"47th NAACP Image Award Nominee in Literature"
The Audacious Woman: Blaze Your Own Path To Prosperity, by Pamela Y. Toussaint, MBA (Courageous Women Publications, 2015, 118 pages).
Book Review by Dennis Moore
“Looking and acting like a leader depends on getting three things right, a trio we refer to as Appearance, Communication, and Gravitas. Individuals who nail each of these elements exude true executive presence.”
~ “Executive Presence” By the Center for Talent Innovation
July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Pamela Y. Toussaint, MBA, the president and founder of Ultimate Image Coach, has authored with her daughter, Tamara Toussaint, JD, the quintessential book on women’s empowerment; The Audacious Woman: Blaze Your Own Path To Prosperity. A personal branding consultant, corporate trainer, author, and keynote speaker, Toussaint came from humble beginnings to write this well researched and documented book. Born and raised in a small village in Jamaica with three sisters and brother, her mother was widowed when Pamela was 10 years old. Against all odds, motivated by the values her mother instilled, Toussaint achieved success as a corporate executive and community leader in the United States. She took an audacious step to re-write her life’s story, and re-branded herself as The Ultimate Image Coach. Click to view.
Toussaint believes that passion, a compelling personal brand, audacity, self-confidence, and impeccable communication skills are the keys to a successful career and life. As a corporate trainer and professor at Palm Beach State College in Florida, Toussaint works with students to build critical human and customer relations skills in preparation for successful careers.
After reading the “Audacious Woman: Blaze Your Own Path To Prosperity,” Toussaint believes you will be able to:
- Find Your Purpose
- Own Your Power
- Take Risks
- Seize Opportunities
- Create a Compelling Personal Brand
In the prologue to this book, Toussaint makes a resounding statement and courageous move in life, which puts it in context and sums it up, by stating: “I quit my Human Resources (HR) executive job in August 2010. I took a bold step to re-write my life’s story by re-branding myself as The Ultimate Image Coach. I walked away from a six-figure salary and a 40-year career to pursue my passion. I did not make this decision lightly. I had always known that I wanted to do more and use my God-given talents and expertise to help others succeed in their professional and personal lives. I just didn’t know when I would make the leap and what I would ultimately do.” To put another way, Toussaint indicates that she sent her family into shock by walking away from this 40-year Human Resources career that was raking in over $100,000 annually. I can actually relate to that decision, as I did something similar when I walked away from a Specification Engineer position for the City of Chicago Department of Aviation at O’Hare International Airport, but for different and more compelling reasons.
In reading this well written book, and the numerous phone and email conversations that I have had with the author, I can attest to her calculated gamble paying huge dividends for her, and by following her guidelines as prescribed, it will work for others reading this book. People are lining up to purchase this book and to attend workshops in which she speaks on the subject, as these pictures indicate.
Toussaint speaks of her reliance on social media, namely LinkedIN and facebook for her personal branding, specifically stating: “With over 300 million professionals online, LinkedIn is a personal branding gift.” As a matter of fact, this is how Toussaint and I got acquainted, through LinkedIn. She further emphasizes the importance and value of videos, specifically stating in her book: “Personal Branding experts say that 2015 is the year of the videos. Are you adding a video clip to your blog, LinkedIn, or website? Just think about it. We have these smartphones, which are excellent cameras, and the videos they produce are easy to upload to your social networking sites, such as YouTube. I will be doing much more with videos for these very reasons.” It sounds like the author has a master plan worth following. Click on to view video here.
Toussaint took her personal brand to a book signing for “Mika”, the co-host of “Morning Joe on MSNBC”, with the expressed intent and desire to be invited as a guest on this show. With Toussaint’s tenacity and business savvy, I have no doubt that we will be seeing her on the show. This is the audacious nature of this enterprising woman!
In a recent phone interview with the co-author of this book, Tamara Toussaint, JD, she reiterated what her mother had indicated, that it was her grandmother that instilled in her the drive to succeed. Toussaint uses her background in diversity, the legal industry, and higher education to provide practical professional presence consulting to young professionals starting out in their careers, and those in a mid-career makeover, through Ultimate Image Coach, which she co-owns with her mother. Realizing that first impressions last a lifetime, Toussaint’s specialty is coaching clients on online personal branding, communication skills, interview preparation, social media branding, and professional attire for every occasion. She truly believes that fashion and personal style define who you are and reflect your brand image. “Like mother, like daughter!” What a formidable team! Toussaint indicated in this phone interview that her mother got her started early in this process, getting her a job with her as an intern at the age of 16.
Although this book is written with women in business and entrepreneurship in mind, the principles of being The Audacious Woman applies to all women seeking to excel, a book I strongly recommend. Just yesterday, August 6, 2015, the author appeared on the Myra Goldick radio show to discuss her book and her ideas on personal branding. Listen to the interview here.
Dennis Moore is the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, along with being a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.