9 Books Black Entrepreneurs Should Read If They Want to Unlock the Secrets to Success


‘Success Never Smelled So Sweet: How I Followed My Nose and Found My Passion’

by Lisa Price

Lisa Price is the founder of Carol’s Daughter, a company that creates hair, skin and bath products for women of color. In the book, she goes into great detail about the story of her life, starting from her time in Brooklyn to how she became the successful entrepreneur she is today. Through her book, Price’s personal philosophy comes to the forefront. She believes that life will guide all of us to our own inner truth regardless of the many obstacles that arise.


‘Black Business Secrets: 500 Tips, Strategies and Resources for the African American Entrepreneur’

by Dante Lee

Dante Lee is the CEO of Diversity City Media, a marketing and public-relations firm based in Columbus, Ohio. This book is a very thorough advice book that discusses the entrepreneurial skills that African-American business owners must master in order to compete in a world where most new companies fail within three years. The book covers an array of topics that start from personal branding to strategies designed to ensure business survival.

10 Top Powerful Black People on Wall Street You Should Know


Ronald E. Blaylock

Blaylock is the founder and managing partner of GenNx360. The company has $600 million in capital under management and $1 billion in the company’s portfolio. Before starting GenNx360, Blaylock was CEO of Blaylock & Co., an investment banking firm he founded in 1993.


Cedric L. Bobo

Bobo is the principal of the Carlyle Group. He focuses on U.S. buyouts in industrial and transportation sectors. During his time as principal, he helped acquire a $43 billion private equity firm, AlpInvest Partners. In 2010, Bobo was a co-leader in the formation of a joint venture that acquired more than $5 billion in shipping assets, using up to $900 million in equity.


Are You a Wannabe or a Real Entrepreneur? 6 Differences Between Those Who Dream and Those Who Act

Wannabes Obsess About Ideas; Entrepreneurs Obsess About Implementation

Sometimes, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about our ideas, dreams and aspirations. It is easy to content ourselves with simply having lofty ideas, not realizing their sheer abundance. Anyone who has taken a breath has likely had an idea that could have literally changed the course of his or her life in a revolutionary way. Unfortunately, such ideas rarely get implemented.

Real entrepreneurs overcome their mental barriers, move beyond their comfort zones and spring into action. Wannabes seek a perfect plan. Entrepreneurs execute and adjust the plan later.

Wannabes Want Approval from Family and Friends; Entrepreneurs Embrace Criticism

Some entrepreneurs allow those closest to them — their friends and family — to prevent them from going after their dream of starting their own business.

Meanwhile. others, while they know their loved ones have their best interest at heart,  know uninformed advice and criticism can be more harm than good.

Instead of wasting valuable time and energy being defensive or trying to get approval from those who cannot be persuaded by data, they use criticism to address holes in their business strategy.

Wannabes Focus on Getting ‘Rich’; Entrepreneurs Are in It for the Love

If you perceive starting a business as your golden ticket, think again. Many entrepreneurs who have built massive wealth likely didn’t go into business to get rich. They did so because they had passion for something and kept finding opportunities to expand the way they expressed that passion, and then they realized they could make money doing it.

Entrepreneurs who become rich do so because they love what they do. It has meaning for them, so much meaning that they are willing to do whatever it takes, at weird hours, often at high personal inconvenience and risk, to do it. Making money doing it becomes inevitable.

Wannabes Want to Get on TV and Get ‘Famous’; Entrepreneurs Build Desirable Products or Services

Since the days of the Dot-Com era, many entrepreneurs were treated like pop stars. This has attracted many wannabe entrepreneurs who are more concerned with the spotlight than actually running a successful business.

Real entrepreneurs recognize their natural desire to be recognized, but they don’t think fame is the only form of recognition that validates them. Rather than focusing on becoming famous, they focus on creating something deserving of attention.

Wannabes Hope, Pray and Wait for Their Lucky Break; Entrepreneurs Engineer Multiple Plans and Execute

Wannabes focus on positive thinking, expecting one day their big break will come and things will get easier.

Entrepreneurs put themselves in a position to get lucky by creating the right situations for success by planning for multiple contingencies, therefore, persevering through both the good and bad times.

They also make the right connections, believe in what they’re doing and then seize the opportunities that align with their goals and avoid those that don’t. 

Wannabes Are Discouraged by Failure; Entrepreneurs See Failure as an Opportunity

Wannabes fear looking stupid in front of their friends. Entrepreneurs willingly risk making fools of themselves, knowing that long-term success is a good tradeoff for a short-term loss of dignity.

Entrepreneurs don’t see failure as something to fear. Instead, they see it as an opportunity to expand their knowledge base and a stepping stone to success. Therefore, real entrepreneurs don’t hide their failures and aren’t afraid to expose their ideas to a cold reality as soon as reasonably possible.