When I first heard about this book, I was instantly intrigued. Since I'm a business student, stories of women succeeding in business, especially in male-dominated fields, are the inspiring boosts that I love reading about. At first, I thought I was going to be reading a part-advice, part-memoir book, but as it turns out, I was wrong.
Unbreakable is a memoir by Gigi Stetler, and she has been through really tough stuff. Her home life has never been good, and every time she becomes close to success, someone betrays her, and she has to start from scratch. I don't know about you, but if that happened to me, I think after two, maybe three times, I'd just give up. But even though Gigi encounters setback after setback, she never gives up.
To be honest, there's very little business-related advice in here. Yes, Gigi does talk about her various ventures, and how she seizes on opportunities, but if you're looking for broad guidelines, well you're out of luck.
Overall, this was a riveting memoir written in a conversational, easy to read style. It's an inspirational read, and a reminder for us not to give up. Today, Gigi has written a guest post on her philosophy, "Work to Learn, Don't Work to Earn". I hope you enjoy it!
Work to Learn, Don’t Work to Earn
By Gigi Stetler
Graduation season in full swing, which means thousands of new grads will be turning in their caps and gowns for suits and ties—if they’re lucky. But whether they have a job lined up or are still on the hunt, my top piece of advice for success: work to LEARN. Don't work to EARN. This way, you can get everything you need to be successful in a business of your own.
As an unfortunate 10th grade dropout I needed to navigate my own path to success, and that did not come easy. But the key ingredient that led me to success was my determination to be successful at any cost.
The first and most important skill I learned at a young age was sales. I learned to sell anything and everything from school candy to time shares, and everything in between. Looking back, it wasn’t how much money I was making that made a difference. It was the experience that I gained from dealing with so many different kinds of people, learning how to satisfy their needs and creating good customer relations skills that I still use today.
Moving into my mid-teens, I jumped into the world of retail, soaking up every bit of knowledge that an entrepreneur needs to be successful. That meant taking a job as a cashier at K-Mart and earning minimum wage. After just a few weeks—and a lot of hours—I found myself filling in shifts in all departments, because other employees weren’t showing up. I wasn’t trying to make this a career for myself, but I knew it was an opportunity to gain experience in the real world, and that’s something you don’t learn at school.
It’s significant to note that when you obtain a degree, you pay thousands of dollars for very little on-the-job experience. Most likely, you still have to intern or work for minimum wage. Whatever your career aspirations, you have to understand that when you start out in the job market, you’re not going to be earning much anyway. But, if you’re smart, you’ll be learning—a lot. Take full advantage of these early years and soak up every piece of knowledge you can find. Get as close as possible to high ranking individuals. Stay late. Ask questions. And most importantly, learn from all the mistakes that others make, so that when you move forward, you’ll know what NOT to do—and how to do it better. It may be difficult, and it may take time, but eventually, you’ll earn from what you’ve learned.
Gigi Stetler is an accomplished businesswoman, entrepreneur, and single mother. The owner of RV Sales of Broward in south Florida, she built the business from the ground up to become queen of a male-dominated industry and entirely redefine its business climate by establishing an all-new RV timeshare program, the RV Fun Club. As an accomplished equestrian, Stetler has turned her love of horseback riding into a business venture by creating Riding in Style. She has also developed her own all natural supplement line, Solongpain. Stetler continues to rewrite the rules…while writing another book.