Queen Boss: Madam C.J. Walker

Many self-made bosses jumped for joy when they heard about Netflix coming out with a new series, centering around the life of Madam C.J. Walker. It was inspired by her great-great grand-daughter A’Lelia Bundles’ biographical book “On Her Own Ground”. As Black History Month comes to an end, let’s all learn more about the first black female millionaire in America.

Humble Beginnings

Madame C.J Walker’s real name is Sarah Breedlove. She was born on December 23, 1867, on a cotton plantation in Louisiana. Her parents were slaves. By the time they had her they were free, which made her the first in her family to be a free-born child. By age 7 she was an orphan and by age 14 she got married. One of the reasons she married so young was because she was trying to escape an abusive household. By age 20 she was a widow and had a 2-year-old daughter.

Ambitious Spirit

Sarah knew she did not want to live a life of financial distress. Plus she had a baby looking up to her. So by 22, she moved to St. Louis Missouri. There she became a part of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she met many business-minded black men and women. This inspired her. She was a washerman only making a measly $1.50 a day, but she had dreams of building an empire.

By the early 1890s, Sarah had financial troubles and a scalp disorder. Her hair was falling out and she needed a solution. She became her own hero and created hair care treatments with home remedies. She used Annie Turbo’s Malone “The Great Wonderful Hair Grower”. Annie was a successful black hair care entrepreneur. She recognized her ambitious spirit and hired her as a sales agent.

From Rags To Riches

Sarah moved to Denver Colorado in 1905. There she fell in love with Charles Joseph Walker, an advertising agent, and got married again. With that marriage she reinvented herself, learning about marketing from her husband. She changed her name to Madam C.J Walker and created her own hair care line. Her husband was a great supporter. He was the driving force behind her getting promoted all across the country. Before she knew it, she went from making $1.50 a day to gaining thousands of customers and employing 3,000 workers. Indianapolis became the state where she relocated, and from there she built a factory for her products. She created countless job opportunities for women of color. She educated, trained, and encouraged many through her various clubs/conventions. With 40,000 workers in the United States, Central America, and the Carribean, she truly transformed herself into a self-made boss. Her net worth was the equivalent of several million dollars by her late 40s.

As she got older, she developed high blood pressure, which caused the health of her kidneys to deteriorate. But that did not stop her from being a kind, giving person. In her will, she asked that one-third of her money be given to her daughter. The remaining two-thirds was to be given to charity.

To this day there are hair products bearing her name. Madame C.J Walker Beauty Culture is available at Sephora retailers. The United States Postal Service issued a stamp in the remembrance of her. She proves that if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, your past does not determine your future.

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Sources:

Featured Image Credit: fromgirltogirl.com

https://www.biography.com/inventor/madam-cj-walker

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/madam-cj-walker

https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/madame-c-j-walker

The Good And The Bad: Money Habits Of Millennials

Many people perceive Millennials to be lazy, entitled, and social media savvy. But there is more to us than the stereotypes that the media portrays us to be. Although many might view as spoiled, materialistic, and self-centered, there do exist Gen M’s that are giving, minimalistic, and unselfish.

We live during times where the money that we earn is a huge factor. It determines what neighborhood we live in, the type of shoes we wear, what school we go to, and what age we retire at. Because Millennials have a unique upbringing, many are wise when it comes to their spending habits. We try to avoid the mistakes that previous generations have made. But some, unfortunately, make unwise choices when it comes to money management.

As financial reality hits my generation some wake up and contemplate more before making a purchase. Here a 6 bad/good money habits that Millennials make.

Lack Of Understanding When It Comes To The Basics Of Money

Middle school, high school, and even college do not give enough financial education when it comes to how to manage your personal finances. “It starts with a lack of education in middle school, high school and even in college,” says Greg Oray, president and investment advisor representative at Oray King Wealth Advisors in Troy, Michigan.

A global study that was created in 2017 found that 1 out of 5 teens lacked the knowledge of basic financial literacy skills. In fact, China, Belgium, and Canada were ahead of the U.S.

I know personally, I did not own a bank account until I graduated from high school. And even then, I did not know how an ATM machine actually worked. I had to ask an older friend about why credit cards and a savings account would be beneficial to me. Growing up I never received an allowance so my saving skills are very poor. Online resources like the app Mint and the government’s MyMoney.gov website can help you make shrewd decisions with your money.

Fabricating On Taxes

Though not always intentionally, some Millennials are not honest on their taxes. It is becoming more common to be a remote worker. Many young ones are turning to apps to make extra money. Some are starting their own side hustles to showcase their creativity and talent. “No one is particularly well-educated about taxes,” says William Perez, a senior tax accountant with Visor, an online tax-filing and year-round advisory service.

When you are young, you might feel invincible. You lack experience when it comes down to doing your taxes. So you might feel as though omitting some information won’t hurt. But it is imperative that you tell your tax preparer about every side-hustle that you have. “No one wants to pay more tax than they need to,” Perez says, “but no one wants to get a letter from the IRS saying they forgot to report something.”

Failing To Stick To A Budget

When you grow up in an extremely impoverished environment, you tend to pick up bad habits when it comes to spending. You are thrown into a rat race at a young age, thinking that you will evolve quickly from living paycheck to paycheck. But that is not always the case. The great poet Langston Hughes related to many when he wrote about “dreams deferred.” So many financial goals that Millennials arrange have been delayed or missed. We might reach accomplishments later in life compared to Baby Boomers.

“It feels restrictive to use a budget,” Swartz says. Swartz is a portfolio manager with BKD wealth advisors in Spring, Missouri. “The way I think about a budget is tracking where the money is going so I can make better decisions,” he says. When you keep good records of where you spend your money, you will use more meditation when trying to save.

More Investing Than Other Generations

When the Recession hit, many in their early twenties lost their jobs. It became more important to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate properties. No one wants to be living in their parents’ basement forever. We all want a sense of independence. We all want to have financial stability. So many youths started to invest so that their money was not going into one basket. Even 9/11 caused a lot of economic fallout. With mobile and online technology having so many platforms, many are placing their money into investment apps. For example, the Robinhood app has gained a lot of popularity. I have seen young adults on Youtube claim that their savings have doubled after using the Robinhood app.

More Millennials Are Saving For Retirement

The minimalist movement is popular and so many are opting to live off the grid. I personally aspire to retire by age 40. We have seen our parents’ retirement accounts look so small even after working a 9-5 job for 60+ years. The earlier you start your retirement funds, the better. A recent study from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 70% of Millennials have started saving at the ripe age of 22 and roughly the same percentage of Millennials have opted-in to their 401(k) plans at work. (Source: https://investorjunkie.com/36926/millennials-money-management/).

Another way of retiring early is by having multiple streams of residual income. Through technology writers and musicians have been able to make money in their sleep. I plan to retire early through blogging, selling books and through creating music.

Choosing Alternative Workplaces

Once again technology has created a rocket that the younger generation can soar off of. No longer do you hear of people not knowing how much the next company makes. A quick search through Google will educate you on all you need to know about your wages, companies that can pay you better, and even the great alternative of freelancing. Our youth have created avenues in which they can double their income through the Internet, social media, and digital marketing. How can you go wrong when your workplace is a local bookstore? While sipping on an iced latte you converse with your clients’ via Skype. It does not get much sweeter than that.

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