In honor of Black History Month, I reached out to a couple of business powerhouses to share their experiences, wisdom, and advice. Here’s what they had to say…
“It’s an amazing time to be a woman of color in business, although when I go about my day doing deals, launching campaigns, inspiring, and doing business meetings, I don’t consciously think about being a black woman. I just do what I do because it’s extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Even though I am tremendously blessed and inspired by women of color in business I don’t give much thought to it on a day to day basis.
Regardless of the situation politically, socially, and economically I’ve set my heart to always see myself as having the advantage. No matter the challenge to speak differently, I’ve chosen not to engage in anything that makes me feel that I have a disadvantage. The Bible is clear when it says “as a man thinks so is he”. Once you make a decision to walk in that, you are truly unstoppable. I am solely responsible for my success. Taking responsibility for your own success and not blaming anyone else for anything is the greatest decision that anyone can make.
Settle the fact that you can be a powerful business woman and a loving and kind individual. If you are married, you can still be an amazing wife. Whether you are single or married, success should make you a nicer person—not arrogant. There is nothing worse than a successful person who is ugly on the inside.
You will go a lot further being kind to everyone. Though I want every woman to be independently wealthy, please know that every man still needs to feel needed. Though you are moving and shaking (which is amazing) when you’re with your husband make sure your attention and your focus is on him. Make sure as you grow and increase, he knows you still need him, want him, and admire him.
For single women, enjoy growing personally and enjoy growing your business. Though you may be excited about getting married make sure you marry someone just as ambitious as you are. If you are an alpha woman I would suggest marrying an alpha male. Though it may not be as important that he makes as much as you or more than you, it is important that he is just as ambitious as you.
Lastly, know that most women that are very successful are in male dominated industries. Don’t lose your femininity. Your femininity is an asset and doesn’t make you weak. You can be feminine and still strong at the same time.”
Nicola Smith Jackson
“Many would say that being a black woman in business is a challenge with the odds stacked against her. As a black woman in business for more than 25 years, I would say this is true based off of one’s perspective. However, there is a huge upside for those who are willing to focus on opportunity and the power of diversity vs. the obstacles.
If Black Women were to embrace their heritage and understand how to use their strengths and talents they could crush it in business. Here are some success secrets for black women in business.
Keep Faith and Family First
You don’t want to be a “public success” while being a “private mess”. Create the best balance of spiritual and family life – trust me, you’ll need both of them. Your faith will remind you that you deserve success while keeping you grounded and giving you strength during tough times. Your family will give you a reason to build a legacy.
Personal & Professional Development
You are your best investment! You have “get into your own head” everyday before anyone else can. Read at least 30 minutes daily to build your mental muscle. Also, attend industry related events to keep in the know and master your skills.
Stay focused and never compare yourself to others; make yourself your chief competitor. This is the mindset of a big player. Become a healthy image and good example for all women in business. There is enough room for everyone to succeed!
Choose A Business You Can Be Passionate About
As Les Brown would say, “You gotta be hungry”. I chose Network Marketing, because it’s a fulfilling industry with unlimited growth potential no matter your race, color or creed. I went from being an overworked hair stylist who barely spent time with her family to earning multi-millions of dollars yearly from home while helping hundreds of thousands of people.
Make Goals That Scare You
Raise the bar, play full out and don’t settle for mediocrity. Think big and become the person who meets or exceeds your goals.
Have a Strong Work Ethic
Sow What You Want to Grow – You get out what you put in. Be willing to wake up early and go to bed late to get the job done. Be humble, consistent and never get comfortable with your current success.
Bring Value to the Marketplace Consistently
Be a servant leader to others without always being compensated. Be a person who help others succeed. This creates great relationships, gives you exposure and eventually pays big.
Choose Your Circle Wisely
Be genuine and authentic so you can attract the right circle of people. Surround yourself with positive people who support, stretch you and keep your iron sharpened.”