Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review - “Black Business Secrets 500 Tips, Strategies, and Resources for the African American Entrepreneur” by Dante Lee

African Americans are more likely to fail in business than other minority groups.  Statistics may deter some African Americans from starting their own business.  However, millions of black businesses are thriving.  What makes the difference between success and failure?  As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.”  Dante Lee’s new book, Black Business Secrets, is designed to help entrepreneurs gain the knowledge needed to be successful.

Dante Lee is the president and CEO of Diversity City Media, an African American marketing and public relations firm.  This company is known for its online businesses – and  It helps clients to market to the African American community.  Lee was named by Ebony magazine as one of the “Top 30 Young Leaders for 2006” and profiled as a successful business owner in 2010.  Because of his experience and accomplishments, Lee is in a position to mentor entrepreneurs.  “My hope is that by learning from my in-the-trenches experiences your business will reward you with the success and satisfaction that I have been allowed to claim,” Lee says.

Black Business Secrets contains a wealth of information on a variety of topics.  Lee starts with a very candid discussion about what it means to be a black entrepreneur and why it’s a good idea to start your own business.  Individuals must have a realistic viewpoint of entrepreneurship.  A successful entrepreneur needs a certain mind-set – positive, courageous, hardworking and open-minded.  Readers are helped to develop ideas for business and determine if their idea is a good one.  Lee gives advice on how to start your business, where to look for financing, marketing, advertising and public relations.

One of the many highlights of this book is the experiences of “superstar entrepreneurs.”  Lee interviews eight very successful business owners.  Among them are Bob Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos Cookies.  Each of these experienced entrepreneurs shares their advice and secrets to success.

Black Business Secrets is a wonderful reference tool for everyone in business.  Lists of tips and secrets are easily found at the end of several chapters.  This book was very easy-to-read and even humorous at times.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have personally benefited from implementing strategies from Dante Lee, the “Black Business Coach.” I echo Lee’s encouragement to readers - “Grab a cup of coffee or tea, kick off your shoes, take out a highlighter and let this book give you the tools to ensure that your business will shine throughout the 21st century.” 

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