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Marina ByezhanovaMarina Byezhanova is the Co-founder of Brand of a Leader, a personal branding agency for entrepreneurs and executives. As an entrepreneur, global speaker, show host, and personal branding expert, she has been quoted and referenced in various publications, including,, Yahoo News, Financial Post, Fast Company, and Success Magazine. Marina’s mission is to inspire entrepreneurs to speak up, stand out, and be radically authentic through the power of building their personal brands. She’s a tenured member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, having served in local, regional, and global roles.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Marina Byezhanova talks about moving from Ukraine to Canada and facing immigration challenges
  • What is Marina’s personal branding philosophy?
  • Marina shares client success stories
  • Who is Marina’s ideal client?
  • How Marina builds company culture and why it’s important
  • Marina’s insights on business partnerships
  • How Marina navigates entrepreneurial impatience and stays happy and satisfied

In this episode…

Becoming a successful entrepreneur involves more than just opening up shop. It requires vision, resilience, adaptability, and the ability to embrace the journey with its highs and lows. It’s these traits that have propelled Marina Byezhanova’s prosperity.

Marina works at the intersection of personal branding and leadership development. Through innovative strategies and a people-centered approach, she helps individuals and organizations craft an authentic brand narrative and foster an inspiring company culture.

Join Jeremy Weisz, host of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, for an enlightening discussion with Marina Byezhanova. They dive into Marina’s entrepreneurial journey, her insights on personal branding, and the challenges of fostering company culture inside a team of freelancers. From her immigrant roots to building a business that aligns with her strengths, Marina’s story is filled with valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

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Rise25 Co-founders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.

Jeremy Weisz 0:13

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs leaders today is no different. I have Marina Byezhanova. And she is the founder, co founder of Brand of a Leader and Marina, I’m gonna formally introduce you in a second. But before I do, I always like to point out other episodes of the podcast people should check out. And a big shout out to a Adi Klevit, who we met through. You are on her podcast, he’s got a great podcast, I listened to the episode yesterday, fantastic. I did an episode with Adi and we geeked out on our favorite productivity tools because she helps people. Basically, she’s an easy button for people to produce their SOPs, you know, and their processes so people can actually have the work they’re doing and be at replicatable. And she’s does amazing work. Also, because this is an agency, one I interviewed Todd Taskey, who he kind of matches agencies with private equity. So they get purchased, and he has the second bite podcast. So sometimes he finds that some of these companies make more on the second bite they do on the first when they’re, you know, bought by private equity and the private equity sells again, they get a larger multiple, so it’s really interesting how he values agencies, how he, you know, talks about how agencies grow on that podcast and Kevin Hourigan, too. He’s been an agency owner since 1995. And so he kind of talks about the evolution of his agency from the 90s that I’m anymore and and this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 partnerships and relationships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcasts are an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do accountability strategy, and full production execution of a podcast. We kind of Marina call ourselves the magic elves that work in the background and make sure everything happens. And for me, you know, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should. If you have questions go to And Marina does regular episodes too. And a lot of times you can find them on LinkedIn. We’ll talk about that. But without further ado, Marina Byezhanova is co founder of a personal branding agency, like I mentioned, called Brand of a Leader. And, you know, she’s been referenced all over the place publications, you’ve heard of Inc, Forbes Fast Company Success Magazine, Wall Street Journal, the Financial Post, she’s spoken audiences of entrepreneurs all over the world. She’s also a tenured member of Entrepreneurs Organization. And she served in multiple roles local, regional and global leadership. And marinas mission is to inspire entrepreneurs to speak up stand out, and to be radically authentic through the power of building their personal brands. And I’ll share her superpower in a second. But Marina, thanks for joining me.

Marina Byezhanova 3:12

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to have this conversation.

Jeremy Weisz 3:16

You know, when I was reading, I found online your superpower. And I don’t know if you know what I’m gonna say here, but it’s been Ukrainian. Talk about that.

Marina Byezhanova 3:29

I’m why tear up here. It’s an emotional, emotional topic. You know, I was born in Ukraine. I grew up in Ukraine as well. I came to Canada my family emigrated after I finished high school. My first plane ride ever was coming from Ukraine to Canada. When I was 16 Ever since I have to tell Jeremy every time aboard a flight. I’m the giddiness. Most excited. Everybody looks like they can be bought there. This is going to be so annoying. I’m giddy and I’m flying is like a one hour flight. So I when I came to Canada, it was 1998. And when people asked me when I was where I was from, I had very heavy accents. So I got that question 100 times a day, where are you from? I would say hello. People would say where are you from? And I would say I’m from Ukraine. And nobody knew what what in the world that was or were in the world that was and so people said, oh, you know, Soviet Union, Russia, and he kept saying no Ukraine. And then fast forward. Eventually people started doing business with Ukraine. Traveling to Ukraine. People knew what Ukraine was. People just knew of Kyiv. So okay, you’re from Ukraine. You’re from Kyiv? No, I’m not from Kyiv. I’m from Kharkiv, which is the second largest city. And as you know, it was over a year ago, February 24 of last year war started in Ukraine. And all of a sudden, everybody knows about Ukraine. People know off the smallest villages that I’ve never knew off and will ask me the names and we’ll reference that Ukraine. What I realized and why I put that in Ukrainian is my superpower, but that on my social media, is that you know, when you’re an immigrant, there’s this really crazy identity by How do you go through it? Right? Who am I? Who am I, like, I don’t fit in here and fit in there. Where do I fit in, especially when going through that as a teenager is, is quite rough. And then all of a sudden, as Ukraine started resisting this brutal war, and as we started hearing stories of Ukrainians and personality and things coming out, I was like, Oh my God, that that is my identity, I might have tried to suppress it become North Americanized. But that is really who I am. And I do believe that the strength and the resilience and the ability to overcome, I think that those are a traits that Ukrainians share, and I’m very proud to be Ukrainian.

Jeremy Weisz 5:40

Also, you know, immigrants. I mean, it’s like I find, you know, my grandfather was an immigrant. So my mom was first generation and you find like, there’s a certain drive, and there’s a certain not taking things for granted. I felt this from my grandfather.

Marina Byezhanova 5:58

Well, let’s be honest. Also, there’s a big chip on the shoulder that you get, because you come to a new country. And I mean, even when it’s well meaning you still face discrimination, right, you still face comments. And you know, there are challenges. I’m not one to enjoy, you know, soft victimizing and the woe is me type of mentality at all. But there are challenges. So you develop a chip on your shoulder, and you want to prove everybody wrong. And so that, you know, what might look like drive to others is the internal desire to show that you’re not less than.

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