Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dr. Towanna Freeman

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

An entrepreneur doesn't think like everyone else. She is willing to take chances, disciplined enough to focus on a dream and passionate enough to pursue that dream. Towanna Freeman is in that category. AOL Black Voices had the chance to catch up with Towanna, to get some advice on striking out on your own, as well as managing a marriage, children and career, all at the same time.
1) What is your name and what do you do?
Have you noticed how so many people seem to be living an unbalanced life or living beneath their full potential? Well, I assist people, particularly women, who are ready to take life changing action to get that sense of balance back along with that greater feeling of fulfillment and happiness. I am also the principal consultant of Towanna Freeman & Associates, a management consulting firm with the primary emphasis on leadership coaching and employee performance improvement; the founder of the Young Women's Empowerment Network a nonprofit organization that produces empowerment workshops, conferences, and other special events for teen girls; and the author of "Purposeful Action, 7 Steps to Fulfillment."

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding the Right Corporate Champions

by Fenorris Pearson 

No matter how many people work at your company, it only takes one or two people to change the game you’re playing. Choosing your alignments on the job can make all the difference in your career. In fact, forging alliances in the workplace is a lot like getting elected: it’s not the most popular candidate who wins, but the one who has proven himself/herself to be the most influential.

In terms of voting power, finding the right alignments is about courting individuals with the most votes that count. In other words, you can have all the friends in the world, head the Cheer Club, lead the league in strike-outs on your company softball team and generally have the popular vote, all without winning the election. Just ask Al Gore, who won the popular vote in the 2000 election, but lost the Electoral vote.

These viewpoints are most certainly capitalist. When you’re in a corporation, democracy doesn’t help you win the favor of your co-workers; your outcomes are determined by your relationships with key decision makers – those one or two consummate executives who have the most influence on your future with the company.

The corporate alliance is a very intimate one; for better or worse, you could be aligning yourself with someone who is very visible, influential and known throughout the company. A consummate executive also remembers that it’s not just the ally you’re courting, but everyone in his or her network.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Entrepreneurs Create their own Economic Recovery

Back in August, Federal Reserve officials suggested that the Great Recession was ending and the U.S. could expect "a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth." But even with stock market indexes and the bottom lines of large financial firms bouncing back, small businesses can expect a longer slog to economic health.

"Small business performance is a lagging indicator of recovery in the same way that unemployment is," says Villanova University business school professor John Pearce II.

And it's likely that small businesses will find this recovery even slower than previous ones. The downturn has especially hurt construction firms, retailers and food service providers, the vast majority of which employ fewer than 20 workers. To make matters worse, more than 110 banks have failed since early 2008, most of them community thrifts catering to the financial needs of local firms.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

What Matters at the Top of the Corporate Ladder?

by Fenorris Pearson – CEO Global Consumer Innovation, Inc

Despite a growing number of women and minorities in the workplace, the directors of corporate boards remain mostly white and male, according to a new report on Fortune 100 companies. Women and minorities together account for less than a third of the directors on more than 60 percent of the boards examined, according to the report. African Americans represent 7% of all corporate board members.

In spite of these grim statistics, there is a great deal of hope for the possibility of women and minorities sitting in positions of authority. The more you perform and the higher you go up the corporate ladder, the less color matters. The truth is that corporations are seeking individuals who can enhance the bottom line. A good corporate manager doesn’t care if you are black or white, as long as you deliver the green.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Play The Game at the Top: The Power of Dreams

by Fenorris Pearson 

If you measure some of today’s top performers by yesterday’s gold standards, they simply wouldn’t measure up. Industry icons, business mavericks and game changers like Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Rachel Ray and Michael Dell didn’t finish school or have a great education; and based on those two metrics alone, no one could have measured their full potential. By focusing only on such metrics, you might be missing the most valuable components of a person’s engine of success.

As a guest on Steve Harvey’s show, I was recently talking about success, potential and the wide gap between good grades and pure genius. Steve said something that I’ll never forget. When coming up “the hard way” he would interview for jobs or audition for various roles and, based on purely measurable qualifications – school records, his one-page resume, or whether he has movie star looks – he never quite measured up. “But what they couldn’t measure,” said Steve Harvey, “was how big my dream was…”

What a difference the power of dreams can make. As the star of The Steve Harvey Show, Steve won four NAACP Image Awards as “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.” He also won an NAACP Image Award for his performance as host of the variety series It’s Showtime at The Apollo. In March 2001, Harvey received the ultimate honor: NAACP Image Award’s “Entertainer of the Year,” and now has a NY Times best-selling book on the market.

Now based in New York City at WBLS, his radio show is syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks and airs in nearly 50 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Miami, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Here are 4 things to remember when reaching for your dreams:

1) Always set goals. A life without goals is not a life worth living. Having goals gives you purpose and a passion to pursue that purpose. Find your passion and write it down on a piece of paper.

2) Always have a strategy to reach your goals. Having a goal means nothing without a day-to-day strategy to reach your objectives. Your strategy is your road map to success.

3) Be sure to evaluate whether or not you are executing the strategy. A strategy won’t get you to your goal if you don’t execute. Monitor your performance to be sure that your actions are consistent with your objectives.

4) Re-evaluate your goals, and be honest in your personal assessment. If you are not doing what it takes to reach your goals, you should either change your objectives or change your actions. One or the other has to give if you are being honest with yourself.

I have watched many a top performer scramble through the ranks based on immeasurable skills alone: guts, instinct, passion, promise, potential and the unrelenting power of dreams. Dreams aren’t enough, of course; there must be action to back up your inspiration. But beyond investing in education as a facet of your performance, don’t forget to invest in the power of your own dreams.

To read more about power of dreaming, please visit to purchase an advanced copy of How to Play The Game At the Top and receive free access to How to Play The Game At The Top 101 Course.


Fenorris Pearson is the CEO of Global Consumer Innovation, INC ( and one of the youngest people ever to be a VP of two fortune 50 companies (Dell and Motorola), a feat he completed before turning age 40. An avid Philanthropist, Fenorris is currently serving on three boards: Alonzo Mourning Charities located in Miami, FL, Imagine Schools of Central Texas located in Austin, TX, and SIFE: Students In Free Enterprise. To find out more information visit or call (901) 413-0203.

How to Play The Game at the Top: Beyond the Resume – Measuring What Really Counts


by Fenorris Pearson 

Education is critical for success, but when everyone has the same education from the same Ivy League schools with the same GPA… how do you stand out? Other factors beyond education – business etiquette, dress, playing well with others, teamwork and dedication are easy to measure and log. But what of those immeasurable traits that count for just as much in the corner office: passion, drive, commitment and stamina?

How can we measure the immeasurable?

When it comes to playing at the top, it’s often the intense, burning desire of the candidate that makes the difference between success and failure. At the end of the day, performance and results are two of the most important traits a top performer can possess. Work harder than your competition, and you’ll win the battle every time.

Another thing that people can’t measure with grades, paychecks, promotions or time cards is what’s inside your heart.

Never underestimate yourself or let someone tell you that you can’t get to the top. Dreams are crushed by negativity, not reality; if you hear that you’re worthless, unqualified or “not the right material” long enough you may tend to believe it. Trust me, plenty of people will try to impede your rise to the top; don’t let them do that to you. Believe in yourself but, more importantly, prove yourself.

Top performers – and those who hire them – are as concerned with those traits they can measure as they are with the immeasurable. When I’m selecting someone for my team, my department or, for that matter, my replacement, I look at the measurable skills, but also work hard to decipher those immeasurable skills the candidate might possess. If someone comes into an interview and looks good on paper, I then work to find out what the resume isn’t telling me. If I see something in their eyes that says they will go above and beyond the call of duty and that they are going to be able to get the job done no matter what, they will surely move ahead of the pack.

Why do I work so hard to look beyond the resume, the GPA, the dress code and the hair gel? Because most of the top performers in my company defy conventions, go completely off the charts, and create a new breed of success. This is true for corporate America in general. Top performers are cut from a different cloth than the rest of the competition. My years as a Vice President at Dell and CEO of Global Consumer Innovation taught me that if you’re not thinking outside the box, you will always remain inside the box. It’s tough to teach someone to be great.

To read more about going beyond your resume, please visit to purchase an advanced copy of How to Play The Game At the Top and receive free access to How to Play The Game At The Top 101 Course.


Fenorris Pearson is the CEO of Global Consumer Innovation, INC ( and one of the youngest people ever to be a VP of two fortune 50 companies (Dell and Motorola), a feat he completed before turning age 40. An avid Philanthropist, Fenorris is currently serving on three boards: Alonzo Mourning Charities located in Miami, FL, Imagine Schools of Central Texas located in Austin, TX, and SIFE: Students In Free Enterprise. To find out more information visit or call (901) 413-0203.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Professor Leads Boycott of Beauty Supply Stores

Atlanta, GA October 5, 2009 - Professor Devin Robinson, an economics professor at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA and best-selling author of Taking it Back: How to Become a Successful Black Beauty Supply Store Owner, will lead a one week long boycott against Non- Black Owned Beauty Supply stores.

Robinson stated, "Blacks make up 96% of the consumers of these stores, yet represent less than 5% of the retail ownership." As a previous owner of 3 locations, Robinson understands the industry inside out and offers comprehensive solutions for Blacks to recapture this industry. "The problem is with the distributors. Distributors are mainly Non-Blacks and they handpick who they will distribute products to. This oftentimes leaves aspiring black owners disenfranchised", said Robinson.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

News: Tiger Woods Becomes first Billion Dollar Athlete

Tiger Woods has become the first sportsman to break through the billion-dollar earnings barrier, Forbes magazine reported on Thursday.

The 33-year-old American, who has won 14 majors, reached the latest landmark of his career when he won a 10-million-dollar bonus for his FedEx Cup victory last weekend.

According to the magazine's calculations, Woods went into the 2009 season on 895 million dollars which included prize money, endorsements, appearance fees as well as money earned through his golf course design business.

Even before picking up his end of season bonus, Woods had earned 10.5 million dollars on the USPGA Tour this year, winning six titles.


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