Reviewed by Sarah Ell

Primrose Press, RRP $29.99

A Fabulous Failure is the autobiography of Nikki Connors, the self-styled ‘queen of property’ whose most recent business venture is the property investment company Propellor. Connors says property is her ‘greatest love of all’, although it is just the latest string in a very impressive bow. Her accomplishments stretch from small-screen and movie acting and the heady days of the 1980s advertising industry in Auckland, to the BBC in London. Connors has launched magazines in the UK and New Zealand, as well as a custom publishing company that threatened to turn the traditional publishing model on its head. 

From riches to rags and back again, it is clear from A Fabulous Failure that Connors is a woman of amazing resilience, ideas and energy – as she writes, she was born an entrepreneur, forever in search of ‘the greatest idea in the world’. She is obviously hugely talented and, if anything, downplays her considerable list of achievements. 

Connors is also bluntly honest about the discrimination she feels she has experienced as a woman making her mark in male-dominated industries. Most revealingly, she is very open about her own struggles with self-image, domestic abuse and depression.  Her passion for women, in particular, to take charge of their finances and invest in their future financial well-being is inspiring.

Connors writes with humour as well as honesty; she knows how to spin a good yarn and doesn’t dwell on the dark moments. She ends each chapter with a summary of what she learned from that period of her life, illustrating her desire to constantly improve and grow.

We all know success involves sacrifice, and yet stumbling blocks can often be glossed over. But Connors isn’t afraid to celebrate her triumphs and learn from her disasters in the course of a fascinating life.