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It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  121 reviews
“A hero's tale of what’s possible when we unlock our potential, continue the search for knowledge, and draw on our lived experiences to guide us through the darkest moments.”
—Stacey Abrams

From a black, gay woman who broke into the boys' club of Silicon Valley comes an empowering guide to finding your voice, working your way into any room you want to be in, and achieving yo
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Currency
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Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read for any entrepreneur, but it certainly hit home for me as a woman of color with her own business. To hear someone else expressing and experiencing the things you thought you made up in your head is somehow comforting and enraging at the same time.

Of course, the first chapter, with its explanation of who gets venture capital resources, will piss you off. Arlan Hamilton's story is peppered with tips on how you can cultivate a growth mindset when the game is rigged against and get ahea
Jessica Jin
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
99% of business/self-help books are bad! The decent ones about management will generally all boil down to "build a good team and don't be an asshole." Boring. And despite fun and wild misadventures, most "How I Did It" business success books are also bad because hindsight is 20/20. Once you're successful, it looks better and sells more books to act like you had a deliberate, replicable, plan the whole time; people won't buy a "How I Did It" book if they don't think it contains some semblance of ...more
Rebecca Nagrodski
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Does "It's About Time" provide any NEW concepts that haven't been told to us a billion times in other self help books?

Not Really.

BUT - Does "It's About Time" present all these things in a more compelling and thought provoking way?


In this book, Arlan Hamilton guides the reader through her journey while giving suggestions and encouraging people to reconsider their own potential biases. She never comes across as preachy - but rather, as someone who truly and honestly wants you to succeed.

Gloria Talton
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I already follow Arlan Hamilton on social because her vibe is so relatable. So, I was excited and felt very privileged to get access to a pre-release copy of Arlan's new book, It's About Damn Time. I was really hoping that the piece would share even more of her journey before Venture. It did not disappoint.

In It's About Damn Time, Arlan reflects on her own life experiences while leaving us with timeless advice on how to just...Do you. That sounds like an oversimplification, but unlike other "ho
Emily Tsitrian
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book after just having finished Michelle Obama’s memoir, and Hunger by Roxane Gay. Halfway into the book I realized I had just read three consecutive books by black female authors I happen to admire, without having done this intentionally.

Arlan Hamilton’s first book, It’s About Damn Time, was an intimate and compelling reflection on how she went from being homeless to taking her spot as one of Silicon Valley’s leading Venture Capitalists. The book is truly American story full of fun
Christy Maxfield
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been following Arlan's work for a long time - and even had a chance to meet her. Her willingness to be frank and transparent about her own story, and speak truth to power about the culture of venture capital, startups, and business is refreshing and inspiring.

In this book she leads by example demonstrating great passion, preparedness, and insatiable curiosity. At the same time she gives an unflinching assessment of the systemic barriers that exist for the historically underestimated founde
Mandy Power
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bwordbooks
"When I started Backstage Capital, I was told that in order to be considered a success story, I would need to earn a tenfold return on my investments, rather than a threefold like other venture capitalists. Anything lower and I would be considered a failure. there are literally different rules for underestimated people! I'm here to say; We do not have time for this. We cannot be slowed down by this. We need to be extra confident, extra sure of ourselves; we need to give ourselves 1,000 percent p ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arlan Hamilton has done something that will prove to be helpful to entrepreneurs who have been historically UNDERESTIMATED.

In IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME she gives the reader a straight, no chaser "To-Do" list that can only come from someone who HAS DONE IT.

This book is clearly written with usable information, insight, and ingenuity. You will be clapping out loud for her resilience and rooting for the burgeoning entrepreneur.

Read it, learn from it, and go make the world a better place.
Deena McKay
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s About Damn Time is an inspiring book especially if you are on the journey to being a founder or figuring out your next steps. Arlan tells the journey of making something out of nothing. Her hustle attitude combined with authenticity and kindness makes this book and her journey different than a regular self-help books.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I love Arlan and believe she has done a ton of good for D&I in startups, but I wish this went deeper and was not such a quick read. The quotes felt like filler to make it book-length and I wanted it to go much farther beyond her many interviews.
Theodora Lau
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From being on food stamps to starting a multimillion-dollar investment fund, Arlan Hamilton’s journey is nothing short of incredible. And yet, in more ways than not, it shouldn’t have been so difficult. The fact that it would take us until October 2018 for Fast Company to have their first Black female noncelebrity to grace the magazine cover is disappointing. The fact that only “one-fifth of 1 percent of all venture capital in the United States goes to Black women” is beyond disgraceful. The ass ...more
Ande Lyons
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the opening line to the final piece of advice, I was consumed by Arlan Hamilton's stories, strategies, solutions, insights and inspiration for founders and for anyone pursuing a dream. As a founder of 4 businesses (one VC-backed; another Angel-backed;) and a coach to newbie founders, I was delighted to find terrific reminders and new ways of viewing the startup journey.

Given my deep knowledge of and experience with Venture Capital, it is JAW-DROPPING to read how Arlan built Backstage Capit
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve followed Arlan Hamilton ever since I first heard about her on the Gimlet podcast Startup. At the time, I listened to their narrative a bit too much and bought into the idea that she was overspending and taking too many risks. After following her on Twitter for a few years and learning more about her, I came to appreciate her a ton. I particularly enjoyed her insights in this book about her perceptions of Startup’s season on her. She pointed out biases by the host and team that I never thoug ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-library
As someone who doesn't plan to raise capital as part of my business models, I originally didn't think this book would apply to me. How wrong I was. From the beginning chapter, I was hooked on Arlan's story, and her innate ability to weave in business advice, truth and pointed (and poignant) realities, as well as real life suggestions to change the narrative. One of my favorite quotes is: "The assumption that underrepresented means under-qualified, unaccomplished, inexperienced, or unskilled not ...more
Rebecca Tolley
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Infinitely readable, Arlan’s writing is accessible and warm and feels like she’s talking to you in real life, sharing her story of success and rise within her field. If you’ve read leadership and business books some of what she covers will be review, and for the rest of us it’s a reminder encouraging us to ask the questions nobody else is asking, follow our dreams, and act upon our visions. What I loved about Arlan’s book, besides learning more about her path to success, was her perspective as t ...more
Sheeta Verma
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When people publish books they usually become another outlet for them to preach and flex their accomplishments. Arlan is the first who has written about her journey to empower others, especially women of color. There isn't a single chapter that doesn't make me get goosebumps and make me want to put my kindle down, pick up my laptop and create something to change the world. As a first generation, woman of color with little connections this book taught me that I am doing just fine and I have the a ...more
Etiene Dalcol
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has useful concrete advice that applies to me, delivered in digestible entertaining and memorable way. The most important part of it is that it fills you inspiration and energy, instead of being one of those books that focus so much on how it sucks to be a minority, that you just feel sad demoralized with reality afterwards.

Some stuff I would love to have seen mentioned:

1. Government fundings like grants for social, cultural and educational projects.

2. How to manage side hustles alo
Jennifer Siaca Curry
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s About Damn Time is part autobiography, part professional advice, and part self help! Hamilton weaves together her personal narrative (gripping by itself) with insight from her successful, non-traditional career to guide readers through their own awakening to what matters most in business, and in life. I found myself pausing often and thinking about how Hamilton’s experiences mirrored my own, even though we are, on paper, quite different from one another.

The book is easy to read and extreme
Marianne B
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been underestimated? Ever wondered what would happen if you took a chance and if you showed people who you truly are? Do you know just how powerful making a connection can be?

I came across Arlan Hamilton a few years ago when she was featured on the cover of Fast Company and then again in 2019 as part of Forbes 30 Under 30. As I learned more about her, I became more intrigued about her journey and how she became one of the top leading Women of Color Venture Capitalist. I was so exci
Harold M.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I've heard a lot about Arlan on Twitter and her work with backstage capital, her black and LGBT owned and centered vc firm. I hoped by reading to know more about vc investing, it's ethical complications particularly for founders of colors and who and what she invested in specifically and how things went, good and bad and for the hype was she successful and what success might actually be. I didn't learn much about those things. There's a brief description of vc at the book. What's inside is a rea ...more
Sarah E.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved Arlan Hamilton's new book, in which she shares the roots of forming Backstage Capital, as well as her incredible, inspiring journey from outsider to insider. According to research cited by Hamilton, only one-fifth of 1 percent of all venture capital in the United States goes to Black women. Hamilton shares critical advice from the trenches for underrepresented founders and leaders, plus how the startup world can and must improve in order to be more inclusive. We're all familia ...more
Perry Wallinger
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advance copy of this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. A refreshing take on the typical business/VC memoir. Arlan is honest and specific with her advice, and her candor made me laugh out loud a few times. I’ve given up reading business books for awhile now but It’s About Damn Time was a welcome break to that streak. As a gay woman who also owns a business it was inspiring to see someone who I can model myself after. Would absolutely recommend this book to dozens of people in ...more
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing review of what can happen if you set your mind to something and stick to it. Arlan and her story are an inspiration - from bootstrapping a music tour to a whole venture capital fund, even while battling other people's biases and her own personal hardships, Arlan made it happen. And she shares it all with you in this book. She passes on her own wisdom to readers through sharing her experiences and knowledge. ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book by Arlan Hamilton feels like a long conversation with Arlan over coffee or tea. I laughed, cried, nodded my head, and said “hell yeah” more than one time.

Arlan drops gems and accessible actionable advice. What I dig the most is that this book is reflection on her life that includes business, but not all about business.
Samarie Walker
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arlan is an awesome storyteller and connects readers to her experiences in a way you feel like you were there with her. The book and Arlan herself offer motivation to me as a black, gay woman. “It’s About Damn Time” (Advanced Copy) is jam packed with advice and inspiration for any level/type of entrepreneur!
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Consider this book one of the new classics for entrepreneurs to keep handy. If you have a vision of what you want to build, and come across the inevitable roadblocks and challenges of scaling a business, you'll be utterly inspired by how Arlan grew her venture capital fund from the ground up with insane perseverance, grit, and a lot of creativity. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
What really stood out to me was Arlan’s generosity in breaking down her process to initially build her network, educate herself on the VC environment and work her plan strategically....she also drops many important names as if to say “if you don’t know these folks, you need to!”

This isn’t just an inspiring memoir about a woman who decided that the status quo wasn’t good enough and intentionally changed her life, and many others, by venturing into unknown territory. Nope, this is a HOW TO manual
Jessica Faust
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Everyone should read this book. Absolutely inspiring
Kienia M.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm still reading and enjoying every word. What I love in books like this is good storytelling and Arlan has done a great job relaying her life to us while dropping gems of knowledge along the way. She reinforces things that you know are important and provides you with insights you may have never thought about or connected. I had no idea where to start when looking at this aspect of being an entrepreneur (investing, investors, and the like) and I will be forever grateful for the lessons I'm lear ...more
Felicia Polk
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow !! I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down.

The author offered us an education on the world of Venture Capital. I now know there is a whole other world out there, since she was kind enough to open the door and let us see in. There is no doubt this author sacrificed revealing a few of her secret places to lead us on a wildly refreshing journey.

The author explains that while her clients always had the aptitude, they are also worthy of the success helps she helps them achieve. She also introdu
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