time's up

figuring out who should buy your business

Please Tell Me There’s More

It all started with a raucous, drunken conversation. Throwing back cocktails one evening with two close friends, Alisha Fernandez Miranda started dreaming aloud about different careers she’d like to explore. Egged on, she eventually put her duties as London-based consultancy CEO and on-call mother on hold to pursue internships, and the result is the entertaining and informative My What If Year. Why make such a radical change, you ask? “I had fallen into a life that was not what I wanted and I couldn’t see any way to escape from it without tossing a live grenade into the carefully constructed world I had built for myself and my family,” she writes. Quickly dismissing silly ideas – zookeeper! vegetable farmer! park ranger! – she zeroed in on areas for which she had at least some genuine passion, starting with her lifelong love of live theatre. With a supportive nudge from her husband, our hero said goodbye to him and their eight-year-old twins and headed to Broadway for a four-week assignment in February 2020. Yup, timing is everything.

The reader can’t help but wonder, would I have what it takes to undertake such a daring adventure? If a coronavirus started spreading throughout New York City, would I scramble around offering to fill any bottom rung role to remain overseas as long as possible? The author was so fraught to capitalize on her opportunity, she fetched coffee, hauled garbage, filed paperwork, anything to please the artists she was so enthralled to be six feet apart from. It got cut short – duh – but not before Fernandez Miranda was bitten hard by the Broadway bug, tempted to go all in on a fresh career in the arts. But wait, there’s more… than a couple hundred pages to go! Back home, she goes on to dabble in fitness (assisting a colleague with fresh business strategies for her studio), art (throwing herself into the world of appraisals, auctions, etc.), and most humorously hospitality (attempting tasks like carrying three plates at once and failing a fair amount). “I have always been a control freak,” she confesses. Her openness to being the rookie in every room is remarkable, although her “boldness masked a pathological need to always be in charge.”

There are varied business lessons learned across these industries, by Fernandez Miranda and the reader drawn in by her colorful storytelling style. We’re taught creative approaches to gathering competitive intelligence as the author did extensively on behalf of Retroglow Studios. Virtual workouts are hard enough; try doing them while taking notes on trainer delivery, color schemes, soundtrack choices, etc. There’s also terrific material about self-advocacy as she recognizes when selling herself short in the highfalutin art world. And if you ever waited tables or suffered the fools who stayed at your inn, we feel the physical pain and mental strain that even one month of such work can inflict. No spoilers here – we’re kept guessing until the very end what this fearless intern will do. She can return to social-impact leadership (and owns up to such rare privilege), further pursue these four roads but for actual pay, or do something else entirely. The only bad choice Fernandez Miranda could have made at any point would have been to power through the hangover, stay the same ol’ course, and say it was just the alcohol talking.

If you have anything to say about this – or book recommendations – kindly post below (rather than emailing me) to spark conversation. Thank you!

4 comments for “Please Tell Me There’s More

  1. This sounds like a very intriguing and interesting book! I, too, would like to know how it ended! I can see my adult daughters/daughter-in-law being interested in this book as well. Thank you for sharing!

    • Much appreciated, Roberta – see above. The cat is far out of the bag! I’m confident you could pass this book around the family and all would benefit by it. Please let me know if so. 🙂

Comments are closed.