Become the Entrepreneurial Fire

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Elisa SchimtzIn a world that is strewn with obstacles of every imaginable kind, is it possible to achieve your goals and aspirations? As the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Yugoslavian immigrant father, Elisa Schmitz knows what it means to be an “outsider” learning to use her “differentness” to make a difference and succeed on her own terms as an Entrepreneur. Elisa believes you can do the same. She says, “Become the (Entrepreneurial) Fire” and not allow yourself to be in the fire, and get burned, but instead use the fire to ignite your motivation, passion, and grit. It means leveraging what you do have and can do. Remember, pure gold comes out of fire. In this CareerCast, Elisa shows how to transform obstacles that can block the progress of each of us into the unstoppable fuel of fulfillment and success.
Aired November 18, 2022

Elisa A. Schmitz is an award-winning Latina entrepreneur. She founded iParenting, a “Best of the Web” digital media company that was acquired by the Walt Disney Company. She has been a newspaper columnist, magazine editor, radio and video host, and creator of content and marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Schmitz became an engaged member of various coveted business networks after she and were selected for inclusion in three highly competitive startup accelerator programs: Springboard Enterprises Media/Tech Accelerator in New York City; Blackbox/Google for Entrepreneurs Accelerator in Silicon Valley; and 1871’s WiSTEM Accelerator in Chicago.

She has transformed a number of barriers to get there. As the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Yugoslavian immigrant father, Elisa A. Schmitz knows what it means to be an “outsider” learning to use her “differentness” to succeed and make a difference.

She has a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which awarded her its Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, and an MSJ in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she’s a member of the Council of 100 mentoring organization. She lives in the Chicago area. More information at and

Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success by Elisa A. Schmitz (2022)

Next Move, Best Move: Transitioning Into a Career You'll Love by Kimberly B. Cummings (2021)

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman (2021)

How High Can You Bounce?: Turn Setbacks into Comebacks by Roger Crawford (2019)

Activate Your Agile Career: How Responding to Change Will Inspire Your Life's Work by Marti Konstant (2018)

Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg (2017)

Age of Agility: The New Tools for Career Success by Andrew J. Wilt (2017)

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by Jenny Blake (2016)

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (2016)

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David (2016)

Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life Hardcover by Adam Markel (2016)

This Is Not the Career I Ordered: Empowering Strategies from Women Who Recharged, Reignited, and Reinvented Their Careers by Caroline Dowd-Higgins (2010)

The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy by Pamela Mitchell (2009)

Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Discovering Your Next Career Path by Timothy Butler (2009)

Strategies for Successful Career Change: Finding Your Very Best Next Work Life by Martha E. Mangelsdorf (2009)

Become the Fire book cover

Read an excerpt from Become the Fire by Elisa Schmitz.

Read the Excerpt