What’s An Iconic Empire Anyway?

I use the word “empire” quite a bit. I’ve chosen it carefully because it reflects the grandness and gravitas that my Iconic clients create through their work. But it occurs to me that the term “empire” may resonate with different people in different ways, and since I want everyone who visits me here to know precisely what I mean I’m going to share my own views and definitions.

Let’s start with Icons themselves.

How Icons think and operate

As you may have heard me say before, Icons have no competition. They pay no attention to the people around them. They don’t look backward or sideways. They only look forward. They’re creating a unique and innovative pathway with their gift. They’ve got a legend, a history, a narrative that’s built into their persona that goes much deeper than a typical brand story. They are visionaries, firebrands, boat-rockers, and innovators who transform the world with their ideas and actions. Icons are the trendsetter in their niche. They are extreme pioneers who never copy and never compare.

These mavericks push far beyond leveraging their personal brands for book deals, speaking opportunities, and reality TV spots; they are truly extreme pioneers. They create extraordinary change, transformative legacies, and wealth that will last well beyond this lifetime. 

And they do it by building Iconic Empires.

An Iconic Empire is a group of interrelated businesses that create diverse wealth streams for a visionary founder. Instead of pouring all of their energy into a single company or model, people building Iconic Empires create divisional structures that leverage their ideas across many platforms. 

What might that look like? Let’s take Deepak Chopra—An expert in the mind-body connection, world-renowned speaker, and author of more than 90 books—as an example of an Icon who has built a wildly successful empire around his persona, ideas, and body of work.

The components of Chopra’s Iconic Empire

Unlike many other self-styled healers and gurus, Deepak Chopra is relatively public about the running of his empire, even serving as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School. This makes sense as his business endeavors are extremely diverse: he’s worked as a senior scientist at The Gallup Organization, served as a board member of Men’s Wearhouse, and advised tech startup State.com. In 2006, he launched Virgin Comics with his son Gotham Chopra and entrepreneur Richard Branson. (It has since changed hands and been renamed Liquid Comics.) In 2021 alone he announced an exclusive wellness collection created and curated for Fitbit Premium members to make a mindfulness practice more accessible to people worldwide, and launched the Chopra Integrative Medicine Center Telehealth platform, a curated network of leading integrative medicine healthcare professionals.

This is an Icon who clearly enjoys creating a vast portfolio of wealth streams! A few of the ones that have served him steadily over the decades include:

BOOKS: Early in his career Chopra considered being a journalist, but ended up pursuing a degree in medicine. Later on, he found a way to merge his knowledge of healing with his gift for storytelling. By 1999, he’d penned 17 books including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success which claimed a place on the New York Times Best Seller list for a mindblowing 72 weeks. Now his number of titles is pushing 100; Although he augmented his writings with TV and radio appearances, speaking engagements, and audio workshops, those books were his primary means of spreading his ideas on meditation, alternative medicine, and self-care, especially in the early days. 

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: As his books took off, he was able to add keynotes and lectures. By 2005 Chopra was able to charge $25,000 to $30,000 per lecture five or six times a month.

CHOPRA GLOBAL: This umbrella brand is where Chopra offers his app ($70 annually), masterclasses ($300 each), and additional links to register for retreats. Housed at chopra.com, this site and brand also encompass a blog with contributor content on wellness topics.

RETREATS: His first physical location for clients, the Chopra Center for Well Being, has closed but Chopra Global continues to offer luxurious Ayurvedic retreats at rotating locations across the globe. Cost ranges from $3,000 to $7,500 per person, and Chopra himself does not attend or facilitate many of these excursions.

CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS: Chopra offers a suite of six certification programs, offering students the chance to study his meditation, health/wellness, and coaching techniques. The cost of the programs is between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the duration and depth of training.

MEDIA: Chopra used to earn well from DVD sales, but has since modernized his media offerings. He currently has three popular podcasts, a monetized YouTube channel with 518K subscribers, and a robust social media presence including 5.7M Facebook and 2.7M Instagram followers. 

PARTNERSHIPS: In high demand as a partner, Chopra has lent his name to everything from 21-day meditation challenges with Oprah Winfrey ($550 for the anthology) to meditation light and sound machines ($380). 

UNIVERSITY APPOINTMENTS: He kept his hand in modern medicine through his connections at various universities, and in 2016, he was promoted from voluntary assistant clinical professor to voluntary full clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.

INVESTMENTS: In 2015, he partnered with businessman Paul Tudor Jones II to found JUST Capital, a non-profit firm that ranks companies in terms of just business practices in an effort to promote economic justice. 


Every single one of these revenue streams is supported by Chopra’s powerful, iconic personal brand, and built on his belief that he can help people heal themselves. 

And every one of them creates a wealth stream that succeeds because it is organically aligned with his gifts and supports his main body of work.

Building an Iconic Empire for yourself

All Icons are dedicated to creating extraordinary wealth from their businesses and deep impact from their work. The savviest among them transform that dedication into a multi-layered, diversified, interconnected empire of endeavors that amplifies their abundance exponentially. If you’re eager to build generational wealth and generational impact with your innovations, start making your Iconic Empire plan today.

Ready to start building your Iconic Empire? Watch my on-demand masterclass, which explains the Iconic Empire strategy.