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The art of self-reinvention

Posted in the following categories: Motivation, Personal Development

Recently, a reader reached out to give me feedback on my “branding.”

He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I first knew you as the guy who wrote Think Like a Rocket Scientist. You’re now writing about all these other subjects that branch away from that book. You need more coherence in ‘Brand Ozan.’”

Here’s what I think: I don’t care about branding—at least not in the conventional sense.

Who I am—my full humanity—is the brand.

As I evolve, my brand naturally evolves with me.

To pretend my interests don’t change—to pigeonhole myself into one narrow category in the name of “branding”—would be a disservice to myself and to you.

Who I am today is different from who I was five years ago—and many of you have had front-row seats to that evolution. You’ve seen me as a professor writing about academic subjects and been with me as I left academia to write books for a broader audience. You were there when Think Like a Rocket Scientist took off. You’ve followed along as my writing expanded from purely cognitive topics to encompass the full human experience with Awaken Your Genius. 

Sure, I could concoct a grand narrative claiming that this was all part of a grand strategy.

But that would be a lie.

The truth is simpler: I was following my curiosity, often not knowing where it would take me.

Conventional wisdom on personal branding says: Pick a narrow lane and stick to it. Put your evolution on pause. Place yourself second.

I’ve refused to tetris myself into shape to become what the world expects of me. And yes, I’ve disappointed some people along the way, like the reader who felt confused about my “brand.” People unsubscribed from my newsletter.

But others joined in far greater numbers. My business skyrocketed across all relevant metrics. And most importantly, I remained true to myself and had a blast doing it.

I’ve seen too many people lose their creative spark to their “brand.” They end up serving the brand instead of letting the brand evolve and serve them. They silence their own voice in an attempt to be heard.

Remember: Your life is your own. You don’t owe anyone the person you used to be. If someone can’t wrap their head around your transformation, it’s on them, not on you.

Joni Mitchell once said, “You have two options. You can stay the same and protect the formula that gave you your initial success. They’re going to crucify you for staying the same. If you change, they’re going to crucify you for changing.”

I choose change. I don’t want to sit at the pottery wheel trying to recreate the last best thing. Instead, I seek new territories, whether it’s exploring the intersection of AI and creativity in my popular digital course The AI Advantage, delivering transformative keynotes, or breaking new ground with each book I publish.

The thrill for me—and potentially for you, too—is in the surprise, in turning life into a narrative filled with unexpected twists.

I’m committed to honoring my present self—not who I was years ago or even minutes ago.

If there’s anything that defines “Brand Ozan,” it’s this: an ever-evolving narrative driven by genuine curiosity and a refusal to be boxed in.

P.S. If you haven’t read my Wall Street Journal bestselling book Awaken Your Genius yet, now’s the perfect moment. The book is chock-full of insights on how to embrace change, follow your curiosity, and stay true to your evolving self despite external pressures. Here’s what readers are saying:

🔥 “After reading this book, I immediately sent a text to five of my closest friends and said, ‘You must stop what you are doing and get this book!’ On your journey to self-discovery and unleashing your brilliance to the world, this is a must-read.”

🤸 “You see ‘life changing’ thrown around often on many book reviews, but this gem deserves that description. An absolute masterpiece. If this was a middle school or high school textbook and taught as a class/course it would literally change the world. It’s that good.”

🌈 “Incredible. I already can’t wait to re-read it! I felt like I had to give up on my Kindle highlights since at times I was marking up yellow every other paragraph. So much of it spoke to my soul.”

💥 “Impossible to put down. Such a well-written book serving up inspiring and practical advice.”

🎁 “Awaken Your Genius launched me on a journey of transformation. I’ve gained an internal steadiness I can’t fully explain, but it is releasing fresh energy into everything I do. Your book was instrumental in launching me on this path toward increased creativity, and a corresponding decrease in concern about what others think about me.”

👉 Grab your copy here.

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