Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lessons from Essence Magazine

Essence has been my favorite magazine for as long as I can remember. I love the its content and I admire how its founders were prudent in more ways than one: They knew black women needed an outlet where they could see their beauty and strength reflected, they knew black women had untapped spending potential and they knew that once they got the magazine up and running, the money they needed would come pouring in.

Essence co-founder and author of autobiography “The Man from Essence” Edward Lewis said he and the other three black men who started Essence over 46 years ago didn’t let financial challenges prevent from pursuing their dreams.

In doing so, Lewis says Essence magazine received monetary investments from baseball great Jackie Robinson and even Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.

In fact, Lewis said he doubts the magazine would have been as successful as it is now if they had all the money they thought they needed back in 1969.

“You can do more with less”

This statement really struck me because many times I’ve thought to delay a project or ignored the impulsive to start something new because I thought I didn’t have the resources.

Listening to Lewis talk about Essence’s humble beginnings at the Enoch Pratt Free Library System’s Booklovers’ Breakfast, I realized sometimes resources are a distraction that keeps me from achieving anything.

So the lesson I want to share with is if you have a calling to accomplish something, don’t waste time waiting for the right capital or connections or whatever. Just move forward with your vision. You may find that as you push forward, the things you need come to you.

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