By Michael Rose, an EO Dallas member and founder and CEO of Mojo Media Labs
Who hasn’t wanted to be like Steve Jobs of Apple, or Bill Gates of Microsoft, but with their own company? I’ve learned it isn’t just their business that defines them, but their thought leadership, voice and character as an entrepreneur. You’ve already accomplished step one to building your personal brand–you’re an entrepreneur! If you’re like most of us, you find your business is one of the main aspects that defines you. This is why I wanted to share with you a business model that will grow your business and your personal brand beyond your wildest dreams.
Step 1: Become an Entrepreneur
Step one, check. You’re an entrepreneur, which means you have the experience, knowledge and thought leadership it takes to create a personal brand that is unlike any other. There may be other companies that offer similar products or services as yours, but there’s only one you. Can you see your name on the cover of a business magazine? What would your tagline be? What message would you share to the world? Keep this vision in your mind because this type of personal brand awareness could be in your near future. You already have the resources available to start sharing your story and communicating with consumers in a way that surpasses your company’s products or services. All you need to do is tap into your creative energy and share your story.
Step 2: Become an Author
Authorship is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an industry expert. Being an entrepreneur means you have ideas, experiences and advice that are unique from most. There are plenty of people who want to write a book and that goal stays at the top of their bucket list year after year, but for some reason or another they never finish, or in most cases never begin writing it. Whenever I meet someone who has the initiative and self-discipline to finish writing a book, I think, “This person is on their way to building something larger than their business. They must be a real thought leader.”
When I began to write my book, I referred to all the stacks of notes and drawings I’d kept over the years, not to mention all of the voices in my head. I compiled all my observations, failures and successes into a final piece of work that inevitably became part of my personal brand. The true magic to being an entrepreneur and an author is that it begins with the development of a new business model, one which grows your credibility as an expert in the field and extends your corporate brand.
Step 3: Become a Speaker
Along with your published book, there will be opportunities for speaking engagements. I quickly learned that speaking provides ample lead-generation opportunities. I’d already proven myself as a successful businessman through my entrepreneurship and established myself as a thought leader from my authorship, but speaking offered me opportunities for networking and additional credibility.
The more I spoke to different groups, the more I was asked to speak. The more I was asked to speak and the more credible I became, not only as an entrepreneur but as a thought leader on my unique subject matter. Because I’ve been through the book-writing process, I’m flooded with more content ideas for a second book edition. Now when I speak to various organizations, not only am I paid for the event itself, but I have the credibility to cross-sell. I’m able to speak and network pertaining to my book’s subject matter and for my business. For example, I was just asked to speak this June at the Inc. Leadership Conference. I would never have thought that was possible before publishing my book!