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Using his own story (which includes careers in the military, ...
Using his own story (which includes careers in the military, real estate and public service as an assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy), and those of dozens of other black men and women who have made it in the business world as examples, Graves offers inspirational and down-to-earth advice to help readers take advantage of opportunities to achieve personal and professional success. From overcoming the challenges blacks confront in getting financing for new ventures to identifying the best dustries and jobs for black job-seekers and cultivating the behaviors needed to make it as an entrepreneur, How to Succeed in Business Without Being White clearly lights the path readers can take to overcome adversity and succeed intoday's largely white business environment.
On December 4, 1991, less than two years after his release from 27 years' imprisonment, South African hero Nelson Mandela came to meet with many of the most powerful African American business and political leaders in the country at the corporate offices of Black Enterprise and Earl G. Graves Ltd. on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
In our executive boardroom, Mandela met with professional black men and women who have led the way in creating unprecedented wealth in this country He met with leaders of government, founders of multimillion-dollar international corporations, investors, bankers, lawyers, industrialists, religious leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs. All of them with skin as richly colored as his.
"We asked for this meeting because of our desire to learn the principles and strategies of economic empowerment for blacks in our country," Mandela said. "Until we have a very strong business class, it is going to be difficult for us to make real progress."
Mandela's powerful voice echoed themes near and dear to my heart and, I believe, to yours too:
In the pages that follow, I offer you the key to all of those things. No one, black or white, is going to guarantee you career success or financial security. You have to earn that yourself. But I offer the information here to shine a light onyour path, as well as the encouraging advice of many African American professionals who have gone before you and succeeded in spite of the racist hatred and ignorance that continue to taint our society.
Economic power is the key to success in a capitalistic society. Business is the means to that power. African Americans can play this game and we can win at it. You can succeed in business without being white. We are doing it today in numbers greater than ever before, launching businesses as never before and leveraging a collective annual income that today exceeds $400 billion.
I am proud to say that hundreds of thousands of African Americans have been a part of this success story, and in this book I have chronicled many of those successes. In this book, too, I have provided you with what you need to know in order to join them in the next great movement in African American history--the historic march toward true freedom for black people around the worldeconomic freedom.
You and I may be at different stages in life. In different parts of the country. From varied backgrounds. But we are in this together, linked by our race, our history and our destiny. Rest assured, we will only improve the quality of our individual lives by working together for the collective success of all black people. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
Together, we have come a great distance already.
Since we began publishing Black Enterprise 26 years ago, the number of black-owned businesses in this country has grown from around 45,000 to more than 62 1,000. The number has jumped by 46 percent in just the last decade, outpacing the growth rate of all new businesses by 20 percent.
Sales, a crucial measure of success, have risen 63 percent in the last ten years for businesses owned by African Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The top 100 black businesses, tracked in Black Enterprise as the "B.E. 100s," now boast annual sales of more than $12 billion.
I mention this to make a point. The white-dominated business world needs to understand that we don't want charity. We want to do business. We don't want guaranteed success. We want the opportunity to earn it.
You may not be there yet. But believe me, the way has been paved. In some places, the paving stones have been torn up and replaced only to be torn up again, but the path is still marked. And the rewards are--as they always have been--still worth the struggle onward.
Within three years of his visit to our offices in New York, Nelson Mandela was elected president in the first democratic national election in South African history, and I was recruited to serve as a catalyst in bringing the first multinational business enterprise into the new South Africa--a $100 million Pepsi-Cola franchise of which black men and women are the primary owners and operators.
I did not have to look far for my partners in this multimilliondollar enterprise. I merely plugged into The Network comprising this nation's leading African American entrepreneurs-many of whom are featured in this book. All of them have struggled and succeeded. Each of them understands the value of leveraging our collective economic strength to create more wealth, and with it a more powerful voice in every aspect of this country.
When I began soliciting partners for this landmark deal, one of my first telephone calls was to the great African American businessman Percy Sutton, whose empire includes the Apollo theater, Inner City Broadcasting and the World African Network. Also at the head of my list, the "Godfather" of the black music industry, Clarence Avant, chairman of Motown Records and a member of the board of directors of Polygram, who brought with him Shaquille O'Neal, Whitney Houston and Danny Glover, among others. I also invited famed defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran and a number of other investors from the swelling ranks of successful African American professionals.How to Succeed in Business Without Being White. Copyright © by Earl G. Graves. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
|2||A Life's Mission Is Defined||7|
|3||Overcoming the Nuisance Factor||19|
|5||Starting a Career||59|
|8||The Key to Black Wealth Is Ownership||119|
|9||Planning for Business Success||139|
|11||Growing a Business||171|
|13||Building Personal Wealth||205|
|14||The Business of Family||223|
|15||Standing in Harm's Way||241|
|16||The Ten Greatest Challenges Facing Black America||257|
Posted August 14, 2003
I just wanted to say that I was truly inspired and motivated by the words that Mr. Graves put in this book. I always thought of him to be a 'high-on-the-hog' type of entrepreneur, but after reading this, I know that he wants all people to be successful. It's good to see a man of his caliber write something with such insight. And because of this book, I am going out on a limb to start my own business while I'm still in school. Thank you, Mr. Graves!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2002
If you do not have a business mentor then you should not start your business until you have read this book. Mr. Graves gives valuable points on how to run your business as well as your personal life. His personal story of how he built something from virtually nothing is most inspiring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.