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Acting Up
Growing up in the segregated South in a family of eleven children and nurtured by a loving mother and father, Janice Bryant Howroyd faced racism and sexism in addition to the challenges faced by every new business owner. None of that stopped her from becoming the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business
“My mother was my first role model for who I wished to become in life, and Aunt Sarah was my earliest memory of seeing a self-appointed, empowered woman,” Howroyd (The Art of Work) states in this inspirational memoir . Focusing on entrepreneurship, Howroyd honors the “dynamic examples” shown to her by family members who ran successful businesses in the segregated South, while highlighting her personal journey of growing her company, ActOne Group, from a one-room office in Beverly Hills to a multi-billion dollar multinational conglomerate. Written for aspiring business owners and “entrepreneurs of every color”, Howroyd shares core principles and values referred to as “ingredients of success” and how these ingredients combined with taking calculated risks and spontaneity are essential to achieving goals.

Part memoir, part business success guide, Acting Up shares real-world business lessons alongside candid, personal experiences with racism, sexism, insecurities and imposter syndrome. As the title suggests, readers are encouraged to be more aggressive and dynamic with risk taking with the goal of causing disruption to a much larger market—a process Howroyd calls “acting up.” The advice presented is straightforward and unflinching. She warns: “Business is war. There are wolves on Wall Street.” Readers are then provided with the tools needed to become “empowered warriors,” or entrepreneurs who are prepared and READY—resourced, educated, authoritative, and ready to deliver.

From the importance of maintaining a reputable online presence to cybersecurity and self-discipline, every aspect of running a successful business or brand is touched upon. Readers are sure to find inspiration as Howroyd shares the experiences that shaped her life and success. Encouraging readers to “live what you believe,” she states, “Whatever you believe, live it fearless and fundamentally every day.” Awe inspiring and dripping with Southern charm and wit, this memoir sheds unwavering insight into the entrepreneurial journey.

Takeaway: An inspiring memoir that provides the ingredients to business success.

Great for fans of: Jo Malone’s My Story, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive.

Production grades
Cover: A+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A