Authors: Adrienne Arieff and Beverly West

Publisher: Adams Media

ISBN: 978-1-4405-7517-4

The subtitle of Fairy-Tale Succes is A Guide to Entrepreneurial Magic. I don't know about the magic part, but it certainly is a lively, interesting, and practical guide for young women who are thinking of starting a business. 

Adrienne Arieff is "a PR, digital, and marketing communications professional." Her co-author, Beverly West, is "an author, developmental editor and new media producer." They use the Cinderella story as the scaffolding on which they construct the book so that chapters have titles like Reveal Your Noble Roots (know who you are, what you like, how you want to live); Wish Out Loud (vision statement, business plan); Make Practical Magic (funding); Summon Your Fairy Godmothers (networking); Hear Ye, Hear Ye (harnessing social media); Make a Grand Entrance (launching your brand); Keep Your Eye on the Crown (staying focused); When the Clock Strikes Twelve, Don't Panic (dealing with setbacks and obstacles); and If the Glass Slipper Fits, Wear It (enjoying success).

The book is written for young women. Indeed, sampling their own recipe the authors quote their own vision statement: "We want to write and publish a book that raises awareness about the opportunities for young women to become entrepreneurs in today's economy. We want to create a platform for young entrepreneurs to connect and engage with each other both on- and off-line...." All their inspirational examples and interviews—and there are several dozen—are from young women who have had or are having business experience.

Every chapter follows the same pattern: a chunk of the original fairy tale, a discussion of how it relates to the chapter's material, interviews and anecdotes from young women, quotes from well-known businesspeople, and the chapter's concluding principles. I found the advice solid. In chapter 8, for example, dealing with setbacks, Arieff and West write: "Don't speculate. No matter how sure you are about something, don't suggest that you know things that you may not. The worst way to respond to a crisis is to create another one based on false information that you are presenting as truth. So know the facts and don't stray from then. Don't assume, or imagine, or believe, or guess, or wish. Only say things that you objectively know to be true, once you've gathered the facts and checked them twice." Good advice for all of us at all times.

I was also struck by a "Words of Wisdom from Fairy Godparents," these fro Virginia Romerty, CEO of IBM: "I learned to always take on things I'd never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist."

My only quibble is with the throwaway line about SCORE in the "Resources" section: "If you find yourself in need of mentoring from en entrepreneur who's already been through it all, SCORE can help you find a mentor." In fact, SCORE's counselors can and will do far more to help a prospective entrepreneur develop business, financial, and marketing plans. SCORE is an affiliate of the Small Business Administration, and its services are free. 

Nevertheless, if you know a high school or college student who is leaning in toward business, Fairy-Tale Success can be thought-provoking, inspiring, and useful.


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