The Art of Doing, by Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield, is for you if you’re looking for examples and tips for building your personal brand by becoming a superachiever in your field.

The Art of Doing also offers you an excellent template for writing a book to build your personal brand, if your goal is to write and publish a book to promote your accomplishment.

Subtitled, How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well, The Art of Doing is a worthy addition to the 2 other “must read” productivity books I’ve recommended in previous Personal Branding Blog posts,

Stories of attainable superachievement

The Art of Doing profiles 30 superachievers who have achieved significant success building their brands in a variety of fields.

You’re likely to be familiar with some of the individuals profiled, such as Tony Hsieth from Zappos, Ken Jennings , the all-time Jeopardy! champion, or Guy Kawasaki, Apple business guru.

But, what makes The Art of Doing special is that the authors avoided “the cult of the obvious,” and focused on fascinating stories of individuals who super-achieved their way to lasting personal brands in a variety of niches, such as:

  • Philippe Petit, who walked across a wire strung between the 110-story World Trade Center towers.
  • Gary Noesner, an FBI agent who has negotiated hundreds of life-and-death hostage crises.
  • David Gang, who turned a tiny noodle shop into an international chain of restaurants.
  • Will Shortz, New York Times crossword puzzle editor and over 100 crossword puzzle books
  • Joseph Speare, an architect who has designed (or redesigned) more Major League Baseball parks than anyone else.
  • Lynsey Addario, who became a celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer without benefit of professional training.

The range of profiled individuals is what makes this book so crucially important to personal branding success:

Few of us can realistically expect to become the next Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, but all of us can (and should) aspire to attaining similar success in our own fields!

Format= stories and lessons

The Art of Doing’s format is as important as the stories of the profiled individuals. Each chapter tells the story of a single individual, describing the individual’s success and 10 lessons, or takeaways, from the story. Based on interviews, the stories are told in a pleasant, conversational tone.

In addition, each chapter ends with a potpourri of specific facts about the specific individual’s accomplishment, as well as facts relating to the general topic. For example, Chapter 7, “How to Be Funny (On TV)” based on interviews with Alec Baldwin and Robert Carlock, ends with Facts about 30 Rock, as well as general TV sitcom facts  about TV sitcoms in general.

The format, with its 6-8 page chapters, lends itself to comfortable, reading. Each chapter is organized around an accomplishment, introduced by How titles like How to Be a Diva, How to Be a Dog Whisperer, How to Make It as a Rock Band in the Digital Era, or How to Win the Indy 500.

You can learn more about the 30 individuals profiled in The Art of Doing by visiting the author’s website and viewing the Who’s Who in the Art of Doing page.

Mastering the qualities of doing

So, what really separates the best from the rest? You’ll gain a new understanding of success after reading the 30 stories, and the 10 takeaways and tips at the end of each chapter.

But, if you’re in a hurry, you can go directly to How to Be a Super-Achiever: The 10 Qualities that Matter, an article and video based on a Forbes interview with the authors. It’s as great a summary of the qualities needed for personal branding success as you’re likely to find. After you’ve read, or watched The 10 Qualities that Matter, share your comments on the qualities, below.


Roger C. Parker wants to help you write a book to build your personal brand; download his free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write and ask your questions about writing a book for personal branding success.