I never fathomed being inspired by a younger couple until I recently encountered authors Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman. I did an interview with the authors for work, but they inadvertently sparked an energy boost of productivity in my life as a wife whose business partner is her husband.
The 26-year-old writers have been married for four out of the 11 years they’ve been together and they are parents to a two-year-old son. They have written over 36 books, just released Murderville 2, the second in their latest series and their New York Times Best Selling trilogy, The Cartel, has been optioned by Cash Money/Simon Schuster to become a movie. The prodigious entrepreneurs, who already publish books under Cash Money Content, are responsible for one of the first film projects launched via Cash Money Films and they’re gearing up to release an ebook, Carter Diamond, on September 1.
Their story is unique because they started working together as teenagers, got discovered by Carl Webber and have since become career authors. They were extremely mature and left an impression on me in a few ways. Here are four life and professional lessons and affirmations that I learned (or got reinforced) from Ashley and JaQuavis that I hope to apply or improve upon as soon as possible.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
My Lesson: Communication is a big theme with the Rocques, as it should be with any relationship romantic or platonic. But when it comes to working with your spouse you should make sure that you’re secure in your relationship as lovers and friends before trying to incorporate business. I like to ask couples who are also business partners how they make their relationship work on all levels and JaQuavis simply said that their communication is honest and impeccable. I can’t stress how important this is and, I could certainly benefit from this as sometimes, I’m not always the most articulate when it comes to getting out my thoughts but I’m working on it.
From JaQuavis: “Me and Ashley keep it g. First and foremost, before the writing, before the marriage and before the kids we are best friends. We have been on the same wavelength all the time. I watch Love and Hip-Hop with her and she watches Monday Night Football with me. That’s my best friend, and once we conquered that relationship, the world was for the taking. We never had problems and I feel it’s a blessing to be able to work with your dog, your homie everyday because that makes life easier.”
Shut Up and Do It
My Lesson: Mr. Rocque and I have been talking about writing our respective books for years and haven’t made much progress. If the Colemans can do it and they have a son, then we should have been on it like, last year. Ashley said the importance of getting work done is not taking breaks too long in between whatever else might need to be done. I can’t speak for the hubby here, but I do have moments where I should be productive and don’t. This has hurt me on a few occasions because as the saying goes, if you’re slow you blow. I’ve definitely seen people coming out with works that were similar ideas and got frustrating because I didn’t act fast enough.
From Ashley: “We do things at lightning speed. We don’t like to let nobody catch up with us. The screenplay was already thought of before the book was thought of. The goal was to get it on the major screen to get more audiences so the movie has been in our minds for a while. We thought about that before we thought about putting out the novel.”
Give Back Together
My Take: I’ve done volunteer work but not as Mrs. Rocque just yet. The hubby’s schedule is a lot busier and unpredictable than mine is but one day our date night will involve proactively giving back, or even if we can figure out how to provide mentorship through our collaborative site/column then that’s a start.
JaQuavis: “Cash Money has started a young authors draft where we will be hand selecting young authors who are enrolled in college to get a publishing deal and to come up with the company, and we’re gonna be changing someone’s life. We’re looking forward to that. We’re very excited about that because we got our start just before we went to college so it makes sense.”
See it, Believe it
My Lesson: They envisioned their books on film and talked about it with each other, and now it’s going to happen. I’m the negative and cynical one in my relationship and Mr. Rocque is always telling me to relax and to count my blessings instead of blocking them by dwelling on what I don’t have. However, I realized that lately, we haven’t been talking with each other enough about our collective and personal aspirations in terms of life and career. We usually mention what we want but aren’t proactive enough with giving each other ideas and even solutions for how to get to where we want to be. We believe in the power of positive thinking, but it’s even better when you have someone who is praying with and for you, so we will be better about what we see in our future.
From JaQuavis: “We signed our first publishing deal when we were 17-years-old. We’re both 26 now so we got an early start but we plan to retire when we’re 30,” so when you look at it that way, it’s not that early of a start.”
I liked this couple's demeanor because they had the wisdom and chemistry of people who had been married for decades. They were playful, loving about their business, seemed genuine and didn’t even know that they pressed my motivation button. So, thanks Ashley and JaQuavis for unwittingly keeping me on my toes.
Is there a couple who has unknowingly inspired your life?