Listen to the latest episode of listen now
Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership
Janice Bryant Howroyd

“I was doing over $1B in business before I gave myself permission to be smart, black and female.”

Today, you're in for a real treat. I interviewed an amazing business woman with so many great insights that you can and should put to use right now.

Janice Bryant Howroyd is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author, mentor and Presidential Special Appointee.

Janice is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The ActOne Group, a global leader providing customized cutting edge solutions in the human resources industry.

She's currently listed at #54 in the Forbes 2018 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In 2014, she was recognized by Black Enterprise as the first black woman to own and operate a billion-dollar company.

In May of 2016 Janice received a key Presidential appointment by President Barack Obama as a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Janice has traveled to over fifty countries promoting education and the powerful impact it has on communities around the world. Her accomplishments, both personal and professional, are inspired by her deep faith and her love for her family. She says, “One cannot effectively lead without passionately serving.”

Janice is a truly remarkable woman who started from the ground up, and is constantly learning and adapting to the world around her. But doing so while remaining true to self.

Connect with Janice:

Resources Mentioned:


Key take aways from Janice Bryant Howroyd:

It's the conversations you're having with yourself that's going to speak the loudest in your quiet moments. It's the conversations you're having with yourself that's going to be heard by others when you're not saying a word. And it's the conversations you're having with yourself that's going to leave your legacy in life. It's what you said to you that's going to mean more and deliver more than what anybody else is saying. So you've got to be precious about it. Yes, I teach people to ask questions and then listen listen listen. I would encourage you that you are amongst that audience, that you ask the questions of and that you listen to. Please gain everything you can in the way of assimilating knowledge but be very selfish about how you bring it into yourself and how you apply it to your life. And be deliberate, be highly intentional about what you allow to stay with you, what you repeat to yourself.

  • I live in expectation of blessing and consider everything on earth a blessing.
  • I have four nephews who will be at North Carolina A & T State University all together. This is a school that is graduating the largest number of African American engineers in the U.S.  The university has a dynamic business school where corporations and individually-owned businesses are being invented.
  • I am one of 11 children, one mom and one dad, who really love each other and taught us the essence of so much that I brought into my business.
  • The important thing for me about being a part of such a big family on a very mediocre income, meant that we were running a lot on teaming and a lot of ways to expand on something, and those principles have helped me in my business as well.
  • So many of the lessons that I learned in my home, became not only personal values for me, they became business values for me; they actually enforce the protocols that I innovate that help me to offer workforce solutions across the globe.
  • We had a mom and a dad who were connected in how they saw our family.  Mom was the COO and dad was the CEO; and they exchanged their rules and their values in the process of raising us.  So, it’s been a really important thing for me to be able to capture what just seemed natural for me as the actual culture and foundation points from which I now build out total enterprise solutions.
  • Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. I’m on my path. I’m on my trail. I have not finished.
  • Success for me is not a noun.  It’s a verb.
  • What still drives me is that I’ve not reached it [success].  My life has to be a progression.  I’m still at it because this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
  • We are iterative in how we live.  We don’t reach a pinnacle and then just look back.
  • We should be ever striving, ever engaged. I’m enthusiastic. I’m blessed with great health, discipline and good business practices and personal health practices. So, I’m very much enjoying what I’m doing.
  • The influence that we have across the globe is dynamically being fueled by people who are fantastic about what they are doing. They’re working with deliberate intentions around delivering a workforce solutions to a geography that has never before had so many talent available and need so much more talent.
  • Ronald Reagan taught us to trust and verify.
  • Bill Clinton taught me something. Forget the zeros.
  • The person you’re speaking with at that time is the most important person as far as we’re concerned.
  • It’s about localization and not globalization
  • Forget about whether somebody is at this level or that level.
  • Money and numbers are important metrics to measure, but they're measuring a process and a progress. They’re not a measure of the person.
  • The income of a person is no indication of their value. Mother Teresa died penniless and the world bowed down in humility at her feet.
  • We need to understand that when we’re building businesses, if we’re going to have people be a fundamental part of how we measure and how we value what we do.
  • Get the zeros off. Focus on what’s happening in that moment, how it impacts the larger picture, then put it back together.
  • We just earned another contract that is worth millions of dollars to us from a financial perspective. But unless we’re able to break down the service we deliver, location to location to location, and bring value to those individual stakeholders, that contract will end up not just being worth nothing but it will costs us if we don’t deliver well.
  • Stop worrying about someone else’s zeros. Focus on your 1 through 9.
  • When you talk about valleys, you talk about going through, and one thing we all understand is being on our grind. The big lesson I’ve learned is that as you grow your business, successful people embrace doing the things that people who don’t consider themselves reject doing. Whether that’s doing the hard things first in the course of a day, or whether that’s really taking the hard look at the reality of your situation on the whole.
  • It’s about embracing the thing that’s hard. Most difficult things are simple. Simple doesn’t mean easy, but most of the things that you’re really invested in — that you may waste time with procrastination, or you may find personal attitudes that will keep you from making the right decision. You just want to do the same thing over and over again and expect that same results.
  • All those things are emotional, but successful people really embrace doing the things that most people find difficult to do or will reject. That’s sometimes that’s referred to as the winner’s edge or plays itself out as stick-to-it-iviness
  • Going through valleys doesn’t mean that you aren’t climbing mountains at the same time. You’re gonna have some trails of up and downs.
  • Trailblazers' signature nomenclature is what’s all about — trailblazing. You’re trailblazing, going through paths that you’ve never been before. It doesn’t mean somebody else hasn’t been through it. It’s just new to you.
  • When you accept that, then you’re more open to the idea that you can embrace teams and networks. You can even fail on your way to success, more than once.
  • We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve done that, but somehow when it’s our own personal lives, we tend to put those blinders on, and we believe that just focusing on our goals gets there.
  • The result is the truth. This means you're not gonna be stopped or you're not gonna be in error by the obstacles that come along your life in the process of growing and going where you want to go
  • Every road has its different milestones — 50 miles 'til; 40 miles 'til
  • When it comes to going through valleys, there are valleys on your way to climbing a mountain. Every mountain has a valley.
  • Very often I'm asked about sexism and racism. Lately people have been asking me about rheumatism but the truth is the challenge I faced have been my own self that stopped me in my way more often than others.
  • I do not negate that these things exist. We all see it clearly. But it's not what they call you, it's what you answer to. For me it's really been the truth of that. Not just believing that but knowing that.
  • I believe the sun is gonna come up tomorrow. I know that I'm speaking with you in this moment. It's moving from believing to knowing that's been the biggest struggle for me.
  • It's only been the last 4 1/2 to 5 years that I've given myself the freedom to be a smart, Black woman.
  • I grew up during the time of segregation in a town called Tarboro, North Carolina. I was a pre-Civil Rights kid, and I knew what it meant to never get a brand new book. Every book I got had pages missing.
  • I grew up in an environment where I knew what it was like to be lesser than, and I grew up in a community that taught me that that was my right place. But I also grew up in a family that taught me that this world is big and God's promise is real, and you live in consistency with that, and make sure that you learn and you grow; and you'll be able to change that, and you may be able to change that for someone else.
  • The things that I've learned as a woman are lessons for men as well.
  • I have to own my own truth.
  • The Definition of Love … My Love is of a birth as rare, As ’tis for object strange and high: It was begotten by despair, Upon Impossibility.
  • I was hanging the identity of myself on disparity and what was being shown in front of me about who I could be and who I should be.
  • It's the conversation you're having with yourself that's gonna to speak the loudest in your quiet moments.
  • It's the conversation that you're having with yourself that's gonna be heard by others when you're not saying a word.
  • It's the conversation you're having with yourself that's gonna leave your legacy in life
  • It's what you said to you that's gonna mean more and deliver more than what anybody else is saying, and so you've gotta be precious about it.
  • Ask questions and then listen. Listen. Listen.
  • You are amongst that audience that you ask the questions of and that you listen to.
  • Gain everything you can in the way of assimilating knowledge, but be very selfish about how you bring it into yourself and how you apply it to you life.
  • Be deliberate. Be highly intentional about what you allow to stay with you and what you repeat to yourself
  • I was doing over a $1B in business before I gave myself permission to be smart, Black and female. Imagine what life could look like had I given myself permission sooner.
  • Play the music that takes you where you want to go.
  • Janice's ABC’s of life: A – Ask the right questions; B – Be where you say you’ll be; C – Communicate-
  • Janice's ABC's 2.0: A – respect the power of artificial intelligence. B – What are you buying into? C – Communication. Be very selfish about what you’re allowing to come into your consciousness as well as what you’re putting out.
  • We are iterative beings — we have room to grow and the need to forgive.
  • Your unconscious mind starts to unpack your conscious mind in some very profound and deliberate ways.
  • Be highly thoughtful about what you say. Everything matters about what you allow into your brain.
  • Cancel out thoughts that do not serve well to where you are going, so they don't interrupt the unconscious path that you’re taking.
  • @JBryantHowroyd on the contribution of a team: When you start getting to the point where you believe it’s all about you, that’s where you start your decline.
  • When you have a team that is constantly allowed and encouraged to bring innovation and thought into your organization, then you’re growing.
  • The FEET upon which we stand: Freedom to innovate. Excellence in delivery. Everything matters. Time to understand.
  • We value the freedom to innovate in order that we have excellence in delivery, and because everything matters, we invest the time to understand
  • Never compromise who you are personally to become who you wish to be professionally!


One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Set aside one hour and do a t-graph. Draw a “T” across a piece of paper.  Above that “T” write down the one big thing that has a timeline achievable before the end of the year.  On the left side of the “T” write down all the positive steps that you are taking and all of the negative steps  that you are taking. On the right side of the “T” write down what needs to be done, positve and negative. Then turn this T-graph into your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).  It can be excellent and cathartic in journalling, but it’s absolute and intentional around building out success plans.

Thanks for Listening!

Please help us expand the reach of this podcast. Follow and share the podcast with your friends on:
Twitter: @TBPod Instagram: @TBPod Facebook: /TBPod If you're on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.