Stuck inside? Be sure to check out Self Made, a 4 part movie on Netflix about the first female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker:
While I knew that Madam C.J. Walker built her haircare empire and made millions, I didn’t know that she had a consistent adversary, Addie Munroe, who tried to tear her down at every step, nor that her husband cheated on her with one of her top salesgirls, nor that her daughter (played in the movie by Tiffany Haddish) was gay. All the tidbits you wouldn’t find in a Wikipedia write up were in this movie!
Entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, and black female entrepreneurs in particular will find so much to relate to in her story. In the end, all we see are Madam Walker’s accolades, with no idea of all the setbacks she experienced. What was clear from the movie was that Walker was strong minded, tenacious, and faithful.
Another great lesson from this movie is the importance of marketing. Even though we found out in the end that Walker stole her initial hair growth recipe from Addie Munroe, Madam Walker was one of the best marketers of her day. She was able to take the same product created by one of her rivals, but build it up and promote it to the point where it not only created her a fortune, but she also took credit for it.
In addition, Madam Walker knew the importance of marketing and story telling for posterity. While doing my own research, I discovered that Walker’s adversary, Addie Munroe (real name Annie Malone) was just as successful as Walker, making millions with her original ‘hair grower’ products. But while Walker stressed to her offspring to keep her name and story alive via books and stories, Malone died with no offspring to carry on her legacy. The movie revealed that Walker’s biological daughter was gay and uninterested in having children, so Walker adopted a young lady, who later went on to give birth to A’lelia Bundles, who carries the name of Walker’s daughter and also wrote the book the movie is based on.
Entrepreneurs, take note! Marketing is key to keeping your legacy alive for generations to come. SEO, PPC, press release distribution, social media marketing are examples of the most popular marketing strategies. For example, you can hire the best press release service to distribute your content to many publications and let people all over the world know your brands.
Shop Madam C.J. Walker’s products below:
If you saw it, what did you think?