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If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails: And Other Lessons I Learned from My Mom Paperback – December 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A likeable and worthwhile book, an honorable contribution with heart." -- Publishers Weekly

"A practial, funny compendium of advice that should stick with any reader." -- USA Today

"Corcoran’s humanity, humor and wisdom gently convey worthwhile lessons for those who would like to succeed on their own terms." -- Miami Herald

"Part memoir, part rough guide to business and 100 percent in-your-face glee." -- Working Mother

"These easy-to-remember and pithy words of advice can be used by anyone" -- Cathleen Black, president, Hearst Magazines

About the Author

Growing up, Barbara Corcoran shared one floor in a three-family house in New Jersey with her parents and nine brothers and sisters. She had few luxuries, but she was blessed with a mother who taught her to have self-confidence. Barbara’s mom didn’t know much about business, but she understood how the world works, and how to make the most of what you’ve got.

After failing at twenty-two other jobs, Barbara borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and started a tiny real estate office in New York City. Today, with over $2 billion in revenues, The Corcoran Group in New York’s premier real estate company, and Barbara is richer than her wildest dreams.

Barbara lives in New York City with her husband, son and four stepchildren. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591840333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Lifestyle authority" -The New York Times
"Modern Day Erma Bombeck" - NPR'S Roundtable
"Garage Sale Guru" - USA Today

Bruce Littlefield is a best-selling author, lifestyle expert, and an arbiter of American fun. He shares his passionate curiosity (and occasional mischievousness) through his books and TV appearances. Bruce has appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC News, FOX News, MSNBC, The Rachael Ray Show, NPR, Sirius, and numerous other programs, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the New York Post, People Magazine, OK! Magazine, Saveur, This Old House, the New York Daily News, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.

His multi-book brand with Harper Collins is an adventure in American fun: For Garage Sale America, he took a thousand dollars and a truck and set out to see what treasures he could find. For Merry Christmas, America, he hung off light-encrusted houses and hung out with the real Santa Claus. And for Airstream Living, he took to the open road looking for the rolling silver icons. He is also the co-author (with Barbara Corcoran) of the New York Times best-selling Use What You've Got and Shark Tales, co-author of the book My Two Moms with civil rights activist Zach Wahls and author of the first book to read to dogs, The Bedtime Book for Dogs.

Originally from the south, Bruce has designed and owned two successful restaurants, and his personal collection of garage-sale treasures can be found in a 1940s' Catskills' farmhouse, which he renovated and decorated himself.

His latest book, MOVING IN: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, is a hilarious and sometimes scandalous tale of the first year he spent fixing up a historic bungalow in upstate New York with partner and NYC broker Scott Stewart.

Visit him at www.brucelittlefield.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brucelittlefieldauthorpage

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BookDog on October 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I hold an MBA and I read lots of business and management books. This is the best book that I have come across. Fun and light, this book still has the type of advice any mom would give: sound, practical and very common sense (which is not very common). Great stories and straight to the point analysis and advice. I have found inspiration that has already helped me do things that I would not have done otherwise. Thanks Barbara!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Teresa G. Wheeler on September 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After having read the companion book and using some of it's content in presentations and marketing meetings, I have been delighted to be able to listen to Barbara's advice as I drive from appointment to appointment. Barbara's words and common sense have proved to be very motivational for me as well as down right delightful. I would recommend this CD for any woman who is looking for creative, common sense ways to approach her business world and her clients. The bonus here is Barbara's ability to put a positive spin on mundane events, to see the cup as half full, and the benefits of thinking outside the box.

In that her advice is practical, you will find yourself trying to apply her principles to challenges that you face daily with clients, projects, deadlines, and co-workers!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Santos on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled by such an irreverent title. "Put ribbons on your pigtails" is indeed a business book. Not one of those boring business formulas. But business-minded in the most original sense of the word: Inspirational. Meaning it would be useful to most people, in all areas.
Taking away the greed, and leaving the right amount of ambition; taking away the jargons, and leaving the bright ideas; and mainly taking away the snobberies and leaving the echoes of the footsteps of her pioneer's soul, Barbara seduce us to a realm where things happen.
She doesn't mean to be perfect, and so she doesn't hide imperfections on her not-so-all-the-time-politically-correct managerial style. But in doing so, she showed us how she succeeded in the real world she had to deal with, with the perceptions and tools she had at the time.
If, at some point, she walks you with the Corcoran Group through the verge of failure and back, like most successful businesses do, it is because life - most of the time - IS a cliché. But the simple and brilliant solution to the problem is smile-raising, and you feel good you are on her side of the story.(And that is where you are, cause that is where she will put you!)
Well-written and entertaining.
The main differential from other business books is unique, though: It makes you almost "miss" 9 brothers and sisters, and the warmth of the Irish family at its best!
Worth reading!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane on January 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
A friend gave me this book as it made a difference when she was promoted to a high level position within her company. I found it inspirational and thought that all the lessons were applicable to most any situation. I am in the mortgage business and will be purchasing several copies for colleagues that will appreciate the humor and wit of Barbara.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Josiah Hamilton on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was delightfully obvious and exemplified the simplicity of success. I am a Real Estate Agent in Palm Springs and was sent this book from my sister who now works for Corcoran in NYC. I knew nothing about Corcoran, or the woman behind it. My sister told me Corcoran is THE Real Estate agency in the City to work for. So needless to say the book had to be read. I am constantly looking for inspiration to propel my career and found that the obvious lessons she translates into multi million dollar returns are sensational. Even if you don't believe all these stories to be true, they all offer something you can exercise in your own life and business. Barbara is the Queen of thinking outside the box....stay on top of your game and read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luna on November 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am surprised by the reviewer who seemed to believe the stories are implausible. Many the things Mrs. Corcoran said to her daughter are things my own father has said to me many a time. I think that Ms. Corcoran has demonstrated how differently each of us interprets those words. I loved this book because the things she says are simple and logical, and yet so much so, that the ease of it seems to elude most people. I applaud her efforts to share her experiences and help others. I also have recommended this book to several of my friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Lowenthal on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Came across this book, in audiobook format. Was vaguely familiar with the name Barbara Corcoran and her real-estate agency. Well, the CD collection drew me in from the beginning and held my rapt attention throughout. The book flips back and forth between scenes from her childhood and lessons she learned from her mother, to the story of the creation and growth (into a monster success) of her real-estate agency. What comes across is that Ms. Corcoran is not a book-smart lady (in fact, she often got straight D's in high school), but she has courage, the gift of gab, and the ability to size up challenging situation, and devise unique, clever, gutsy solutions. Of course, she was also in the right place at the right time (the real estate bubble in the 1990's), which didn't hurt either. I enjoyed learning about the growth of the business, as it started from nothing, and all the challenges and troubles she had along the way. I equally enjoyed the story of Barbara's childhood, being raised in an extremely organized, regimented household, one of ten children.

I came out admiring this woman, particularly for her courage and spunk. I admit though, that I squirmed a bit when she described the "little white lies" she would tell, at times, to help seal a deal (such as claiming to be a former Nun, to win the confidence of a reluctant business partner).

Overall, though, a quick, enjoyable, memorable read.
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