As we close out February (Black History Month), and look towards March (Women’s History Month), we’re taking a look at “What Do Black Women Millionaires Do Differently?” Forbes spoke with Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, a woman with an impressive story of moving from poverty to wealth who offers advice that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds can use.
Reese has found that the mentality that says we should “…work hard, sacrifice for others, prove ourselves, overcome.” is one that society approves of but that it also keeps “so many smart, successful black women stay in jobs they hate… jobs that pay well but will never allow them to achieve their financial potential.”
Here are some lessons from black women millionaires who broke the mold:
Tell Your Story Reese “suggests giving up the working-class mentality of making money from what you “do” and start making money from what you “know.” Many people can train to use certain skills, but what sets you apart? By taking your story and unique perspective and finding a way to monetize it, you can set yourself up for financial success.
Don’t Undersell Your Skills It can be scary to charge higher rates but this is what will attract clients who are willing to pay. According to Reese, “If you start low with the intention of going high, you will attract all the people looking for a deal.”
Low Rates=Many Clients “The more value you provide, the more you can charge,” says Reese. You have to have a lot of clients to make a profit if your rates are low. Instead, charging more and offering more will allow you to be more selective about your client base.
When Reese advises black women on building wealth, she reminds them that some of the survival strategies that have traditionally worked within their culture may not always work today, “Our self-worth and our mindset around money are our biggest barriers to breaking the million-dollar mark.”
Mint.com quoted Oprah Winfrey, a black woman who is a billionaire as saying, “You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.”
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