January 4, 2010

News & Opinion: Live It, Love It, Earn It

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Marianna Olszewski starts off 2010 with a book for women.  Titled, Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom, the book addresses how women can take more control over their careers and lives and gain independent success through the lessons the author herself has experienced.  Check out the overview video below, and then the brief Q&A that follows for more info on her perspective, and some of her helpful ideas.  The book itself is easy to digest, but filled with a broad scope of information to help any woman who's balancing family and career, starting her own company, or simply wants to gain leverage in her job and life.

What inspired you to write the book?
I wanted to share my story and other women's stories with women who are struggling - facing mountains of debt, landing a first job, dealing with unemployment, changing careers in midstream, or going solo after a divorce. My vision is to help women feel more energized, optimistic and confident with their life and their money. I am from very humble beginnings, growing up in a small town in New Jersey, all 7 of us living in a small apartment above a butcher shop. I was the first to go to college, follow my dream to start my own business and made millions in my early thirties – if I overcame financial and life challenges, so can every woman.

What do you think is the biggest mistake women make today with their careers?
Not believing in themselves! Most women are so supportive of other people but when it comes to their own financial independence, dreams and desires.  But often, they second guess themselves and brush their goals aside because they don’t have enough time to focus. I know women are stronger than we think. We can have our dream career, a beautiful balanced life, and financial freedom. Live It, Love It, Earn It has practical tools and success strategies including how to get a promotion, negotiating tactics, how to start your own business, mentoring and modeling and so many other tips that help make your career vision become a reality.

What are some key practices to balance smart business vs. creative impulses?
Going from fuzzy to firm – which is to take all of your ideas of what you want to do out of your head and put them down on paper. When your ideas are down on paper you can look at them more objectively and either go forward or tweak them.

Seizing the moment – Oftentimes we have a perfect business opportunity staring us in the face but we choose to ignore it. We need to be in sync with what’s important so that when opportunity does come knocking, you’ll be able to act quickly, without missing a beat.

A woman with a plan – If you want to start your own business, I strongly suggest a clear and concise business plan. (see for a sample 5-step business plan) A business plan is a must for two reasons: so that you are clear about your business objectives, goals, plans and financials and also so a potential investor can very clearly see all the details.

Family vs. work: Is it really possible to succeed at both?

Yes, however at times it can be challenging. Being organized is the secret. Every night before I go to bed I list all the things I need to do the next day. I also say “no” to invitations and activities I don’t necessarily enjoy or want to do so I have the time to say “yes” to myself.

What is your advice for women with lots of business ideas, but little money to get them up and running?
You can do it. I had close to zero when I started my business and made millions in just a few years. I suggest following the steps outlined in my book – putting your dream business on paper, the 5 step business plan, doing your due diligence, creating financials, and most importantly asking for the money! There are a number of sources for money – institutional loans, private loans, family loans etc. A business plan is necessary to explain to investors your idea and financial background which they use to evaluate whether or not they want to place their money in your hands. Live It, Love It, Earn It offers practical tips and suggestions that make it easier than you think.