I’ve been working at the intersection of women’s issues and personal finance since 2006, so I was interested to see the deluge of pink women-and-money books onto the market over the last couple of months. And I mean pink quite literally — out of four books on women’s financial planning that are coming out just before or after the New Year, all four have pink as the primary cover color (and two have pink purses on them!).

But aside from a note to publishers to dial down the pink in the future (some women with interests in bettering their finances actually cringe when they see all that rose, mauve and fuchsia), I’ve got no complaints about "Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom."

Book Review
Title: "Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom"
Author: Marianna Olszewski
Publisher: Portfolio, 2009; 272 pages; $24.95

I’ve been working at the intersection of women’s issues and personal finance since 2006, so I was interested to see the deluge of pink women-and-money books onto the market over the last couple of months. And I mean pink quite literally — out of four books on women’s financial planning that are coming out just before or after the New Year, all four have pink as the primary cover color (and two have pink purses on them!).

But aside from a note to publishers to dial down the pink in the future (some women with interests in bettering their finances actually cringe when they see all that rose, mauve and fuchsia), I’ve got no complaints about "Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom."

Author Marianna Olszewski starts off spinning the very relatable tale of her blue-collar beginnings, including the sides of beef she had to navigate to get from her over-the-butcher-shop apartment on the way to school everyday, from childhood through her success as a self-made broker-dealer and hedge fund marketer.

Hammering home the moral of her personal story (that it is possible to live your dream life, no matter what you’re given to start with), Olszewski segues into her logical, orderly and holistic program of advice for women who crave to transform their lives — and their finances.

"Live It, Love It, Earn It" escorts readers through the experience of lifestyle transformation in three parts, starting with preparing their potential, through embracing financial freedom and to their desired destination: making their dreams a reality. Throughout, Olszewski incorporates accessible, simple steps with mindset management tools — all without insulting her readers’ intelligences.

For example, Part One: Prepare Your Potential features chapters advising readers on some basic rules that will serve them in life and in business, helps them to inject fun and joy into their lives (overall — while fostering their own wellness and without spending much money) and encourages them to build an unshakable belief in their own success potential.

In Part Two, Olszewski teaches her readers to both love and respect their money, working to neutralize past money traumas, eliminate debt and transform their expectations of how terrible, dreary and dull managing their finances can be before creating wealth-building habits like saving, investing, and tax and estate planning.

Part Three is all about action — from being assertive in your career path, to starting your own business, to practicing gratitude.

And interspersed with these brief, powerful lessons are the real-life success stories and interviews with powerhouse businesswomen we know, like Diane Von Furstenberg and Tamara Mellon (the visionary behind Jimmy Choo shoes), and women we’ve never heard of (but should have), including an ambassador, a congresswoman and many other successful business owners.

This book progresses from basic to advanced, covers in broad strokes everything from how to live to how to start and run a business and offers advice ranging from how to accept thanks to how to aggressively, but accurately, manage your tax liability. In short — it multitasks as much as the women it was written for.

Part self-help, part inspiration, part motivation and part instruction, if you (or a woman in your life) have been floundering financially or simply aren’t sure where to get started in changing the direction of your life, I would urge you to read "Live It, Love It, Earn It."

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Ask her a real estate question online or visit her Web site, www.rethinkrealestate.com.

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