Today we’d like to introduce you to Damon Sumner.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I am here because I had a great family unit growing up. My mom and dad divorced when I was young, but that didn’t stop them from raising my two brothers and me with a sense of pride and a strong work ethic. I now reside in Atlanta with my amazing wife, KaToya, and our three children-Mission, Liv, and Ever. I’m blessed because I have been able to get where I am today, not just solely because of my hard work and dedication, but also because of the love, support, and sacrifice my wife and family have extended to me for the past decade. So, now I have the opportunities to wear multiple hats — comedian, speaker, podcaster, creator — all to bring value to people.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
If you haven’t overcome challenges, did you really succeed? Ha. But seriously, I think everyone has to learn from their mistakes, grow from their failures, and push forward with perseverance and grit. One of the challenges I faced, that I feel can relate to many people, is just not knowing what my passion was. After college, I quickly realized that my passion was not in journalism and so I went on this wild goose chase of searching and searching. When comedy and public speaking smacked me in the face and was like, “we’ve been waiting for you to get with the program,” I hit the ground running and never looked back. Another challenge was in demolishing the effects of “Imposter Syndrome.” For too many of us, we can wrestle with the idea that we don’t have anything to offer or that someone else is already doing what I want to do. I had to realize that nobody does it like me because I bring my own voice, my own perspective, and my own originality to the table. So, once I conquered those challenges, I saw a dynamic change in myself and became excited for what’s to come.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I focus on helping parents become THE parent they need to be for their families. In my experience, there are three things people don’t really want advice on: their finances, their marriage, and their parenting. Yet, we will take insight, counsel, and tips concerning every other facet of our lives. Why is that? We feel like if you critique our parenting then that is a personal attack on who we are, but that just isn’t the case. So, I focus on encouraging parents to remember that their kids don’t need a perfect parent; but rather a purposeful parent. As a former educator and father of three, I wholeheartedly understand that time is of the essence, so I can’t read all the books, listen to all of the podcasts, or devour all of the articles that would help me become a better parent. Therefore, I specialize in equipping parents with tools and strategies that they can use immediately, to better love, support, and care for their family. And if you are waiting for me to call myself an expert, unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. But if you are wondering, “why should I work with Damon?” Simply put, I have a pure joy in helping parents feel better about their parenting. Despite the infant blowout at the self-checkout lane at the grocery store, the teenage-attitude and body odor, the toddlers eating nothing but fruit snacks and chicken nuggets, or the fact that no one, but you, can seem to remember to rinse…I want to be there to encourage you along the way.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
If I could offer advice I would share two statements that I really try to live by. The first one is “Blossom where you’re planted.” Sometimes when we are searching for and desiring to find success, we miss out on the beauty of the journey. The desire to find success can be such a hamster wheel where we are always trying to achieve and reach the next level, when in honesty, we aren’t really thriving at the level we currently are at. Slow down and crush it with the team, the clients, and the following you already have. Time will come when your platform and reach is larger, but if you are not striving to blossom where you’re currently planted, then what makes you think that you’ll shine when you get more sun? The other piece of advice I would give is a cliche, but I honestly teach this to my kids because I truly take it to heart. “Work hard. Play hard.” If we aren’t enjoying the fruits of our labor, then we are doing something wrong. Don’t get so caught up in the hunt for more, that you forget to enjoy and celebrate the successes that you’ve already attained. The process is a part of the adventure. Sometimes, you have to put the laptop away and remind yourself that that email will be there in the morning. I’m all about work, but I’m definitely all about play!
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Defining success for yourself and your family is crucial because it allows you to not get caught up in looking left and right at others. We don’t know the story and the hurdles that anyone else had to overcome to get the success that they have acquired. So, when we start to compare ourselves to others and say, “I want that,” we can’t be truly satisfied with the accolades because our definition of success isn’t defined. Therefore, we have to first stop and ask ourselves, what does it mean to be successful? What would it look like for me to be successful? And for everyone, that answer will be different. That answer will guide how we move forward with opportunities, navigate collaborations, and execute ideas. I personally found freedom from comparing myself to my peers, when I sat down and wrote out what it truly means to me to be successful. Find some time, in the next few days, and sit with your thoughts, chat with our partner and truly figure out what that word means to you. For me, success is taking care of my family by doing what I love. Success is being able to inspire, uplift, and deliver joy through comedy, talks, coaching, and so many other means. Success is knowing that I don’t quit; I learn from mistakes and pivot towards more triumph.
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me? I have big goals. In the next 12 months, I want to speak at over 100 events and conferences to empower, encourage, and inspire parents to be THE parents they need to be for their families. I plan to coach over 300 parents and equip them with tools and practical strategies to support their families right now. “Next” is a word that keeps me excited because of the possibilities. My aim, at the end of the day, is to bring value to people. That’s what I want. What’s next for me is just to continue to do what I’ve been doing, but on a higher level.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more.
If you desire to connect with me, feel free to check out my website, follow me on my personal Instagram and my Better Dad Instagram, or give me a follow on Twitter. You can also check out my Podcast page. Again, all of these links and more can be found on my website.