The first known African-American woman to become a self-made millionaire was Madam C.J. Walker. In only fifteen years she built an empire that found the antidote for bad-hair days.  Her company made hair products that had never before been introduced to the market. Imagine being the one responsible for taming frizzy hair!

Her granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, talks about her grandmother’s formula for success. “Tenacity and perseverance, faith in herself and in God, quality products and ‘honest business dealings’ are the elements and strategies she prescribed for aspiring entrepreneurs who requested the secret to her rags-to-riches ascent.”

Wisdom from the ancient sages tells us, when we arrive at heaven’s gate, the one question we’ll be asked is; “Did you deal honestly in business?” Madam Walker got the memo. She ran her business with integrity and understood what it takes to make it with your good name intact. She said, “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.

A woman who defies all odds to rise to unprecedented success is surely a hero. Developing products to make women look and feel good is heroic as well. But the wealthy person who understands that it’s God who provides, is simply inspired.

Source: “Madam Walker Essay” from by A’Lelia Bundles

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