It’s no secret that starting a business is difficult, trying, and stressful. Keeping your spirits up and your motivation at peak isn’t always easy. What can pump you up and inspire can come from anywhere, but what truly helps me are those that have been there before.
The insight you can gain from their experience is monumental. Sure, they may not be a restaurateur or a logo designer, but their knowledge in business or people is first hand and dismissing it would be a huge mistake.
Of course, listening to one channel certainly will create some bias. I like to diversify because what works for one person may not for another. There is always a lot of chance and "right time, right place" sort of situations that are hard to take into account.
By reading or listening to a healthy spread you get a broader idea of what can work for your business.
For us, this list is always changing. As we discover new thought leaders or as others emerge it’s motivational to see how they tick. Sometimes the way I discover new ones is by following the rabbit hole.
By that I mean think about the people you are following and find out who they follow. Climb the ladder of inspiring people. Think a human pyramid of innovation. Sometimes you might find a trickle down effect of knowledge and by getting to the source you can get a better grasp of it.
That being said, you’re reading us right now so full disclosure on who we’re listening to at the moment (in no particular order).
Sean of his own company, Seanwes, is a young gun with an impressive following. While he found his early success in custom lettering, he realized what truly inspired others was his journey of pursuing his passion.
While his blogs and podcasts have a slant towards designers his message is universal. He’s amassing a community of driven entrepreneurs starting their own businesses in all areas.
Why he is so compelling is not because of his success, but the down to Earth logic he applies to building your own thing. You’ll find a lot of what he says makes sense and in some ways you might wonder why you didn’t realize it before.
Unfortunately the bulk of the knowledge bombs are hidden behind the Seanwes Membership gates (this wasn’t always the case). The good news is a lot of it is still available and new podcasts come out weekly with the most recent 5 being free.
If this guy wrote more books I’d be one of the first in line for them. I should be grateful though, he did release his new book, Presuasion, a follow up to Influence published over 20 years ago, just last year.
Robert is not a business leader or entrepreneur in the sense of building an empire. Dr. Cialdini is actually a psychologist specializing in what influences us as people.
You can see why as a business owner knowing how your customers (and yourself) tick can be a huge boon. Not to mention it’s just so darn fascinating.
Influence easily makes my top 10 favourite reads. Oddly enough, if you go looking for the book you might actually find it in Self Help and not Business (where his new book, Presuasion, does live).
This is likely because it is written from the perspective of preventing yourself from being a victim of influence. Through data driven experiments and research as well as undercover work he discovered 6 key principles of influence.
What undercover work, you ask? He literally applied for jobs and went through training at used car dealerships, with vacuum salesmen, and anyone you have hard time saying no to.
If you want to get a better idea of what he is all about, check out Influence at Work and definitely read one of his books.
Having trouble with social media? Gary is your guy. He’s been riding the social media wave since it first started making ripples.
Starting with Wine Library TV on YouTube before anyone realized the platform could be used for marketing catapulted the success of his family’s wine business.
Since then he’s made fairly accurate moves and predictions about the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In so doing, he’s created VaynerMedia and helped countless companies grow with social media.
What’s great is that he doesn’t keep secrets on how he does it. He’s constantly inspires and drops knowledge on those that follow his social media handles or blogs. On top of it, he’s written a number of books.
So far I’ve made my way through both Crush It, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and found them extremely enlightening as to the new way businesses must operate to survive. I think you will too.
Yeah, maybe Grant is a bit cocky and intense but it’s this intensity and charisma that works for him. His business is largely in real estate but his message is more along the lines of doing whatever it takes (I think that might even be a quote of his).
His book, The 10x Rule, sums up just how he operates pretty nicely. The idea is that you set goals that are 10x what you think is reasonable and you put in 10x the effort you think you need to get there. With that in mind it should be no surprise that he has multiple books and a podcast every day of the week.
On top of it his Twitter feed is a steady stream throughout the day. My impression is that the guy doesn’t breathe much. That might sound like terrible advice but his message is more along the lines of going all in.
You’re never going to succeed if you don’t. He’s worth reading or following just so you can get an idea of how to get there.
Keep in mind that big ideas can come from the most unlikeliest of places. By following industry leaders in industries outside your own you might find the nugget that changes everything.
Electric cars and space ships may have nothing to do with you but the drive of Elon Musk could. Never forget that behind any business is a person that struggled to find their way just like you and you can learn from it.