In today’s society, the chances of getting your spouse to go through relationship counseling with you is slim to none. When it comes to married men and women speaking on the issues in their union, it’s difficult to really get to the bottom of it without causing more issues at the same time. Author and relationship coach, Stephan Labossiere has become the exception to the rule.
Being able to relate and speak with efficiency, Stephan – also known as Stephan Speaks – has gained much praise from those around him for his capabilities. Seen, heard and quoted in some of today’s biggest media outlets, the highly sought after speaker has impacted the lives of everyone he comes in contact with.
Now with two full books under his belt, Coach Stephan is ready to hit the road and expand. Gearing up for his first promotional tour, he took some time out of his busy schedule to let JubileeMag.com in on what’s been happening in his life recently. Touching on the topics of his thought process behind the creation of both novels, his divorce, spiritual growth and connection to God, as well as much more, one of the go-to men of the decade proves each day how he’s able to give real talk about real love and real relationships.
Get into the exclusive interview below!
You’re going on tour right now for the current novels you have out. Tell us a little about the books that you’re taking on the tour.
Well, there’s my first book, How to Get a Married Woman to Have Sex With You…If You’re Her Husband. It’s won an award before and it’s been doing very well. It’s all about just helping marriages who are lacking in sex. It happens a lot more than we realize and it’s not being talked about enough [laughs]. A lot of women feel like the man should know what to do and the man doesn’t know what to do. Because of that, it’s just this huge gap in communication and it just pours in all different kinds of issues in the marriage. So, that’s my first book. My second book, is the best-selling book God Where Is My Boaz? Which is a women’s guide to understanding what’s hindering her from receiving the love and man she deserves. Pretty much that book is speaking to women about what things they may be overlooking in trying to achieve a better relationship. Not just a better relationship with a man, but a better relationship with themselves and God. It takes a very spiritual yet practical approach. Really a more practical approach, but it does get supported by scripture. It’s not focusing on tips and tricks of how to get a man – it’s really more of a journey within yourself and giving you some self-reflection that needs to occur so that you really can become the woman that you’re supposed to be and you can get all of the things that are meant for you
What made you decide to write each of those books?
The first book was pretty much due to the fact that I’m a certified relationship coach and at that time, I was coaching a lot of married couples. I kept hearing every single last man complaining about a lack of sex. So, once I started to realize how big of an issue that really is and realizing why the issue occurs because of the disconnect between men and women when it comes to how we get sex and what makes us sexually receptive to one another, that’s when I felt like OK, I need to do this. Of course, everything I do is with God’s support. I prayed about it and felt like this is what God wanted me to do, so that’s why I went on that journey. With God Where’s My Boaz, really I had no intentions of writing the book at all. I had a meltdown last May where I was ready to quit being a relationship coach and just saying F the whole thing. I was ready to get me a 9 to 5 and call it a day. Before I essentially walked off that ledge, I was like, ‘Let me pray. Let me talk to God and see what I’m supposed to do.’ That’s when the book came to me. I had a completely different angle I was going for with a book I wanted to write. This was not on my radar, but I felt it come to me in my spirit so I took it from there. I prayed about it at the end of May and I think I started writing in late June/July and put the book out in August.
Are you currently married?
No, I’m currently single.
I’ve always heard that you’re “not supposed to take advice from a single person” – that’s what a lot of people like to say. So, how do you feel like your stance as a single black man has played a role in you giving out advice to couples or single women?
Well the first thing is, the whole idea of “don’t take advice from a single person”, is one of the most misguided perspectives there are. Or even if a person doesn’t have a certain degree – whatever the case may be. A lot of the times, people are just doing that because they’re looking for ways to dismiss you and not to have to listen to what you have to say. It’s more so a scapegoat that’s used, but the reality of that is even if someone is not currently in a relationship, they’ve probably been in a relationship. They still have had the experience of it. There are still things that they may have learned from it. Now, the reason why I think my position helped the first book is because if I were married, I probably couldn’t write the book. In reality, it’s probably more difficult to take advice from a married person because they are in the heat of the battle themselves. Because of that, their opinion will be biased and emotionally charged. They can’t see from a clear set of eyes because they’re dealing with their own situation and you have no idea what they may be battling. As a third party outside individual who is single, I’m able to give you an unbiased opinion and I know what to look for. I have been married before, but I don’t even use that to validate my position. Listen, at the end of the day, good advice is good advice. I don’t care if a homeless person comes to me in the street, if they give me the most awesome business tips, I’m not going to dismiss it because they’re homeless. They might have learned that in their failure to become homeless and they just haven’t been able to get back on their feet. Some people have the knowledge, but just don’t have the tools or they lack the motivation or the ambition. That doesn’t mean they lack the knowledge. I think that people have to be more open-minded about that. If you truly want to receive good information, then you have to be open to wherever it comes from. I think that’s where as a single person, it’s irrelevant. Most people now, because they’ve seen more of my work, they don’t even care. They just see that I’m able to provide them with some type of good insight, so they just roll with it.
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
You know, I don’t want to sound cheesy, but [laughs]…getting closer to God to be honest. I’m not where I’m at today without that. That’s what really set things into motion, that’s what really brings things full circle, that’s what’s guiding my steps as we speak. So to me, that’s my biggest accomplishment – making that relationship.
I like to hear stuff like that. That’ll actually push us in the direction of the next question that I have. When you decided to write that first book, how did you know that this was the topic that you were supposed to speak on? Did you spiritual growth come at that time or before you started your first book?
It came before I started the first book. That’s one of the reasons why I did the first book. My logic was that marriage is the most important thing we need to fix right now. Part of the reason why people are so dysfunctional in their relationships is because they have not witnessed a positive marriage or they have grown up in broken households. All these negative things have stemmed from bad marriages and this whole negative perception of marriage needs to be done away with. We can’t do that unless we fix marriage first. So, that’s one of the reasons why I felt the lead off book of my career needs to be driven towards marriage. Two, I felt that being a spiritual person, we always think that a man is supposed to be the leader of the household. So, if he’s supposed to be the leader, then he needs to know how to lead by example. He needs to be the one that needs to be talked to. A lot of times we speak to women about relationship advice because reality is they’re the bigger market, they’re the ones who buy it or listen to it, but we’re ignoring that the men don’t have the information they need. The reality is – and this is no disrespect to men because I am a man – but we are clueless when it comes to a lot of relationship stuff. We really just don’t know. We think we know, but don’t know a damn thing really and we don’t have anybody teaching us anything or talking to us and helping us understand. We are kind of just pacifying and encouraging ignorance to be honest with you. To me, if we’re going to say men are supposed to be the leaders, then it was important to me to speak to the men first.
How do you feel as if your divorce has played into where you are right now and how you’re able to verbalize this advice to people?
Honestly, I don’t view it as really shaping what I do much. The only thing that I can say that it taught me was getting married for the wrong reasons and getting married too fast and understanding why some people do what they do. There are so many people who are marrying someone that they don’t have the most feelings for. There are so many people marrying someone who they know are not best for them, but they just want to be married or the family is pressuring them. So, it helps me empathize and understand it from that aspect. Other than that, all the things I know and understand really weren’t due to the marriage experience. That’s another reason why it’s so silly sometimes when people act like you’re only supposed to talk to a married person. Well, if being married is the key to the knowledge, then why aren’t there smarter married people? That’s not what helps you understand the relationship, that just gives you the experience. Not everyone learns from their experience. Not everyone grasps the greater lesson that’s involved in their experience. So to me, no that’s not it. It was just something that happened and I learned from it as far as moving too fast and for the wrong reasons, but getting closer to God and just really speaking to people in general. People have always opened up to me, every since I was younger, and that’s what really helped me see more things and letting God open my eyes. I’ve been let into so many people’s lives on a deeper level that I’ve seen things that the average person does not see and does not know and does not understand. I think God gave me the gift of learning how to properly communicate it to where people can understand. That’s really the difference because I’m not doing anything brand new. There’s nothing that hasn’t already been said in life. It’s all about how you present the information and how you connect with individuals that separate you from the rest when it comes to giving advice or counsel or things like that.
If you had to choose out of your two books that you created, which would be your favorite and why?
Dang, that’s a tough one [laughs]. I’m going to say, God Where’s My Boaz? Because one, the story of why he wrote it to me is awesome. Seeing how going to God and doing it his way has produced this amazing thing that at the time, I didn’t even fully grasp the importance of it. But, after I was writing and as I’ve gone along, I’ve realized man, there’s so many women dealing with this issue and can’t get the answer! They’re going to church and church is telling to just pray and be patient and blah, blah, blah, but it’s not good enough. You’re not helping them, you’re actually hurting them because they’re sitting in their room thinking it’s just going to fall in their lap. There are things they have to do and there are things that they’re not recognizing in their life that’s hindering them. So, realizing how powerful the book is, how well it’s been received and how it started coming from God, I think that’s why I would pick that one as my favorite right now.
Do you have plans of releasing a new book this year or are you in the process of creating something new for your fans?
Yes. I signed on with Cosby Media Productions and I’m going to release the book How to Get a Man to Cherish You…If You’re His Wife, which is basically the sequel to the first book.
That sounds interesting.
It’s going to be interesting [laughs].
If you could interview anyone – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
Hmm…I would have to say Martin Luther King Jr. Only because he was all about spreading love and that’s what I’m about. It would mean more to talk to him about how he navigated through all of that negativity and how he dealt with it. You know, what kept him focused and really just draw from his energy to be honest with you. Just really grow and learn from that aspect to be honest with you. I think that would be an extremely valuable conversation to have.
If you had to give any advice to give to someone who is either going through a situation or just trying to get where you are, what would you tell them? How would you guide them?
First thing is stay humble. Too many people get beside themselves and get too cocky or arrogant. That’s where they mess up. You gotta stay humble. Listen, I could become the next Dr. Phil or Oprah, but I’m still gonna be Stephan. I refuse to get big headed and all that other stuff – I’m not for that. I think it’s important because when people see how humble you are, they’re drawn to you even more. Whether it’s working with you or being a fan, that really makes people feel comfortable. So, I think it’s important on a grand scale to be humble. Second thing is, be prepared to grind. This thing doesn’t happen over night [laughs]. I don’t think people understand how much work you gotta put in. Yeah, there are some people in life who strike gold and get lucky and things happen fast. Some people might even look at my rise as very fast, but it only looks fast because of how much work I’ve put in in the background. Like I said, there have been times where I’ve wanted to quit several times and this thing has broken me and brought me down to my knees like I can’t do this anymore, but you gotta keep pushing. You gotta keep pushing when you know it’s your purpose – which is the next thing I would say. If you’re gonna be doing something for your career and your life, make sure it’s your purpose. Make sure it’s your passion. Don’t just go jumping on some career because you think it’s gonna make money or you think it’s gonna get you certain benefits. It really needs to be something you love and are passionate about regardless. I always tell people somebody could come to me tomorrow and offer me $100 million dollars and say, “I’ll give you this money, but you can’t be a relationship coach no more, you can’t write anymore books – you gotta walk away from it all.” I would say no – plain and simple, no hesitation. All the money in the world could never replace the feeling that I know I’m supposed to do this. This is where I’m supposed to be at. I would not feel comfortable. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I walked away from what I know I was created for. When you can have that in you, it makes a world of a difference and it helps you fight through your tough times. It helps you keep pushing and putting the work in that you need to put in. So, I think making sure it’s something you’re passionate about is very, very important. The last thing is to do your research. So many people don’t really understand the whole game. Do your research and understand that every thing is a business. I don’t care how passionate you are or how much this is your purpose, you still have to have a business mind if you want success. When people go hard on churches because they’re collecting tithes, they don’t realize that they have to. You have to operate as a business. Even if you’re a non-profit agency, you have to operate as a business. Anything out there that wants to survive and thrive and make progress has to operate as a business. So, a lot of times, people will write a book because they are writers – they love to write – but they’re not business people. So they write this book and they think, “Oh, OK – I got this great book, every thing should be good now!” No! [laughs] If you want a successful book, the most important thing isn’t the content, it’s the marketing. Period. So, you have to be willing and prepared to educate yourself on all the ins and outs of your field and the business aspects of how to properly run it. Oh! And one more thing. You’re not in competition with people. That’s another problem. Especially – I ain’t gone lie – with black people. I love my black people, but…[laughs]. We try to hold on tight to every thing and we act like we can’t share this or share that or work with this person. It’s just this crab mentality. If you want to make great things happen, you have to learn how to work with others. You don’t have to compete with nobody. It goes back to again, if you know this is your purpose and you know this is what God wants you to do in your life, then can’t no one jump in your lane. I don’t care if 10 people around me blow up, that’s not gonna stop me from blowing up. They’re not in my path – period. If anything, because I’ve worked with them, it’ll probably better position me to blow up. But at the end of the day, whatever God has for me, He has for me as long as I’m doing what He wants for me to do. If you give, you’re gonna receive in life. We just gotta stop that whole crab mentality because it’s not gonna help you make progress in life. You might see some success, but you’re gonna hit a wall and you’re gonna be a lonely crab [laughs].
For more information on Stephan Labossiere, visit his website at www.stephanspeaks.com.
-Interview by Ni’Kesia Pannell