Book Reviews Archives

You can’t accomplish much without knowing who you are—the authentic you—and communicating your value to others. Catherine Kaputa

In the personal branding mindset, you are your most important asset—an asset, like education, that no one can take away from you. Personal branding shows you how to increase the value of that asset, both in terms of self-actualization—becoming who you can be—and in terms of human capital—maximizing the financial value of your career. Personal branding is always based on authenticity, but it’s showing yourself in the best, most relevant, and most appealing way to a specific audience.”

These life-changing words are found in the new and expanded second edition of Catherine Kaputa’s book, You Are A Brand. It is a book well-worth reading and one that you must get your hands on ASAP.

It has been said what you don’t know won’t hurt you. I must tell you that is not true. What you don’t know about personal branding will hurt you, now and in the years to come.

So, I invite you to learn from a 20-year veteran of branding and advertising, Mrs. Catherine Kaputa. She is a bona fide branding GURU who graced us with her presence, her expertise, her guidance on today’s Books That Transform show.

I have included the questions I asked her below and the player from Blog Talk Radio so that you can listen RIGHT NOW. Please do. You will thank me later. :)

Catherine, when Hurricane Sandy hit and I saw the damage done in Manhattan, I immediately thought of you. I remembered that you were in Manhattan when I interviewed you in June and wondered how things were with you and your family. Tell us about the bravest or most courageous moment that you have witnessed or heard about in the area since Sandy devastated the area.

 Catherine you are a 20-year veteran of branding and advertising, a bona-fide guru, if you will, so I want to begin the show with some myths about personal branding that are running rampant in the entrepreneurial stratosphere. I would love for you to dispel those myths for us on the show today right off the bat. Is that okay?

Myth #1

I am not participating in personal branding. I have a solid career. I don’t have a website. I don’t waste time on Facebook or Twitter and LinkedIn….well, I don’t even see the purpose for that. It’s too boring and confusing. So, I guess you can say that personal branding is just not “for me.”

Myth #2

I have earned all of the professional degrees necessary in my industry as well as all of the most important certifications. My educational credentials and experience in the field are enough to make me stand out and attract any client I so desire.


At this point, I truly do not have time for social media. I am focusing on creating dynamic products and services first. When, I finish that, I will start promoting my products and services on Facebook and Twitter. I might even start a YouTube channel.

 Catherine, in chapter two you focus on one of the fundamentals of personal branding and that is being unique and standing out. At first, you might think this would be easy to do, but in a world where we are taught to assimilate and blend in, it is quite a challenge for many entrepreneurs. How do we figure out what makes us different and then how do we effectively communicate it to our target audience?

Catherine, I absolutely love the positioning strategies that you share from the commercial world that we can use to build a strong self-brand. I have chosen a few very familiar companies and I would love for you to tell us the positioning strategy that they implemented and how a solopreneur might emulate that strategy.

  • Apple

  • Target

  • Allstate

 In this second edition, you have taken the time to help us craft a compelling elevator speech? What are the elements of a good elevator speech and why is it so important?

 Catherine, many of us have heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, but in chapter 5 you address this matter head on. Tell us about the power of our visual identity and why it must be a top priority.

 Someone listening is saying, “Oops. I have tarnished or damaged my brand by doing all of the wrong things. How do I re-brand myself and create a strategy that gives me a fresh new start?”


Listen to the Show Now

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 Did you enjoy the show?  Please leave a comment here.

You can also download the show for free on iTunes. Go to and take the show with you wherever you go. :) Thanks for listening!


An Encyclopedia of Incredible Tips

When I purchased Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Your Book On The Internet, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

It is the most comprehensive book I have seen on book marketing as it covers every single possible question or concern that an aspiring or veteran author might have when it comes to creating a presence online. 

It is apparent that Penny’s goal was to over-deliver on the content, as we are often told to do as entrepreneurs, trainers, educators, or service professionals, and that is what she did.

I literally could see this book as at least 5 different books–all chocked full of strategies that actually get results.

My Transforming Talk with Penny Sansevieri

You have to know by now that I absolutely LOVE reading and sharing transforming talks with authors with you. Today, I was blessed to talk to Penny Sansevieri and honestly, I could have talked to her for hours.

If you don’t mind me saying so, this interview was AWESOME!!!! Penny shared so much information that would help you, me–anyone who has a story, experience, and expertise to share with others through their writing.

Here are some of the questions I asked Penny. Listen to the show to find out what she had to say.

  • Penny, you demonstrate your expertise in a big way in Red Hot Internet Publicity. It is as if you wrote an encyclopedia for authors all over the world, covering every single possible concern or question they might have when it comes to promoting their books. What was your biggest challenge as you brainstormed what to include in a book such as this?
  •  I’d like for every author or prospective author who is listening to our discussion to take away some concrete, action steps that really work in today’s marketplace, so let’s begin “at the beginning.” I am writing a book right now. I have two chapters done. What would you advise me to do first as it relates to marketing my book?
  • When I read the first 100 pages of your book, I find out how important an author’s website is as his/her piece of internet real estate. What are the things no good website can be without?
  • Should an author have a separate website for the book or just promote the book on their own website?
  •  Penny, there are some authors out there who have websites, but they have not entered the blogosphere or they started a blog, but they don’t post on a regular basis. What is the number one reason that authors should be bloggers and what are the major mistakes that bloggers need to avoid making?
  •  One of the greatest tips you shared in the book is “People don’t buy books, they buy benefits.” With that in mind, what must an author do to create a site that gives customers what you call “A Nordstrom Shopping Experience”?
  •  Penny, you lay out so many ways to promote your book on the internet. For the remainder of the show, I’d like to focus on this. If you had to choose the top 5 ways for book promotion, what would they be and why?
  •  Penny, there may be someone listening who has already published his or her book, already has a website, but they just have not been able to make an impact their target audience as they’d hoped, what would you advise him or her to do right now?


Listen To The Show Right Here!

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Wasn’t that a great discussion? Feel free to share any insights you gained from the show right here. I love to hear from you. Also, please share this post with those in your network that you believe will benefit from Penny’s knowledge and expertise. You may contact Penny at

I’m every woman, it’s all in me! Anything you want done, Baby, I do it naturally!

That song will get you going won’t it? You listen to a couple of choruses of that, whether it’s Whitney’s or Chaka Khan’s version, and you just might be ready to conquer the world.

Or, you might just be thinking—

I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan….and never, ever, ever let you forget you’re a man, cause I’m a WOman!!!

Ahhhh…..sookie now! I remember watching that commercial as a young girl, not really understanding what was so great about bringing home the bacon. Sounded like an easy thing to do to me. :-)

Little did I know that the bacon represented an income and what this songstress was saying was that women could be professionals, homemakers, and very, shall we say, “feminine”, all at the same time.

But at the end of the day, what do WE, the women of the 21st century really think about that? What do we think about the pressures of fitting into certain ideals or molds created by those outside of ourselves?

What do WE really believe WE are capable of and what do WE think about ourselves?

Successful Women Really Do Think Differently 

In Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, & More Resilient by Certified Personal and Executive Coach Valorie Burton, we learn that success is three-fold. It consists of “harmony of purpose, resilience, and joy.” It is only “when these three elements flow together you will experience true success.”

It’s not about the material things.

It’s not about a specific status.

It’s not about meeting others’ expectations.

It’s not about trying to be everything to everybody.

It’s not even about keeping up with Mrs. Jones.

It’s just about 3 things–purpose, resilience, and joy.

At the end of the day, the only way you will live a fulfilling life is when you know exactly what your life’s purpose is and you program your mind to focus only on thoughts that empower you to succeed.

In Successful Women Think Differently, Valorie Burton guides you through the process of understanding your mindset as it stands today and how your mindset can be transformed to serve you better.

The 9 Habits that you will learn are–

  1. Believe You Can Do It
  2. Get Off the Hedonic Treadmill
  3. Stop Trying to Fix Your Weaknesses
  4. Build Your Muscle of Self-Control
  5. Cultivate Positive Emotion
  6. Be Prepared for Battle
  7. Don’t Be a Maximizer
  8. Don’t Go It Alone
  9. Write It Down


Not only will you learn those 9 Habits, you will also learn the 7 Key Decisions That Will Change Your Life.

The Engaging Conversation

Today, at 11:00 a.m. (EST), I had the honor and privilege of talking to Valorie Burton about some of the key principles in her book. Listen to the interview as she expounds on–

  • The Fixed Mindset vs. The Growth Mindset
  • Why Women Today Are Less Happy Than They Were 40 Years Ago
  • How to Create a Happiness Action Plan
  • Why It is Important to Focus on Your Strengths
  • How To Build Your Self-Control Muscle
  • What It Means to Be Resilient & How You Can Become More Resilient Everyday

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Before You Go

  • Get a free copy of Successful Women Think Differently shipped to your door when you share some insight you gained from the interview at
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Being Transparent with Nancy D. Solomon

The Book Review

I often read personal development books with the hope of getting a revelation that will change my mindset, my way of being for the better. I guess that is the least I hoped for when I purchased Impact! What Every Woman Needs to Know to Go From Invisible to Invincible. Well, let me just say that I was not prepared for what actually happened to me, page after page, after page, after page.

When something is transparent, it is capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material.

Strangely,as I read each word, each phrase that Nancy so directly delivered, my many layers of complexity seemed to peel away until I was forced to see myself without any “intervening material.” I literally became transparent to the one person who really matters–ME.

It was as if she pulled me into some magnetic field right from the start with the “Message from the Author: Just Between You and Me.” Honestly, I think if she had only written this section and called it Impact, I would have been satisfied. 

Yes, that’s how good it is. Some kind of way, Nancy touched all of the hurtful, sensitive places and nailed my struggles dead-on. I actually thought we had possibly met somewhere, in a diner, in a forum, at Starbucks perhaps, and had a deep, personal conversation that I had somehow forgotten. How else would she be able to read me so effortlessly?

But, to my delight, that was just the beginning. The fact that the book is divided into five major sections that are then uniquely expressed in small essays is a surprising treat….essays, yes, essays. Nancy spoke to me about specific areas of my life as a woman in delicate yet straightforward essays. What an ingenious idea! As a result, I was able to breeze through book with a little more than 250 pages.

As a woman and brand new entrepreneur, I was so grateful for the unexpected gift I received from Impact. I walked away with an entirely new perspective on who I am and what I am here to do.

I walked away knowing that I am obligated to make an impact in this world and that my business is a vehicle by which to do that. Most importantly, I walked away proud to be me–the only me out of over 7 billion people on the planet.

If you are tired of not really “getting” who you are and what you were called to do; if you are fed up with suppressing your true self; if you are ready to first become visible to yourself and then invincible to the world–Impact is the book for you. It will probably be one of the best books you have ever read in your life!

The Interview

On Tuesday, January 24th, I had the privilege of interviewing Nancy D. Solomon. It was a wonderful experience. Click play to listen to the interview and possibly see yourself in an entirely different light.

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