A small business owner shares her fears, failures, and successes in this motivational memoir.
It turns out there are plenty of “F words” that apply to owning a business: Each of the 21 chapters, plus an introduction and close, is titled with one. Building a book around “F words” might have felt somewhat artificial in the hands of a less capable writer than Preslar (On Heaven’s Couch, 2011). Her “French parents brought me into this world as an F word—Fabienne,” one justification for the manual’s amusing title. The author writes with such style, verve, and flair that it is hard not to embrace the concept and follow her journey. While the volume covers the typical ups and downs of small business ownership, one of its more striking elements is Preslar’s authenticity in unveiling her vulnerabilities. She willingly shares the difficult lessons she has learned in life and business, focusing on the realities of facing her fears and rising above failures. For example, the author reveals that fear has, at times, been debilitating, but she has made positive efforts to overcome it. She writes that fear is “like a flame that burns brighter when it’s fanned with avoidance, antianxiety medication, and denial.” Preslar also discusses how, as an introvert, networking and business relationships have not been easy for her, especially when she was unexpectedly “stung” by someone. The author tells a particularly poignant story about one experience with a woman from whom she learned three valuable lessons: “We never know what someone is thinking….We tote our baggage everywhere….We never know what someone is going through.” Such personal insights and refreshing candor lend a richness to the book and move it beyond just another entrepreneur’s account of building a business. Preslar offers helpful counsel to anyone contemplating business ownership, weaving in advice about finances, health, leadership style, interactions with employees, and more. The short chapters are always followed by several thought-provoking questions for readers to consider.
Written with a great deal of humility; highly reflective, heartfelt guidance for entrepreneurs.