If you watch television long enough, you’re led to believe that Black women millionaires only exist in the public eye. The acting, modeling, singing, and “influencing” girlies certainly have their place in the business world — and far be it from us to say otherwise.
But for those of you who wish to pursue your wealth anonymously, in peace and quiet, without strangers in your business on Instagram all day, there’s more than a little bit of hope for you.
Earlier this year, CNN released a report about the wealth gap between Black women — especially — and their non-Black counterparts. “America’s Black women hold more than 90% less wealth than American White men,” reported the outlet. “Only 0.5% of Black women own their own businesses — White men are 24 times more likely to own their own business than Black women. Access to funds and investment is a major barrier to successfully opening a business — Black business owners are 20% less likely to fund their startups with bank business loans.”
That’s what makes Black women millionaires who do manage to accomplish their goals even more impressive — because they’ve overcome impossible odds to make it their way.
These five Black women millionaires have some advice for women like them who are looking to get “regular degular” wealth. And believe it or not, the advice is pretty easy to follow!
What She Does: Sevetri Wilson is an entrepreneur and the author of a best-selling book on how to build a seven-figure income.
What She Made: Per her best-selling book, she made “seven figures” at the age of 22 without any capital.
What She Advises: “If you are going to become a millionaire you have to take risks,” she said to Business Insider. “You’ve heard the saying: “Scared money doesn’t make money.” It’s true, and it’s very likely you’ll make some less-than-desirable investments along the way, but you have to keep going.”
What She Does: Mignon Francois runs her own cupcake business.
What She Made: $1 million in sales per year.
What She Advises: Don’t go into debt trying to make your dreams come true. As a Black woman, banks can sometimes discriminate against you (even though it’s illegal to do so).
“I think a lot of times in my community, we often have been used to rejection from banks,” she said, as was previously reported by AfroTech. “Having my money in a bank account at that time, if I had messed up even a dollar, it would have caused me to get a bank overdraft, which would’ve cost me $30, and then that’s just a vicious cycle of snowballing in a negative way.”
What She Does: Rachel Rodgers is an intellectual property attorney and CEO of HelloSeven, a consultancy firm that helps women make seven figures.
What She Made: Though she didn’t disclose the exact figure, Rodgers is a self-proclaimed “millionaire” and credits it to her expertise.
What She Advises: Find something you’re passionate about, and do that. And don’t underestimate the value of your community.
“Having a squad of ambitious friends who were also trying to get to seven figures. We’re on group chats; we email each other. I think [people] really underestimate how impactful it is to be surrounded by people who have similar goals,” she told Business Insider. “And the second way was building the community around my business. Once I had those people, that was enough to start to see some momentum. They were becoming customers or they were referring customers to me. Now that community has 65,000 people.”
What She Does: JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson is an entrepreneur and influencer.
What She Made: Over $800,000 in brand sponsorships, exclusive of other income.
What She Advises: Have a plan.
“When I put a real strategy [behind myself] and started providing value to my audience, that’s when things started to monopolize and I set myself up as a brand,” she told AfroTech. “I think a lot of people think if you have a lot of followers, then brands will just start reaching out. But you need to be the full package and market yourself [to make real money].”
What She Does: April Stewart is a financial coach.
What She Made: “Self-made millionaire.”
What She Advises: Before you begin investing, become completely debt-free. And when you’re finally debt-free, keep it simple.
“Building wealth doesn’t have to be complicated,” she said to Business Insider. “People jump to the “advanced” because they think it will fast-track them. You just have to do the basics, in the right way, consistently. It may take you some years; it took me 14 years. [Now] I’m teaching how to build a seven-figure net worth using your salary alone.”