By Ryan Velez
Picture the word mogul, and you likely get an image of wealth, fame, and success in your business field of choice. For anyone in business, this is a lot to aspire to, but one person who could lay claim to that name suggests you take a different approach. This comes from Louis Carr, head of media sales at BET, who has generated over $7 billion in revenue over his 31-year career for the company. On top of his success, Carr is also a motivational speaker, author and philanthropist, and recently spoke to Black Enterprise about his vision of a mogul.
The statements came from the 1st annual Black Men Xcel Summit, where Carr sat down with President and CEO of Black Enterprise, Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. In his eyes, being a mogul is not just all the benefits of success, but the work you put into it, including loyalty, discipline and commitment. All of these traits come into play when talking about mentorship. While mentors are an essential part of just about any business success story, they are especially helpfully for African-Americans, who on average, have fewer contemporaries in the workforce than other ethnicities.
One story that Carr recalls regards an intern who wanted to quit after finding that the position wasn’t as easy as they thought initially. After the intern hit some hurdles and explained his intentions to Carr, Carr responded “I can fire you, but you can’t quit because you owe me. I had a deal with your mother and your father and you. You’ve gotta keep that contract until I break it. That was seven years ago. He’s one of my top sales people right now.” Part of being a mogul as Carr explains it is not just the shiny perks of being a businessperson, but all the dirt behind the scenes that needs to be done to present that image.
However, the commitment of mentorship is a two-way street. “We’ve gotta make as much of a commitment to them as they make a commitment to us,” he says. “When I see young people, I really want to help them. I want to expand their vision. I want to give them tools, I want to give them an opportunity because somebody did it for me and I don’t know why.” To practice what he preaches, Carr is hosting the two-day Dirty Little Secrets, Men’s Only Conference, covering topics including money, health, relationships and entrepreneurship.