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Marisa Santoro

Marisa Santoro

New York, New York

Former Wall Street IT Executive with a 21+ year corporate career, Marisa Santoro is an experiential leadership trainer and mindset career coach. Founder of and Gutsy Leadership™ Academy.

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About the author

A former Wall Street executive with a 21+ year corporate career in technology, Marisa Santoro is a motivational speaker, leadership trainer and career coach who first captured female audiences in London and in New York City through live events introducing In Our Shoes ( -  an empowering women’s career platform. She developed the Gutsy Leadership™ system, a professional development learning school and collection of online courses based on the gutsy career principles found in the book. Her gutsy workshops and seminars introduced a paradigm shift in the way women can develop as leaders of influence through a focus on mindset and intuition to push beyond their limiting beliefs.

Marisa is an honoree of the “Women of Influence” award by New York Business Journals for her years of mentoring and gutsy leadership programs for women in the workplace. The red high heel branding of In Our Shoes struck a personal chord with women at all levels addressing their core struggle of giving themselves permission to be feminine and assertive at the same time and letting go of the “need to please” gene holding them back from realizing their own strengths.

Marisa is also a national career columnist for American Business Journals with articles published in forty-three cities across the US, a cited expert for women’s leadership in the Huffington Post and motivational speaker for corporate audiences, organizations and women’s initiative platforms. Her key note seminar “Speaking without Apology” drew attention from large corporations and small businesses alike and has been invited in by clients which include American Express, Aetna, UBS, S&P Global, Allianz Global Investors, The New York City Department of Transportation, Sony Music, Royal Bank of Canada, New York University, New York Life Insurance, Anheuser-Busch, Women in Technology International, Ellevate Network, Women in Public Finance and many more.

Marisa Santoro is also a Success Principles™ trainer of Jack Canfield, teaching a transformational step-by-step blueprint on how professionals can achieve success across all areas in their lives, taking a holistic approach to supporting the entire individual.

These Success Principles ™ are the same personal development principles which continue to help hundreds of thousands of people achieve success in their lives.  While working in Corporate America, she served as a founding member of the Leadership Advisory Council for Forbes’ top-ranked Swedish software firm Qlikview, sat on the board of directors for the New York City chapter of NAFE and obtained sponsorship of New York University’s Women’s Initiative programs leading events for their female alumni. She continues to work with organizations helping them kick off their own internal women’s leadership movement.

Delivering an authentic professional training toolkit, Gutsy Moves is a compilation of everything Marisa has learned from raising her own rank through Corporate America, going up, down and sideways as an intrapreneur and later pivoting in a new direction towards leadership training and consulting. She followed her own gut to begin a training and coaching practice as an entrepreneur at a time when she had recently become a single mom and only breadwinner. Marisa is not the sage from the stage. Everything she teaches in this book is not based on academic research but on her own experience and her years of coaching women in business across industries. Gutsy Leadership is more than inspiring feel-good advice. Marisa sets herself apart from other leadership speakers and trainers by having been in the shoes of the women she supports empowering them to take immediate imperfect action. Gutsy Moves encourages acting on those impulses of thought and guides professionals to a new growth stage in their careers, getting unstuck and  keeping their ball in motion breaking through to their career goals.
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$19 Discover your Gutsy Moves! Receive the E-Book!

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PURE HOW-TO self-leadership, business leadership strategies with affirmations and mindset tools to accelerate you in your career and if we're being honest - your LIFE. The Gutsy Leadership movement has created breakthrough results for people because of what's not been talked about - who to BE when you walk into that meeting, presentation, interview or phone call. As educated professionals, we all know too well how to DO, however inside-out leadership embracing self-awareness is what creates RESULTS. Enjoy this copy of "Gutsy Moves". We may not have ever met, however through our connection here, we share a common thread which was not random. I know, you get what I mean. Enjoy - to your Gutsy Moves!

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$29 101 Ways to "Go Gutsy" Blueprint + PRINTED COPY of Gutsy Moves!

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Receive your Report: 101 Ways to Shift your Mindset, Communicate with Confidence and Raise your Energy Levels Perceived as the Professional Expert you are! In this exclusive Gutsy Leadership report, you receive 101 gutsy methods you can hit the ground running with immediately to show up as the Professional Expert you are with Confidence and Clarity! PLUS receive immediate access to the In Our Shoes Community receiving weekly career strategies and tactical toolkits you can hit the ground running with immediately! PLUS your copy of "Gutsy Moves!"

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$39 Gutsy Motivational Audio Series + Book Bundle!

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Sit back and Listen to the 5-part Gutsy Leadership System in your Audio Bundle with your copy of "Gutsy Moves". Full of Motivational Guidance and a deeper dive into each proven way you can personally make the career shifts you need in your career! Listen in and get started right away creating a career lifestyle you L-O-V-E. PLUS receive immediate access to the In Our Shoes Community receiving weekly career strategies and tactical toolkits you can hit the ground running with immediately! PLUS Mention on the Gutsy Leader BLOG sharing your Gutsy Moves!

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$49 Take the Gutsy 21-Day Challenge + BOOK!

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Receive your 21-Day blueprint of specific Gutsy career activities you can implement TODAY to see weekly progress. PLUS receive weekly accountability straight to your inbox, empowering you to discover your gutsy moves in your career honing your intuition and leading with clarity. Complete with audio bundle of Marisa Santoro's motivational guidance based on the key principles of the Gutsy Leadership System! You will also be given the opportunity to Share your Gutsy moves i.e. ways to hone your intuition, and receive mention in future podcasts to the In Our Shoes community!

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$79 LASER COACHING + Signature Copy of Gutsy Moves!

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Get your personal copy of the autographed limited edition of “Gutsy Moves - Own your Authority Leading with Influence from Intuition" + Free invitation to join the Gutsy Moves podcast personally addressing your career challenges "in your shoes" with 10 MINUTES PERSONALIZED LASER COACHING time allotted (kept fully confidential by first name only )! + a gratitude mention of appreciation on the book's exclusive website - an opportunity to highlight your support of women's leadership and get your name out there!

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$129 Gutsy Leadership requires Fierce Time Management - Webinar

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Enjoy the signature Fierce Time Management Webinar! It's time to clear the clutter to make way for your Gutsy Breakthrough Goals! Establish sharp focus and discipline when it comes to your schedule, turn away from bright shiny objects that take up your time and eliminate overwhelm. Lock-in a daily and weekly schedule for both yourself and/or your staff /team communicating the bigger picture as an emerging leader to maximize workflow and productivity. Keep yourself accountable and implement proven techniques to clear the clutter and fast-path your business goals immediately. PLUS your copy of "Gutsy Moves"!

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$149 Own Your Authority as a Thought Leader Designed for YOU the Professional Expert!

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Are you ready to step into further leadership? Package what you know in this ONLINE COURSE corporations and organizations are requesting consistently PLUS receive an additional webinar led for a national women's organization on this same content. Leverage all of your value which you bring to your clients, management, and peers. Master how to effectively walk others through your thought process and recommended approach, pitching your ideas with confidence relying on your practical experience and lessons learned in your field. You will learn to let go and communicate your vision to get buy-in, step back, be flexible and trust when others disagree. You will look beyond the trees and trust that all of your years of experience has led up to where you are right now. You will self-qualify yourself to show off your best practices into a leadership advisory role where you are not only looked upon for your day-to-day execution but for your ideas, how you think and consistently make an impact with an influential voice. PLUS 1 copy of "Gutsy Moves"!

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$149 Find your voice: Speaking without Apology!

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The most requested ONLINE COURSE in Gutsy Leadership Academy! Discover how your dialogue and internal self-talk impacts how you are perceived today and is affecting your confidence levels. Learn to recognize ways in which you can detach from language which feeds into the “Sorry Syndrome” – apologetic words that imply inadequacy rather than exemplifying strength. Learn how subtle tweaks in your speech can springboard you from diluting your value to spotlighting your assets. Receive guidance on how to speak with confidence, intention and clarity, positively influencing how others respond to you. In this unique leadership course, you will master your mindset on how you see yourself first and upgrade your communication style immediately. PLUS 1 copy of "Gutsy Moves"!

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$149 Gutsy Clarity to Confidence Online Course + BOOK!

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Become clear on what your unique gifts and talents are to become aligned with who you want to serve as a successful professional in this unique and powerful ONLINE course. When you are aligned, your passion comes through and you are authentic to who you are which others will feel. Once people understand your WHY and what your purpose is, you attract the resources, opportunities and people you need. Your purpose is the "why" — the reason you create your goals and pursue the activities you do. It's the reason you strive to achieve the results you're looking for. Goals are the WHAT. Your action plan is the HOW. Without purpose as the compass, goals and action are meaningless. Receive your copy of "Gutsy Moves"

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$199 Self-Promote with Ease and Authenticity!

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Enjoy the FOUNDATION Module and ONLINE COURSE of the Gutsy Leadership System and KEY to unlocking as a Gutsy Leader! In this online course from Gutsy Leadership Academy you will Own Your Value, Then Showcase it. You will cover ways in which you will be comfortably confident being your own publicist because you will have stepped back and looked at all the achievements you have under your belt which you may not be seeing right now. You will focus on your key influential soft skills, which easily get swept under the rug, yet are the driver to people hiring you and keeping you in mind for new opportunities. PLUS 1 copy of "Gutsy Moves"!

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$997 How to Get from Where you are to Where You Want to Be

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Receive the FULL online course learning the proven set of Gutsy success principles that will always work when you always work the system. Much like knowing the combination to a lock. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female, graduated college or not, have a high IQ or a low IQ; if you know the combination to the lock, the lock has to open. The problem is that sometimes you are missing some of the numbers or you have the numbers in the wrong order. If you don’t have the right combination in the right order, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, the lock won’t open. This step-by-step course spells out timeless principles and practices used by the world’s most successful men and women—proven principles and strategies.

Video Learning Modules, Assignments, Cheat Sheets and Motivational Audios. PLUS 3 copies of "Gutsy Moves"

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$1297 Make a Gutsy Career Breakthrough! Signature Course of Gutsy Leadership Academy!

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The Gutsiest BONUS! Receive the FULL online-course and step-by-step proven system to becoming a LEADER of INFLUENCE. Make a mindset shift about your VALUE as a PROFESSIONAL EXPERT. Receive a practical proven set of leadership and communication tools which will stretch (not freeze) you to taking manageable steps towards a new level on how others perceive you, to consistently and confidently advance in your career!

Video Learning Modules, Assignments, Templates and Scripts (exactly what to say and write), Cheat Sheets and Motivational Audios.

PLUS 5 copies of "Gutsy Moves"!

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$3500 GUTSIEST IMPACT - LIVE WEBCAST Motivational Gutsy Leadership Training Event!

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Marisa Santoro will lead a live inspirational webinar event to support the achievement of your goal to empower and motivate the female professionals of your organization. Marisa combines a Gutsy Leadership curriculum in all programs and content focusing on mindset shifts, driving assertiveness and confidence levels with proven how-to business tools and communication skills to steadily support women for continued success. PLUS: Your company's name mentioned in the book as a Sponsor of Gutsy Leadership PLUS social media blast mentions across the month of LIVE webinar event further extending our like-minded mission to empower women leaders! PLUS 30 copies of "Gutsy Moves" to share with your audience!

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$5000 GUTSIEST IMPACT LIVE IN-PERSON Motivational Gutsy Leadership Training!

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Enjoy your LIVE 2-HOUR Motivational Gutsy Leadership training event which will leave your participants GLOWING! Choose from any program topic from Gutsy Leadership Academy which best resonates with your audience to empower, motivate your professional community to breaking through to success in their own careers. INCLUDES Q&A and 90-MINUTES of PURE CONTENT your audience will hit the ground running with immediately. Follow-up worksheets and accountability bridge call included for anyone who attends event. PLUS 50 copies of "Gutsy Moves"!

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Gutsy Moves

How To Own your Authority and Use your Intuition to become a Leader of Influence

Design the career you want, PERCEIVED as the CREDIBLE EXPERT others TRUST. Learn the step-by-step success principles to consistently advance focused on mindset, leading from intuition.

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Business Leadership
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100% complete
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Although plenty of expert advice today teaches on what to DO to be successful in your career, there’s not much talk around who to BE and how to show up unless you count plugging into business psychology buzz such as “emotional intelligence” and “unconscious bias in the workplace”.  Great to know, antennas are raised, but how does one practically apply those feel-good concepts to their career to accelerate with RESULTS? 

This book teaches the low-key confident professional how to work their mind like a muscle to become clear on how they are perceived, take immediate imperfect action (a la a gutsy mindset) and swiftly adjust their communication style in different business relationships to achieve any desired career goal they set out to achieve.

Knowing what to do, but not having the guts to follow through and actually do it, does not support us in our life.  This book gives professionals the mindset, tools and techniques to move them forward into taking action. While motivation is an external force, inspiration on the other hand comes from within. An inspiring read, this book empowers the reader to shift their inner belief system so they can see how to advance on their own with clarity and ROCK-SOLID confidence.

While her experience, successful track record and grace speak volumes, the mindful career professional today craves no spotlight and seeks no glamour. Truth be told, she revels in deep one-on-one meaningful conversations before seeking to win friends and influence people.  Her smart skills and education have helped her make it through the door yet still she can find herself standing frozen. When reaching her desired leadership role, how can she consistently grow and maintain her value remaining relevant in uncertain circumstances? How can she find the freedom to throw away the script and confidently lead in spite of opposition and adversity?  She wants the confidence to instinctively know what to do and say without feeling stuck in perfection paralysis each time she makes herself visible to advance in her career. She wants to walk into any conversation and be crystal clear on how she is perceived to directly drive how others respond to her and support her advancement.

What if we can channel our energy in such a way where we can tap into growth which would be a welcome stretch instead of an intimidating iceberg which freezes us? This book pivots career leadership guidance on its head and splits it into two simple HOW-TO categories: focusing your mind on the desired career outcome (BEING CLEAR)  and taking action vis-à-vis solid proven career tools (DOING WHAT WORKS)  following  those preferred visualized results.   


The sixth sense plays a key role in being present to who we are BEing and accelerating the things that we want and yet we don't pay as much mind to it because it’s not visible. The intuitive mind is a feeling not a tangible road map. This shows up as repeating patterns that have been hard-wired into us since childhood. Although we may be aware of our personal roadblocks, we don’t always embrace the intuitive signposts by acting on them right away when we find ourselves in the eye of the storm. 

This book combines the inspired thoughts we receive purposefully (not coincidentally) with specific low-risk steps a la our gutsy moves which we can act on immediately in that moment alongside proven business tools and career guidance.  Gutsy Leadership ™ is mindful, assertive and responsive energy versus emotional knee-jerk reaction to life's challenges. It’s letting go, being unattached to the exact path we've predisposition-ed our minds to and letting go of the script and HOW, which tends to freeze us emotionally.



SECTION ONE: Self-Promote with Ease and Authenticity

Confidently embrace your UNIQUE VALUE. We can fall short in recognizing our strengths and often fall prey to a mindset where our ideas are not worthy of being considered. Becoming comfortable with being your own publicist will have you step back and look at all the achievements you have under your belt which you may not be seeing for yourself right now. Turn to a your key SOFT SKILLS, which easily get swept under the rug, yet are the driver to people hiring you and keeping you in mind for new opportunities.

1.           Let your Creds Do the Talking

2.           Self-qualify yourself to S-T-R-E-T-C-H

3.           To Brag or not to Brag

4.           Chalk up the Compliments

5.           Silence the Inner Crow

6.           No Action, IS Action

7.           The Art of Influential Small Talk

8.           Soft Skills are Sexy

9.           I *Heart*  Metrics


Find your voice in any business situation where you are called upon to share your expertise, your knowledge, your know-how, your lessons learned with those who most need to learn from you. Discover how to speak without apology which is essential if you consider yourself a Professional Expert. Own your authority and project as the confident business leader you are. Whether you are communicating with clients, patients, peers, management, prospects, partners you are leading, showing up in a powerful way no longer just contributing to a conversation, but driving it. You know exactly how things should be handled and run. Lead them with your processes, best practices, blind spots and step out in a bigger way with everyone whom you do business with.

1.           Quiet Power       

2.           Speak your Mindset         

3.           Freeze Tag. You’re IT!       

4.           Fly over the radar        

5.           Shhhhh…go silent             

6.           Can’t or won’t?   

7.           Small talk and Storytelling

8.           Release the canned script            


Fearlessly ask and negotiate what you need. Who else is going to ask on your behalf, except YOU? You are missing key opportunities by not reaching out to others and asking for what you want and may struggle with rejection and the word “No” which can feel like a defeating word because it tends to influence so much of your behavior. Learn to shift your mindset when it comes to encountering this word and embrace it for what it really means. This word tends to stops you from doing what you know you need to do to reach your breakthrough goal? Especially when you are feeling all fired up to do something with motivation and then you go back home, freeze and stop. Learning to ask with confidence and without fear of rejection is a skill that will help anyone on his or her success path. Learning who to ask, how to ask, and when to ask is also an important learned skill. Successful people take on these asking skills as an everyday habit—simply part of how they go through life. They fearlessly ASK. You will make a commitment to asking for the things that you want in order to accelerate your breakthrough goals. 

1.           Flex your ASK Muscle

2.           Think Like an Immigrant   

3.           The “NO” Nonsense: Radio Silence is not NO.    

4.           Room with a View             

5.           Setting Boundaries and Fiercely Protecting your time

6.           Positive Outlook. Positive Outcome

7.           The Meeting before the Meeting   


Leverage your value and package your expertise for either an existing opportunity or when creating your own – that next best role designed by you! Recognize where you have moved on and transitioned from "Worker Bee" mode now positioned as a "Big Picture Thinker", leading as a key professional expert. You will package what you know leveraging all of your value which you bring to your clients either as the intrapreneur inside an organization or entrepreneur inside your practice. Master how to "plan the work" and "work the plan" every time, pitching your ideas with confidence relying on your experience. Learn to let go and communicate your strategy + vision to get buy-in, step back, be flexible and trust when others disagree. You will look beyond the trees and trust that all of your years of experience has led up to where you are right now. You will self-qualify yourself to show off your systems and best practices in a new senior-level advisory role where you are looked upon for your skills no longer as a "do-er" but for your ideas, how you think and consistently deliver RESULTS.

1.           Weeds to Wisdom

2.           Expert Made Not Born

3.           The GO-TO Catch-22

4.           Find a Void and Fill It

5.           Master Smart and Simple

6.           Education not Ego

7.           Plan your Potholes

8.           Mind Map your Vision

9.           The Breakdown before the Breakthrough


Make a strong impression both on and offline, lock-in how others perceive you, making yourself memorable and positioned for new opportunities, clients, or career advancement. Build key relationships, master the art of small talk, partner with influencers, create a space to impress people, leverage your professional expertise and use proven techniques to build trust – all of which will plant the seeds for you to remain connected with those who will play a key role in advancing your career or business for a lifetime. Not with “in your face” methods which can leave you feeling desperate and uncomfortable. Reignite dormant relationships in an authentic way to reestablish trust, making it a win-win.

1.           Fearlessly Network

2.           Question = Answer + 1      

3.           Speak your Results

4.           Pride and Prejudice          

5.           Fun-Loving Rejection        

6.           Go Gutsy Online to Grow Offline    

7.           Hunt for Like-Minded Gatherings   

8.           Creatively Cast your Line:  The One : Many Network Model   





  • MBA/Executive Educated Professionals
  • Professional Career Women
  • Women in Healthcare
  • Emerging Entrepreneurs
  • Diversity and Inclusion Leaders
  • Corporate Trainers
  • Learning and Development Directors
  • Employee Resource Group Leads
  • Women’s Advocates and Women’s Leadership Platforms 

The strongest target group for Gutsy Moves is made up of professional career women at all levels of seniority, who put themselves somewhere on the scale of low-key quiet introversion and admit that while they may feel confident in their expertise and what they know, they are not always being perceived that way and tend to freeze when letting go of the canned scripts in more formal conversation. They range from millennials, mid-career to senior-level women with a strong intrapreneurial spirit and an intense desire to achieve success at work, develop their leadership skills and do impactful work which is valued. They also want to have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their families and personal fulfillment time. 

Women are already tuned into intuition and mindset and are constantly seeking to be inspired and learn new personal development tools to get unstuck in their lives. Many also feel stagnant in their careers and need a kick start for starting the next chapter including pursuing potential new business ideas. More and more women today are transitioning into entrepreneurship leveraging their innate talents which often feel swept under the rug and unrecognized in their day jobs.

Diversity and Inclusion, Corporate Training, Learning and Development Directors and Employee Resource Group Leads running their organization’s women’s initiative movement will welcome a fresh unique perspective on leadership. Mindset development is not delivered as mainstream inside companies, although it’s getting there –  leading from within. These leaders will endorse Gutsy Moves and take back this advice to share with their internal communities and female networks. 

Women’s Advocates, Women’s networks and Women’s Career Leadership Platforms delivering empowering content and actionable tools to their female following will embrace Gutsy Moves unleashing a unique perspective on supporting women in their careers. 

Business, personal and executive trainers who continually search for new skills and ways to work with their clients. As a visible leader in the field of coaching, the intuitive mindset approach coupled with business techniques and strategies are sought after by my peers. As a result, coaches will purchase Gutsy Moves and recommend it to their clients.


Tapping into already established relationships with professional and client networks, Marisa Santoro plans to promote Gutsy Moves through news outlets, workshops, seminars, events and Internet Marketing. Today, there is already an established strong brand recognition for Gutsy Leadership through “In Our Shoes” the women’s leadership platform first launched in 2008. Since its launch, the gutsy red heel has drawn in female audiences by evoking personal freedom – that feminine and assertive gene which can co-exist.


A major promotion venue is the weekly e-zine newsletter: Gutsy Leadership. This is an opt-in publication with a list of subscribers that include professionals who have either attended both live in-person and online events, heard Marisa speak, hired her directly, sat in on a webinar or were referred to the platform. Subscribers will receive notices of the forthcoming book. They have already received samples taken from the manuscript through the Gutsy Leadership blog which has proved to be a valuable sounding board for feedback when selecting which chapters to keep in the book. When Gutsy Moves is published, subscribers to our newsletter will receive ordering information and a hot link in their e-mail to a bookseller’s web site such as or BN (Barnes & Noble).


American City Business Journals (ACBJ) is the largest publisher of metropolitan business newsweeklies in the United States, with 43 business publications across the country reaching more than 3.6 million readers each week. As a contributing writer to American Business Journals, Marisa Santoro will submit articles based on Gutsy Moves when the book is published along with submissions to other news outlets such as Straus News. Straus News publishes 17 local weekly newspapers and associated websites in contiguous towns in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Online Marisa will place a sample chapter on the website and promote Gutsy Moves to the Gutsy Leadership™ Linkedin Group and across her Linkedin network targeting female professional connections and pursue other online opportunities as they arise such as the Gutsy Leadership ™ Facebook page.

Marisa Santoro has identified the following markets as ideal outlets for Gutsy Moves and the best initial leverage of her marketing activity: Corporations, Trade Associations, Professional Associations, Small Business Owner associations, Medical Associations, Women’s Organizations overall and by ethnicity: African-American Women’s Associations, Asian-American Women’s Associations, etc., Colleges and Universities, Non-Profits Supporting Career Women, Educational and Women Book Club groups.

Her former clients and sponsors include:

American Express


Sony Music


New York Life Insurance

Allianz Global Investors

Royal Bank of Canada


Banfi Wine


NYU Langone Medical Centers

Women in Tech International

New York City Department of Transportation

S&P Global

New York University

Rutgers University


Women in Public Finance


Marisa will participate in all radio and promotional activity arranged by the publisher and utilize the strategy of programming news searches for current events and tying in Gutsy Moves with daily news hooks to immediately get on air for maximum impact and bookstore sales. She will also coordinate radio and tv appearances to coincide with all Gutsy Moves book signings. A major emphasis will be placed on traditional radio and TV appearances to drive bookstore sales.

Marisa will pre-record “The Gutsy Moves Minute” podcast and provide it free to non-profit and public broadcasting radio and TV stations. She will also create individual podcasts relating to each topic from the book.


Marisa Santoro has created education programming through online courses and will tie-in Gutsy Moves to non-profits and charities that help low-income women and those re-entering the workforce to become successful such as The Grace Institute located in New York City.


Marisa Santoro will add Gutsy Moves as a topic to her speaking programs, webinars, training workshops and seminars where the book will be bonused along with the Gutsy Moves audio program slated to be sold at all speaking engagements. All speaking clients will be targeted for enhanced Gutsy Leadership programming following a speaking engagement — including customized workbooks, online courses (already available, follow-up consulting and other programs designed to further the relationship with the client and, ultimately, create an ongoing buyer for the book.


Marisa Santoro will garner book endorsements from potential volume buyers, celebrities, leading self-help proponents, recognized experts and other “name” influencers and market makers.

A special solicitation for endorsements will be sent to religious institutions, wellness centers and direct sales corporate leaders who might purchase a large volume of Gutsy Moves after endorsing it. Key media figures and news anchors will be approached to endorse and feature the book in media reports.


Following the release of Gutsy Moves, Marisa anticipates extending the brand by creating titles and products for specific markets: Gutsy Moves for Teens, Gutsy Moves for College Students, Gutsy Moves for Mompreneurs, Gutsy Moves for Writers, Gutsy Moves for Parents, Gutsy Moves for Divorced Women, Gutsy Moves for Abused Women, Gutsy Moves for Seniors and more. Marisa has also been approached with stories of domestic abuse and divorced women who have become empowered to find their voice requesting to use the platform in order to pay it forward for other women by sharing their personal struggle and gutsy moves, finding freedom in spite of years of feeling shame.

With the exception of Steven Covey, no well-known leadership authors have developed the kind of modern-day publishing and information “empire” specifically contemplated for Gutsy Moves. Marisa Santoro envisions an entire realm of books and products — and making it happen with existing contacts. There is no limit to the number of markets Gutsy Moves can be extended to.


To leverage the Gutsy Moves brand, Marisa anticipates developing a complete line of derivative products initially including: an already developed library of online courses delivered by Gutsy Leadership Academy in multi-media format, a personal coaching series; a webinar series; public seminars; audio training modules for broadcast via corporate intranets; teleseminar series; and more. In all circumstances, she will endeavor to package in a copy of Gusty Moves as a basic primer for achieving the goals of the derivative program.


Using established relationships, Marisa will pro-actively pursue sales of mini-books and inserts. With books being used more and more as marketing tools, bonus gifts and leave-behinds, she will develop campaigns to help companies maximize their exposure by bonusing or leaving behind Gutsy Moves mini-books. It is also specifically contemplated that she will sell customized versions of Gutsy Moves to specific customers desiring modified or newly-written chapters or sections.


Marisa Santoro will leverage many existing corporate relationships to offer Gutsy Moves in volume as an empowerment tool, business leadership vehicle and book-of-the-month selection. Additionally, Marisa will pro-actively market the book for bulk sales to specific markets — including market makers and purchase influencers at major corporations and trade associations, non-profits, girl leadership organizations and others.

As larger corporations and trade associations are introduced to Gutsy Moves concept through speaking engagements and bulk buys, the author will pursue corporate training partnerships, complete with short-courses designed specifically for that company’s intranet or WAN.

To the extent the author collects them or bookstores opt-in, bookstores’ e-mail addresses will be added to the media database for the purposes of blasting current information on the Gutsy Moves phenomenon.


The leading business leadership books have all been written by men: John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie and the list goes on with one exception found in Sheryl Sandberg.

Lean In

By Sheryl Sandberg

Although Lean In is a popular career read specifically supporting working women and undoubtedly turned the focus on women’s leadership, most of the professional female audiences  Marisa Santoro has spoken to, have shared it didn’t relate to the practical realities they as women face. Not everyone has an Ivy league education and a partner with ample child care at home to support their careers. It also omitted a huge group of working women: single moms like myself who struggled to balance the home and work fronts. This book also misses one key element women are tuned into (more so than men) –- intuition and the power of mindset and focus. Gutsy Moves, speaks to those impulses of thought led from the sixth sense which is responsible for attracting the people, opportunities and resources to produce the results we seek in our careers. Thoughts become things.  This book is relatable to all women irrespective of career seniority, marriage status, children or education pedigree because women, more so than men, are more passionately plugged into spirituality and personal development.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

by Steven Covey

A favorite of Corporate America, Steven Covey’s perennial best-seller stops short of reaching an even broader market simply because it is so “corporate” in its voice, stories and appeal and not an inspiring-read popular with today’s book-buyers. Nor is it the most effective tool for helping readers “get it” — with immediately actionable strategies for their busy, complicated lives.

Gutsy Moves, by contrast, presents easy-to-understand concepts that can be absorbed and applied through stories, examples, action steps and simple ways to hone your intuition and also addresses fierce time management strategies. Gutsy Moves although slanted towards women will capture male audiences as well because it speaks to the human spirit of finding freedom in an area where much of our time and energy is spent – in our careers.

The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success

by Brian Tracy

Clearly a leadership book for business professionals, The 100 Laws of Business Success is a practical guide designed to give readers the winning edge in business. It begins with the concept that success is predictable if readers will follow a system of universal “laws” Tracy reveals. He sets out not only to illustrate how each law functions, but to give practical guidance and exercises for applying the laws to one’s business life strictly.  But what of the laws governed by our internal guidance system which is always moving us towards the things that we want? Gutsy Moves combines self-leadership principles to help the reader reflect on their own beliefs and inner dialogue which have a direct impact on their external circumstances. Showing up in a state of BEING with the clarity on how we wish to be perceived before DOING (acting on that proven business advice) will always be felt and picked up by others in the room. This inner conversation that controls external events is universal law and precedes even the best business advice too rooted in a strictly DOING mentality. Going further, in many cases you don’t even have to say a word or do anything per se following the Gutsy Leadership paradigm. Being intentional around what you want will always create the results you want.

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BrightFlame Books logo BrightFlame Books

Are you a professional who is struggling to stand out in an increasingly crowded market? Are you ready to take your place as a leader in your industry? BrightFlame Books was set up with one key purpose: to help experts like you get your message out into the world, increase your impact, and ultimately, grow your business.

Our vision is simple: to create lasting transformational change in the world through you, our author-experts.

The brainchild of six-time international bestselling author Rob Cuesta, BrightFlame books focuses on titles in the areas of business, entrepreneurship, personal development, success psychology and mindset, health, and lifestyle.

Wherever you are in your publishing journey, we can support you.

1) If you’re just starting out, with a concept for a book but struggling to turn it into a manuscript—either because you lack time, you’re “not a writer,” or for some other reason—our collaborative writing approach pairs you up with a professional co-writer who will become your partner in taking the ideas in your head, ordering and arranging them, and creating the book you’ve been dreaming of writing.

2) If you’ve finished your manuscript and you need help in getting it published then, as a full-service publisher, we transform your draft manuscript into a beautiful finished book. Our editors edit and polish your words, then our creative team turns it into a professionally designed finished product, inside and out, that presents you as the thought leader and industry leader you are.

3) Once your book is published, as a marketing consultancy we specialise in turning you into a bestselling author by orchestrating launch campaigns to drive sales and awareness of your book internationally, and creating book-based lead generation and client acquisition campaigns that turn your book into a powerful business development tool.

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1106 Design, LLC logo 1106 Design, LLC

Dear Author,

Congratulations on writing your book!

Options abound in today's publishing world, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between traditional publishers, hybrid publishers, subsidy publishers, and self-publishing companies.

1106 Design offers independent publishing as it was initially intended, with you, the author, as the publisher. We don't publish your book, you do, and we'll show you how with our signature hand-holding at every step.

We offer publishing-house-quality manuscript editing, cover design, interior design and layout, proofreading, eBook formatting, author websites, and book marketing assistance, to help you produce a beautiful, market-ready book. Then we'll help you obtain printing and distribution in your name, so 100% of the proceeds are paid directly to you.

Work with us, and you'll retain complete control of the creative process, your design files, and your revenue stream, and your book will be available for sale in a matter of months.

Here's a price summary of our most popular services for books 50,000 words and under:

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You can find the prices for all our services here:

Is it worth it? Click the links below to view our cover and interior design samples and customer reviews to decide for yourself:

If you would like a custom quote, please email your completed manuscript to [email protected] and let us know which services you need. Don't worry; we won’t share your manuscript with anyone else.

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At 1106 Design, we love helping authors create great books! We hope to hear from you soon.

Michele DeFilippo

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Atmosphere Press logo Atmosphere Press

Atmosphere Press is an independent full-service publisher for books in genres ranging from non-fiction to fiction to poetry to children's picturebooks, with a special emphasis on being an author-friendly approach to getting a book into the world. We're professional, honest, and kind.

Here’s what we stand for:

Honesty: because our mission is to be author-friendly, that means always giving honest advice about the ins and outs of the authorial life. We are dedicated to sticking by one of our founding precepts: “if I were the author, what would I want to know?”

Transparency: publishing is rife with dodgy behavior, from predatory vanity presses who promise the moon to traditional presses who make book changes without the author’s permission. We’re dedicated to letting you see the wizard behind the curtain, so you can rest easy that everything’s on the up and up.

Professionalism: with decades of combined years of writing, editing, designing, and publishing experience, our staff knows the ins and outs of the industry, and will be responsive and helpful. And of course, we will only publish books that truly contribute something wonderful to the world.

Kindness: as an author-friendly press, we take the word “friendly” seriously. A good publisher shouldn’t be just a business partner, but should be full of people you’d want to invite to dinner. Whether it be making a good joke or allaying your worries about being an author, kindness is our hallmark.

Making Your Book Awesome: we really can’t settle for anything less. We want our authors and their readers to be blown away when they first hold that book in their hands. It needs to look good inside and out, and feel good to the touch. And, of course, the words need to be top-notch, and our editors are devoted to making that the case.

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Happy Self Publishing logo Happy Self Publishing

We have helped 250+ authors to get their books self-published, hit the #1 position in the Amazon bestseller charts and also establish their author website & brand to grow their business. And the best thing is, we do all this without taking away your rights and royalties. Our publishing packages start at $699! Let's schedule a call to discuss the next steps in your book project:

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 I *HEART* Metrics


Affirmation: I am Clear on my Value.

As the goal-oriented professional you are, how do you measure success? That is, what markers must show up so you know you’re on the right track?

Fast-forward six months from now.

Today is <insert date six months from today>.

I am so happy and grateful to have moved into a new leadership role as:

<name the position, the industry, the location of the position you want to move to. Be very specific>.

I have leveraged my years of expertise and hard work in <state your background, experience and know-how that substantiates why you know you are the best person to do this work. If any objections come up, recognize them and throw them away.>

Assume the milestone you had set for yourself was a slam-dunk and you have now achieved that goal.  What are your markers? How will you recognize it when it shows up? For example, if you were aiming to lose 50 pounds and your original weight was 200 pounds, then as your coach, I would pull out a scale and ask you to step on it. I should observe the number 150 as your weight reading to ensure you have reached your goal.  If it’s anything more than that weight, you have not reached your goal.

The same applies to anything you set out to achieve in your career. While you may have a strong track record which proves your results and experience, don’t kill the messenger here, but that’s not good enough if you can’t quantify your achievements.  It’s called measuring your success which is taking all of the things you have successfully delivered on and wrapping some meaty metrics around them tied with a big red bow for others. In an authentic gutsy self-promoting vein, this is where you give yourself permission to speak openly about your successes.

Here’s why showcasing your personal metrics are so key. Those who hire you will want the short and sweet run-down of what you’ve done really well and good leaders LOVE to speak in scorecards. Whatever you would normally say in a few words, say in terms of units, dollars and percentages instead. People want to hear the savings made, the costs cut and the efficiencies implemented but they don’t want it drawn out and long-winded. They want it neatly packaged and served to them on a plate in small chunks which they can easily digest and remember. This also very much shows your appreciation and respect for their time.

If you work in the medical field, your numbers could be based on how many patients on average you see every week or the number of surgeries performed in a given month. If you are on the research side, it could be the number of research papers you’ve published, or possibly the number of fellowships granted or your number of trainees.

One day after dropping my son off at pre-school, I grabbed a quick coffee at a local Dunkin Donuts and met an auditor from the corporate office of this popular coffee chain. He explained he was there to assess the store’s performance. Curious, I asked him what specific things he was looking for on this visit. His job was to measure the amount of time drive-through customers waited to be served. Essentially, he was tasked to measure the speed of the drive-through lane.  This was an important success metric where franchise owners are scored on how well they fulfill orders. Funny enough, I immediately recognized that I had stopped driving through that very lane to pick up my coffee months ago because I found it faster to park and go inside rather than wait on line in the comfort of my car.  While that was certainly the more convenient option, my time was more important – a metric I had mentally set for my personal productivity.

Everyone has a discrete and clear set of metrics they are measured against, including you.

Consider, what metrics sum you up? When speaking about your value in terms of metrics, speak in bullets. A great technique before walking into a meeting is to create a short list of bulleted takeaways people need to hear. Cut down whatever you were planning on sharing strictly in a cut and dry status report and throw out a metric instead.

We made an 85% savings in spending by implementing an electronic Travel & Expense system versus legacy paper processing.

We streamlined the time it takes to get a client onboarded from 4 days to 1.”

We reduced patient waiting time from 30 minutes down to 10 increasing the number of patients seen by 15% on a monthly basis.

All of these contribute to your measurable track record. Your preparation and delivery of your key performance indicators help you market your results with meaning and makes a powerful impression not to mention your work memorable showing great respect for others’ time by keeping it concise and to the point.

If you find yourself having a hard time showcasing your own metrics, break down the results you deliver and chunk them out into individual categories. Now look at each group laid out in front of you and think about how you can quantify each one when speaking to them.

Consider the next career role you want to advance towards. What are some metrics you will need to get there and what would have to happen in order for you to feel comfortable talking about them? If you don’t feel it intuitively, then neither will anyone else. Traditionally men have had no qualms about self-promoting their metrics based on their beliefs.

A measure of influence amongst those who hang out on popular business networking site LinkedIn, is how many connections you have. Once you reach the 500-person threshold of connections, people have a good sense of how plugged in you are and how many people are tuned in to you, which says a lot about your personal network.

Let’s take the same formula and apply it to your website. You can’t have a testimonial without there being a test. Here’s where you showcase the number and diversity of your testimonials and recommendations with photos, videos and praise published there. These sum up how inviting, approachable and trustworthy you are.

Intrapreneur or entrepreneur, you may also market yourself through the written word – how many articles you have scribed demonstrates your influence level.  How many presentations or talks you have led, directly corresponds to how credible you become. Marketers tap into a set of top measurable motivators which are shown to make people buy.[1]

1. How much money will I help you make?

2. How much money will I help you save?

3. How much time will I help you protect?

4. How much effort will I help you avoid?

5. How much can I help you become more comfortable? 

We also see examples of metrics when individuals promote their work:

5 tactical tips successful leaders use to influence people. – Career Coach

10 sweat-free under 20-minute workouts that you can do in your living room. – Fitness Owner

7 inexpensive makeup tips to hide skin discolorations. -  Beauty Consultant

As an intrapreneur your highlighted metrics may look like these inside your organization:

3 methods we used to trend our profitability, showed 15% less in revenue than previously assumed.

Employee turnover dropped 60% in my department in the last 2 years due to the incentives, flex-time and training opportunities we made available.

Whatever metrics are coming up from your gut, write them down. There’s a reason you are focusing on them now.

I am finding my voice.

All things being said on metrics, the one you want to measure yourself against consistently also happens to be the top predictor of your success. 

How often do you speak up?

If you take yourself seriously as a professional who has value to deliver, then speak your mind, speak your results, speak your experience, speak your challenges, speak your failures and speak your ideas in spite of what others think of you.

Your two daily gutsy word: Speak UP. 

Your Simple Quantifiable Success Formula

The more often you speak (to any size audience), the higher your chances of success.

As a quiet leader who eventually found her voice, when looking back at a successful career run on Wall Street, I would consider myself an extroverted introvert. I didn’t speak up instantly when first entering Corporate America. I learned it over time, working it like a muscle when it intuitively felt right and I strongly believed in my ideas and my work enough to pipe up more and more over time. I also had gentle nudges from remarkable male managers who encouraged me to speak up.  Later when I resigned and transitioned to leadership training and coaching, I understood I had to speak up all over again and redefine myself based on my results only this time in a different landscape. A new territory for sure, yet I knew my success would be measured on how extroverted I allowed myself to become.

As a gutsy leader, keep yourself in a constant state of motion, which evokes emotion. When people are emotional it has a powerful effect. Emotional people attract things faster because they are in that higher state of feeling and aligning with like-minded energy. This works in both directions. Positive feeling creates positive outcomes. Negative feelings attract negative troubling circumstances. Set the intention of who you want to be and start speaking up and out more.

Self-promoting is not about anyone other than YOU. Yet as women, we often get caught up in how people perceive us, whether we belong in conversations or meetings and whether we add any value. This in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once we let go of this limiting mindset then we can market our results.

If you plan on consistently growing in your career, before answering the classic question: So what is it that you do? Turn it around and answer the more relevant question of: How do I want to be perceived? 

The answer will dictate how others treat you and support your advancement.

The Breakdown Before the Breakthrough


Affirmation: I Act from Faith not Fear.

Life feels pretty good when everything runs smooth but what to do when suddenly you experience a string of random negative events that turn your happily humming schedule on its head, putting your life on sudden hold? I refer to these as the breakdowns before the breakthroughs and usually within three weeks of initially working with someone, I'll often see these breakthroughs rushing through.

A sudden injury will stop them in their tracks.

A relationship is tested.

A colleague or manager begins overstepping their boundaries.

You get the picture.

I used to write these off as mere coincidences years ago but what I've come to realize is that those unfortunate events are placed in our path because we have put ourselves in a place of growth which now becomes our new normal. With that comes the flip side known as contrast – that which we don’t want any more of. Negative circumstances begin to rear their head where your patience is tested and here's the rub. You will never go back to where you were, it's a non-negotiable. You have answered the call to step up choosing a more fulfilling path.

Be warned - as a sanity check to ensure you are fully committed, a voice will whisper, your ego usually.

If you're really ready to move into a new senior role…

If you really feel qualified to get that new job and make more income…

If you’re really passionate about starting that business idea…

If you’re really confident enough to speak to an audience…

è  Then let's see what you've got.  Here's a little test to see how strong you are....

Random events and breakdowns begin to happen and there you are standing naked out in the cold, wondering: How did I create this?!

The answer is that you made a choice, banking on you. An investment you have full faith in.

Some cascading breakdowns I experienced earlier this year happened within a matter of minutes.  I was on a call with our partner in Italy, firming up details for our Gutsy Mindset retreat when suddenly my computer froze and shut down on its own.

Strange. I thought. It must have needed a reboot.

If only I was so lucky. My computer had crashed and took all my files with it. Never mind several large corporate events I had coming up for Women's History month. I prayed my presentations were safe and salvageable.

Soon after I received a panic text from my assistant who said one of the platforms we use to store and schedule our content was suddenly erased. 

Then my phone began wildly ringing with strange calls from people I've never met. A wrong number perhaps?  I'm not sure, but it felt quite intrusive.

The list goes on and on. A sudden ear infection arrived - my very first in my forty-something year lifetime.

Yet that morning, I woke up in a pretty joyful state despite struggling with muffled hearing for a few weeks and being caught in a snowstorm that took New York City by thunder literally.  It was my first time ever seeing lightning through a winter storm.  To end that day (I couldn't make this up if I tried) as I hit the SAVE button having completed writing this very piece on the Breakdown before the Breakthrough, my son called me outside. One of our favorite spruce trees fell down in the storm.  It was one of the few trees which felt calming and just days earlier I had made a mental note to plant another.

It's so easy to get frustrated, spiral into panic mode and begin lashing out in resistance. I instead invite you to laugh in the face of these troubling circumstances fully expecting something good is indeed on the way.

Change is happening around you because you are in a growth stage and it's a big one. There is something coming around the corner and yet just yesterday everything seemed perfect. The sharp contrast can cause you to feel thrown into the eye of a storm but hold on. You are ready for transformational growth.

Rather than resist, consider it a trial and tribulation period which you asked for by choosing to GROW. Whatever decision you make from there, as I tell those I coach, make sure you do a little litmus test to ensure you're aligned with what you need.  Is your decision rooted in faith or fear? Faith is where you are being guided which requires you to be uncomfortable and act in spite of what's in front of you. That’s Gutsy Leadership living. Leading not from what's visibly in front of you, but from your gut. Not easy is it?  We have to feel our way through the storm. The fastest path to what you want is in those impulses of thought barely a whisper. Keep moving your feet, something better indeed is on the way.

A formula I leave you with when you experience the breakdowns before the breakthroughs:

E + R = 0 [1]

Events + Response = Outcome.

Events we can't control, they show up whenever and wherever they want. Your point of power is always in your response - that royal letter R; taking action, making gutsy moves, leading from faith, leading from your gut to create a wild and different outcome.

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