In Gambling on Granola: Unexpected Gifts on the Path of Entrepreneurship, Simon shares a tale that is uplifting and inspiring but also raw and honest. This is a business memoir but also a love story―the love for her daughter, of a journey in uncharted waters, of the products and company she created, and of the continued challenge to follow her dream.
We see her growth and healing over fifteen years, as mistakes, weaknesses, and naiveté evolve into resilience, resolve, and inspiration. For Fiona, it started out as all new businesses do―with an idea. But her world quickly became more complex as she established her company, developed new product lines, forged personal relationships in a competitive environment, grew her business, and held onto her deepest values―all while raising her daughter, Natalie, as a single mom.
"Fiona’s story is both personal and transformative. She lays bare the hopes and anxieties, challenges, betrayals and lessons learned in creating her own business. From the mountaintops of a solar observatory where she was raised, to the struggles and triumphs, her story is like a path of granola crumbs leading the reader to understand how to succeed at any enterprise."
- Jeff Kline, M.A. Ed., Chairman, Hispanic Communications Network, Washington, DC.
"Fiona Simon is an engaging storyteller and her narrative moves right along. It should inspire and motivate anyone who needs to remember the importance of persistence, belief in oneself, and vision in pursuing a goal. Her granola is good and so is her book."
- Bob McCormick, Publisher, Editor, Author
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (January 1, 2018)
Gambling on Granola is available in in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.
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Review by Cathy Hansen:
Gambling on Granola, by Fiona Maria Simon, is an interesting memoir of Simon’s life as an entrepreneur. Simon takes readers back to where it all began, after her life took a turn and she found herself a single parent. Quickly learning that she needed a change in her life and something to fill the time while daughter Natalie visited her father, Simon was inspired to start a granola company. Starting with only a strong passion for her craft and some baking talent, Simon built her company from the ground up, taking her daughter on the adventure with her.
Simon skillfully tells readers everything she learned about starting a business and making it successful, including many obstacles she faced along the way. Readers take the journey through Simon’s business development with her, and learn about more than just business. Simon also writes of all of the fascinating people she met along the way, many who helped her achieve success. We also see how much she adores her daughter and enjoys their time together.
Gambling on Granola is not a book about entrepreneurship or how to be successful in your business. Sure, there are some takeaways and tips, but it’s more about the importance of relationships, networking, and above all having a passion for what you do and a dream that keeps you going even when times get tough.
Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent
beauty consultant, and small business owner. She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.