Pearls of Wisdom From Annie Malone’s Journey

After our 14-day journey to Embrace Change, your fellow Charisse Says members expressed their voice by voting for their most meaningful days. And, guess what? There was a tie for first place:

Day 7 (Take a Risk) - Do your research, calculate the pros and cons, and then TAKE A RISK that you believe will benefit your wealth goals

Day 4 (Struggle a Bit) - As we envision our own financial and economic freedom, we must remind ourselves that it will take work.

The runner-up was:

Day 13 (Get a Tailwind) - Tailwinds allow the struggles to become a little easier to manage, and they also keep you from focusing on the past. Rather, the tailwinds propel you forward.


I hope that in the last week and a half, you have been reflecting on how you will embrace change this year. We will be coming back to these daily themes over the course of 2019, so buckle up! February is almost half-way over, and thus time is not waiting for you. If you have not had time to reflect, make sure you can do so with the upcoming long weekend in President’s Day.  

As we celebrate Black History month, I want you to know the name Annie Malone. You might be saying – who is she?

Well, before there was Madame C.J. Walker, there was Annie Malone, the original beauty pioneer for the grooming needs of black women who mentored Madame C.J. Walker. In short, Madame C.J. Walker is often credited as America’s first black millionaire. But history is often told through the eyes of those who rise to fame and stature. Annie was an entrepreneur, businesswoman, and philanthropist who actually amassed a million-dollar fortune first.

She built her hair grooming empire in Chicago and expanded it across the country. Annie definitely ‘took risks’ by starting a school to train aspiring beauticians and ‘struggled a bit’ as Madame C.J. Walker copied many of her techniques and eventually grew in popularity and surpassed her in fortune. Sadly, Annie’s legacy was marred by her divorce, lawsuits, and fierce competition. You can read more about Annie in this Chicago Crusader article.

I believe that Annie’s journey provides some insights for us in our daily lives:

·       Your wealth journey may inspire others to take action – Annie’s commitment to something greater than herself had a lasting effect on a generation of aspiring beauticians and businesswomen. Who can you inspire to take action today?

·       Be careful who you share your dreams with – Annie shared a lot with Madame C.J. Walker in confidence. Not everyone is vested in your dreams the way that you will be, and thus be mindful of who is privileged enough to find their way into your inner circle.

·       Protect your legacy – While Annie’s contributions were enormous, she eventually lost her fortune. If you want your wealth to live beyond you, you must protect it so that it can actually transfer to posterity.


Have a wonderful week!