Arlan Hamilton, a Black woman venture capitalist, thought leader, entrepreneur, and total badass, has a new partnership with BookClub. Keys to Success: Perseverance is a book club featuring motivational, timely, empowering books by women of color: We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers, Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace by Minda Harts, and The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change by Michelle MiJung Kim. Arlan’s book club selections are must-reads for a variety of people—from entrepreneurs and small business owners to LGBT+ founders, CEOs, Black female founders, and women in tech. (We’d also argue that anyone in a leadership position—or, heck, anyone who’s an employee, community member, or citizen of the world—should check out Arlan’s interviews.)
While Arlan Hamilton’s book club can help educate readers (watchers and listeners, too) about the importance of inclusivity, the reality of racialized trauma, and the complexity of pursuing equity and justice in ways that make a lasting impact, it’s also meant to be empowering. Specifically for women, BIPOC, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The name “Perseverance” speaks to the need for persistence, dedication, and resolve in the face of adversity. Both personally and professionally, perseverance can become our greatest advantage.
Join Arlan Hamilton in her new book club venture as she speaks with Rachel Rodgers (our first author, available now!), Minda Harts, and Michelle MiJung Kim about achieving success in a changing—and often challenging—world. These authors, entrepreneurs, and big-picture thought leaders have all achieved extraordinary success despite countless roadblocks, including systems designed to keep them from achieving their dreams.
Who Is Arlan Hamilton?
You might recognize Arlan Hamilton from our Entrepreneurship book club with Barbara Corcoran. Described by Fast Company as the woman who “muscled her way” into the Silicon Valley boys’ club, she’s the author of our BookClub selection It’s About Damn Time, which shares the lessons she learned building a multimillion-dollar investment fund from the ground up—while homeless.
Arlan Hamilton is also the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital fund dedicated to investing in companies led by underrepresented founders. Her fund works to minimize funding disparities in tech by funding high potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ+.
Since its inception in 2015, Backstage Capital has raised more than $20 million and invested in nearly 200 startup companies led by underestimated founders. (Recently, Arlan invested in the Black female founders of AMP Beauty in Los Angeles, who created a marketplace focused on clean beauty made by and for Black women.)
In 2018, Arlan became the first non-celebrity Black woman to grace the cover of Fast Company magazine (following Oprah, Beyonce, and Serena Williams). In addition to Backstage Capital, she also founded Backstage Studio and launched Backstage Crowd, a venture designed to help people invest in underestimated founders. Clearly, venture capital queen Arlan Hamilton is committed to the cause, and we’re honored to have her back on BookClub for a new series!
Arlan Hamilton + Book Club Picks
Arlan chose authors who have inspired her on her own journey to success. We hope they’ll inspire you, too, whether you’re an entrepreneur or founder starting a new venture (and trying to raise capital), a marginalized person navigating painful microaggressions at work, or someone searching for ways to enact real change where it’s needed most.
If you’re looking to make more money, honey, Arlan’s first book is a must-read—especially if you don’t think you have what it takes. Meet author Rachel Rodgers, whose exclusive interview launched on bookclub.com February 8th.
We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
Did you know that only ten percent of the world’s millionaires are women? And only two percent of women-funded businesses ever reach $1 million in annual revenue. With equality at stake, women need a plan.
“If we as women are truly passionate about improving our lives, making the world a better place for our children, and getting equity for all marginalized people, then we need to step up and make bank.” -Rachel Rodgers
In this book, self-made millionaire, intellectual property attorney, and business coach Rachel Rodgers shares strategies for achieving your own success and living your dream life. She wrote We Should All Be Millionaires for every woman, woman of color, and/or person from a marginalized group who wants to rake in the dough, but just can’t seem to get there. It’ll change the way you think about money—and your ability to earn it.
If you haven’t yet, you should check out Hello Seven, Rachel Rodgers’ women-run company dedicated to teaching women how to build wealth. There’s even We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club. Created for members of systemically marginalized groups seeking more opportunities (and more money!), this club empowers people to create sustainable wealth by building businesses that last—and achieve millionaire status in three years or less. (There’s currently a waitlist—yes, we’re on it—but doors are opening soon!)
Speak Up, Step Up, Level Up
Rachel Rodgers believes that everyone has the potential to make millions. Of course, there are many who are prevented by systemic systems—that’s when it becomes our job to lift them up.
Suffering in silence, Rachel says, does not have to be your future as a woman of color in business. After witnessing countless examples of performative allyship from White business leaders—specifically during the Black Lives Matter movement in May 2020—she launched the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge to help small business owners commit to running anti-racist organizations. And, once her own business was hit hard by the pandemic, she and her team lowered their membership fees to provide more flexibility—and serve the people they wanted to serve.
It worked. Hello Seven started with around 60 clients in early 2020 and ended the year with 1,800. Rachel also reached a personal milestone in June, bringing in $1 million in revenue in a single month.
Rachel’s Tips for Success
As someone who grew up in a low-income household with unstable parents, Rachel Rodgers wasn’t “set up” for success. But that was just part of her story, and she didn’t let it define her future. She was able to go from living on government assistance (and drowning in debt) to building an eight-figure business—and becoming a millionaire.
“You, today, have all the skills, talents, and intelligence you need to generate an income significantly higher than the one you have right now.” –Rachel Rodgers
If you’re a marginalized person, Rachel says, you have a unique opportunity to reach an underserved segment of the population (Arlan Hamilton is a great example). And, if you’re able to surround yourself with the right people and reframe your thinking, you can achieve financial goals that may, at first, seem impossible.
Here are some of our favorite key takeaways from Rachel’s work.
Surround yourself with the right people.
People who believe in what you’re doing and are working towards their own goals. People who uplift and inspire you. Start a group chat, listen to a podcast, find your community.
“Ninety-five percent of your success or failure can be predicted based on the kind of people you regularly hang out with. Build your squad and next-level your success.” -Rachel Rodgers
Know your worth. And yourself.
Forget the degrees you’ve earned, or what your last boss said about you. Remember your natural talents. When you were a kid, what were you naturally good at? What unique perspective do you bring to the world? How can your struggles help you relate more to others?
Remember that you are capable of building wealth. Not only that, but you deserve it. Reframe any limiting thoughts or beliefs that kept you stagnant. Then, ask for more. Charge premium—as long as you can back it up with results.
“When you charge more, you’ll attract people who are delightful to serve." -Rachel Rodgers
Literally. Take walks, dance, practice yoga. If you’re not able to move physically, make sure you’re doing something that brings you joy. That can be as simple as watching your favorite show, reading a good book (we have some recommendations), or singing to your favorite music.
Your time, space, and energy need to be protected. Forget answering emails on weekends. Focus on what matters to you, even if that means putting something else on hold. (Or silencing your phone.)
“All you need is an enforced boundary to protect your heart, your time, your joy, your labor, your sanity and your money. You know why? Because it’s not anyone else’s job to protect you.” –Rachel Rodgers
Pay attention to your money.
First, find one way to make money, every day. Reach out to a potential client, raise your prices, whatever it takes. Then, keep track of what’s coming in and going out. Check bank statements and your credit score. The more attention you give your money, Rachel says, the more money you’ll have.
Don’t hesitate to delegate.
Ask friends, family members, or other experts to help clear things off your plate, big and small. Hire people who can execute things that aren’t your strong suit—so you can focus on what is.
“You are generous enough. Stop giving away your time, effort and labor and start building real wealth.” –Rachel Rodgers
Upcoming Arlan Hamilton + BookClub Picks
Arlan’s final two book club picks are launching in the next couple months! We’re so excited to dive in and learn more from these incredible women: Minda Harts and Michelle MiJung Kim.
Right Within by Minda Harts / Coming Late February 2022
Warm and compelling, this book offers strategies for women of color to heal from racial trauma at work and strengthen their resolve across corporate America. Award-winning author Minda Harts—CEO of The Memo LLC and author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table—examines how to deal with microaggressions in the workplace, stay determined, and ultimately thrive.
Right Within helps women of color speak up in racialized moments with managers and clients, work through painful triggers, and reframe past career disappointments as new opportunities. People in leadership positions: Check out Minda Hart’s tips on how companies can even the playing field for Black women.
The Wake Up by Michelle MiJung Kim / Coming Early March 2022
How can we create change in a world filled with social injustice—and what Michelle MiJung Kim calls “performative allyship”? Michelle dives into the nuanced work of pursuing equity and justice with a balance of compassion and criticality.
Her book is packed with actionable strategies and timeless frameworks that will guide us to transform ourselves—so we can change the world. It’s the perfect read for anyone interested in (thoughtfully and powerfully) moving beyond performative activism towards justice, freedom, and healing.
Join the Conversation
With so many amazing women, rich conversations, powerful themes, and inspiring ideas, there’s a lot to talk about! We hope you’ll join us for the first installment of Keys to Success: Perseverance with Arlan Hamilton and Rachel Rodgers. Check out our exclusive author interview, plus join reader discussions, virtual author events, and more.
Stay tuned for our next two books and, in the meantime, let us know what you think of We Should All Be Millionaires @bookclubdotcom on Twitter and Instagram. Happy reading!