Mellody Hobson is an American businesswoman who is the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments. She is the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation, having stepped down after negotiating the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., by NBCUniversal in August 2016. In 2017, she became the first African-American woman to head the Economic Club of Chicago. Recently, she spoke to Forbes Women and we couldn’t help but be gracious enough to share some gems with you because she dropped A LOT!
On Taking Risks:
“Take the risk, it’s as simple as that. I think a lot of people, because of fear, don’t act, don’t speak their truth, and I think it’s really important to do this. Your truth may not be the truth, but you should speak what is on your mind. I always ask myself when I’m at those crossroads, ‘What is the worst thing that could happen to me?’”
On Defining Success:
“Success is contentment to me, and that contentment comes in all sorts of forms. I see it in my six-year-old’s face. Success is having a life partner that I cherish so much. Success is being able to work with people who are not just people, they’re family to me. Success is looking back at any day, any week, any month, and saying, ‘What did I get done?’ and feeling good about it, be it for our clients at Ariel, be it for the boards that I’m on, for society or my teammates.”
On Her Best Investing Advice:
“Start, don’t stop. Literally, don’t stop. Even small amounts make a difference over time, but you have to start. You have to decide. The more you save, the more you save, and when you see that nest egg that’s sitting aside, you really do feel a sense of comfort.”
“Saving is like a diet. Don’t cheat. You can’t take your savings out, especially the retirement money. It’s sacred, literally sacred. That money is not to send your kid to camp. That money is not to send your kid to college, believe it or not. I love that line from the airplane when they say, ‘When the oxygen mask drops, help yourself first and then the person next to you.’ All of the data shows that it’s more important to save for yourself because it ultimately puts you in a better position to support those around you.”
Mellody also said something that stuck – “We’ve got one shot at this life, and to not be productive with what we’ve been given, to me, is a travesty. I think the biggest waste is when human life is wasted. It’s unforgivable. The stars aligned to give me this enormous opportunity. It’s a miracle. What am I doing with this miracle?”
Watch the full interview here and be inspired. We stan a Queen!