Become the FireBy: Elisa A. Schmitz


Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success

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“Curates the best advice from some of the world’s top female leaders. . . . Whether you are just starting your career, are trying to advance, or are an established leader seeking to improve, Become the Fire will inspire you.”
— from the foreword by Mary Dillon, former CEO and executive chair of Ulta Beauty
“What if every challenge you faced was fuel, or fire, to make you better in business and in life? Become the Fire is a motivating read that will help anyone overcome their hurdles and chase their ambitions. It’s a great read for those searching for inspiration and proof that dreams can come true.”
— Kara Goldin, founder and former CEO of Hint, Inc., and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Undaunted
“Elisa Schmitz knows what it takes not only to overcome life’s fire but also to let it forge the inner strength, vision, authenticity, and resilience needed to turn challenges into success. By sharing real-life lessons learned by her and other courageous women leaders, Elisa shows that success is something you can define and create for yourself, no matter your circumstances. In fact, as Elisa shares, it’s the failures that you think of as fatal, and the differences that make you, you, that can be the superpowers you need in order to succeed. The book’s interactive component enables you to apply the lessons so that you, too, can make a difference and ‘become the fire.’ An engaging read that will inspire you to make, or expand, your own mark in the world!”
— Kaira Rouda, USA TODAY bestselling author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs
“Elisa Schmitz has that rare ability to write with intelligence, heart, and confidence without veering into ego. And without making unrealistic promises. Every chapter in Become the Fire takes you deep into the thought processes and decision-making of elite, proven, and highly relatable women. You’ll want to have a pen and notepad handy, as this book will ignite a wealth of your best ideas. I have always looked for role models to inspire my daughter. This exceptional book, fueled by Elisa’s enthusiasm, is among the best I have read.”
— Daniel Joshua Rubin, author of 27 Essential Principles of Story
“Elisa Schmitz’s Become the Fire takes you on inspirational journeys of women who seized the fire within them to achieve remarkable success. Every pathway has many twists and turns, but they prove that being true to your vision at every turn ignites the fire within.”
— Kay Koplovitz, founder and former CEO of USA Networks and chairman of Springboard Enterprises
“I moved to Hollywood with no connections or knowledge of how to ‘make it’ — but I know now, and frankly, it’s all in this book. As Elisa Schmitz so eloquently encourages readers: be courageous, embrace your differences, use failure to your advantage, persevere, and — the most important rule of Hollywood — good lord, read the room . But this book isn’t about Hollywood, and anyone looking to have a successful and, more importantly, fulfilling career should read Become the Fire !”
— Janae Bakken, Emmy-nominated executive producer and TV writer of Scrubs, Baby Daddy, Anger Management, and other shows
“Elisa Schmitz’s own story is one of resiliency in the face of personal and professional obstacles. In Become the Fire , she pairs her firsthand experience with stories and advice from ten inspirational women who were willing to be brave, gritty, and uncomfortable to pursue their dreams and impact the world. It’s essential reading at a time when so many capable women are leaving the workforce and silencing their voices.”
— Alexandra Levit, Wall Street Journal columnist and internationally bestselling author of Humanity Works
“Elisa Schmitz’s Become the Fire is an engaging and informative look at the stories of women, including herself, who were trailblazers and pathmakers. Readers will find the answer to the all-important question ‘How can I do it?’ ”
— Christie Hefner, former chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises
“Elisa Schmitz’s special gift to the world has been to spark imagination into possibility. Now she’s given us the tools to kindle that flame into a bonfire of opportunity.”
— Amy Millman, founder of Springboard Enterprises and
“Through the life stories of many inspiring women — including her own — Elisa Schmitz has written more than a must-read book. Become the Fire is a call to action and a helpful guidebook for every woman who wants to achieve success, create a positive impact, and leave a lasting legacy in the world. The journeys of these strong, authentic, and resilient women are inspiring for anybody who occasionally doubts her ability to persevere and thrive. The power and vulnerability disclosed by these leaders show that happiness and success have different meanings for different people and that there are multiple ways to achieve your vision and reach your goals, whatever they may be. Become the Fire is a necessary resource for current and aspiring leaders, and a fantastic gift from a terrific one.”
— Ana Dutra, global board director and former CEO of Korn Ferry and the Executives’ Club of Chicago
“Become the Fire is not a ‘lean in’–style exhortation for women and BIPOC executives-in-the-making to emulate the loathsome posturing of the good ol’ boys of the business class in order to elbow their way into the C-suite. Instead, it implores those whose gender, race, and class have historically been barriers to the boardroom to draw from the wellspring of personal experiences that have shaped their lives to fuel their goals and build better, more successful operations that reflect their values. Become the Fire is an inspirational reminder that some of the wisdom and skills needed for success in business are not necessarily acquired in elite institutions but are often developed along a path that may seem unconventional.”
— Charles F. Whitaker, professor and dean, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
“Wow! What a great read this book is! Elisa Schmitz’s stories are so engaging, and her Sparks, Flames, and Blazes are so simple and inspiring that you just want to keep reading to find out what’s next! But my advice is to slow down and savor not only the stories but the insights and the wisdom. Give yourself time to think about yourself as you read each chapter. And if you do, by the time you get to the end of the book, you will have ignited the flame of your own future success — and embraced your own ‘outsiderness’ as one of the greatest gifts of your life.”
— Candy Deemer, coauthor of Dancing on the Glass Ceiling and managing partner / executive coach of Growth Leaders Group
“I’ve watched Elisa Schmitz build and grow 30Seconds into a successful business against all odds. I greatly admire her vision, hard work, and persistence. Become the Fire makes the case for how hard work, vision, and authentic experience increase the surface area for lucky outcomes. Read Elisa’s story and those of other amazing women about how they overcame obstacles to create trailblazing success. A must-read for every woman entrepreneur!”
— Lauren Flanagan, managing partner of BELLE Capital USA and CEO of Sesame Solar
“Schmitz writes with an infectiously upbeat tone, never elevating herself above her readers. . . Her broad-scale observations about developing personal motivation are always refreshingly direct.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This book will be a massive help for anyone who wants to start or restart their professional life or just wants to better themselves. . . . Become the Fire teaches you to recognize the opportunities and seize them with both hands to fulfill your vision . . . Schmitz’s writing style is crisp and concise, with the meticulous structural organization of the subject matter that makes for a smooth reading experience. A motivational and informative read.”
— 5-star review, Readers’ Favorite Reviews
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