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The First Black Woman to Own and Run a Billion-Dollar Company Says That Trusting Yourself Is Key to Success

Black Women in Business

The First Black Woman to Own and Run a Billion-Dollar Company Says That Trusting Yourself Is Key to Success

By Nina Zipkin ENTREPRENEUR STAFF via https://www.entrepreneur.com

The ActOne Group founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd shares the mindset that helped her build an international business over the course of a four-decade career.

Janice Bryant Howroyd didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, but a taste of being in charge changed everything. She’s since made history, becoming the first African American woman to run a company that makes more than $1 billion a year, which has garnered her a net worth of $420 million.

In 1976, with $900 to her name, she headed to Los Angeles to see her big sister and got a temp job working as a secretary for her brother-in-law at Billboard, while she decided what she wanted to do full time. But when a conference sent her brother-in-law to Europe, Howroyd got to run things while he was gone.

“When he returned he did not recognize his office. But he did recognize that it was functioning better. He was the one who recommended that I consider hanging my own shingle,” the Tarboro, N.C., native recalls to Entrepreneur. “I did not come West to find my pot of gold. … I didn’t find the job I was looking for, so I created my job. It just so …

Read More: The First Black Woman to Own and Run a Billion-Dollar Company Says That Trusting Yourself Is Key to Success

Chrysalis

I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

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