Yolanda Adams & PJ Morton on What It Takes to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
Gabriel Grams/Getty Images

Yolanda Adams and PJ Morton know all about keeping your finances in check. The two Grammy-nominated artists doled out their best financial advice to attendees of the Money & Power Expo during their “Faith-Based Entrepreneurship” panel at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival.

“Hire a qualified CPA,” Adams began. “Not BoBo with a certificate from wherever. They can change over six months of time, or off of three months, or two years.

“What you did two years ago, you may not be able to get credit for, or you may be able to get more credit,” she continued. “Your CPA needs to be knowledgable in order to handle your stuff.”

Loading the player...

Morton said that his biggest lessons in entrepreneurship came from working for himself as a musician. “I never had a normal job, I went from playing in church to being an entertainer,” he said.

“For me, that was a way to feed my artistry. I would play [at church] on Sundays and Wednesdays and then I was in the studio the rest of the days until I was able to let go of that comfort, like, ‘Hey. I’m in church every Sunday.’ My aha moment came when I’d just graduated from Morehouse and went on my first tour with Erykah Badu. “I was like, ‘Do we go to church? Does the bus go to the church?’,” he recalled with a laugh.

Morton added accountability as one of the most valuable traits an entrepreneur. “With all of that freedom as an entrepreneur, you have to make sure that you have the responsibility of doing all that it takes to be successful,” he said.
“With entrepreneurship, you get out what you put into it,” he added. “It’s like, being an independent artist is the cool thing to do now. I’ve seen a lot of major label artists say that they want to go independent but then when they find out that no one’s paying for their marketing… I will say that as an entrepreneur there’s nothing like the payoff of being able to control your own destiny and to be able to do that in your own way.”

Follow ESSENCE on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Snapchat for all things 2016 ESSENCE Festival this weekend.