Sara Breedlove also known as Madam C.J. Walker is a prominent figure in women’s history. Why? She became a millionaire in the 1900’s when blacks and females had very few opportunities. As a result, she is a role model for businesswomen hoping to create a legacy of success. Here is how you can follow in her footsteps. Do:
1- Change your environment.
Madam C.J. Walker’s early life was marked by trauma. She was born into poverty, lost her parents by age 7 and married young to escape the household of her abusive brother-in-law. Tragedy continued to knock at her door with the death of first husband Moses McWilliams. Yet, all of these events led to her moving to St. Louis in attempt to start over. She believed that a change in her environment would elicit a better life. She was right.
2- Educate your self.
After moving to St. Louis, she became a member of St. Paul AME Church and the National Association of Colored Women. The ladies in this group aided in her quest to become more educated. Walker improved her reading and writing skills as well as view of life; this process gave her the knowledge and confidence to start a business.
3- Get a supportive partner.
Two heads are better than one. This statement proved to be correct for Madam C.J. Walker. After marrying and divorcing again, she fell in love with Charles Joseph Walker. With his support and name, she was able to develop a hair scalp conditioner and brand. The stability she had at home further fueled her tenacity and ability to sell goods.
4- Market your product.
Madam C.J. Walker understood that her hair product wouldn’t sell if no one knew about it. As a result, she traveled for a year and half in heavily populated black areas selling door-to-door, church-to-church, and lodge-to-lodge. This marketing strategy made her a household name and millionaire.
5- Be honest and help others.
Although she was rich and famous, Madam C.J. Walker remained true to her spiritual beliefs. She turned her faith, quality products and honest practices into an effective business model. In addition, through her beauty college and political contributions, she opened doors for women and blacks.
Feeling inspired? Use the life of Madam C.J. Walker as a way to bolster your business. Fortunately, you were born during a period in which women have more opportunities than ever. With the business model Madam C.J. Walker laid out, you can do great things.
Bio.com – Madam C.J. Walker
Yahoo Voices – Madam C.J. Walker: Portrait of a Self-Made Millionaire