This is a reprint of an EZine article. I thought it might inspire you a bit today!
Cathy Hughes' Advice to Black Women in Business
By Bedford E.
Meet one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time!
Cathy Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast-company in the nation. Radio One is the first African American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously and possesses the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market.
Cathy Hughes knows what it takes to overcome major hurdles in the male dominated arena of business and entrepreneurship.
I recently interviewed Ms. Hughes for her perspective on black entrepreneurship and specifically asked her to give her advice to black women considering business.
Bro. Bedford: What advice would you give Black Women about going into business?
Cathy Hughes: The most important aspect of a woman going into business I think is really identifying and forming a support group. So often people who love us feel a need to protect us and they sometimes over protect us and make us squeamish and afraid to be adventurous.
You have to be BOLD and ADVENTUROUS if you are a woman going into business. Even though more and more women are going into business, it is still a male dominated game.
In my case it was my mother, I can’t tell you…my mother would cry, she would beg me, “Please get a government job, you’re in Washington D.C. You’re smart and people like you, Give Up! You’re sleeping on a floor in a sleeping bag. Cathy, people think you’ve lost your mind; they think you’ve had a nervous breakdown, what’s wrong with you. Go get a good Government job and stop trying…”
My mother was not trying to stop me from being a successful Entrepreneur, she was worried about me, and she was scared for me. I had lost everything to try to hold on to this business and she was ready for me to throw in the towel out of love and protection. But guess what? It was also so discouraging.
So I started lying to my mother. When she would call and ask have you turned it around? I would say, “Oh yeah momma things are just great!”
Guess what? In lying to my mother about my business turning around and doing great, I started to believe it myself. And once I started to believe it myself, guess what? It started to happen! (Laugh)
I tell women so often, your husbands, your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, your fathers, your neighbors, sometimes even your financial advisors and your lawyers are the first to want to protect you.
There is still this thing…its so interesting because Black Women don’t get a lot of help, but we get a lot of protection “allegedly”. A lot of advice on what we should be doing, which discourages us, because Black women are full of PASSION and EMOTION. So if someone tells us we’re making a mistake most of us, unless we’re just knuckleheads, we stop and analyze it.
Am I really acting crazy…I am sleeping in a sleeping bag and cooking on a hot plate like my momma said. Maybe I am not really realizing…
So you have to put on blinders you have to be myopic, you have to keep your eye on the prize you cannot sometimes share with people; you’ve got to lie.
When people say how’s it going? They may be getting ready to foreclose on your underwear, but you’ve got to say, “I can’t tell you, today was just Fabulous!” (Laugh)
Bro. Bedford: Best day I’ve had
Cathy Hughes: Best day I’ve had since I’ve been in business (Both Laugh)
You say it enough the first person that you’re going to convince is yourself, because who is hearing it more than anybody else, YOU!
Your attitude really does determine your altitude.
With women we normally can’t get a lot of financial or other help. Sometimes you don’t need the finance you just need someone to give you a helping hand. But Lord have mercy do people give us advise under the guise of I’m just trying to protect you; I’m just trying to look out for you.
Well if you’re trying to look out for me loan me that $10,000 I need to make payroll. (Laugh) I don’t need you discouraging me.
It’s funny because people want to be politically correct, they don’t say to you point blank you shouldn’t be doing this. They’ll say, “Do you think it’s really worth it? Do you think that maybe you’re sacrificing too much? What about you? What about your personal life?” I’m trying to build a business right now. My business is my personal life.
So I tell women don’t get discouraged and try to find somebody in a comparable situation if not maybe the same situation, but a comparable situation.
People are amazed, Entrepreneurs call me frequently and they’re like, “you took my call”. Yeah, because I can’t tell you how lonely it was for me when no one would take my call. It may have taken me a few weeks and sometimes if I get backlogged maybe a couple of months.
I’ve called people back and they’re like, “I forgot I called you Ms. Hughes”, I will return your call you’ve just got to be patient because sometimes its just a word of encouragement that we need to get over the hump.(Note: the website merely is a sales page for his book.)
For the full interview with Cathy Hughes and other Black Millionaire Entrepreneurs Log onto http://www.conversationswithblackmillionaires.com
Bro. Bedford is founder of http://www.howtobeablackentrepreneur.com a FREE e-zine dedicated to Black Entrepreneurship. He is also the author of My Conversations with Black Millionaire Entrepreneurs http://www.conversationswithblackmillionaires.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bedford_E.More information on Cathy Hughes:FindArticles - CATHY HUGHES: Ms. RadioEbony, May, 2000, by Lynn Norment