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About the Book

Lemonade Heroes:

How Entrepreneurs turn Setbacks into Successes

Hardcover publication scheduled for early 2019, some parts for web release immediately.

Starting a business isn’t always as easy as it looks. Lemonade Heroes explores the personalities of entrepreneurs across many cultures, industries, and levels of success. As a reader, you’ll gain new insights about what works and what doesn’t.

Up-close, personal portraits of each founder bring the stories to life. Entrepreneurs share the private details of their sacrifices, failures, dreams, and yes, the occasional moment of victory. These are passionate people just like you, with the courage to pursue their goals and sometimes to “bet it all.”

The real-world secrets to survival have a lot to do with inner strength:

  • When things go wrong, day after day, how do you put on a confident face and inspire everyone to believe in you?
  • Sleep — is it optional? Are you running a sprint or a marathon? Nobody wants to be slow, but you can’t run out of breath either.
  • Family First. Everyone says it, but what if it’s the night before the most important day of your career, and you need more time to prepare?
  • You’re flat broke and you can’t make payroll. All your employees’ families are depending on you. What do you do?
  • ‘It’s me or your business,’ says your spouse whom you love dearly. But you also love your dream, and you’re trying to provide a better life. Now what?
  • ‘Won’t you get a real job?’ asks your family, pained by your pursuit of the success you swear is “just around the corner.”
  • 100 customers in a row say ‘no’ to your product, but you’re sure it has potential. Time to quit, or should you keep on trying?

What if every morning feels like the start of the most important day of your life,
and every night feels like just one more failure to meet your goals?

You set out to bring your vision into the world, for all the right reasons. But along the way it hasn’t been as easy as you hoped. Problems with team members, or disinterested customers, or competitors who play dirty… maybe service providers who don’t do what they promised, or things outside your control like personal injuries or natural disasters… all seem to conspire to steepen the incline you’ve chosen. You wonder whether it’s time to give up, as you gather the strength to continue.

Most entrepreneurs work through far more adversity than they let on publicly. But now they’re offering you an inside view of the real lives they lead, from the beautiful dreams to the crushing failures, from the painful losses to the liberating triumphs.

For this book, founders all over the world, from big corporations to garage startups, in all different industries, are sharing the stories of how they turn their private challenges into victories. They want you to:

Learn from their mistakes.
Be inspired by their successes.
Feel the passion. Meet the heroes.


Why ‘Lemonade’?

One hot summer day, the joy of a successful sale at a childhood Lemonade Stand made a lasting impression. Some of those kids grow up to become entrepreneurs. Here’s the magic formula we all know, the part that sticks with each new generation of founders:

lemons + sugar + water + advertising = money = freedom

“All I have to do is make something people want, and then I don’t need an allowance? Really?”

Who could resist?

“How much could I earn, in business for myself? What, you say there’s no limit!? No way.”

Hooked like a junkie.

Some went into business for themselves because they always knew it was their destiny. Others felt they could “do a better job than their boss”. Maybe they couldn’t find work and felt they had no choice. Or had a “next big thing” idea about how to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. The money people might want to be like Donald Trump or join the ranks of the Wall Street elite. Salespeople may be following the Kevin Harringtons and Lori Greiners. Inventors could aspire to the legacy of Thomas Edison. A few are idealists, looking to change the world like Steve Jobs.

Whatever the inspiration, we feel that anyone with the courage to meet the hard challenges of life by turning ‘lemons’ into a lemonade stand… is a hero. Does that include you?

Aaron Charles Sylvan
Author, Photographer

"When Life gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade" - Embroidered by Jane Schweitzer, this needlepoint was in my grandparents' home when I grew up. Perhaps it was an influence.

“When Life gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade” – Embroidered by Jane Schweitzer, this needlepoint was in my grandparents’ home when I grew up. Perhaps it was an influence.