AFRICANGLOBE – Successful entrepreneurs understand that the way to success is to be a lifelong learner. From staying abreast on latest trends to reading up on tried-and-true strategy, leaders win by seeking knowledge. Here are five books that will help any entrepreneur do just that:
The Man from Essence by Edward Lewis
Written by Edward Lewis, co-founder of Essence magazine, this book tells the story of how he started his company with three partners, eventually reaching and impacting millions of people with a landmark publication for women of color. He became the last man standing by the time it was sold to Time, Inc. Lewis details the motivation behind his drive to succeed, her personal triumphs and challenges and insights on management, startup strategy and perseverance through the ups and downs of the publishing world.
In a society where white men dominate the top seats at major corporations, this book serves as motivation and mentorship for African-American innovators. Being one of the most prolific executives in business, Graves tells us his own story of how he became a multimillionaire, the director of several of America’s Fortune 500 corporations, a philanthropist and entrepreneur, how he built the legacy of Black Enterprise. The business icon touts: “Economic power is the key to success in a capitalistic society.”
Lewis’ first successful venture was his $22.5 million-leveraged buyout of McCall Pattern Co., where he sold it for $65 million in 1987, and made an astounding 90 to 1 return on his original investment. He re-branded the corporation as TLC Beatrice International Inc. As the CEO and chairman, Lewis increased the company’s worth in rapid time,an with revenues of $1.5 billion, TLC Beatrice made it to the Fortune 500. It was also the first company on the Black Enterprise List of Top 100 African-American owned businesses. This book details how all of this happened and will inspire many bosses for generations to come.
Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, tells the story of her life, starting from the beginning with her childhood days in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the moment her business was created and how it bloomed. The innovator provides motivating and enticing stories and explains how she went from bankruptcy to grossing over $2 million yearly while working from home. Price believes that life will guide each and every one of us until we realize our own inner truth, regardless of the challenges we faced to reach to our destination. She also shares with us advice her mother gave her and recipes for her best-selling products.
Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines
A.G. Gaston was the grandson of slaves and was born penniless. At his death, he was worth more than $130 million and helmed several businesses. This is the story of his life through the eyes of his niece and grandniece. Gaston was determined to make a difference for African Americans during the time of slavery. When he passed away in 1996, he was one of the richest men in America. Black Titan is the story of a man who changed the future for all black businesspeople in our country.
By: Cristie Leondis