Reviewed by Sarah Ell
I really enjoyed reading this book from the moment I picked it up. It’s the story of how the 42 Below brand was conceived, built and eventually sold, as well as the relationship between the author and her husband, 42 Below founder Geoff Ross. The book also includes plenty of business advice, dispensed in a frank and engaging way.
The 42 Below story is an amazing example of New Zealand entrepreneurship and drive. The building of a world-class vodka brand, consumed from Scotland to Tahiti, is the stuff of legend. But I get the impression that Geoff Ross and Justine Troy would have been successful in business life without 42 Below.
Readers can learn many things from this book. Perhaps one of the strongest themes it discusses is “the only thing constant about your dreams is you.” Geoff Ross, and all those around him, never lost sight of this.
The premise of the book is that you always run up against people who love to say “No” to the dreams of others. The 42 Below team encapsulated the ethos that you just have to swallow a spoonful of concrete, harden up and move on and find those that will say “Yes”.
Many such simple truths pop up throughout this lively ‘drinking guide’ of a book, which is peppered with very cool vodka recipes for you to try.
Every reader can take something from this book. Whether it’s by way of a life-changing epiphany or a great quote to remember.
I read and reread chapter four (Diamonds Are Made Under Pressure); it so neatly describes the idea that pressure can be a positive thing and if you keep working very hard, good things do happen.
There’s a lot to take from this book. For me, it was find your own truth and relevance in the world and then go out and grab it with humour, hard work and a little bit of naughtiness.