Business & Success

JUST SOLD! September 2016: Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer’s NO EXCUSES! Learn Your EQ* and Turn Your Excuses into Solutions for Success * Excuse Quotient (Penguin Random House, Fall 2017).
Our second book together — looking forward to working with Jon again on a unique book that will help you banish excuse-making and get your work and personal life into full-speed-ahead mode.

October 2013
Jon Taffer’s Raise the Bar (Amazon New Harvest October 2013) – Here Jon presents a new way to look at bar and restaurant management that’s chock full of tips any entrepreneur can use, no matter what business they’re in. Raise the Bar hit the Wall Street Journal’s Hardcover Business Bestseller List twice so far.

April 2013

Nice Companies Finish First by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly (Palgrave Macmillan April 2013) – Peter Shankman presents a new way to look at management and entrepreneurship. The era of authoritarian cowboy CEOs like Jack Welch and Lee Iacocca is over. In an age of increasing transparency and access, it just doesn’t pay to be a jerk—to employees, customers, competitors, or anyone else. In Nice Companies Finish First, Peter Shankman, founder of HARO and a pioneer in modern PR, marketing, advertising, social media, and customer service, profiles famously nice executives, entrepreneurs, and companies that are setting the standard for success in this new collaborative world. He explores the new hallmarks of effective leadership, including loyalty, optimism, humility, and a reverence for customer service, and shows how leaders like Jet Blue’s Dave Needleman, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Ken Chenault of Amex, and the team behind Patagonia harness these traits to build productive, open, and happy workplaces for the benefit of their employees, themselves, and the bottom line.Nice Companies has also gotten rave reviews: “Looks at how treating customers really well can bring huge dividends…in the era when customers can share information instantly on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, it’s more important than ever for companies to keep them happy.”—

“Shankman contends that in the long run, leaders who show loyalty, optimism, humility, and a reverence for customer service will create both profits and a happy workforce…He explains how their thoughtfulness and willingness to collaborate helped them create solid bottom lines for their businesses and happy workplaces.”—Upstart Business Journal

“The book’s anti-Machiavellian approach is trendy and humanistic, and it bears repeating by thought leaders.”–Publishers Weekly

“A corporate consultant argues that kinder, gentler corporate leaders and corporations are winning out over older, tougher images of take-no-prisoners leadership…A smoothly put together business leadership primer.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Excellent, thought-provoking book for a new generation of leaders.”–Booklist

“As CEO of one of the fastest-growing clothing lines in the world, I greatly admire Peter Shankman’s strategies and techniques, and have implemented many of them at SCOTTEVEST. I highly recommend this book if you are a business owner or entrepreneur trying to build a unique brand and truly productive work environment.”–Scott Jordan, CEO, Scottevest

“Shankman has put in a wakeup call for leaders to examine each of their daily interactions from the bottom to top. Through memorable examples, he offers straightforward and practical advice on how to conduct oneself in a way that will lead to win-win relationships with the people that matter most – essentially everybody in our world.”–Leigh Thompson, professor, Kellogg School of Management and author of Creative Conspiracy.

“Fresh thinking that feels familiar. And it should – we’ve been told ‘play nice’ since we were kids. But Peter expands the thought to encompass flexibility, compassion and the secret sauce: collaboration .”–Cathy Calhoun, president, North America, Weber Shandwick

Success is all about connections. Debra Kaye explodes conventional thinking about innovation and provides an approach that anyone or any business can use to expose the crucial links among observations, experiences, facts, and feelings that on the surface do not seem related–but are–to uncover fresh, brilliant insights. In Red Thread Thinking, Kaye shows you how to weave originality from disparate information and turn it into a product or service that can shake up the marketplace–and your business.

March 2013

What sets Red Thread Thinking apart from other books is that it reveals exactly how to identify and understand hidden cultural codes and shifts in consumer perceptions that speak to emerging and existing markets and, as a result, catapult fresh products to iconic status.

A mold-breaking system, Red Thread Thinking sharpens your innovation skills and can assist in problem solving, whether preparing a talk, pitching a project to your colleagues and boss, managing staff in a more productive way, or taking business to a new level. Learn the ways of Red Thread Thinking:

Red Thread One: “Innovation–It’s All in Your Head”–We can fire up our brains to become better at observing and interpreting what we see around us

Red Thread Two: “Everything Old is New”–Take a fresh look at the past to gain remarkable advantage

Red Thread Three: “People: The Strangest Animals in the Zoo”–Know what makes your market tick, and you’ll know what makes them spend

Red Thread Four: “What You See Is What You Get”–Learn how to create an entirely new and accessible “language” to make your product stand out and be universally understood

Red Thread Five: “The Force of Passion”–Persevere, review, and refine your ideas without compromising your integrity or core beliefs.

Red Thread Thinking teaches you to activate your own knowledge and resources to make better connections, have more and superior insights, and apply history as a valuable source for future-leaning innovation.

Praise for Red Thread Thinking

Red Thread Thinking weaves a marvelous tapestry of insight and wisdom. A must read for entrepreneurs hoping to take their ideas from fuzzy to firm.” — Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Red Thread Thinking provides a deliberate system to create a ‘revolution in your mind’–the first order of business for any innovator who wants to shift the consumer landscape and offer value and usefulness to customers. The book is filled with practical information that will help you expand your thinking.” — Jay Walker, Chairman, Walker Digital; founder of

“A fascinating read that should hearten anyone who wants to apply proven strategies to the act of collecting and connecting dots that exist for us all–if only we’d stop and notice.” — Danny Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

“In Red Thread Thinking, Debra Kaye offers a framework for innovation that embraces–indeed harnesses–the power of serendipity, free association, and our mind’s elastic ability to see what’s new in the familiar.” — Jean-Marie Dru, Chairman, TBWA\Worldwide

“Debra Kaye has created an approach to innovation that combines simple, pragmatic steps on the journey of innovation to benefit any serious entrepreneur or manager who believes innovation is central to business and that it is not the mysterious privilege of a few.” — Thomas Pinnau, Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Universe Work-Life Solutions

Red Thread Thinking offers a compelling framework for the modern-day innovator–one who wants to operate with a big consumer knowledge but with or without a sizeable infrastructure and budget.” — Jed C. Scala, Vice President and General Manager, Credit Card Products, American Express

Previously published:

LIVE IT, LOVE IT, EARN IT – A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Marianna Olszewski.

A book for women on how to control their lives, money and spending habits to create fuller more meaningful lives by multi-millionaire money coach and hedge fund marketer Marianna Olszewski (Viking Penguin Portfolio Books, January 2010).

ZERO TO BREAKTHROUGH: The 7-Step Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals That Matter – By Vernice Armour.

“Hang on and watch your life take flight with FlyGirl!”
-Marcia Wieder, CEO and Founder of Dream University

Before she was thirty years old, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour had become a decorated naval aviator, Camp Pendleton’s 2001 Female Athlete of the Year and Strongest Warrior winner, the first female African-American on Nashville’s motorcycle police squad, and a member of the San Diego Sunfire professional women’s football team. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and she believes that women and men from all walks of life have the potential to achieve the highest levels of success with the right flight plan. In Zero to Breakthrough, Vernice turns aspiration into action by revealing how to create the path that will get you out of your rut on onto the runway – cleared for take off.

Armour firmly believes that there is no such thing as a dream out of reach. Integrating the foundational concepts of a Breakthrough MentalityTM like preparation, strategy, courage, legacy, and the importance of high spirits and enthusiasm, Zero to Breakthrough helps readers build a sustainable inner force and conviction that result in accomplishing significant goals and becoming an extraordinary member of any business or community. Packed with hard-hitting advice and amazing anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business, you’ll learn strategies like how to:

* Stop procrastinating and prepare to lay the groundwork for success
* Execute situations with self-discipline to achieve mastery
* Acknowledge and move past obstacles & challenges
* Feel fear and use it to keep charging, and much more

Whether you want to jump up the corporate ladder, start your own business, or develop a passion into a livelihood, Zero to Breakthrough will get you there. For anyone seeking a more fulfilling life, Armour has the ultimate launch pad. (Gotham, Spring 2011).


The first and only female chairman of McCann-Erickson tells women how to make it in the male-dominated corporate world. (Random House, Fall 2007).

RETIREMENT RX: The Retirements Docs’ Proven Prescription for Living a Happy, Fulfilling Rest of Your Life.

A doctors’ guide to a successful, healthy and fulfilling retirement by Frederick T. Fraunfelder, M.D., and James H. Gilbaugh Jr., M.D. (Avery, Fall 2008) Manuscript only.

STARRING YOU! By Marta Tracy and Terence Noonan. Two TV producers tell you how to use TV to transform your life and business. (HarperCollins, Fall 2007).

From Kirkus Reviews: “Getting time on a show, especially one that is specifically targeted to a sympathetic audience, is one of the most effective ways of getting your brand or idea or service in front of people who want to know about it,” write television executive Tracy and producer Noonan, and they go on to plainly and enthusiastically spell out the particulars: Television wants you if you know how to define your brand, clarify your message and can convince someone of the value of your idea through the art of the crisp, direct pitch. As television professionals, the authors are very conscious of time; they want you to get it right the first time. To that end comes hands-on advice about picking the kind of show that best suits your situation, exactly when and to whom to pitch your idea, the psychology of dressing for television and how to network within the networks. Tracy and Noonan bring to their book everything they want from their talk-show guest: an informed passion, a human face, some surprising news and a sense of humor. — April 1, 2007

CUT YOUR SPENDING BY $10 A DAY – A guide to saving painlessly and spending wisely to control your financial destiny. (Reader’s Digest Books, Fall 2009) Manuscript Parts I, II & III – 5-week turnaround.

INVEST IN YOUR NEST by Barbara Kavovit. The expert real estate entrepreneur tells you the best ways to make your house or condo worth a whole lot more – all while you enjoy living in it (Rodale, Fall 2006) Manuscript only.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Home renovators, whether just sprucing up your residence or taking on a major home fix-up, will profit from this book because it explains in great detail the projects that add value to homes. Especially valuable are the cost and time estimates, as well as the author’s advice based on her experiences renovating many homes. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10.”

–  Bob Bruss (August 22, 2006)

12 TRUTHS* ABOUT SURVIVING AND SUCCEEDING IN THE OFFICE. Office politics, demystified (Berkley, 1997). “As refreshing as a dip in a cold ocean.” — USA Today.

JUST ASK ME! Numerous fund and corporate board articles for Financial Times publications Board IQ, Ignites, and Board Alert. Clips available on request.