The flawless beauty celebrates her birthday on Sept. 23.

J. Countess/Getty Images Portrait

"Be able to encourage not just yourself, but others because you can learn from other people's stories."

Sydney Scott
May, 06, 2016

LisaRaye has been in Hollywood long enough to know the ins and outs of the industry. The actress and producer has created a great body of work and made an enviable career.

McCoy recently spoke with Rolling Out and shared some advice on what it takes to make it in the industry.

Solange Calls LisaRaye McCoy-Misick Her 'Style Icon' and Channels Her White Hot Style

"People need to understand that there's a lot of show," she says, "And that the show is fun and exciting, but there's also the business side of show business. Don't forget about the business. Educate yourself, talk to people, be able to share your testimony. Be able to encourage not just yourself, but others because you can learn from other people's stories."

McCoy says that at the beginning of her career she was hungry and focused and avoided the pitfalls of fame and the temptation of the bright lights. She encourages those starting out to be themselves and not the cookie cutter version of someone else. "Be you! If you stay true to you and they see that, there's going to be a lane that opens up. Invent it. Stay strong to that."

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.