August 24, 2009


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) -- Michael and Steven Roberts didn't have two quarters to rub together a couple of decades ago. Now, the two African-American business leaders estimate their holdings -- from hotels to TV stations -- are worth $1 billion. One St. Louis hotel they own once barred black people. "Black folks need legacy. We have to have examples of successes in order for us to be able to let the generations to come know that many of the successes that occurred by African-Americans in this country can be seen and pointed out and can be emulated," says Michael Roberts, the chairman and CEO of The Roberts Companies.
"We tell folks, learn it, get your hands dirty -- you know, a little sweat equity," says Steven Roberts, the president of The Roberts Companies. "For that college student, for that future entrepreneur ... we're saying understand what your passion is, and understand what your product is, too."
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I love reading stories that inspire me to step my game up. Sometimes people have the tendency to be jealous when they see others doing well. There are even times when people wish ill on others, hoping to see them fail. I challenge everyone to look to these successful people as a benchmark. Allow people more successful than yourself to be YOUR motivation. I know I do.