Lawrence Watkins is one of America's leading entrepreneurship and personal achievement experts. His journey has taken him from an ultra-underachiever in high school to a graduate of an Ivy League business school as well as the owner of Great Black Speakers, Great Latino Speakers, and Great Gospel Speakers Bureaus. Currently, Lawrence is a money & finance writer for AOL Black Voices and is set to release his first book ,"Frame Your Future: 8 Principles to Effectively Focus on the Future and Not Dwell in the Past", in August 2010. The book will teach individuals how to remove mental barriers from their business and personal lives to achieve a greater level of success and happiness.
Although Lawrence underperformed in middle school and the early part of high school, he turned his academic fortune around and gained acceptance into the Math and Science for Minority Students program at the prestigious boarding school, Phillips Academy at Andover. It was at Phillips Academy where he found educators who believed in his abilities, motivated him to achieve, and exposed him to new opportunities that he did not know existed.
Lawrence went on to win a full scholarship to the University of Louisville where he majored in Electrical Engineering and over his college career he ran for Student Government President, planned a 700 person regional conference for the National Society of Black Engineers, and was chapter Vice President for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Lawrence proactively worked to improve academically by participating in the Summer Venture in Management Program at Harvard Business School and The Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship Program at Carnegie Mellon. These experiences were the precursors that guided him away from engineering and into social entrepreneurship.
After graduating from college in 2006, Lawrence stepped out on a limb and turned down job offers from two Fortune 100 companies to help grow the speaking career of his older brother, Dr. Boyce Watkins. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life as he was able to follow his passion for entrepreneurship. Immediately, Lawrence experienced success booking Dr. Watkins for speaking engagements. Building on this success, Great Black Speakers was born in January of 2007 and has grown from a roster of 12 speakers to one that includes over 200 of the best and well known speakers in the nation. Currently, Great Black Speakers has booked speakers for over 175 organizations around the world.
Young black entrepreneurs always inspire, especially those that have the opportunity to go into corporate america but instead choose to blaze their own entrepreneurial trail.
Mr. Watkins is an example of a black man who struggled in school ( 4 F's, a D, and an A in gym on his 8th grade report card) yet turned his academic career around to earn a full scholarship (and Electical Engineering degree) at the University of Louisville and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Cornell University. All black youth should take heed from his example that it is never too late to become a good student.
Mr. Watkins business Great Black Speakers is designed to connect black people who can motivate with the people who need motivation. This is a mission we firmly believe in at AfroDaddy.com and are inspired by his desire to help others.
"The fear of failure is much worse than failure itself."
Return to Inspirational People