Kenny Burns “The Lifestyle Specialist” and Rob Hill Sr. “The Heart Healer” made their first stop to Chicago for their “Living Life for A Living Tour. On the December 11th the Harold Washington Cultural Center was packed with over 500 people to hear Dreamers Kenny Burns and Rob Hill Sr. speak about “Love, Loss, Life and Legacy.”
Kenny Burns (41) has been a major influence on pop culture for over 20 years. He’s made a name in the entertainment world and now he has stepped into the literary world with his first book, “The Dream is Real.” Rob Hill (26) is new the kid on the block, but he’s making a lot of noise by giving Love and Life advice to his 300k Instagram followers and mentoring teens from his Thousand Kings Foundation Inc.
The entertaining and insightful duo met a few months ago at Houston’s Restaurant and they connected through great conversations and decided to collaborate to inspire and educate people on living their dreams. Before the event begin myself and other media outlets had an opportunity to ask the guys some questions:
Swa-Rai: Who were you before you became The Heart Healer?
Rob: I was “Mr. Get it Wrong.” (LOL) I bumped my head a lot. My people kicked me out when I was 17. I made a lot dumb decisions. I thought I was smarter than everyone else. I tried college, but ended up joining the Navy after I found out I was going to be a Father. I started my journey to share my writing in 2008. Before I was just really someone who got it wrong a lot, but now I’m here.
Swa-Rai: Did you come up with Forest Gump Concept for your “The Dream is Real” book Cover?
Kenny: I love that movie! You kind of wonder what Forest [Gump] did – I know he had Bubba Gump Shrimp, but you didn’t know all the other things. It mirrored my career -for a long time people always say to me “You drive this, you fly this, you know this person. What are you doing to be this successful?” When I thought about writing a book – it was legacy piece. I just wanted to share my story – it’s an unconventional hustle, a hustle that I’ve been able to manage. I love it [the Bubba Gump Cover Concept], It resonated with, so I bit it and went with it and 1,000 books later baby! This is my first book – I’m excited!
Kiss Mag: What is the biggest message that you want your audience to receive from this tour?
Rob: We want them to believe that the stuff that you dream can actually come true.
A lot people speak in “Cant’s.” “If I don’t have the money, I can’t or If I don’t have that resources then I can’t.” We are 2 people that heard a lot of “No’s” and we became our own “Yes” and we want that message to transcend. Everything you go through, you still can be your own “yes”.
Kenny: “Never let your expectations exceed your effort.” We’re 2 cats that have proven if you work for something and you believe whole hearted in what you want, It can happen. [That’s why] we’re here today!
YS Mag: How do you define living life for a living?
Rob: I want a life that I don’t need a vacation from. That’s living life for a living. You don’t need a break from what you do, even if you’re working hard and giving it your all, but at the end of the day, you don’t want to run from it. That’s what we do – We get to enjoy life.
YS Mag: Where you are today is this the way you envisioned your life?
When I was a Senior in High school I got locked up. I was a basketball star – I lost my scholarship. When I saw my grandmother and all these people come to support me, I just knew it was bigger than me, there were like 49 people who came to my hearing to make sure I would get less time and I knew then that I had a responsibility at that time. I just think that we’re all given signs – it’s whether or not we pay attention to those signs.
What is one lesson life has taught you along the way?
Kenny: Always follow your gut. No matter if you make a bad decision or a good decision, you have to go the way you feel at that moment.
Life is the best teacher – you can go to school all day, you can have mentors, you can have your parents, but to experience life for yourself, you have to make mistakes. Life is a body of work – a lot people get frustrated with the process. He’s [Rob] messed up so many times and I’m older than him, so I’ve messed up so many more times, but I have a very fruitful life. Not fruitful just financially – I’ve been married 14 years, I have 2 kids in a business that is unforgiving for relationships, let alone real love. You gotta own it!
Other Media: If you only had one person to get advice from who would it be?
Kenny: Nelson Mandela – that’s a real gangster story. To go through what he went through and live to 95. What if we all went away somewhere for 30 years of our life and came out and have a whole other life. I would love to know what that was like and I think that would inspire me.
Rob: In my life, I’ve looked up to Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Tupac.
Those are 3 people, I aspire to be; I like Tupac’s passion, I like Martin Luther King’s heart and Bobby Kennedy’s was just an awesome leader.
Swa-Rai: I know that you probably get hit on by a lot ladies, being that you’re in the ladies market. How do you handle that?
Rob: I smile and give them a hug (LOL). I’m in a good position. It makes me extremely selective and sometimes a bit stand offish, because I built something and I’m one rumor away from it falling [apart] and understanding that, makes me extremely protective of it and at times that keeps me away – I take it all in stride.
Kenny: He don’t slay everybody OK? He’s looking for a woman to help raise his son! (LOL)
The event was full of laughter, wisdom, “Aha Moments” and even a little emotion after a lady shared her hopelessness after losing love twice, due to death. I left the event feeling like I had a “S” on my chest! Kenny Burns had me blurting out a few times during the week “I’m Mutha*********” Crystal Allen! (you had to be there to get that one) LOL! Rob Hill gave me a lot of hope for love and taught to me in order to receive love; I just have to be “totally open.”
Written by Swa-Rai Contributor: Crystal Allen