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BNH Book Review: I'm Not Really a Waitress

Published Friday Aug 21, 2020

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez LLC

“I’m Not Really a Waitress”
by Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
2019/ Seal Press         
$27/225 pages

There’s a concept in Judaism called tzedakah that’s a kind of Golden Rule: Be generous, and generosity will return to you.

It’s a tenet that young Zsuzsi Weiss was raised on and that her parents believed in, perhaps due to their experiences at Auschwitz and in Communist Hungary.

It was tzedakah that got the family out of Hungary in 1966, barely escaping confinement for not wanting to spy on others.

Once in America, Zsuzsi’s parents started a business, though Zsuzsi—now Suzi—didn’t consider going into business until she worked at her brother-in-law’s dental equipment firm.

Then they noticed something odd: Significant income from dental equipment sales came from owners of nail salons because false teeth and false nails had ingredients in common. Spotting an untapped market, the business owners learned everything they could about manicures, vowing to be the best salon supplier possible.

Thus OPI, one of the beauty industry’s best-known brands, was born.

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann says in her book, I’m Not Really a Waitress, that patience is key. It took OPI three years to earn a profit. She also credits finding a partner who complemented her skills, knowing the importance of relationships with vendors and customers, understanding that research and homework are essential, and operating with authenticity.

Named after its author’s favorite OPI nail polish color, I’m Not Really a Waitress is business advice wrapped in a thrilling memoir.

There’s a lot to like about this book, and its appeal is wide. Newbies will devour it, as will eager entrepreneurs; for them, I’m Not Really a Waitress nails it.

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