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Book review: Melody Spann Cooper’s ‘The Girlfriend’s Guide to Closing the Deal’

Christina Steed (left) and Melody Spann Cooper, author of The Girlfriend’s Guide to Closing the Deal. (Photo provided)

As we prepare our minds and hearts to take on 2020 with aspirations of abundance and prosperity, be sure you’re equipped with the right sources of information. One of those key resources is the latest book from Melody Spann Cooper called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Closing the Deal.

Cooper is chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, a best-in-class African American-owned radio station that dominates Chicago’s airwaves as the voice of the community with its signature station WVON 1390, offering dynamic talk radio and community engagement. In her new business book, Cooper shares the lessons she has learned as one of the few female broadcast owners after purchasing the company’s controlling interest in 1999.

The way Cooper shares her business gems in this book is like having a conversation with your super talented and experienced mentor who also happens to be your down-to-earth girlfriend who you also kick it with on the weekend.

She shares the peaks and the valleys of her professional journey in assuming her position as CEO of a top Black media company from her father at the age of 30 and navigating the tumult, including getting the respect from broadcast peers at other stations and the team members at her station, and, of course, learning to close those all-important business deals to keep her family’s media legacy moving forward.

Cooper gives the reader a behind-the-scenes look into how she built her business and leveraged relationships developed in the hardscrabble business landscape that is Chicago. Each chapter begins with a grounding inspirational quote and the theme for discussion, and then wraps up with lessons learned from the wisdom she has just imparted. She doesn’t shy away from sharing stories of financial turmoil, sexism, racism and learning how to make allies across different spectra of groups in the industry and the community.

Cooper had the benefit of learning how to work at her dad’s radio station from as early as 15 years old, but it did not shield her from growing pains that all entrepreneurs work through. She also shares how God guided her at every step of the way and was instrumental in helping her make that decision to pick up the mantle and be heir apparent to the radio station’s leadership.

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