After talking with Eric Thomas, whose motivational speeches have been viewed on YouTube by 50+ million people, I realized one thing: He isn’t just a motivational speaker. Try putting a man who is a best-selling author, a community activist, a Ph.D. student, and minister in one box and you would be missing the breadth of his accomplishments.
We spoke about his latest venture, which may surprise you even more if you thought he was only a motivational speaker as well. He’s now the founder and owner of a record label and his debut artist Tobe Nwigwe has been met with palpable fanfare. “We didn’t want to just be the face of motivation in terms of my presentations on YouTube. We want to make sure that in every form of motivation we had a presence.” Tobe, who has developed a collaborative partnership with Eric in recent years, is certainly making ETA Records‘ presence known.
In less than three weeks, his two-part video has amassed more than 70,000 views and a flurry of encouraging messages in the often-critical YouTube comments. I noticed a parallel to Eric when talking with Tobe. As Eric isn’t just motivational speaker, Tobe isn’t just a rapper. His eight-song EP, which he mentioned garnered 5,000 downloads in the first few days, is the artistic manifestation of what he has been spreading in his community’s youth for years.