10 Reasons Why You Should Read Arlan Hamilton’s book right now | Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua

Arlan Hamilton’s book, It’s About Damn Time, is a collection of entrepreneurial tips and motivational suggestions. If you, like me, are on your own entrepreneurial journey, here are (at least) 10 reasons why you should read her book.

Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of colour, women, and/or LGBT. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now raised more than $7 million and invested in more than 130 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018 Arlan co-founded Backstage Studio which launched four accelerator programs for underestimated founders in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.

It's about damn time by Arlan HamiltonWhen I first heard about Arlan Hamilton, alI I really knew was what I’d read from an excerpt of her book, It’s About Damn Time. Which goes like this:

Ascending an escalator in a hotel I couldn’t afford to stay in, I said to myself, “You are a
venture capitalist. You are a venture capitalist.” I had no home, no money, certainly no
investment capital, yet I knew that was what I needed to say to myself. In order to become, I
needed to be. I was sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco airport nearby; I came to this
hotel to get a change of scenery and stay until they kicked me out.

Then it would be back to the airport with my suitcase and backpack, back to the hard floor down from the Virgin Atlantic check-in desk, rolled-up jeans under my head for a pillow. I told myself, “You are a venture capitalist” as I checked my emails on the airport’s free Wi-Fi, as I avoided the
security people on their Segways, as I sent out yet another email asking for funding.

You can see why her story is compelling, right?

And when you throw in the fact she became a venture capitalist despite all odds (being an alcoholic, Black, gay, a woman, homeless), you receive a burst of inspiration and a voice inside you starts whispering: “You can do it!”

The motivational voice inside of you might not be enough though, because life happens and the voice can be tainted, it can go quiet, it can be judged or put under discussion. Which is why, having Arlan Hamilton’s book by your bed-stand is a good idea.

In her book, Arlan shares the lessons she learned from becoming a successful venture capitalist in the Silicon Valley, where she wasn’t represented.

And while browsing the pages of her book, I couldn’t help but thinking: “every Black entrepreneur should read this!”
You’ll probably find there are more than ten reasons to read It’s About Damn Time. And while I’d love to read yours, here are mine:

It’s motivational
It gives you a roadmap of what to do to make it as an entrepreneur
It’s honest
It tells real stories
It gives examples
It speaks to a specific group of people
It goes right to the point
It teaches you that not everything needs to be shared
It covers the whole entrepreneurial spectrum (money, self-care, confidence etc.)
It’s both inspirational and actionable

My favourite quotes from ‘It’s About Damn Time’

image of Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua
Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua

If you could check my copy of this book, you’d see plenty of highlighted phrases. Those are the quotes that touched me the most, the ones I really don’t want to forget.

Here’s a sample:
“If you have no assets, you have to become the asset”
“I believe that we, especially underestimated people, are stronger together”
“No one becomes a rockstar overnight”
“Relationships matter more than money, more than status, more than material things”
“Being 100 percent yourself is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest thing you can do”
“Place a price on your time and talent, and then accept nothing less”

Have you read It’s About Damn Time? Are you planning on reading it? Let us know in the comments below.

Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua is a storytelling coach; helping women entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of a new venture, know, own and share their story to include it in their marketing and communication material. She helps social good organisations use communication in an effective, strategic and authentic way. As part of this, she designs and delivers tailored communication and marketing workshops. https://kabutakapua.com

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