>Updated my Website

>Finally…I have updated my website http://natashaforeman.info with current information about yours truly, and the consulting services you know you want and need!

I initially launched the site to appease a few folks who missed my G4 Consulting Group, site…and for a couple of other reasons. Eventually I will develop a model site that is more comprehensive of the business structures I have and that I’m currently working on, but until then ‘what you see is what you get‘…

Let me address some questions since I have your attention:

1. Yes, I work with small and mid-sized businesses, with freelance consultants and solo practitioners.

2. Yes, I can work at your office (or home office) or at mine.

3. Yes, there are discounts if I work at my home office…so consider that option, especially since I work varied hours and the more flexibility I have the easier it will be for me to complete your project!

4. No, I don’t just work with businesses and solo practitioners, I also work with everyday working folk who need help with their home and/or home office; they need help with balancing their responsibilities; they need to delegate but don’t know where to go and with whom to speak. There’s an easy solution to that problem…it’s me!

5. Yes, my services are affordable. I will say that I’m not the perfect fit for everyone. You will get what you pay for. So the more efficient, effective and efficacious your expectations, the more you should consider and want to invest in your future (whether personally or professionally).

Simply put, don’t expect $5k(+) monthly service on a $500 per month budget.
I’m also not saying that just because your budget is $500/month you should expect anything less than superb work from me…but privileges and services are of course more restrictive. Don’t expect the “hook-up” and free services. I don’t give hand-outs.
So be reasonable and logical folks! I hope that all makes sense.

Now let’s continue shall we?

6. No, I don’t have a list of rates. My services are not “cookie cutter“, each client and each project is different…so after assessing your needs in relation to other variables I then provide you with a proposal outlining the services I can provide and your associated cost or “investment” if you like the play on words.

Hope I answered your questions, I look forward to the feedback, and if anyone wants to invest the added time and creativity of developing a site for me…”Give me the hook-up…especially on a flash site” haaaaa

Seriously, check out the site. It’s for informational purposes only (hence the “.info” following my name) and for current clients to log-in and conduct online business with me. For specific details on rates, availability, a complete list of services, etc please visit the site and shoot me an email.

Ciao!
Natasha L. Foreman

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>The Cyclical Pattern of Parenthood

>


How true Daddy's words when he said:

 

"All children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."

– Anne Frank

Eventually a person must take responsibility for their actions, decisions, and for their life. I wonder how many people wish they had savored their childhood and the simplicity of just being a kid; instead of desperately wanting to grow up, get out, and "do what I want"….Once we make the decision to close our minds off to our parents advice and guidance we have also silently agreed to not later blame them for our screw ups. Some people spend years blaming their parents for their shortcomings…do you remember those days you didn't want to listen to reason? Do you remember when you said, "I wont be anything like you"? Or what about all the times you said, "I can't wait until I'm an adult, I will do whatever I want and you can't do or say anything about it"? Okay maybe some of us didn't get away with making those last two statements loud enough for our parents to hear…maybe we mumbled it under our breath…hmmmm or maybe some of us knew it was simply safer to think it, but not look as though we were thinking it….

Well you got want you wanted, you grew up, you're an adult…now get over it and live the rest of your life, and if you have kids (or plan on having some)…get ready to walk in your parents shoes…isn't irony grand?!?

-Natasha L. Foreman
Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>Back to the Future

>Sometimes your past isn’t as far behind as you think…when it collides with your present, you have to decide your next step…but don’t let fear make the decisions for you!
There are no accidents…everything happens for a reason. So learn to walk in love, and live without regrets.

Copyright 2010 Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>…Let No Man Put Asunder

>

After marriage, it is too late to grumble over incompatibility of disposition. A mutual understanding should exist before this union and continue ever after, for deception is fatal to happiness.”

-Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 59, lines 23-26).

I know two people who are contemplating marriage. Shy of a few months before their nuptials they have ran into a huge obstacle. Looking back, this is something they could have avoided more than a year ago when they first became engaged. Maybe two years ago, when they were simply ‘dating’. Now they are at a standstill, one waiting for the other to change their mind and give in. The other is simply waiting for there to be a compromise.

The nuptial vow should never be annulled, so long as its moral obligations are kept intact; but the frequency of divorce shows that the sacredness of this relationship is losing its influence, and that fatal mistakes are undermining its foundations.”
 (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 59, lines 27-31)

It’s amazing that Mrs. Eddy wrote these profound words in the 1800s and even back then marriage had its “issues”; divorce rates and separation was considered high, and the very things we argue about and break up over took place back then.We enter a covenant to love, honor, and remain together until death parts us, but then we discover that one or both of us have been deceptive on some level. Mrs. Eddy was also correct in her assessment that, “Matrimony should never be entered into without a full recognition of its enduring obligations on both sides. There should be the most tender solicitude for each other’s happiness, and mutual attention and approbation should wait on all the years of married life.” (p. 59, lines 1-6).

We enter a vow without honestly discussing and agreeing upon how we will live in relation to our beliefs concerning religion, children…having them, how many, and how they are raised; politics, sex (how often, when, where), money, career (career wife and mom -vs- stay at home wife and mom), and so much more. We fall in love (with love) but never consider each other’s beliefs, convictions, opinions, and the like. Is our focus on changing the other person? Do we believe that they think just like us, or that eventually they will? Does compromise mean, “he will change his mind“?

I hope this couple comes together and make the right decision before they say, “I do“, before they bring children into this world, because “Marriage is unblest or blest, according to the disappointments it involves or the hopes it fulfills.” (p. 57, lines 31-32).

Copyright 2010 Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Source:

Mary Baker Eddy (Copyright 1875-2000) Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ISBN 0-87952-259-3

>A Forum of Hope, Change, Empowerment, and Literacy for all!

>This past Wednesday I shared on this blog my experience at the Operation HOPE-Ebenezer Baptist Church Shovel Ceremony that took place on April 7, 2010. Let me say now that I can’t wait to witness the day the HOPE Center opens its doors early next year!

Today let me share with you briefly my experience at the HOPE Atlanta Financial Forum that followed the Shovel Ceremony, where the topic of discussion was “Financial Literacy in the Backdrop of the Global Economic Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

The event was hosted by and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. I’m so grateful to have received an invitation to this event. I was told that I would want to be there, and I’m glad that I did attend. I needed to hear firsthand what was being said, committed to, and changed in order to meet the needs of all people in this country regardless of their socio-economic background, religion, color, nationality, or gender.

It’s about an opportunity for economic education and empowerment for all, and this panel of speakers shared with those in attendance exactly what they believed needed to be done to make things happen…and what they were going to personally do to help make it happen.

The panel was moderated by President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart…great personality might I add, and the keynote speaker was FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. The panel consisted of some of the same speakers who spoke earlier at the Shovel Ceremony at Ebenezer Baptist Church which included Ambassador Andrew Young, John Hope Bryant, Isaac Newton Farris, Steve Bartlett, and Jim Clifton. Joining the panel were Duncan Niederauer, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Michelle Greene, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education and Financial Access with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Let me say something upfront right now…I wasn’t sitting in the audience listening to an assistant of the assistant to the VP of the department head of the blah blah blah…no…the top person from each of the organizations/entities personally showed up and spoke at this forum. They all share the vision of John Hope Bryant and Operation HOPE. This was and is HUGE and speaks volumes about Operation HOPE and their Love Leader, John Hope Bryant.

Okay now let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we? I will try to keep this brief, but you know I’m a writer so don’t hold it against me if we go a little longer than expected….

Great points were made about the most effective way to develop financially literate children and adults. We have to go to the people…into the communities, not simply set up information portals on websites and hope that people are astute enough to maneuver their way around the site to get answers to their very important questions. The Internet is a valuable tool- but we need to make sure that the information provided is palatable. We have to go into the schools and speak with the students directly. It can’t be the typical financial literacy education format that puts most adults to sleep, and causes most children to want to run from their seats screaming, “stop it please“. Financial literacy must be enjoyable, spoken on the learner’s level, applicable to their settings and environment, and creative enough where there is a measurable take away and lifelong application.

John Hope Bryant has been known to say that this period of time we are currently in is a “reset” for all of us. Just like pushing the “reset” button on our electronics, we must do the same in our homes, businesses, and communities. It is a time to back up and assess the situation, look at the damage, see what can be salvaged, then pick up the pieces and create something newer, better, more efficient, effective and efficacious.

I was glad to hear that institutions would be working towards changing the language on financial instruments for the layman and not just the legal professionals who draft the documents. Most Americans, regardless of their educational background and level of intelligence struggle to understand the legalese on their credit card agreements and statements, bank, insurance, and other important documents. Lawyers draft them so lawyers understand. Just as society had to create a version of the Bible separate from Latin, Greek, and the King James Version so that more people could read and understand it, the same is true with other vital information we need to read, digest and understand on a daily basis.

There is a shift towards effectively educating the masses through workshops, websites, and hot lines so that we don’t have a repeat of the real estate and financial market crisis that almost wiped this country’s “clock”. These weren’t proposed ideas and concepts, these were things that were already put in motion. That’s putting action behind your word. Leading by example and not waiting for watchdogs and others to demand you do something. The panel agreed that financial literacy, no matter what name our country, government or the world wants to call it, must be a heightened experience for all people. Every American should have access to a bank account and not have to be enslaved to giving a percentage of their checks to check-cashing centers. Every child should grow up understanding and participating in the process of saving and investing their money, and have their own account to save towards their future.

John Hope Bryant reiterated a fact he shared earlier at the Shovel Ceremony, that with approximately 40 million people living without bank accounts, this number is greater than the number of people who didn’t have the right to vote in the 1960s. We are transitioning from Civil Rights to Silver Rights, where “green” is what our focus is on so that people are not simply living and waiting for a next paycheck (or handout), but truly living and being active producers of economic growth within their communities.

Each member of the panel said that it is long overdue to speak up and speak out against check-cashing centers and those big vultures…payday loan centers who have invested years in putting low-income and struggling consumers further in debt. There was a consensus that our country must focus on jobs, empowering employees to become business owners, and getting renters in the position to becoming home owners; educating the world about “good capitalism” versus the image of capitalism most people visualize which is “bad capitalism”…the rich getting richer and the “poor” getting poorer.

Our nation is struggling as our high school dropout rate increases, as more than half of Black males won’t finish high school (can you guess how many will run the risk of death and imprisonment?), our young girls would rather have ambitions as video vixens and models than doctors or CEOs. It is up to us, the community, churches, and the businesses to take charge…not waiting for the government, but standing up and saying “enough is enough” and be PhDo’s and not simply PhD’s as John Hope Bryant would say.

 It’s time to stop writing about it and talking about it…we’ve got to be about it and act now.

When it came to closing remarks each panelist had final words they shared.  John Hope Bryant casually asked/ encouraged Jim Clifton of Gallup Inc. if he was going to make an important announcement. With a smile Jim Clifton announced that Gallup had partnered with Operation HOPE to launch the Gallup HOPE Financial Literacy Index. Although Clifton did not speak in great length about this new index, Bryant explained that each forum attendee had information at our tables that would fill in the missing blanks about the partnership and its purpose.

So here’s what I’ve gathered and will summarize to share with you today. I’m keeping this brief remember….the index will measure a person’s (in this case children grades 5-12) “hope” coupled with assessing their well being and financial literacy with a goal to educate a minimum of five million low-income youth about financial responsibility and the endless opportunities before them. The index will survey children and adults in cities where there are Operation HOPE Centers on their financial literacy and see how throughout their time working with Operation HOPE educational representatives, their financial literacy improves.

It is believed and can be proven that with hope people believe that they can achieve both small and big, but without hope some fail to even believe in attaining the smallest of dreams. I can confidently say that I believe this index will be in a position to measure hope, wellness, and financially literacy and prove that with knowledge and wisdom hope is restored and improved, and with that comes an increased desire to positively seek change, be community change agents, and producers of products (and services) with true accumulation of wealth… legally.

Earlier in this post I mentioned payday loan centers, remember? How many of you have gone to a payday loan center?

Honestly…speak up! I have.

How many of you found yourself saying you would only do it once…then found yourself on the roller coaster from hell?

Many many years ago I did. I was young, looking for a quick solution in a hurry. I got myself caught up in a badly tangled web financially and I needed “only two weeks of breathing room to free myself” but just like crack or meth I got hooked on a roller coaster that lasted several months…until I ended the ride, came off the “high” and shook my addiction cold turkey. I was fortunate. Not everyone can shake that “fix” cold turkey.

Now you couldn’t pay me to walk into one of those centers. Matter of fact I’d probably roll my eyes even with a gun to my head. The only way I will go into one of those centers today is to help shut them down.

Had I not prayed and believed in God, and believed in myself that no matter what I was going through, being pimped by the payday loan center wasn’t helping my situation it was hurting me I don’t know what would have happened to me financially. What opened my eyes was the reality that I  had another debt I was responsible for paying…I was always deeper in debt!

 How many of you are still hooked on this “drug”? Trust me there is a way out you just have to believe. Pay off that last loan and vow to never return, then go get help so you never have to resort to that level of ignorance again. Go to www.operationhope.org and financially liberate yourself today!

John Hope Bryant’s mission is to make “smart sexy” again, to financially empower the powerless, to restore hope to those who have almost given up, to make the United States a true competitor on every level again. We can only do this if everyone who needs help is willing to do their part, and if everyone who is capable of helping is willing to invest the time to lend a hand.

This won’t work if both sides look at this relationship as charity, as giving a hand out… Hand outs are what government housing “projects” and welfare provides…we see how that has damaged our society. This is about each person reaching back and grabbing the willing hand of the next person and forming a human chain to bring our nation up and on our feet, with strong backs and limbs, and with our chests out and heads held high…with dignity, honor, self-respect, and an understanding that we each can make a difference.

Let those who can serve financially do their part, let those who serve educationally do their part, let our spiritual servers take position, and those with other gifts present them. We each have something to give.

April 7, 2010 we heard from this panel what they have been and are committed to doing to making America better. What are you committed to doing? I want to hear from you!

For more information about Operation Hope please visit: www.operationhope.org  and www.5mk.org

Copyright 2010 Natasha L. Foreman. Rights Reserved

>Hope for Atlanta

>I was looking at my blog and realized that I never wrote about an extremely important moment in my life that occurred a few weeks ago. I don’t know how it’s possible I didn’t post about this experience, but it’s clear that I did not and I want to extend my apologies for leaving many of you in the dark. Let me share with you my experience….

On April 7, 2010 I attended an historic event that will change the pulse of Atlanta, Georgia hopefully forever! I never got the privilege to experience and participate in the Civil Rights Movement, but this day (and future days to come) I had the pleasure of taking part in the Silver Rights Movement.

April 7th Operation HOPE, led by their Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant, partnered with Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church to publicly announce their plans to erect a new multi-million dollar flagship Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center within the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex on the new Ebenezer church grounds.

On this day I witnessed a Shovel Ceremony where I sat by community leaders, Atlanta residents, and representatives from SunTrust and Wells Fargo/Wachovia (who have eagerly joined this HOPE Center partnership), as we listened to inspirational words from some wonderful people such as Martin Luther King III, Ambassador Andrew Young, Ebenezer’s Senior Pastor Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair.

We also had the pleasure of hearing from CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, Steve Bartlett; Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, Inc., Atlanta’s District 2 Councilmember, Kwanza Hall; Isaac Newton Farris, the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff of The King Center; C.T. Hill, Corporate Executive VP, SunTrust Banks, Inc., and Candy Moore, Senior VP, Southeast Community Development Manager for Wachovia (Wells Fargo Company).

Of course the day would not be complete without remarks and introductions from John Hope Bryant who energized the speakers and attendees with his passion and desire to see Atlanta and every community struggling to survive, restored to greatness.

The “HOPE Center” will bring Metro Atlanta residents a place to go for one-stop shopping, gaining access to mainstream bank services- helping to remove the “shackles” as check-cashing and payday loan “slaves”, so that they can finally become bank account holders.

The HOPE Center will bring Atlanta the tools needed to gain true financial literacy so that the mistakes of their past are overwritten while empowering them to not make the same mistakes or worse in their future.
Metro Atlanta residents will have hands-on education in economics and financial case management, an understanding and ability to gain wealth through small business ownership and home ownership, and a chance to heal, grow, and embrace a sense of dignity and pride within their neighborhoods and for their surrounding communities.

The HOPE Center will bring Atlanta back to being the highly regarded “Black Wall Street” and live up to the hopes and dreams of the late Martin Luther King, Sr and his son, the late Martin Luther King, Jr. Who wouldn’t be excited at that vision and reality?

Following the speeches at the shovel ceremony, each guest speaker lined up in front of the area where I was seated, and as they placed their construction hard hats on their heads, those of us who also were given hard hats did the same. Then they immediately grabbed their inscribed shovels and dug into the soil… of the future site of the HOPE Center…as the rest of us snapped pictures, applauded, and celebrated.

It was forecasted to rain that day…no rain…not that day. The clouds held back so that we could witness history in the making. So we could witness and take part in a moment in the Silver Rights Movement. I’m so grateful that I was able to be there firsthand!

Thank you for the invitation, the experience I can share with generations, and thank you for the hard hat…I’m looking at it now!

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

>Bill Aimed to Hit Radio Stations and Generate Revenue for Labels…I’m Scratching My Head

>I have only been a part of the music industry since 1996 so I cannot say how it was thirty or more years ago. What I can say is this…record labels and distributors are only “hurting” financially because of karma…sorry but I’m speaking the truth.

You can only rob artists blind so long before they find ways around your sticky, greedy fingers. For too long artists have discovered the hard way what fame and fortune truly mean in the recording industry…you may have fame but the labels have the real fortune. Those artists who can clearly show to have the best of both worlds only achieved this status after many years of being bamboozled and hoodwinked by the large conglomerates that dangled checks, jewelry, cars, and homes in front of them on the front end, and then snatching the very air they breathed from their lungs when the year-end accounting showed the artist in the “red” and owing the label millions in recouped dollars.

Let’s look at some of the artists who learned the hard way:

Prince…remember he had to temporarily relinquish using his name in order to free himself from the death grip his past label had him under…

TLC…uh how could their label show earnings of over $75 million off of their first album Crazy, Sexy, Cool…yet these three young ladies were forced to file bankruptcy because they didn’t understand what their contract really said….every dollar you think you own is really on loan.

Toni Braxton…another one who bit the dust and did not see it coming. It is extremely difficult to rebound when you find out that every hairstylist, make up artist, companion, limo, and body guard the label gladly pays on your behalf eventually is recouped once your album hits the store shelves.

MC Hammer…need I say more?

So now artists are either forming joint ventures with labels and distributors whereby maintaining a larger piece of the “pie” or they’re completely bypassing the labels and distributors and going back to the old school way of marketing and promoting their work…their own sweat labor- but this time they don’t have to rely solely on selling albums out of the trunk of their car- now they can sell their work online. Now they can take their music directly to the radio stations and get airplay and get royalty checks free from label influences.

This new bill wants radio stations to pay royalties to performers, and not just writers and producers of music. This is a classic “pay to play” that we sometimes…okay…rarely run across in recording contracts between labels and artists. Should a performer receive a royalty check just for singing or rapping a song, even though the song technically isn’t theirs? So does that mean that if someone else turns around and does a re-make to that song, that singer will also get a royalty check? What happens to small radio stations in condensed areas or on college campuses who can’t afford the taxation? Is this merely a sign of times where change is bound to happen so it might as well happen now? I’d love to hear what others have to say about this bill. Please share your thoughts! Email me or post your comments here.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved.