FRASER SPELLS IT OUT

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George Fraser tells KISS FM's Michael Baisden, "Life is hard, but it’s really hard if you’re stupid." Turn on your speakers and logon to www.frasernet.com to find out what's going on.

Success guru, George C. Fraser of FraserNet takes the gloves off, y'all!

Flesh and blood. – the key elements many people see as the driving force in the life of man.  Although being aware of the existence of spirit and soul, many of us travel blindly and wonder why we just can’t get off the treadmill.  God has placed infinite gifts within us.  Some we are aware of, many of which, we are not.  Too often, cultivating and applying our God-given gifts seems as futile as climbing a greasy pole – which can be painfully frustrating, to say the least.  That is why God put on this earth leaders and prophets; those who have found their way and strive to help us find ours to His divine purpose.  One of those blessed gifts is George C. Fraser. 

Author of the timeless bestselling book, Success Runs In Our Race; The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African American Community, creator and publisher of the award winning SuccessGuide Worldwide: The Networking Guide to Black Resources, a second book, Race For Success; The Ten Best Business Opportunities for Blacks In America, which was selected as one of the ten best business books of the year by The Booklist, featured in the New York Times bestseller; Masters of Networking, Founder and Executive Producer of the annual PowerNetworking Conference, one of Black America’s largest gatherings of professionals, business owners and community leaders and Chairman & CEO of FraserNet, Inc., George Fraser, is widely acknowledged as the new voice for African Americans and dubbed internationally, the King of Networking.  But outshining all of the above and a myriad of great accomplishments not even mentioned, Mr. George Fraser is a warm and loving man -- a man who loves his people; eager to teach and share and help – never disinclined to give of himself – hence, this historic interview:

BSN:  Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Mr. Fraser.
GF:  The honor is mine, Brenda.

BSN:  You wrote the bestselling masterpiece and modern day classic, Success Runs In Our Race, The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African American Community 13 years ago.  The book is timeless, exceedingly popular, has achieved worldwide acclaim and is required reading in 50 historically Black colleges.  What inspired you to write the book?
GF:   What was revealed to me for the book was a personal revelation.  All revelations come from a Higher Power. Fundamentally, when a person does the proper preparation and work, endures trials and tribulations and prepares him or herself to receive the revelation, then it will be revealed to them.  I received the revelation seven years before I wrote the book.  It took seven years to completely understand and to find the words to eloquently convey.  You see, God wants Black people to learn how to work with and thru each other – to learn how to build powerful and empowering relationships – essentially, team work.  There’s an African Proverb that says, “When spiders unite they can tie up a lion."  There’s also another popular African Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.�  Once we fully internalize the meaning of collectiveness and move away from the European idea of rugged individualism -- when we see that our strength is manifested when the dots are connected, and not when the individual is doing his or her own thing, that is when we will realize our true potential.  Essentially, my assignment; my purpose is to do everything in my power to help Black people understand the power and importance of networking, relationship building, connecting the dots and leveraging resources. 

BSN: What resources are you referring to?
GF: Take a look at what God has provided for us thus far.  We are a $760 billion annual economy.  We have taken the art of function consumption to a whole now level.  We have amassed over 500 billion hours of formal and professional education.  At least 10% of African Americans who get a college education come back to the community and uplift our people.  Martin Luther King had a dream and we have surpassed that dream.  We have a lot of educators.  Nearly 50% of the Black workforce in America are in executive, supervisory, vocational, administrative and business ownership positions.  We are the beacon of hope for every single person in the entire world. 

However, to whom much is given, much is required.  We have a tremendous amount of God-given talents.  But, if you do not use them and multiply, you lose them.  I have been saying this for 10 years – God is not going to give us anything else until we demonstrate to God that we can be better stewards of that which we already have.  We are a force to be reckoned with.  We have, as a people, unlimited potential.  We have only scratched the surface of our success, and even only scratching the surface, we are still the wealthiest.  But the greatest enemy of potential is success.

BSN: What do you mean by that?
GF: You can build on success but you cannot rest on success, Brenda.  If you rest on success you will become fat, happy and stupid.  We have not realized that.  In spite of that, we are still the greatest.  We see this often as we observe Black people.  We have taken opportunity to new heights and new levels.  When Jackie Robinson was allowed to play baseball, he took it to another level.  Michael Jordan took basketball to another level.  The same thing is true of golf, music, everything we endeavor.  We created the original genres of music – jazz and blues.  Whenever we get our foot in the door, we take it to another level – whether it be in business, social sciences, medicine, anything -- provided the playing field is level and we are provided equal access and opportunity.

GEORGE FRASER ON RELATIONSHIPS:

GF:
In order to truly build relationships of power, we must truly love our people.  To truly love people you have to truly love yourself. 

We still have a lot of self-hatred.  Until we begin to love ourselves, we cannot grow.  I cannot love you if I do not love me.  When I look at you, you become a reflection of me.  We are not killing our enemies, we are  killing ourselves.  Why are there still too many Black people who hate themselves and do not like people that look like them?  Because they do not know who they are.  When I see young Brothers and Sisters acting out, I know they do not know who they are.  If they knew who they really are, there would be no way they would be out there gang banging and pimpin’.  If Sisters knew who they really are, they would not be shaking their ass on BET or or hoin’. 

What I try to do when I speak to audiences is let them know: We are the children of kings and queens, engineers and scientists.  In spite of what white people tell us, we are the strongest people on earth. God wouldn’t put his weakest people to do his toughest job. We are an awesome people and when it is understood how awesome we are, it’s some people get scared.  Any Black person who understands that will not settle for anything less than awesomeness and working together.  Cornel West said, “You cant lead our people if you don’t love our people and you cant save our people if you don’t serve our people.� 

BSN: Practically before you could wash behind your ears, you were already an entrepreneur.  At the age of 12, you owned two businesses -- your own house cleaning service where you employed your sister and your brother, and your own baby-sitting service where you hired out kids in the neighborhood to babysit.  Today, you are a very successful entrepreneur.  Many people did not start out as young as you did.  What winning strategies do you prescribe for the new aspiring entrepreneur and those reaching for positive goals? 
GF: 1. Life is an inside job.  You have to believe in yourself.  Success begins with self.  You must say to yourself, “I believe� and believe it.  If you can envision it, you can do it.  Otherwise, God wouldn’t let you envision it, Brenda.  You must look for opportunities.  I've never looked at problems as problems.  I look at everything as an opportunity.  When I was a child, all of the girls were doing the babysitting.  I thought, “The girls are doing it, why can’t guys do it?�  So I created a niche.  I babysat and hired out other guys in the neighborhood to babysit.  We cleaned houses, too.  We knew how to clean houses because our parents were cleaning houses.  And we got plenty of business because people in my neighborhood (I lived in Bed Stuy at the time) needed the work done, but they couldn’t afford the conventional services.  So I charged less money and kept my business right in the neighborhood for people who otherwise could not afford the service. We did everything – washed windows, mopped floors, washed cars, shoveled snow.  Whatever we could do to make honest money, we did it.

2. Be passionate.  You’ve got to want it.  In my case, I wanted my own money.  There were things I wanted that my parents could not afford.  I knew that the only way I was going to get the things I wanted was to pay for them myself.  I knew I had choices.  I could either steal them and do something illegal and get my behind beat or go out and work for it, because I sure wasn’t getting it from them.

3. Extend your comfort zone.  Do something every day that makes you feel uncomfortable!  That strengthens you and builds character.

4. Lies and luck don’t work.  Don’t lie to yourself.  Don’t even associate yourself with people that lie. 

BSN:  What do you mean when you say, “Don’t lie to yourself?�
GF:  Don’t create excuses for why you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.  There are all kinds of ways that we trick ourselves out of getting started.  Out of every 10,000 people, 2 actually take action and do something.  There are plenty of people whose intentions are honorable but they never get around to doing anything because they have all kinds of excuses – lies they tell to themselves and others.  Don’t lie to yourself.  Don’t even associate yourself with people that lie. 

BSN:  So, you don’t believe in luck?
GF:  Put it this way, Brenda.  I don’t play the lottery, I don’t gamble in casinos, I’m not depending on luck for anything.  Luck is the cherry on the cake.  My deeds and my actions are my reward.  Do I get luck?  Sure, but that’s extra.

BSN:  What else must we do to win?

GF:  5. You must install goals -- written goals.  Every day I have goals.  Annual, monthly and daily goals.  Every day I write down the things I want to achieve.  You’ve got to be able to measure what you have said against what you have done.

6. Enjoy hard work but manage your time.  There is no day of the week that I am not working ten to twelve hours a day and I love it.  I don’t even consider it work.  It’s the journey -- not the destination.  Don’t waste time.  I will get more money but I won’t get more time.  Manage your time.  Don’t allow people to waste your time. 

7. Be very, very persistent.  The reason you and I are having this conversation is because I persisted.  Never give up thru thick or thin.  Persist a good and righteous course and stay that course.  In 1932, Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.�   Press on. Stay the course.  Never Stop.  When you stop, you fail.

8. Expect failure. 

BSN:  EXCUSE ME?

GF: Definitely.  Expect failure!  All good ideas take time to grow.  Nothing starts out perfect.  There’s a thing called the learning curve.  You have to learn.  To learn you have to take risks and make mistakes.  If you’re not failing you’re not doing anything.  Fail your way to success.  Learn from your failures.  If you don’t learn, repeat it.  In life you either win or you learn but you never lose.  It’s an acrostic:

I -believe 
B-e passionate 
E-xtend your comfort zone 
L-ies and luck don’t work 
I-nstall written goals
E-njoy hard work 
V-ery, very persistent.  
E-xpect failure.

BSN: About networking: Mr. Fraser, you created PowerNetworking and you strongly encourage networking among ourselves – but a brand of networking that calls upon us to “give until it hurts.�  Many people just starting out in business come into networking because they need help themselves.  A lot of them have spent their last dime creating their business and are barely staying afloat and they feel they have nothing to give.  What would you say to these people?
GF: People who feel they have nothing to give are wrong.  We all have something to give.  If you did not have something to give you would not be alive.  God put us all here for a purpose.  Once you fulfill that purpose, you die.  So if you’re still in this world, you have something to give.  You may not want to give but the only way to start the receiving process in your life is to give.  If you don’t give, you don’t get.  You cannot harvest corn until you have planted seeds.  Once you have planted the seeds, you must give water, nurturing, time, fertilizer.  Only if you do these things will the seeds sprout and give life.  If you want contacts and rewards, then you have to give in return.  When choosing your networks, make an evaluation of each organization you’re interested in. Ask yourself, “Is this organization the kind that can help me get the right contacts and access to useful resources?�  If the answer is, “Yes,� and you choose that organization, you have to make sacrifices and trade-offs.  You may have to cut back on one thing in order to invest in something else.  Work with people.  Do the right things and you will receive in return.   It is important to help people all the time.  Add value to another person’s life and don’t expect something back.  You are making a deposit in the bank of life.  That is why in the Bible in Acts 20:35 it says, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.�  But remember, when giving, you must give proportionately, wisely and intelligently.  Manage your giving like every other aspect in life.  Everything has to be managed.  Good sense of judgment is very important.  In your networking, learn to build quality relationships.  Introduce me to your five closest friends and that will tell me who you are.  Don’t spend major time with minor people.  People going nowhere want you to go nowhere with them. 

BSN: Why is it so important to own SuccessGuide Worldwide: The Networking Guide to Black Resources?
GF: Imagine having a network of over 35,000 Black professionals from around the world in your rolodex; each agreeing to assist you if and when you call.  SuccessGuide Worldwide is the world's most comprehensive Black business resources Guide.   It is your connection to the leaders and achievers who are helping to shape the future of business. SuccessGuide Worldwide offers a wealth of information about talented Black professionals in the top U.S. and international markets.  It is much more than a database. It is an invaluable tool for making contacts, building relationships, marketing products or services, and developing new markets. No other publication offers as much insight into the innovators who are making a difference in the world of business and they are all available to assist you in helping to achieve your goals.

BSN:  Mr. Fraser, thank you for taking the time to educate and inspire us.
GF:  It was my pleasure, Brenda.  Let’s stay connected.

1. Find out why George Fraser tells KISS FM's Michael Baisden, "Life is hard, but it’s really hard if you’re stupid."  Turn on your speakers and logon to www.frasernet.com .

2. Mr. Fraser is on the Host Committee of the Village Health Works fundraiser.  The Village Health Works benefit is to help raise funds to support a community medical center in Kigutu, Africa.  The center will help 100,000 people in the area receive medical care.  Right now, Burundi has only 156 doctors for over 7,000,000 people.  The event will take place November 8th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at 88 Crosby Street in Soho.  For more information on the Village Health Works benefit, please e-mail Barbara@bookhaven.com or visit their website at www.willagehealthworks.org/events.html .

3. George Fraser’s next PowerNetworking Conference will be held June 27- July 1, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency - Downtown Atlanta, Georgia. 
For more information, call 216-691-6686 x330 or logon to
http://www.frasernet.com/store/product/PNC/PowerNetworkingConference.aspx

George C. Fraser is a successful entrepreneur who has appeared on more than 300 television and radio talk shows.  Mr. Fraser speaks nearly 120 times a year throughout the world. His empowering presentations on success principles, effective networking and wealth creation are popular with professionals, entrepreneurs and students alike.

For general information, contact 216-691-6686, ext 330 or visit
www.frasernet.com.

Brenda Jeanne Wyche, Advocate for Solutions and Results ©2006 is Managing Editor for The Black Star News and Harlem Business News and CEO of Winning Strategies & Associates, a business development consultancy in New York City www.winningbeginnings.com .  If you have a solution, contact Brenda@blackstarnews.com .  Maybe we’ll talk.

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com
“Speaking Truth To Empower.�

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