Paul - I was inspired by my father very at the earliest age, Arthur Ruffin. He is, and will remain, my hero in that he worked a hard 6am to 4 pm job for DECADES, never complained about his role as head of the family, never left us uncovered and stayed with us and faithful to us. This, along with the many black musicians of our time (Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, etc.) interestingly enough, these were my heros.
House ~ What was instilled within you to motivate your progress?
Paul - As much as I didn't think I wanted to hear it as a young man, I think my motivation was my dad's constant insistence on hard work and to get a job to support my family. Not many kids seem to listen but its funny how as you get older, these lessons that seemed dormant, surface to the top and become your main priorities. He set a great day to day and long term example...something I am trying my best to instill in my son at his age.
House ~ Tell us about your goals for your business?
Paul - I intend on stepping out in the next decade (God willing) on my own and become the entrepreneur that has been dying to get out for so many years. My experience with big and small business should be a tremendous asset in stepping out on my own. Corporate life has been good, but I have a lot of friends who are their own boss, and I would like to put in place a plan to make one last boss happy..ME!
House ~ What does Black History mean for you?
Paul - Black history is a time for reflection of those who sacrificed their lives for what we do, (and sometimes take for granted), on a daily basis. I think those people who gave their lives for me to vote, work, or even just sit down at a restaurant to eat and be treated as a man; I believe their memories are not being honored and shared with the youth of today, and it is our (MY) responsibility to share those stories and those peoples lives with younger people, or risk those sacrifices being lost.
House ~ What would you like to see for the youth in our community?
Paul - I would like to see more places or programs help kids find their motivation quicker. This of course has a lot to do with the kids deciding to find it, but I think we take our roles too lightly as adults and parents. These kids need direction and support...too many of them out there think that they are alone, or out of place, and there had got to be a medium by which we can sit them down and speak in a language that they understand where they know that they are not alone, and are encouraged on a daily basis.