Success Secrets from Billionaire Entrepreneur Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson is best known for his being the founder of Black Entertainment Television. But did you know he was also the first black owner of an NBA franchise, one of the largest operators of Marriot Hotels in the US as well as the Founder and Chairman of RLJ Co?

The multifaceted Billionare and entrepreneur sat down with Caroline Clarke to discuss how he continues to reinvent himself, what it takes to be successful in today’s business world, and how he became a master dealmaker.

Johnson spoke at length of the need to close the black job gap. He mentioned how at this company RLJ he has the rule that 2 minorities must be interviewed for a manager’s position before it can be filed. Johnson said rules that include Blacks are the only way to level the playing field and make sure African-americans are included at the corporate table.

“You can’t have success without taking a risk. You must operate without net” Johnson told the packed room full of conference attendees who had gathered to hear him speak. In order to be successful, we must “articulate vision, motivate people, and find talent” he added. Johnson also audience members that “as an Entrepreneur, don’t diversify too much in the beginning to the point where you can’t focus on your core assets” when asked what vital lessons he had learned through his illustrious career.

The session ended with Johnson fielding questions from the audience. Johnson ended the one-on-one discussion by telling entrepreneurs “most ppl are more afraid of success than they are of failure. Success comes with expectations & responsibility for others.”


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