Over fifty years ago, I had no idea who ‘Dr. Smiley’ was, nor did I have any inclination that he would be me.
I was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, and whisked away to Paris, France, as an Army brat. Twelve years and twelve countries later, with Germany being the last, I was back in the United States. America was foreign to me. The twelve years in Europe and Asia groomed me to have a life immersed in soccer and my role model was Pele. I became depressed because I didn’t fit into the small farm town of Galesburg, Illinois. This town was so isolated, that I was accused of being a ‘Nazi N*gger Lover’ because I came from Germany, had a black man for a role model, and was unaware that discrimination was a way of life in this town. The school was integrated, but the real estate told a different story. If you were on one side of the tracks, you were white, and the other side was predominantly black.
The reason I share this part of my life is because growing up around the world, I got to see many different people and cultures. I realized that we are all different and have a story to tell. My dad and mom never taught me about discrimination or that it even existed. In every country we lived in, we respected the people and culture. What I experienced as a young person in America broke my heart.
Another childhood passion was to share stories. I experienced so many cultures and had so many stories to tell, I wanted to become an author, and more importantly, matter in the world. I defined being an author as someone who was credible and worthy of attention and merit. I believed this for over thirty years, yet never took action until I became the caregiver for my mom as Alzheimer’s slowly took her mind away. Being a first-hand witness to my beautiful, kind-hearted mother being erased was the catalyst to me stepping into my power, one born of fear that I would fall victim to what I watched my mother experience or die before I truly made a difference in the world or left a legacy. Thirteen months after my mom passed, I published my first book, ‘Becoming the Perfect Networker… Succeeding 1 Connection @ a Time’.
This book was a financial disaster. Any sane person would have written off the $22,000 loss as an act of ignorance and quit. But a prayer to God helped me understand this was a message. I was tasked to solve the dilemma that most new authors experience. God taught me, through losing my mother’s stories, my most valuable lesson… that a Legacy is earned with an unstoppable attitude. I invested another $3000 to reprint and republish this grammatically incorrect nightmare. I also learned that without social proof, testimonials, and vetting, you are positioning yourself as a lamb ready to be fleeced or slaughtered of any dreams.
Perfect Publishing was born to protect and guide authors. How could I help more people step into their power to become an author, an inspiration, and a legacy for the people they loved? I went back to the drawing board to uncover the common new author pitfalls.
Many leaders don’t believe they are worthy of being authors or believe they needed to accomplish more before writing a book. It is my quest to enlighten future authors that the gifts they have to share with the world already exist within them. Providing a little inspiration and breaking down the book project into bite size weekly portions, most clients I guide complete their manuscript within three to six months.
The next hurdle is to move a book. This requires a marketing approach and system – one fueled by social proof and testimonials. This step causes authors great frustration. Almost 99% of authors write their first book, and the sales are so low, they don’t have the desire to write another book. My analogy for this dilemma is similar to a doctor (publisher) delivering a baby (book), handing the baby to the new parent (author) and then telling the new parent nothing. The baby is born, it can now fend for itself.
Traditional authorship focuses so much on writing, versus moving/feeding the book. Our goal, at Perfect Publishing, is upon completion of a book is to never stop marketing or end printing it. That flips the normal book lifecycle of 99% creation with 1% impact to 1% creation with 99% impact. The closer to 99%, the more impact the book creates in the world.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how congruent this message was to my mom’s gift of sharing love and positivity to those blessed to meet her.
I told Barry what those simple words, ‘KEEP SMILING’, moved in me. I believed that I could create a movement and I did. I picked up my camera and began photographing amazing authors, business entrepreneurs, leaders, models, musicians, speakers, and anyone sporting a beautiful smile (teeth or not) at every event I attended. Next, I created and published little 6” x 6” books of these amazing smiles. At the beginning of each book, I choose one of the leaders to share their story. We now have almost 200 versions of these thematic books on Amazon and on our website (www.theKEEPSMILINGmovement.com) for FREE. A special thanks goes to our Executive Director, Dr. Andrea Adams, for her tireless commitment to the KEEP SMILING Movement as a legitimate 501c3 nonprofit with a mission of helping save lives with dental and mental wellness. The book ‘The Science of Smiles’ was released to share the importance of Smiles as part of your daily nutrition for your soul.
After completing my 36th book ‘The Amazon 5 Star Review Club’, I feel I have unleashed possibly my best work. It is a free book I provide to help authors get access to amazing content and return their appreciation in the form of a review to other authors on Amazon. Five Star reviews are the ultimate, “Thank you” for any author.
Ironically, 2020 is the favorite year of my life because the pandemic caused, created, and inspired a renaissance in my life and that of my son. Before the pandemic, my son, Kenny Rochon, III (aka K3) was not an author. Now at the young age of ten, he has published twelve books. 2020 was also the year I started my dissertation through the International University of Entreprenology with a PhD in Entreprenology. This gave rise to a new identity, ‘Dr. Smiley’. I come from a family of high learners, so this was a prestigious milestone, but my true motivations were to make my mom proud, and for my son to see when the chips are down, you can still come out on top if you choose to.
When the world reopened, I went after publishing with a new passion. What would it take to reach 20 million people with your message?’ I’ve created a system that requires one type of currency – ‘Pay it forward’. The project is entitled ‘D.O.S.E. of HOPE’ and the acronym stands for the amazing chemicals God has created (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins) that are released when we feel alive and have ‘HOPE’. Within this book series, I honor inspiring leaders with a ‘Chicken Soup meets TED Talk’ formula for inspiring HOPE to the world. I added particular questions for each contributing author to answer because I realized that each individual has their own culture that, much like Simon Sinek identified the importance of a company knowing its ‘Why’ in order to create a culture that attracts consumers, individuals also attract friends, collaborators and partners who relate and become ambassadors of who they are – their brand. I researched the impact of asking the question, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘How did I create my Who?’ It turns out the more we commit, devote, and invest (as referenced in Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’), the more we will create a ‘Who’ we love. This relationship to our love of ourselves allows us to create an equally powerful ‘Why’ otherwise known as a ‘Purpose’. The higher the variable of ‘Purpose’ we claim, as it relates to the needs of humanity, the higher our ‘How’ will be (also known as your ‘Impact’ in the world). By answering these questions within the D.O.S.E. of HOPE chapters, you increase the impact of your story to the world.
I’ve also started a venture called ‘Amplifluence.com’. It has launched as a tour around the world to help leaders have more impact with their message and mission in life. Dr. Michelle Mras, founder of the ‘Hold My Crown’ series, international author, singer and global speaker knows the value of a campaign that harnesses all the energy put into the KEEP SMILING movement and Perfect Publishing. This creates an impressive marketing system that helps authors become better speakers and speakers become better authors using funnels, that is monetization strategies designed to fuel their careers and dreams. When your campaign creates a tribe, one becomes unstoppable and unapologetic about being the best version of themselves.
Every book of mine mentioned in this chapter and the other thirty-three or so are all available for FREE in digital format because I believe a book is a business card with a big message designed to create conversations, opportunities, and legacy. Simply KENnect with me, and any and all of the eBooks are available for asking.
I thank my mom every day for teaching me to see the good in people. To this day, I have now published over one-thousand books for happy authors and over four million ‘KEEP SMILING’ cards have been distributed to people who give the biggest gift that shows their soul at the highest frequency… a SMILE ☺. My mission and my passion are to amplify smiles. Nice to meet you, I’m Dr. Smiley.