Ask an Expert Interview: Areva Martin on Being a Savvy Businesswoman + Her New Book, Make it Rain
Civil Rights Attorney, Areva Martin, recently sat down with Glitter to talk about her latest book, Make It Rain: How to Use the Media to Revolutionize Your Business and Brand, some of her greatest achievements, her new show, Face the Truth, premiering on CBS this Fall, her advice for those who want to make a difference politically, her work with the Special Needs Network, some of the hardest lessons she’s learned, and her advice for women wanting to follow in her footsteps. Read on to find out Areva’s amazing advice on saving money and owning businesses.
GLITTER: Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
AREVA: I am a civil rights attorney. I am run a law firm, Martin & Martin, LLP in Los Angeles. I also founded and run an autism nonprofit, Special Needs Network, Inc. I am also a TV talk show host and commentator. I work for CNN and I have a new show, Face the Truth, that will air on CBS starting the Fall of this year.
GLITTER: When did you start your entrepreneurial journey?
AREVA: Two years after I graduated from law school. I took a job right out of law school with a corporate law firm. I stayed at that firm two years. Since that time, I have been self-employed.
GLITTER: What can you tell us about your latest book, Make It Rain: How to Use the Media to Revolutionize Your Business and Brand?
AREVA: This is a must-read book for anyone that touches a computer! Whether you are looking to advance your career inside a company or you are self-employed, if you have touched a computer you have created a digital footprint. The book helps you define your public persona—or brand, build out your platform, connect with an audience and grow your personal power and influence through various media channels.
GLITTER: What one message do you hope people walk away with after finishing your book?
AREVA: That you have a voice. That voice matters. And if you are strategic, you can cut through the noise and deliver a message that resonates.
GLITTER: What have been some of your greatest achievements?
AREVA: Being the first person in my family to graduate college; being able to move past the anguish I felt when my son was diagnosed with autism to become a nationally recognized autism advocate; building a successful media company and law firm; starting a nonprofit that helps tens of thousands of people each year; writing 3 books; running 3 half-marathons
GLITTER: What can you tell us about your work with the Special Needs Network?
AREVA: Working with SNN is one of the most rewarding things that I do. In my role as founder and president, I raise millions of dollars each year for the organization; I develop programs to serve families; I interface with legislators and policymakers to impact laws that benefit individuals with special needs.
GLITTER: What are some of the hardest lessons you’ve learned while owning several businesses?
AREVA: People don’t work as hard or care about your business the way that you do. Hire slow and fire fast. Don’t let toxic people remain in the workplace. Focus on being respected, not liked. Don’t hire anyone, friends or family, that you can’t fire. It’s not what you expect, it’s what you inspect.
GLITTER: How are you hoping to help others change the world?
AREVA: I hope to help others by sharing my knowledge, expertise, and skills in organizing and galvanizing people; sharing what I know about building organizations and moving people into action.
GLITTER: What can you tell us about the upcoming Fall talk show, Face the Truth? What is it about, and where will people be able to view it?
AREVA: The show is a cross between Dr. Phil and The View. We will help real people in conflict find solutions. The show will be syndicated across CBS stations all over the country. In most markets, it will come on during the afternoon before Dr. Phil.
GLITTER: We know that many venture capitalists don’t back minority and women-led companies. How do you think that can be changed?
AREVA: This can be changed by getting more women and minorities to lead the charge in investing in minority and women-owned businesses. There are a large number of wealthy minorities and women who can invest in these businesses. Also, these individuals can band together to create angel investment groups that can also invest in minority and women businesses.
GLITTER: What is some advice for women on networking and working together?
AREVA: Do it! Don’t just spend time with your “girlfriends” spend time with women that share your same professional and business goals. Some of your best customers, clients and investors can be women, but you will miss remarkable opportunities if you only see your female friends as shopping buddies.
GLITTER: Best money advice you can give to someone just starting to save?
AREVA: Make your savings the same priority that you make your rent. You wouldn’t dare think about not paying your rent. Likewise, some portion of every check you receive should be designated to your savings account.
GLITTER: What advice do you have to those wanting to make a difference politically?
AREVA: All politics are local. Get involved in your community. It doesn’t have to be the presidential or a congressional race. Think about the school board, city council, county prosecutor and mayor. All of these are important races and offer opportunities for you to volunteer and get involved.
GLITTER: What’s a day like for you from morning to night?
AREVA: I start the day with an affirmation; check all my social sites; read several online newspapers; hit the streets for a morning run; return to home office and begin with phone calls, meetings; TV appearances, family dinner or nonprofit event—throughout the day checking social media and reading news.
GLITTER: How do you stay healthy with such a high paced career?
AREVA: I run and hit the gym 4 times a week; I eat mostly healthy—no meat, no fried foods, and very little junk food; I eat a ton of popcorn; I stay away from negative people and try to manage my stress. I have a strong spiritual life. I pray a lot and attend church fairly often.
GLITTER: Favorite places to travel?
AREVA: I love New York and big bustling cities. I also love traveling to my hometown, St. Louis.
GLITTER: What words of advice do you have for women wanting to follow in your footsteps?
AREVA: Never let anyone outwork you. There is a sense that successful people blow up overnight. The reality is for me and just about every successful person that you meet have a similar attitude towards hard work. They are willing to sacrifice, be the hardest working and have a strong moral compass. I live by the rule of treating people the way I want to be treated.