as reported in the jersey journal

October 10th, 2008


Friday, October 10, 2008

As young men, Sakiya Sandifer and superstar rapper Kanye West traveled in the same circles while growing up in Chicago. Eight years ago, their paths crossed yet again in New Jersey.

“I was living in Perth Amboy and Kanye was in Hoboken,” says Sandifer. “We created an adult friendship. Later on, I was behind the scenes, helping him get his ideas out.”

This summer, Sandifer, a businessman and writer who at his core defines himself as “a natural thinker,” helped West get his ideas out in a big way co-authoring the rapper’s first book, “Thank You and You’re Welcome,” (self published, $10).

The book, available online, has sold more than 500,000 copies so far.

“We wanted to write it in one voice,” says Sandifer, who now resides and maintains an office in Downtown Jersey City. “We wanted to share with people some of the skill sets and tools we’ve applied to attain success. It’s about getting people to know that it’s up to them to think about building their own houses.”

Sandifer, who started his own publishing and marketing business, We Think LLC in 2006, says public response to the book has been phenomenal.

“Nobody who has read it hasn’t been pleased with it,” Sandifer says. “Or at least, they haven’t told us.”

West, who now resides mostly in Los Angeles and not in Hoboken, was inspired to put out his own book after reading Sandifer’s debut self-help tome, “Think, Think, Think and Think Again.”

With two books under his belt, Sandifer, 37, says his next goal is to forge ahead full throttle with a motivational speaking career. Within three years, he projects he’ll be known as one of the most influential thinkers of his generation.

All my life I’ve been told I’m different and that I see things differently,” says Sandifer, who comes from a family of six brothers and sisters. “I’m a man who’s about concepts and how to apply them. The kind of work I do, it’s what I feel down in my pores. My words and perspective may not be for everybody but I’m here for people seeking positive change in their lives.”

Sandifer says he doesn’t seek to tell people how to live their lives but relishes being viewed as a “spark” to guide them out of dark circumstances.

“I want people to have a goal of getting a goal,” he says. “Once you have that in mind, it dictates your behavior. I’m in the business of selling untapped human potential. My own personal key to success is that I’ve never bought into what I couldn’t do.”

Sandifer believes too many people give away their power, allowing others to control their destinies.

“Why do we give up the power to be ourselves?,” he asked. “Everybody tries to tell me to behave but all I’m trying to do is ‘be’ me. Nobody’s ever told me who ‘have’ is. America tends to condemn those who don’t give up their power.”

Sandifer says some of the fault lies at the feet of schools, where students are “conditioned” to think a certain way.

“Schools seem to be more focused on information retention rather than applying that information,” he says. “I got an email the other day from a girl thanking me for helping her think for herself.”

Last night, Sandifer kicked off his motivational speaking tour with a presentation in New York City. He says he’s on the brink of fulfilling a premonition he had five years ago about being in front of many people.

Nonetheless, he says, he’s no overnight success.

“Some people are caught up in thinking, ‘Oh, wow, he’s just coming on the scene,” he says. “But do they realize what it took to get here? I’m built for this. I don’t always have great answers but I pose great questions that allow people to find their own great answers.”



Bookmark and Share

Entry Filed under: Art, Book, Business

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


type and hit 'enter'