and wife writing partners, Shani and Patrick Muhammad. The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was a gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to their then 4 year-old Qadeer. Patrick and his wife came up with the idea that they would write a keepsake item for all their children, detailing the road they took to becoming entrepreneurs. The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your playdays into paydays. Once the book was published they both realized that the story could not only inspire their own children to entrepreneurship, but others as well. Shani figured out how to self-publish it and Patrick would take it to different youth groups in his community. “I began shopping the book around to childcare centers and non-profits that served young people in the projects and the adults loved it. “They really loved the idea that it was based on a true story and that the message was coming from a black male perspective. A story their children could relate to. The images were brown like them and I just always got a positive response. We took that book everywhere with us, and the response was this is a message that’s needed. Children can’t be what they can’t see.”
Patrick currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three of his youngest five children. He has a passion for planting the seed of entrepreneurship and carving out wealth building opportunities for his children’s generation. When he’s not writing books he’s on tour, speaking to groups of young people about basic principles of financial literacy and the benefits of early investing using cryptocurrency as a vehicle to establish future financial goals. When he’s not doing that…he’s on a creek with a fishing pole in his hand.
Shani Muhammad has been married to Patrick for 17 years now. Together they have 5 children and 3 grandchildren. Shani has spent the past 15 years in a classroom as a teacher. She too is a serial entrepreneur and has in the past owned a one-price shoe store, group homes and several online businesses. When she’s not working on the next children’s book in their series, she too enjoys researching and investing in crypto currencies and planning her family’s next “staycation.”
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About the Book:
The first book in a series, "Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay", details the journey of an entrepreneur, through the eyes of a child. The book uses vivid illustrations and lively words, to explain the road little Patrick took into the world of entrepreneurship. It demonstrates the benefits of tapping into your passion early in life. “Patrick” tapped into his passion of baking to help solve a money problem. This book also shows the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. You witness a 9-year old take the power and control of his future into his own hands. You also see what happens when “Patrick” finds help in a friend, to help grow his business. Above all, this book motivates both young and young at heart and serves as a reminder that we all have the ability to turn our playdays into paydays.
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Thanks for this interview, Patrick. I’ve always wanted to write children’s books. When did you determine that writing for children was for you?
Growing up I never wanted to be a writer. Prior to writing this book, I was a janitor for 25 years. I kind of fell into writing.
The idea for the book was created one night while trying to explain the reason there was gigantic, neon, pink and orange food-truck, now sitting in their front yard to our then, 4 year-old Qadeer. My wife and I came up with the idea that we would write a keepsake item for our children and God-willing…grandchildren, detailing the road we took to becoming entrepreneurs. The primary message is simple. By tapping into your passion early in life you can turn your play days into paydays.
What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay?
My children and grandchildren were my inspiration.
How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience? Are you around kids? Are you a kid at heart?
I just imagined the book being read by my then, 4 year-old Qadeer. Also, I’m a kid at heart. The main character in my book is named “Little Patrick”. That’s basically me.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The Bass Pro fishing catalog book.
What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?
Don’t write books that preach or lecture and don’t talk down to them. Their smaller than adults, not dumber.
What are your goals for the future? More children’s books?
Yes, this is the 1st book in a series. The next one takes you on a journey using crypto-currency. Of course, it too will be a picture book. It’s entitled Patrick Turns His Play Into Pay using Bitcoins.