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In a world where many of the billionaires are still men, and definitely not women of color, Janice Bryan Howroyd defies the odds. Howroyd started from very humble beginnings as one of 11 children growing up in North Carolina during segregation.

She left her hometown in 1976 with $900 in her pocket and made magic. Today, she is the first African-American woman to own a billion-dollar business. Howroyd is the founder of Act 1 group, a staffing firm that does business in 75 cities around the world. She shared some of her principles of success with the TODAY Show, one of them being, “always imagine success.”

She also talked about how there’s still a need for more female business leaders, and shared her philosophy on hearing the word “no.” The gist of that is that there will be a lot of no’s, but you have to figure out how to turn that no into a yes.

Howroyd also dropped a gem on the importance of authenticity saying,”Never compromise who you are personally for who you wish to be professionally.”

In addition, she said to never stop learning and delivered more good one-liners that are great inspiration for women (and girls too) who are looking to become leaders. The coolest part of it all was how down-to-Earth she was and the admission that she likes watching “trashy TV.” Hey, we all have our vices, right? She didn’t say what she watches, but for some reason I’m getting Love and Hip-Hop and/or Housewives vibe.

Anyway, watch the entire video, and get your life.

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