Why this list?
On Monday I wrote about some people online that have impacted me. I wanted to expand on that list and share the treasure of people I’ve been impacted by online. Every single one of these people has affected how I think to some degree.
A few have absolutely altered the way I do life. I don’t say those words lightly.
They are ALL people I want the opportunity to meet in person some day. Some interact with me daily. Some may have no recollection of me at all. But all have impacted me and therefore are all people I’d love to meet face to face.
Because of how these people have impacted me, I wanted to share them with you in hopes that you too will be enriched by the treasure that I have found. There are no affiliate links or promotional kickbacks. None of these people know that I’m writing a post like this. No one knew about it to know that they would be included. These are all people that I 100% genuinely recommend that you follow.
While I have grouped them to help identify HOW I know them, they are not arranged in any kind of order as to suggest importance or impact on my life. I’ll let you make up your own mind regarding that.
All of these people are on Twitter and have blogs. They are all giving of themselves freely in multiple ways.
Be inspired. Be motivated. Be moved to act and change your life because of their words!
My band of merry men
This first group of people are guys that I pester regularly. Some I have interacted with for a while, others are more new to my online “tribe” that I associate with. I highly recommend these men and can’t wait for an opportunity to meet them face to face.
1. Josh Crocker
Josh might possibly be my biggest encouragement online. While there are a number of highly encouraging people, he wins due to the fact that he continually pushes me to be a better person and to actually chase my dreams. I can’t wait to meet him in person someday and hug his neck…and then crush beer cans on our foreheads (you know, so we look manly after that hug).
2. Ross Hudgens
Ross contacted me shortly after I started this blog and has been a constant encouragement to me, even contacting me to make sure I was ok after missing my only two posting days. He blogs about internet marketing and retweets great links to really helpful articles. Lots of practical advice on driving traffic and SEO.
3. Eric Pratum
Eric is someone I found in the very beginning of my R&D phase of blogging. Long before I had a blog of my own, I read his site about personal branding. He was part of the foundation that I’ve built upon later. He retweets helpful (and often humorous) articles. He’s a great guy and I’m excited for the next phase of life he is about to enter in the next few days (CONGRATULATIONS!)
4. Mark Lawrence
Mark may have the highest level of energy of any blogger I talk to regularly. He’s blogged about quitting his job; had naked, painted ladies roam around Chicago promoting his blog; actually QUIT his job; and is preparing for a gigantic adventure overseas. If that doesn’t catch your attention, I’m not sure what will. He’s certainly not someone in attendance in the Church of the Template Life!
5. Drew Rieder
Drew is another family guy like myself looking to break away from the template lifestyle. Not only is he a blogger and singer but he’s an all around good guy who seeks to encourage others and build them up. I know that he’s working on some stuff behind the scenes right now and look forward to what he’s soon to reveal.
6. Joel Runyon
Joel lives about an hour away from my in-laws which means that the next time I visit them, I’m going to make sure we go smash beer cans together. I’m loving what he’s doing at his site and how much he focuses on encouraging people online. He’s one of those athletic types who competes in all kinds of [fill in the blank]-athalons so I’m envious…but not enough to actually do them myself. Yet! He’s a great guy and great conversationalist; it’s possible we’ve had a four hour Skype session before.
7. Wilson Usman
Wilson is the newest addition to my band of merry men. Yet another super encouraging guy looking to build actual relationships and see how he can help others. I think our sites tackle very similar topics but it is cool to see how our personalities approach them differently. He wins bonus points for having a big box of my favorite color on his front page.
8. Timothy Morris
Timothy is living the dream. He’s often a bit more elusive online because he’s actually out there in the world living a lifestyle that breaks free of the template. I love exchanging emails with him and am encouraged every single time we talk. He is definitely someone you want to keep an eye on and get to know if you get a chance.
9. Abby Kerr
While I normally stick with guys as my close inner circle out of respect for my wife (no, it’s has nothing to do with smashing beer cans on my head), I made a special request of my wife to include two ladies who continue to encourage me.
Abby (who I recently called the First Lady of Niche-y-ness) has a site that just makes me happy. I love seeing a feminine touch amongst a largely male dominated niche of entrepreneurs. As someone who has actually owned a brick and mortar business, she has a strong foundation for her voice which she targets at her “right people”. Start following her now, she’s going to be big and you’ll want to be able to say “I knew her when…”
10. Velda Christensen
Velda is the other lady in my “band of merry men”. A fellow ENFP, she is someone that I got to know before I ever started my blog. She writes about personal experiences as a single mom who is busting her tail! I have the utmost respect for her and think she is a super rock-star! I love it best when she talks about her kids on her blog and have been moved to tears more than once. This is still one of my favorite things I’ve ever read on the internet (I read it often when I need to smile…and fight back a tear or two): High Five.
These are people whose message and personal engagement has greatly impacted me. Most of them have large (or growing) audiences but made a point to take the time and offer help and guidance to me. All are people that I was originally impressed with, but certainly became enamoured with after they took the time to engage with me.
11. Dan Andrews
Dan makes me sick in that “OMIGOSH I WANT TO LIVE HIS LIFE!” kind of way. I tried to stay away from his site with its gorgeous pictures of tropical living and sunshine and water and…and…so many things that make me HATE MY DESK!!! His podcast is one of my favorite things to listen to all week. He’s living an amazing life and working the way I can’t wait to work. He’s one of those people that I just can’t wait to meet in face to face. (Also, I can’t wait to meet where he’s living face to face!)
12. Nathan Hangen
Nathan has greatly influenced my opinions on blogging as a business while creating art. He is someone of strong convictions, even to the point of deleting his Facebook account because of those convictions (GASP! Sorry, Nathan…I just can’t do it.) I love his perspective of building an online empire and recommend him for anyone considering doing business online. Very approachable and engaging, he’s someone I recommend people get to know.
13. Srini Rao
Srini is another really helpful blogger. While being someone who interviews the A-listers and the movers-and-shakers of the entrepreneur and blogging world, he’s also extremely engaging with new people and willing to be interviewed by those who are dreaming about and working towards being on the A-list. Make sure to check out both of his blogs as they are amazing resources! Love what he’s doing on both his sites.
Other big influencers
These are people who have made and continue to make a big impact on me regarding how I view the world of business, online marketing, and a host of other things. All of them have made a point to engage with me, even if only a single email or tweet. All people I pay attention to on a regular basis.
14. Colin Wright
Aside from having cool hair, Colin also has a really cool site. As someone who continually posts interesting links to articles he’s reading on Twitter, he is someone that is definitely worth following if you are interested in lifestyle design. I love that his site is a combination of well written articles and pleasing design. He is also someone that I have found to be very approachable and willing to help. Top notch dude!
15. Annabelle Candy
Annabelle is smart, sweet, and very helpful. I’ve come to enjoy her blog which she targets towards entrepreneurs and creatives. A combination of marketing, blogging, and self improvement, her blog is also a joy to read. I laughed out loud about her post where she confessed to snuggling up in bed with Seth Godin (article).
16. Cody McKibben
I’ve been following Cody for a while now. I’m afraid that if I do meet him face to face, I’d probably act a little like a gushing fan. He’s become one of my heroes (a title I’ve rarely ever given) not because he is living an amazing life (which he is) but because of an amazing heart that he has for helping others. Check out #7 on his Bucket List (I also have the same goal he has for #8, btw). Even outside of his blog, I am often just amazed at what comes across his Twitter stream. (See! This is the gushing fan stuff I’m talking about.)
17. Charlie Hoehn
Charlie has a super impressive list of accomplishments on his About page. I’m a tad envious and a lot inspired! His ebook Recession-Proof Graduate (free) made a big impact on me. After following the suggestions in it, I had a number of doors open up for me that would probably have not done so otherwise. Another person that is encouraging to talk to and has a unique perspective on life. He also sent me a physical book in the mail recently that I am loving and will definitely be doing a review on as soon as I finish it. (Charlie, the book is awesome!)
18. Mars Dorian
I’ve written about Mars before and called him the male Lady Gaga of blogging. For someone who adores Lady Gaga (and car-sings to her almost every day), that’s a huge compliment for me to give! In case you didn’t check him out then, take this as a sign to do so now! I love what he’s doing and the unique and fresh voice that he has. He’s got an energy to him that is contagious and a gift for helping people see things from a different perspective.
19. Jonathan Fields
Despite having tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, Johnathan starts most days by asking “Who can I help today?” He writes about building a great living around what you love to do most. Ya, that appeals to me. He is also the author of the very practical and insightful book Career Renegade, a book that I will likely be reviewing on here soon as I just finished reading it yesterday (short version: READ IT!). In the spirit of “Who can I help today”, when I announced on Twitter that I had ordered his book, Johnathan replied to me and said to feel free to ask him questions as I read his book. That’s awesome!
20. Jason Fried
Jason’s book Rework opened my eyes up to how business is and should be done in such a way that can only be rivaled by Seth Godin. I couldn’t stop reading his book the day I got it and stayed up even later than usual (i.e. the sun was coming up when I put it down). Midway through reading, I made a point to get on Twitter and say how awesome it was. Jason made a point to reply to me and tell me thank you for my words of encouragement. Now that is living what you are preaching. Me = Fan for life.
21. Scott Stratten
I just like Scott’s stuff. I don’t know if it is his no BS approach, the fact that he is also a dad, or how well he does what he does. Actually, it’s all of those things. He’s another guy who appears to have a gigantic heart and looks for ways to help people who need it. It’s a fantastic thing to find someone who inspires you and Scott has done that multiple times for me.
22. Ramit Sethi
Not a week goes by that I don’t tell someone in my offline life to go and read Ramit’s site. (I’m often telling them to STFUDF in my head too.) Ramit is probably THE most aggressive blogger I pay close attention to; he has no problem telling people to go away if they don’t want to take serious action against their problems. The man knows what he is talking about though. His Earn1K class (the ONLY thing I’ve paid serious money for online yet) was amazing, eye-opening, and has helped me out numerous ways thus far. If you are tired of not having enough money, you need to go get his book by the same name as his site and then sign up for his Earn1K class as soon as you can. No, this is not an affiliate endorsement, his stuff is just that good! GO!
23. Corbett Barr
Corbett has some awesome things to say. For a quick jumpstart/primer to getting in on his message, check out this interview he did with Srini Rao. He’s one of those people that’s just impressive to watch but still gives tons of very practical advice. I recommend him to anyone who is serious about their blog as a business and wanting to improve their numbers (you know, those things we try and pretend we don’t care about…but obsess about nonetheless). So interested to continue watching where he is going.
This group is comprised of influencers in niches that I don’t specifically target. Yet, each of them is powerful enough that they continue to capture my attention through their writing and social engagement nonetheless.
24. Clynton Taylor
Clynton found me long before I started blogging. I mentioned something about my Vibrams (I’m a huge fan and would wear ONLY them if not for having to wear dress shoes to work) and he reached out to me. He’s someone that is passionate about running and especially running barefoot. Before you discount him thinking he’s just some hippie fan of dirty feet, you absolutely need to go to his site and see what his story is all about. This guy is a survivor! I got to know him during the time that he was recovering (makes you want to see his story, doesn’t it) and I can tell you that I was continually impressed with this man’s strength as a human being. He’s someone I look up to for how he’s dealt with what he’s been through. Top notch guy.
25. Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo (i.e. Ribeezie) is one of those people whose name I continually see pop up in the most random of places. I think he’s has some kind of super power. He writes more specifically to real estate professionals, which is important to me since almost all of my family is IN real estate. I like what he’s doing and how he treats people. Whether you are into real estate or just like following interesting people, you should definitely see what he’s doing.
These two ladies receive honorary mention because I actually DO know them offline, but their stuff is just too good to not include in a line up like this!
26. Sherrinda Ketchersid
This woman is absolutely amazing. A wife and mother of four, she is as dedicated to her family as they come. I am always amazed by her strength and willingness to serve others and her God. She has a burning passion for writing and is developing an awesome community around herself and others at her site. I love this lady and think the world of her. While she may technically be my WIFE’S aunt, I claim her as my own.
27. Jen Wells
I have known Jen the longest of anyone on this list. In fact, since I knew her in high school, I might technically have known her longer than EVERYONE on the list put together. (Wait…scratch that, it just makes us sound old.) She is now the wife of another friend of mine. Jen is amazing, inspiring, loving, fantastic, and any other adjective you can think of along those lines. She is one of the most capable artists I know in her craft of video and media and I was blown away to discover her skills in writing on her blog. Her words constantly remind me of my ultimate reason for being on this planet. More than once she has caused me to completely change the way I think about my faith, my role as a spouse and parent, and myself. I’ve watched in awe as she’s become a godly wife, mother, and woman that blesses anyone who gets the chance to meet her. Read her words!
In fact, read all of these people’s words and see why I can’t wait to meet them in person.