Dr. Venus Opal Reese (photo provided)

Dr. Venus Opal Reese is The Black Women Millionaire Mentor™ and she’s on a mission to empower women to monetize their mess. By the time she was 16, Dr. Venus was living on the mean streets of Baltimore, eating out of trashcans.

Fourteen years later, she graduated with a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Dr. Venus has turned her survival into a system that fast-tracked her to $2.3M in less than three years. Her clients have generated over $7M in revenue using her proven programs, systems and strategies. Her business, Defy Impossible, grossed $ 4M in five years after launching.

Now, the self-made millionaire teaches Black women professionals and entrepreneurs how to defy the impossible in their own lives and become seven-figure earners.

Her new book, The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act That DEFIES Impossible!, was rejected by 30 publishing houses who insisted that there isn’t a market for Black women who want to be millionaires. Fueled by her passion to help others obtain financial freedom, she decided to self-publish.

Part memoir, self-help and business development, this book exposes the direct link slavery has to Black women’s sense of self worth and money. It serves as a street-smart salve for Black women to heal their brokenness so they don’t have to spend their lives broke—regardless of income level. Edgy, instructional and inspirational, this book will teach you how to believe in yourself and what’s truly possible for your life.

Why did you write this book?
When I was on my Black Women Millionaires Blueprint tour, sisters would break out in tears when they heard my rates. Not everyone needs to work with me directly. I wrote this book so every sister who is committed to empowering herself through her money can do so.

What’s the story behind the title, The Black Woman Millionaire: A Revolutionary Act That DEFIES Impossible!?
Becoming a Black woman millionaire is not about the money. Sure, the money comes when you learn how to do sales, marketing, service delivery, etc. But because Black women’s bodies, historically, have been sold, we don’t give ourselves the internal permission to prosper. The money is the easy part. When you take on healing the historical hurts you have inherited as a Black woman, you move from being the capital to providing it. That’s what makes it such a revolutionary act. You are spitting in history’s face—the same history that turned you into a workhorse, a scapegoat, a cash cow or beast of burden.

What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?
Sis, you are bigger than your bruises. Money is not about working hard. Money is an energetic exchange. Money is a heart condition. If you want to attract or manifest millions, you have to heal.

Yes, there is action on your part, but not slavin’, self-sacrifice, over-giving or undercharging. Money is easy. I know you don’t know that. We were taught to “earn” it, “prove” it in order to “make it.” I hear you. But none of that creates a sufficient condition and an emotional atmosphere for millions. It keeps you in survival mode—regardless of your tax bracket.

Healing is the key.

I mean real healing at the level of our cultural consciousness. And when you do, sis, when you take on healing the way you will fight for your kids, your behaviors change and you create new results. I want you to know you can do this. You can be a Black. Woman. Millionaire.

Tell us about the Black Woman Millionaire 10 City Tour.
Think of the book as theory and the tour as practice. During the tour, I will deep dive into some key principles from the book and I will also reveal the exact blueprint I created to break my first million in three years. We will network, connect deeply and do a healing session so each woman leaves knowing she is loved. Our first stop on February 17, 2018 is Atlanta at The W- Midtown. To learn more, please visit www.theblackwomanmillionaire.com/tour

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I have spiritual and practical measures. I pray a lot. I talk to God like a brother who just got out of jail. (I know. #ghetto I get it.) I come from the streets, so I needed a God I could relate to and not worry about being judged. We have conversations. Then, I get quiet and listen for the whispers. The whispers order my steps. That’s how I map out my goals.

As an entrepreneur, I have these three ways I measure my success:
Impact—are the people in my life blooming? Are they better off for having been loved by me? Did I leave things better than I found them?
Income—am I providing value to a community, group, or market that no one but me can provide or deliver uniquely?
Influence—are others inspired to share my word or work as well as speak powerfully about me in my absence?

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
1. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach—this was the first book my 9th grade math teacher who saved my life gave me. It taught me that I was bigger than my circumstances.

2. How to Do Things with Words by John Austin—it taught me how to use language to create instead of describe.

3. Urban Bush Women performance at the Wexner Museum in 1996 while I was doing my first master’s degree. I had never seen such beautiful Black women dancing. Their movement vocabulary was rooted in African and popular dance. I could do the moves and the sisters embraced me. They inspired me to want to write about Black women who create their own work as my MFA thesis. But, there weren’t any books to help me write such a book. I sat in a theory class and started to cry. I realized I could tell you a lot of things about American history, White history, and accomplishments. I couldn’t tell you anything about Black women or Black history and our accomplishments—beyond the obvious. I applied to Stanford’s Ph.D. program. I became a performative scholar and an identity theorist. Seeing and connecting with Urban Bush Women changed the direction of my life.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
I accept me. I approve of me. I am a good person. All is well. Everything is working in my favor, no matter how it looks. I’m God’s favorite.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the world, it would be for people to forgive themselves so they could stop punishing themselves. If you punish you, you will punish others. Forgiveness is a mercy, a grace that you grant yourself. Everyone needs grace, but it starts from within. Forgiveness is the access to healing. When you forgive, you can heal. Healing is the key to your emotional and economic freedoms. When you heal yourself, you heal the world.

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.