Book about wealth-building strategies comes to ‘party with a purpose’
27th June 2011 · 2 Comments
By Edmund W. Lewis, Editor
The Louisiana Weekly, Editor
Author and businesswoman Deborah Hardnett knows a little something about success.
Hardnett, a Georgia State University grad, has more than 20 years of varied business experiences, from sales and marketing to event planning and real estate. She serves as founder and CEO of Deborah Hardnett Internation-al (DHI), a global brand development and event management firm. DHI serves as the parent company for brands The Professional Black Woman™, The Winner’s Summit Conference and Expo™ and Wealthy Sistas® Media Group.
For years, the Atlanta-based journalist and businesswoman has interviewed Black women who have scaled the heights of the business world on her business talk show on BlogTalkRadio.
Eventually, she decided to compile those wealth-building strategies and testimonies and share them with a larger audience. The result is Wealthy Sistas Vol. 1 — Powerful Personal Stories: Proving You Can Do It Too, a collection that contains the business expertise, wisdom and insight of some of the nation’s most successful Black businesswomen.
The extraordinary women featured in Wealthy Sistas are leadership expert and brand specialist LaFern Batie; MBA and leadership executive Gina Berry; media icon Sheila Brooks; Madam C.J. Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles; million- dollar marketer Pasha Carter; body language authority and master sales strategist Linda Clemons; scientific and Technology Solutions supplier Kathryn Freeland; strategic marketing coach Darnyelle A. Jervey; fashion jewelry mogul Dr. Traci Lynn; award-winning entrepreneur Colleen J. Payne; green expert and interior designer Robin Wilson.
“[A]ll of them speak of the importance of surrounding yourselves with like-minded individuals,” Hardnett told The Louisiana Weekly. “To monitor who you share your vision with. And to believe enough in yourself that you never accept ‘no’ for an answer. Understand that yes… it is going to be difficult. No one is going to just give you a million dollars, but you have to connect yourself with the right people, work smart, implement smart systems of operations, and have the right attitude, and NEVER NEVER EVER quit and you will accomplish your goal. It is also important o give and to provide quality service to the marketplace or to find a need and fill it.”
Hardnett says the book, published through her newly minted Wealthy Sistas Publishing House, has a twofold purpose: First to inspire and encourage the reader while providing practical business advice and second to showcase and celebrate the multifaceted dimensions and talents of successful African- American businesswomen.
“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it,” businesswoman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says in the book. “Action has magic, grace and power in it.”
Hardnett told The Louisiana Weekly that like some of those who have already read Wealthy Sistas, she too was moved by the words of the businesswomen she interviewed.
“I believe I was most impressed with how candid they were with their stories and how all of them were so willing to share and give information that would help others,” Hardnett explained. “There are so many myths about how Black women can’t work together, or how we don’t want to share and help others. These ladies definitely proved that myth to be just that — a myth.”
The Louisiana Weekly asked Hardnett how monumental a challenge it is to help communities of color to understand the difference between being rich and wealthy and how that wealth can be used to empower and uplift communities of color.
“First and foremost, we must return to instilling in the future generations a work ethic and self respect and pride in their work,” Hardnett told The Louisiana Weekly. “Although our society is microwave-driven, we must teach/reinforce that there is a process as I mentioned earlier in everything.
“Yes, we have high-tech gadgets that makes things faster, but it has nothing to do with the learning curve. It takes time to acquire the right network, knowledge and skill set to be successful. Quite frankly, most schools will not and cannot teach what one must learn through experience. We must teach more about the importance of preparing for the future and all the scenarios that come with it and we must embrace and live in each moment. Also when it comes to wealth we must educate them that it starts with the mindset first! We have to begin teaching concepts that support and encourage more independent thinking and creativity. Our school systems are designed to teach people how to regurgitate information, instead of using reasoning and logic to solve problems. Our society is driven so much by the rules… the policies…etc, when in many cases they make no sense or have nothing to do with a particular situation. I deal with it constantly in doing business with major corporations. That’s all people who have created wealth are good at: Solving problems, or rather creating solutions on a daily basis. We need to teach our young the importance of trusting their instincts and not to be swayed by what their peers or the masses are doing. Everything begins with a thought and so does wealth, which why our organization The Professional Black Woman’s™ slogan is ‘Turning Your Concepts Into Cash.’ Also, we need to convey to people of color the idea that wealth is a form of consciousness and it truly starts and is measured within not by all the trinkets that we can consume. Once the mindset is developed, you can build wealth and not income. Income is what a job produces, but wealth lives on beyond your time. It’s your legacy, what your purpose is. And also to that note, when hard times come or you lose a lot of your fortune, because you have a wealthy mindset you can always rebuild it.”
Deborah Hardnett will be among the throngs of successful Black women gathered in the Crescent City this weekend for the Essence Music Festival’s legendary “party with a purpose.” Her book will likely be available at the Essence Marketplace at the Morial Convention Center as well as the Community Book Center, 2523 Bayou Road.
The Louisiana Weekly asked Deborah Hardnett what she hopes everyone who reads Wealthy Sistas gains from it.
“I want them to learn better business practices, to be encourage to action, follow their vision and begin living on purpose and finally to increase their bottom lines,” Hardnett said.
Copies of Wealthy Sistas are available at www.wealthysistas.com and Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com.
This article originally published in the June 27, 2011 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.