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“Find your purpose in life and chase it,” an interview with bestselling authors Sara Connell & Brandon Steiner

Having a purpose has been the biggest thing for me. It was the theme of my last book and I believe it’s true for everyone to be successful. It’s important to find your purpose in life and chase it. I was able to write about my purpose in life in my new book show the […]


Having a purpose has been the biggest thing for me. It was the theme of my last book and I believe it’s true for everyone to be successful. It’s important to find your purpose in life and chase it. I was able to write about my purpose in life in my new book show the meaning it has had for me and how it has led to where I am today.

Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Need To Know To Write A Bestselling Book” I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandon Steiner.

As one of the most innovative, influential figures in the history of sports marketing and sports memorabilia, Brandon Steiner is Founder and CEO of Steiner Sports; holder of the world’s largest collection of autographed memorabilia; and, a marketing representative to brand name athletes including Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Peyton Manning, and Eli Manning After identifying a need for professional athletes to have representation for corporate endorsements and appearances, he established Steiner Sports in 1987, which quickly grew to become an industry leader, representing the top sports stars in New York. His second business, which sells autographed memorabilia, formed exclusive memorabilia partnerships’ first-of-its-kind with the New York Yankees and Notre Dame Football. In 2008, Brandon Steiner fulfilled a childhood dream when his company purchased the old Yankee Stadium to grant it a second life as an unparalleled line of collectibles.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I started out working in the hotel/restaurant management industry, and knew I loved working with people. I was then getting to know athletes and booking them for appearances and promotions across NYC. I decided to finally branch off and start my own sports marketing company leveraging the relationships I had and working with players, teams, and corporate clients. 

I like to tell the story of how I got into the memorabilia space. I was sick of taking the train every day to work and wanted to find a way to make enough money to buy a car. It was 1994 and the New York Rangers had just won the Stanley Cup. There was the famous picture of the captain, Mark Messier hoisting up the cup and I thought to myself “I bet everyone that was there that night would love to have a signed picture of this moment.” I brokered the deal with Mark, had him sign thousands of the photos, and we sold out of all of them in no time. Little did I know, we would blow up to be the largest memorabilia and marketing company in the world selling thousands of autographs and booking hundreds of athlete appearances. My purpose has led me to where I am today.

What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an author?

The most fulfilling experience for me is that I grew up half illiterate suffering from dyslexia most of my life and have been able to overcome that and now author three books. My brother was the smart one in the family and we wrote my first book together. That was a very rewarding experience and something special we got to share together.

What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?

The craziest thing is people I don’t even know coming up to me saying they have ready my books and have loved them. Being a CEO it can be tough sometimes to connect with my customers, but this has allowed me to become personal with them in a special way where they feel they can relate to me.

What is the greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author? What is the worst (if anything) part?

The greatest part about being an author is telling my story and promoting lessons and advice from my life to others. My second book is a tribute to my mother and everything she ever taught me and how I applied it to become successful. The third book is a great spiritual book of the significance of family, faith, fortune, and fitness in my life. It’s rewarding getting to publish all of these messages and share my story. Nothing bad about it. The process can just take a while with the organizing, writing, publishing, and printing.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

Having a purpose has been the biggest thing for me. It was the theme of my last book and I believe it’s true for everyone to be successful. It’s important to find your purpose in life and chase it. I was able to write about my purpose in life in my new book show the meaning it has had for me and how it has led to where I am today.

Which writer or leader has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?

Harvey Mackay and Ken Blanchard have been major influences in my life. Both amazing authors and I have gotten to know them well and they have taught me a lot. They have supported my work and give me inspiration in my writing.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is building the credibility as an author to get the word out and sell books. For my first book, I went to tons of colleges and schools to talk to kids and promote my book. A lot of people know me as the sports memorabilia guy, but I had to work at building the reputation as an author and speaker. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and it has helped as I’ve now come out with my third book to further my reach.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?

It wasn’t a failure but something I reflect on is the target audience of my book. The title of my second book being called “You Gotta Have Balls,” I feel made it a little appropriate for the female reader. It’s an important demographic and someone I would have liked to have reached with my second book. That’s why I made sure to make it more appealing for women with my third book. I also learned from my first book do’s and don’ts since it was my first time as an author. I learned from mistakes and took that into consideration when writing my second book.

What does a writer need to know if he/she wants to become a bestselling author?

1. Know your audience.

2. Tell your story and tie back to your theme.In the new book “Living on Purpose” I would tell a lot a stories and always made sure to bring it back to “purpose” and explain the lesson

3. Plan your distribution.Know where you want to sell, how you want to sell it, and to who.

4.Read it over and over. I have read my new book several times. In the editing stages I kept going back over and over and made lots of changes until I got it right.

What are you most excited to work on next? Most excited to read next?

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of this author thing, I now continuously think of new ideas of my next book and new projects I want to work on. I have an active blog and constantly contribute cool stories, lessons, and ideas.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’m very charitable and enjoy supporting my youth homes in the Westchester area. I believe in the concept of “doing as much as you can, for as many people as you can, and receiving nothing in return.” I think helping the communities and especially youth is a movement I’ve focused on for a while and it’s important in our society.

Thank you so much for these great insights!


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