Over the weekend, I read an inspiring book entitled, Hot, Rich, and Green: The Secret Formula Women are Using to Get Rich and Save the Planet. Rebecca Harrell Tickell, the author, gave a copy of her book to me last week. We met spontaneously in a parking lot in Venice, CA, where I was admiring her plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius powered by algae oil. Rebecca and her husband, Josh Tickell, co-produced the award-winning documentary, Fuel, and are currently producing a new film that documents the Gulf Oil Spill called, Spill. In addition to her filmmaking projects, Rebecca also works to encourage women to start their own green businesses.
Hot, Rich, and Green is written in a heartfelt style that starts out on a personal note. Rebecca describes her own eco-mission life story, which includes starring in the childhood Christmas classic, Prancer, and trying out a variety of jobs that left her feeling empty and jaded. She eventually left a high-paying real estate agent position to work on the production of Fuel and become an evangelist for the green movement.
While I enjoyed learning about Rebecca’s own green conversion, the bulk of the book is based on sound advice gathered from over fifty women eco-preneurs. The women featured are a “who’s who” of the green business world. They include Rachelle Carson Begley (from “Living With Ed”), Diane Mailley (Senior VP of Business Development, Presidio Graduate Schoool), and Alisa Gravitz (Executive Director of Green America), among several other bright, beautiful, powerful women in this field. It is truly fascinating to read about the successes and failures of women who have founded a variety of green businesses, from organic cotton t-shirts to million-dollar eco-communication firms.
What I appreciated the most about Hot, Rich, and Green is its down-to-Earth approach and its ability to connect on an emotional level. Many books on eco-entrepreneurship tend to be written from a purely business perspective. I would have liked more detail, however, in regards to the specific experiences of women featured and actual steps towards building a successful green business.
The real power of Hot, Rich, and Green is its ability to remind us of the deeper reasons why we are involved in this space. Rebecca inspires us to have fun and build healthy livelihoods while fulfilling our critical role in the eco-evolution.
Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a marketing and policy consultant in the clean tech transportation sector. To maximize consumer demand and increase the bottom-line for clean technology, visit www.MissElectric.com.