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Not Far From The Tree

Not Far From The Tree

How does a child raised by a single-parent African American Mother go on to graduate in the “Top 10%” of his college class, walk-on and play college basketball, become President of his IBM sales training class, close sales of $1/2 million, $1 million, and $25 million in Paris, Brussels, and Hong Kong and self-publish a “Best Seller” book?  Fueled by his Mom’s mantra, “You can do anything if you put your mind to it,” and other “seeds of knowledge” ingrained in him by her, Eric Otis Simmons went on to accomplish all of the above and more!


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In “Not Far From The Tree,” Simmons’ Memoir, he shares his life story through a series of smaller stories that range from shocking to calamitous to sorrowful to triumphing.  Eric takes you through how he stumbled across a court document revealing his Dad’s surname was actually Bailey and how off guard that caught him.  He jokes about the time his Grandmother caught him and his cousin peeing out of a window, and they both lived.  Simmons also opens up about the tragic loss of his daughter and the frightening night his Mother was assaulted at gunpoint and his ensuing years-long anger.  You'll walk down the hall with him through the secret tunnel underneath Alabama’s State Capitol where he meets Governor George Corley Wallace for the first time.  All he could think about was the Governor's infamous words, “Segregation now, segregation forever!”  Eric's insight into his remarkable career in Sales/Sales Management with Fortune 500 titans IBM, AT&T, GE, and MCI, reveals his strive for excellence centered around opening doors for other minorities. Throughout his Memoir, Simmons masterfully ties together his Mother’s teachings with how he utilized them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve academic, athletic, and business success in Corporate America.

"Not Far From The Tree" Reviews

(Amazon and Goodreads)

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One of the most motivational books I’ve ever read! Truly amazing accomplishments in his life.  Highly recommended!



I just finished the book and must say, it is very good.  I’m really impressed with Simmons’ writing style and how the book flows.  The way he was able to recall and capture so many of his life’s events is truly amazing!  It’s a must-read for young and old who were or are being raised by a single parent.  I give it 5 stars and plan to purchase more for sharing.

Linda F. Cunningham, MD


Not Far From The Tree” is an excellent book.  Folks that know Simmons probably think the manuscript is only about his basketball experiences.  Instead, the piece is about his life, basketball, and business experiences.  People have no idea what he went through, as a Black man, in Corporate America.  Before I retired, a member of the School Board saw the book on my desk and asked me if she could read it.  When she brought it back, she was so enthused, she asked me for Simmons’ contact information.  She plans to bring him to the County to talk to students.  I highly recommend the book.

Larry Woolfolk, Retired Principal - Monroe County Schools, Monroeville, Alabama


I really enjoyed reading this book, his life experiences were very interesting and his accomplishments in his corporate years were something else.  The book was a real page turner ... Well done.

Diana K. Richardson


Not Far From The Tree Kindle Edition by Eric Simmons is a lovely biography ... The book is filled with information that shows that his mother played the most important role in his life ... The story is interesting and addictive.  The writing is creative and inviting.  I really loved the author's efforts to find his roots, it was a wonderful experience ... It is a beautiful and inspiring story worth reading.  It will awaken in you many ideas and thoughts about your own life as well.



If you are a person that wants to be inspired and especially if you are a black person, then this book, in my opinion, is a lighthouse of inspiration, life lessons and a path to improve, better and succeed in your life.
Highly recommended!

Andreas Michaelides (Author - "How to Change Your Way Of Thinking" and 22 other books)


Simmons narrated the story in a way that made you feel like you were there through it all. From the tribulations in his childhood to his major accomplishes in college and Corporate America, he conveyed how his Mother helped grow his character with many "seeds of knowledge." His story shows that anyone can accomplish anything if they have the right mindset. Not Far From The Tree is inspiring and as a young adult myself, I can take Simmons experiences and "seeds" with me moving forward in my career and my life. I would recommend that you give this book a read. It's a quick look into an accomplished man's life that will leave you inspired to be bold and go after the things you want in life.

Andrea Humpherys


This book is thought-provoking, hilarious and inspiring all in one.  Everyone has to read his book to fully understand how Eric Simmons has achieved such great success in his life.  Well worth the read!

Michael McCree (Author - "GameChanger: The Baseball Parents Ultimate Guide")

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