Red & Black

From Bossy Big Sister to Sister’s “Boss”

I left home when I was 16 and earned my M.B.A. when I was 21. I had retired from the oil and gas industry by the time I was 40, got married and when that did not provide enough excitement or challenge, started racing Porsches and then Ferraris. Personality-wise, I would describe myself as extremely pragmatic and non-emotional. On the other hand, my younger sister, Red, is a warm and fuzzy stay-at-home mom, and although she has a degree from a prestigious university, was content letting other people control her life—first our parents, then her husband. But when her husband was fired, she turned to me panicked and wanted me to tell her what to do. Well, that did not go exactly as she had envisioned because I turned her crisis into a book—a brand—a business.

I developed a detailed business for the “Red & Black” brand (at the risk of sounding arrogant, imagine “Disney for baby boomer women”), the foundation of which would be the book “What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!” Intended as the basis of a sitcom, the book was formatted using emails, Instant Messages and telephone conversations so that you could hear the voices of the characters and see the ease in which it could be turned into a script. I managed to get Neiman Marcus to launch our book (that story could be a business case study and/or a few sitcom episodes), and my mind-set was “next stop Hollywood.”

Get Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers to read the rest of Black’s Story.

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