Customer Review

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! I think this book was written just for me!, June 26, 2004
This review is from: Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It (Paperback)
Brag! was recommended to me highly... three different times. The third recommendation was because the book was on the "must read" list of a class I was taking on marketing. I finally bought the paperback version of the book since I was unable to find it at the local library.
I ho-hummed as I opened the book thinking it would be yet another inspirational speaker writing a book bragging about her success and that everyone else should be inspired. Inspirational speakers have never been that inspirational to me - probably because their "inspiration" lasts as long as it takes for me to get back to my car (usually at the top level of the parking lot furthest away from the auditorium). Once I'm behind the wheel of my car I am thrust back into my own world wondering what just happened. Hadn't I felt great just a few moments before? Wasn't I ready to go get `em? Wasn't I determined to get going and make a success of my business?
I read the first paragraph of the Introduction of Brag! and Peggy Klaus had me hooked. Wait a minute. I know she was talking about her own background in her narrative, but it sounded as if she was talking about me! She speaks of her father telling her as a child, " ...don't toot your own horn; if you do a good job people will notice you." My parents and Sunday School teachers said that all the time, too, and more. "Bragging is a big no-no." "The Bible says that modesty is a virtue." No wonder I never really liked inspirational speakers. They come off as giant braggarts. According to Peggy Klaus, they're not doing it right.
Countless phrases of virtue and avoidance of being obnoxious and self-aggrandizing hang in the back of my head waiting to pounce as soon as someone asks me what I do. I murmur, "I'm a graphic designer" only half-believing that I deserve the title despite my success. "Graphic designer?" they ask. "Does that mean you do, like, brochures and stuff like that?" "Yeah," I answer. And then the conversation falls flat.
This is where Peggy Klaus picks up the pace and tells you right out that if you don't speak up for yourself, no one else will. However, there is an art to this type of communication. Peggy spends the remaining 190 pages helping you take stock of what you have to brag about while you make yourself a "Brag Bag" full of "Brag Bites" and a few good "Bragalogues" to fit various situations. She also has some plain talk rebuttals to the "buts" we all have to talking about ourselves. My favorite:
" `But... do I really need to brag 24/7?' Like the Scouts, be prepared... to toot at any time. That doesn't mean, however, that you do it all the time or that you do it at inappropriate times or places. You do it when it feels comfortable. And learning how to make it feel more comfortable is what this book is all about."
Peggy's examples are plentiful and, if you're like me, you'll see yourself in her examples more than once. She's not just any braggart, she's the best! Her natural way of writing (read: unpretentious), extremely practical advice, recommendations and her sense of humor combine to make this my favorite book of my business reading and the book that, right now, is making the most impact in my life and in my business.
-Anna Kris Bell
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Location: Fort Collins, Colombia

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