Ain’t No Instruction Manual For That

So many times I have said there are no instructions on how to be a good woman, wife, partner, mother, etc. In life there are just certain things you have to experience first-hand.  You “scrape your knees” and you create your own manual. 

My Twitter feed is compacted with people who promise you that they can change your life. People who promise they can sell you the “secret” to a fulfilling and prosperous existence.  Who’s legit????!


I have the pleasure of knowing a determined young man who I have seen heed his own advice. Saladin Davis has taken his own life to new heights. In short, he went from a teen father to a college graduate/business owner/motivational speaker/published author and sole guardian of his daughter.  I asked him a few questions about his book “Life 101 Lessons From A 13 Year Old Father.”

SYMACMU: What made you decide to write a memoir?

After moving to Charlotte I joined a Toastmaster’s International Club where I met people that already had published books and got paid to speak.  My eyes were opened to the speaking industry and I made the decision to pursue Public Speaking as a career.  One of my fellow Toastmasters Kevin Decker explained to me how beneficial writing a book would be to promoting myself as a Professional Speaker.  He went on to tell me my story sounded like a dramatic novel already so it fit right for the possibility.  After a couple of months of contemplating, I made the choice to put my story in manuscript form.

SYMACMU: Were you concerned about the way your daughters mother would respond to your depiction of her?

I was worried.  I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers so I decided to ensure that there were no negative references toward my Kera’s mother.  What got me over my worry was the greater good.  I knew how important it was to tell my story and how many lives would be impacted.  This made it easier to tell a story where you had no choice but to speak about other people who could potentially be offended by your work.  

SYMACMU: How do you feel about the term “baby daddy”?

I’ve always had a strong dislike for the term “baby daddy”.  I felt that term was reserved for those who don’t take care of their children.  I feel that term is for those men who aren’t present in their children’s lives.  So when I was referred to as such I would always correct the person letting them know that I am my daughter’s Father.  I’m nobody’s baby daddy.  This is a personal interpretation of course so this doesn’t mean that all people use the term in the way in which I perceive but I will never be fond of that term or it’s counterpart. 

SYMACMU: Do you think being a young single father was a dating deterrent?  Do you think women took you more seriously or do you feel you were judged prematurely?

I think that many women admired how I went about my relationship with my daughter and that attracted them to me more than not.  I was prejudged by women for many reasons but those who got to know me were drawn closer to me because of the fact that I was an involved Dad.

SYMACMU: Finally, Shutyamouthandcallmeugly is a home for individuals who aren’t afraid to “go against the grain”. What would you say to the individual who is completely paralyzed by fear?

To those who are stuck because of fear I would say…take a look at the person that is 25 years older than you that is doing the same thing you’re doing right now.  What is that person’s life like? What type of things have they experienced?  How do they carry themselves everyday?  Are they pleasant?  Do they seem excited about life?  If you can’t see yourself being that person in 25 year then THAT should be what you’re scared of!  Use fear.  Use the fear of the misery that would be caused by you being scared to be the best you!  Most people when they are about to die regret all of the things that they didn’t do as opposed to the things that they did.  Don’t be that person!

Lessons From A 13 Year Old Father is available at and in kindle version at Follow Saladin Davis at: 

Facebook: Saladin Davis Professional Motivator
YouTube: SaladinDavis
Twitter: Saladin_Speaks
LinkedIn: Saladin Davis
Instagram: SaladinDavis

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