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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

How publishing a book changed my view of personal branding

Writing a book puts out a complete personal statement—it is the ultimate best step in branding. 

How publishing a book changed my view of personal branding
[Etoilestars /AdobeStock]

For years, my closest friends encouraged me to write a book based on my life before and after coming to the United States and the struggles and challenges that shaped me into who I am today. They knew I shared my history selectively, but also knew it was a story worth telling. I always agreed, replying, “Yeah, one day.”

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Despite spending years working to connect executives to boards, it wasn’t until I finally published my book about corporate matchmaking that I finally realized how much writing a book and establishing a personal brand could do for both me and my business.

ONLY WITH PASSION COMES MOTIVATION

A few years ago, I cofounded my company and became an expert in a field I had always loved—helping companies solve problems, grow, raise funds, sell, or go public. Writing a book allows you to take what you enjoy doing and multiply those efforts. No matter how many times I helped individual companies find success with a mastermind board, I am only one person and could only ever help one company at a time. Publishing a book is one way to increase your influence and provides an additional outlet to pour your passion into. Sharing mine and the company’s expertise through publishing a book let motivated companies and executives take their success into their own hands.

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU WRITE

As daunting as the task may seem, devoting the time to write about your passions and releasing a book about it can come with huge benefits for you and your company. There are already so many tools out there for personal branding—writing articles, doing PR, news, podcasts, making sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, etc. Ideally, you want someone who looks at your public networking tools across different platforms to see a clear definition of who you are. Writing a book, however, puts out a complete personal statement—it is the ultimate best step in branding.

Writing a book has changed my personal branding forever. It allows you to paint a complete picture of yourself and what defines you. If successful, people come to know you by your expertise and your book gives you an opportunity to define yourself to the world.

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AUTHORS BECOME EXPERTS

In writing your book, you have the perfect opportunity to describe your approach to your work and what makes it so successful—including plenty of examples of clients that flourished along the way. It’s the ultimate chance to show your expertise as a thought leader in your industry.

Once your book is available in stores and online, you’ll likely find that more potential clients come to you, engage you, and ask you how you can work together. Instead of looking for offers to grow my career and company, opportunities now come to me. Writing a book means more people recognize your experience and expertise.

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DRIVING THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS IS ADDICTIVE

Once you become an expert in your field, a natural next step to continue innovating is advising others on achieving success. Being a part of growth, whether you’re supporting a company or an individual, is an addictive reward.

This level of success, where you have so much in abundance that you can bring it to others, only comes by taking a chance, putting yourself out there, and building up yourself and your company. Once you find a passion, it has a multiplying effect. A lot of executives join boards to help other businesses, but in the process, their passions come to the surface in new ways, changing their mission so they can keep doing more. Like anything with a morale-boosting effect, helping others find success is addictive, and writing books is a good way to do just that.

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If you have a great story, share it with the world and put out a book. Of course, the idea of telling your story in public and then having to live up to that shining image by always seeking to grow as an authority is intimidating. But to those who find motivation in your story, overcoming those fears and sharing with them becomes a gift. Being willing to keep learning and excelling in your industry so that you can give something back is a compelling reward.


Martin Rowinski is the CEO of Boardsi, a Corporate Board Recruitment Company.

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