Founder Releases Landmark Report Revealing Secrets Of Black-Owned Service-Based Business Success

Speak Your Way To Cash®, founded by sales strategist and attorney, Ashley N. Kirkwood, has published an unprecedented report unpacking the inner workings of successful Black-owned service-based companies. Based on a survey of over 120 entrepreneurs, “The State of Black Service-Based Businesses” report unveils game-changing data and strategies for exponentially growing service businesses. Speak Your Way To Cash® hosted a free summit in February 2024 to unveil the full report and give entrepreneurs resources to scale using the findings!

One major finding highlighted is the need to target larger corporate clients, with data showing that only 17% of respondents have sold services priced at $10,000 or higher. Furthermore, 87% reported catering mainly to small businesses (with less than two employees), evidencing a gap in securing more stable, corporate clients.

“There is clear data showing that entrepreneurs who focused on larger corporate clients had more profitable and resilient businesses,” said Ashley. “One strategic directive this report issues is selling higher-priced, value-driven offers to mid-sized and enterprise customers.”

Another major revelation indicates that nearly a third of the most successful respondents had invested over $30,000 in business coaching. Additionally, over 85% of entrepreneurs who leveraged coaching saw tangible benefits and positive ROI. This busts myths about coaching ineffectiveness, highlighting its instrumental role in scaling companies.

The report also found that business owners valued expertise above all else when selecting coaches and advisors – prioritizing experience and niche knowledge over metrics like testimonials. “This indicates a market still hungry for qualified experts versus casual advisors who make bold claims about their programs without substantial expertise to back it up,” said Ashley. “For coaches looking to differentiate themselves, establishing undisputed authority is key.”

Other strategic insights include:

• Alarming legal vulnerabilities, with only 32% having secured federally registered trademarks to protect intellectual property. This showcases gaps in safeguarding unique business assets.

• Overdependence on social media marketing versus high-yield tactics like paid advertising, evidencing potential for expanded digital strategies.

• The need to graduate beyond service-based businesses’ current clientele of individuals and small companies. Data shows the most profitable entrepreneurs focus on larger corporate customers.

“This report lays out a clear roadmap for creating resilient, prosperous service businesses,” Kirkwood remarked. “It translates raw data into tactical advice for breaking through new barriers.”

As founder of Speak Your Way To Cash® and author of the book Speak Your Way to Cash®: How to Start at the Top of the Speaking Market, Ashley has empowered countless service-based entrepreneurs to land lucrative contracts with leading corporations and universities.

Through the company’s coaching programs, educational platforms like their podcast and Facebook group, and Ashley’s own journey scaling a multi-million dollar service business, Speak Your Way to Cash® has become the go-to resource for selling high-ticket offers to enterprise clients. Their trademarked methodology has helped clients across industries ink partnerships, sign licensing agreements, and win 5-6 figure deals with renowned global brands. After already guiding hundreds of six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs, the company has bold plans to assist 1,000 more businesses in securing milestone corporate contracts in 2024.

Founded by Ashley Kirkwood, Speak Your Way To Cash® is on a mission to help entrepreneurs land lucrative corporate contracts. Learn more about her coaching programs, educational platforms, and game-changing methodologies by connecting with her brand on social media:

Facebook group: Speak Your Way To Cash® Facebook Group
Facebook page: @SpeakYourWayToCash
Instagram: @SpeakYourWayToCash
Podcast: The Speak Your Way To Cash® Podcast

Download the full “The State of Black Service-Based Businesses” report for free at

These unprecedented findings are essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur.


Former Black Special Ed Student Who Graduated With 1.8 GPA Is Now A Best-Selling Author And Therapist

Ronnie Sidney, II, who spent seven years in Special Ed and graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA, is now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), therapist, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. Despite being labeled as an African American student with learning disabilities, he also went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services at Old Dominion University in 2006. After that, he earned a Masters degree from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work in 2014.Now, Sidney is both a best-selling and award-winning author and entrepreneur. In 2015, he released an Amazon bestseller entitled Nelson Beats the Odds, a semiautobiographical comic book about a young man who struggles with the shame of being placed in special education. He also released another successful book entitled Tameka’s New Dress which addresses topics like childhood trauma, parental substance abuse, kinship care and bullying with a gentle touch suitable for even the youngest children.

For his work, in 2017, Old Dominion University honored Sidney with the prestigious Darden Award, an award given to Darden College of Education alumnus who have made outstanding achievements. In 2020, Virginia Commonwealth University featured Sidney in the Shafer Court Connections magazine, and he was one of 200 VCU Alumni featured in The Power Issue, which honored inspiring alumni. 

Sidney’s early academic challenges ignited a passion within him to pursue social justice and to work with inner city youth. All in all, he has spent more than 15 years in the mental health and academic counseling fields.

In addition to his professional and academic life, Sidney is a loving husband and father of four amazing children. He is also a member of several boards, including the advisory board for VCU’s Center on Transition Innovations (VCU-CTI), which provides evidence-based resources and information along with emerging practices in the field. He is also an active member of the Essex County Economic Development Authority and Essex Youth Football Association.

Be sure to follow him on @RonnieSidneyII


$125K In Donations Pour In As Oldest Black Publishing Company Suffers Devastating Flood

Last year marked the 55th anniversary of Chicago-based Third World Press Foundation, the oldest, independent, continuously operating Black publishing company in the nation. The Foundation marked the momentous occasion in the Fall of 2022 with gusto and invited their supporters, friends, authors, and family to celebrate with them at headquarters.

Unfortunately, shortly after in December, a water pipe burst beneath the headquarters building and the entire basement was quickly flooded. “The flooded area housed the major portion of Third World Press’ book inventory,” said American Book Award winner and Third World Press Founder Haki Madhubuti. “Our loss has been overwhelming and financially crippling.”

In another disastrous turn of events, the flooding occurred right in the middle of the Foundation’s busy season as they were preparing to fill holiday orders for the Kwanzaa and Christmas gift-giving season. “Our lost inventory consisted of many of our best sellers,” said Third World Foundation Board Member Dr. Keith Gilyard during an interview with NBC Chicago. “To say that we are devastated is an understatement.”

The Foundation is seeking donations to cover their losses—including damaged books, furniture, computers, bookshelves, and the relocation of salvageable books to the first floor. The Foundation was already forced to close for two weeks during its busiest season, thereby losing sales for the year-end holidays and fundraising. If Third World Press Foundation is to survive this catastrophe, they need the public’s help. The Foundation is classified as 501(c)3 nonprofit status, so all donations are tax-deductible. No contribution is too small! $125,000 has been raised so far but donations are still being accepted online via their GoFundMe page at

Third World Press Foundation provides quality literature that primarily focuses on issues, themes, and critiques related to the African American public. Their mission is to make this literature accessible to as many individuals as possible. Their goals are to cultivate a broader readership of individuals who want to gain greater insight into African American cultural traditions; to reach individuals that are younger and/or less scholarly-focused, and to reach that customer who just did not know that they existed.

For press inquiries, contact or 773-651-0700.


HBCU Grad Turned Multi-Millionaire Reveals How Broken Pieces Of Life Drove Her To Success

Earica Alexander Cole, an HBCU graduate of the Univ. of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the first black multi-millionaire of Paparazzi Accessories, motivational speaker, philanthropist, financial advisor, and credit expert has written her first book. A memoir on her life’s journey thus far. Her book, Broken Pieces Created My Purpose, is filled with testimonials of experiences throughout her life. The release of the book is accompanied with a Self Guided Journal to Healing Your Broken Pieces.

Sickle Cell Anemia, racism in Corporate America, divorce, bankruptcy, Hurricane Katrina, miscarriages, and family tragedies have been the fuel to this young woman’s life purpose of helping others.

Topics dealing with grief from the tragic loss of her sister, the obstacles of Corporate America, divorce and learning to love again, infertility, becoming a step parent as well as overcoming childhood trauma, all while living with a disease she was told she would die young from. Doctors counted her out for a normal life but she’s taken the challenge and succeeded beyond any of their expectations.

Earica is an HBCU graduate who attended Florida A&M University her freshman year in college and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She is active with community outreach, helping with voter registration and committed to supporting multiple non-profit organizations. In her book, Earica reveals the broken pieces of life that has driven her to the success she has today.

Earica’s book tour will be throughout the Spring of 2023, including her embarkation of Purpose parties (virtual and in-person). Her desire is to create a movement of people no longer saying, ‘Why me?’ but ‘Why NOT me?’ Using their pain and past experiences to help others fulfill their destiny and purpose. Get connected with Earica and her team today at to make your 2023 and your life filled with PURPOSE!

For press inquiries, contact


Best Friends Who Made $2M In Two Years Now Helping Others Get Started In Billion Dollar Hair & Beauty Industry

Khat Rabbani and Ashley Williams, best friends and the founders of Hair Are Us, a successful line of hair extensions that generated $2 million in revenue in just two years, have launched a new curriculum to teach other entrepreneurs everything they need to know about the Black beauty industry.

As entrepreneurs, they themselves went through the frustration of the daily grind, working day-in and day-out struggling to make enough money to live without worry. When they decided to change their lives and start a hair extension business, they faced many challenges at first. However, not scared to take risk, they took the last money to their names, which was a $1,000 each and turned an idea into a million dollar empire. They went from selling hair out of the trunks of their cars to having several retail locations and a seven figure e-commerce business with products sold globally.

Their curriculum which currently consists of digital guides is designed to reduce challenges for those starting a hair business as much as possible; giving you the tools to build a successful company without experiencing all the mistakes they’ve made along the way. Along with their master courses that will be released in the near future, their curriculum is everything that aspiring entrepreneurs to get a piece of the mult-billion dollar hair and beauty industry.

For their entrepreneurial accomplishments, Khat and Ashley have been featured on The Profit with Marcus Lemonis as well as countless other news outlets highlighting their journey in the hair industry including Black Enterprise, Essence, Yahoo News, and they have been featured on CNBC’s The Profit and BET.

For more details about their curriculum on how to be a successful entrepreneur in the beauty industry, visit

For press inquiries or media interviews, contact