Mother’s Day Salute
May 14, 2006 Leave a comment
Mother’s Day Salute to Entrepreneurial History
On this Mother’s Day I would like to salute a mother/entrepreneur from history. Madam C.J. Walker, a St. Louis washerwoman turned entrepreneur, patented a highly successful African-American hair care product in 1905. She died in 1919 as a millionaire and philanthropist.
According to her great-great-granddaughter and biographer, A’Lelia Bundles, by the time she died at her estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, she had helped create the role of the 20th Century, self-made American businesswoman; established herself as a pioneer of the modern black hair-care and cosmetics industry; and set standards in the African-American community for corporate and community giving.
Her words of wisdom from almost a century ago still ring true today for entrepreneurs. The formula for success that she prescribed for aspiring entrepreneurs included tenacity and perseverance, faith in herself and in God, quality products and honest business dealings. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success,” Walker once commented. “And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”
You can read an excerpt from Bundles’s account of Walker’s exemplary life and business career at http://www.madamcjwalker.com/excerpt.html.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers and my mom too! Thanks for all that you have done to position your children to be successful! We wouldn’t have made it this far without you.