Become the Fire

Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
312 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2023
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Author Biography

Elisa A. Schmitz is an award-winning Latina entrepreneur and journalist. She is the founder and CEO of, with millions of unique users every month. She is also the founder of iParenting, a “Best of the Web” digital media company that was acquired by the Walt Disney Company. She lives in the Chicago area.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

It's a given that people will face obstacles and have to overcome their struggles in the pursuit of their dreams. Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success is a self-help motivational guidebook by Elisa Schmitz aimed at helping readers to turn their inner conflicts into fuel on their path to success and fulfillment. Born to a Yugoslavian immigrant father and a Puerto Rican mother, Elisa always felt like an outsider. In this book, she demonstrates how being an outsider helped develop her situational awareness, leading her to become the director and executive editor for the Disney Interactive Media Group. She was a divorced single mother raising three children while battling health issues who found inspiration during her situation and built a successful company. The book also contains stories and interviews with ten self-made women from diverse backgrounds who carved their paths to success.

Highly driven people find motivation even amidst adversity. Elisa Schmitz's story of her own life and that of ten similarly empowered women is just the kind of book you need to read if you're an aspiring entrepreneur. Become the Fire teaches you to recognize the opportunities and seize them with both hands to fulfill your vision. You will learn how motivation plays a key role in manifesting courage in a person, just as resilience is the key to becoming friends with failure. 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.

Rabia Tanveer

Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success by Elisa Schmitz is an inspirational book created to be a pick-me-up for those who need it the most. The book is designed to help readers turn chaos into a vehicle for success in both their professional and personal lives. The author provides strategies and techniques for developing a growth mindset, taking risks, and turning challenges into opportunities. Schmitz uses examples from 10 talented and successful women (herself included) to motivate, encourage, and provide aspiring women and men with information on how to pursue their dreams and succeed.

Elisa Schmitz creates a healthy space for dialogue and inspiration with Become the Fire. In 10 meaningful chapters, she manages to evaluate all the key aspects of what we consider success to be and describes how we can adopt these in our personal and professional environment. It is much more than a coffee table book. Elisa keeps her words simple yet strong, with enough power behind them to leave an imprint. She asks questions, provides advice, motivates, keeps morale high, and educates her readers. Each individual featured is inspirational, but Paula Boggs, Emily Smith, and Laura Desmond are now my heroes. It's not easy to turn chaos into triumph. You need to develop a thirst for success to channel all your energy into something productive. I believe this book will be a massive help for anyone who wants to start or restart their professional life or just wants to better themselves. I highly recommend this guide.

Cecelia Hopkins

Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success by Elisa A. Schmitz begins with her childhood in Puerto Rico, recounts the family’s escape from war-torn Lebanon, and describes being bullied at school in Chicago. As a woman, Elisa was able to create the internet business iParenting, and also establish a second business called 30Seconds. Each chapter's title encapsulates the author’s approach, beginning by being “visionary”, sticking to “your authentic self”, learning to push outside your comfort zone, tapping into your inner courage, and embracing failure as an opportunity. The author also advises being practical (“viable”), persevering, developing inspiring leadership skills, and striving to be the best you can be. The experiences of other inspirational women are included in special focus sections. Jules Pieri, Sarah Hofstetter, Laura Desmond, Desirée Rogers, Paula Boggs, Kim Oster-Holstein, Emily Smith, Winnie Park, Talita Ramos Erickson, and Angela Martinez Korompilas all have lessons to teach us.

Become the Fire by Elisa A. Schmitz is a combination of self-help writing and memoir. The message was designed to inspire women to overcome barriers and succeed. I was fascinated by Elisa’s experiences, especially how being forced to help at a preschool led to paid babysitting and eventually to the author finding a niche interest she could share with the world. I liked the way she described the niche market growing until it became a series of related websites. I admired the way Elisa protected her intellectual property with specially chosen domain names. I was particularly impressed by her chapter on failure, as the fear of failure often inhibits initiative. The motivational discussion was beautifully balanced by the chapter on viability, which emphasized employable skills. I can recommend this book because it encourages the reader to make the most of themselves.