Title: Ladies Who Launch – How to Live Your Dreams and Love Your Life, Embracing Entrepreneurship and Creativity as a Lifestyle

Date Completed: 9/13/09

Author(s): Vicotia Colligan & Beth Schoenfeldt

Copyright: 2007, St. Martin’s Press

# pages: 218

Genre: Business/Entrepreneurship

 This book is a companion to the Ladies Who Launch website.  It essentially lays out the mission and vision of the site in book form.  I’d almost consider the book to be a marketing piece for the site.  Having said that, I do thing that the book can stand on its own if you never visit the site.

 The book outlines steps that should be taken whenever you are trying to launch a new effort in your life.  Most of the book is focused on launching a business, however, the authors constantly remind you that these steps can be used for anything.  You want to accomplish in your life – launching a new social life, a weight low program, or a charity (see how I’ve tied this into my current project – clever, I know). 

 The most unique feature of the book is the discussion about how women approach ‘launching’ differently than men.  I laughed all through this section because it described my husband and I to a tee.  Women are generally much more creative than men in their approach.  They approach things in a non-linear fashion, and they move toward their end goal without always knowing how they will get there. 

 Men come up with an idea, put together a business plan, figure out each step that will be needed to get from point A to point B, and then they start to make their move.  This linear approach is not creative and usually puts a woman in a position of losing her enthusiasm for her idea.

 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an idea for a business (admittedly some were a little out there) which I’ve gotten very excited about.  I bring it up with my husband and he starts down the ‘business case’ list.  What kind of margin would you have?  Will that be more or less per hour than you currently make?  What kind of operating expenses have you factored in?  You’ll need to incorporate at least another 25% for marketing expenses.  By the end of the questions – I’ve lost all interest in the project because it’s not fun anymore.  This book helped me realize that my husband can’t help asking me these questions any more than I can help coming up with all the different ideas.

 One of the other great things I learned is that women don’t have to finish something to be fulfilled.  For those of you how know me, you’ll know that this is me!  I feel validated in knowing that I’m not the only person out there who can be satisfied even though I didn’t complete what I started.  For instance, I can think of a great business idea and spend a lot of time researching it.  Then, I will think of something new and I’m on to the next thing.  This doesn’t bother me at all – I had fun doing the research so why spend any time feeling bad about what I did?  I don’t need to take the project any further to be happy about it. 

 The second half of the book covers the steps that the authors feel you should follow to successfully launch your project.  It includes discussions about the step and then follows up with exercises that you can complete to help you move toward your goal. 

 If I had to summarize their approach in 20 words or less, it would be:  figure out what you want, take a small step toward accomplishing it, celebrate your progress, repeat.