My first year of self-employment is drawing to a close. It’s certainly been a wild ride but I am really happy with how things have gone.
If I cast my mind back to May 2011 — when I first started out on my journey to leaving work behind — it’s amazing to see how far I have come. However, I would not be where I am now without the help of some really awesome people.
With the above in mind, in this post I want to take you through a list of the people that have inspired me me and explain how they have impacted my journey so far. If you want to thank these guys too just click to tweet below!
The Art of Non-Comformity was one of the first “lifestyle design” websites I came across and I devoured Chris’ two manifestos (A Brief Guide to World Domination and 279 Days to Overnight Success) eagerly. He has been featured twice before on Leaving Work Behind.
There are are three reasons why I have so much respect for Chris and consider him such a great guy:
- His story is so compelling
- He walks the talk
- He always gets back to you
- He seems nothing other than a genuinely nice guy
He really reached his zenith (to date) with the release of The $100 Startup — a New York Times bestseller. Although that book came a little late for me in terms of inspiring me to leave work behind, his story served as huge inspiration when I was first starting out.
When I first decided that I wanted to quit my job back in May 2011 I read an enormous amount of stuff in attempt to figure out what I should do. If I look back now only a few things stick out — like Chris Guillebeau’s aforementioned manifestos. However, Corbett Barr’s own manifesto — 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures — is utterly unforgettable and introduced me to the man and his blog, Think Traffic.
He demonstrated to me that creating a successful blog is possible and also did a great deal in teaching me how. For instance, when I sought to re-launch Leaving Work Behind earlier this year I turned to his Start a Blog That Matters course, which is one of the best internet marketing purchases I have ever made.
Corbett’s business is growing from strength to strength and I am seriously excited to see what he has in store for 2013.
If I were to pick out one person that had the greatest impact on me when I was starting out it would have to be Pat Flynn.
I came across his Niche Site Duel post series and was totally hooked — he gave me a singular focus with my first niche site. Although that project ended in disaster, by that time I was determined to succeed. Pat’s varied success has served as a beacon to my own efforts as I seek to create diversified income streams.
The best thing about Pat’s Smart Passive Income blog is his upfront and straightforward approach to real-life case studies (like the aforementioned niche site duel). Although Pat has been doing less of these posts recently he recently vowed to refocus on them in 2013. I for one am really interested to see what he comes up with.
I’ll admit that Marcus’ blog — The Sales Lion — has become less relevant to me as the months have passed, but that does not detract from the impact it had on me in my developmental stages. His story of struggling “pool guy” to accomplished and recognized content marketing expert is nothing short of inspiring and I remain a subscriber to this day.
His practice of always responding to blog comments pushed me to replicate that very approach on this blog — nothing is more heartwarming than a blogger who demonstrates that he has time for you. Any blogger or content marketer can learn a huge amount from Marcus’ approach.
The owner of Edublogs, WPMU DEV and WPMU.org is not much of a blogger but that does not detract from the huge influence he had on me. After all, James was the guy who gave me my first writing gig back in September 2011 and without his validation of my burgeoning blogging skills I honestly do not know where I would be right now.
Although James himself may not be able to help you in any direct way (beyond the aforementioned sites which are great resources for WordPress users), his impact on my professional life in the past 15 months or so should serve as a reminder that breakthroughs can come from the most unlikely sources.
I’ve got a lot of time for Steve. I very clearly remember the first time I interacted with him, when he commented on an early post on my blog. I knew all about his blog at the time and couldn’t believe that such an established blogger had taken the time to comment on my little site!
From there me and Steve have become good friends online and speak regularly about our respective businesses. He has been an internet marketer for many years and is a great person to know. I am hoping that Steve and I will be able to collaborate in 2013 — stay tuned!
Not to Mention…
I could go on forever in listing the people that have had a positive impact on my development as a freelance writer, blogger and internet marketer but I have to draw the line somewhere. However, there are more people that I think deserve a mention alongside the names above, so here goes:
- M.J. DeMarco for writing The Millionaire Fastlane.
- Onibalusi Bamidele for demonstrating how to be a successful blogger and freelance writer.
- Spencer Haws for showing that a lot of hard work and hustle can yield positive results.
- Danny Iny for being one of the nicest guys out there and releasing his awesome book free of charge.
- Justin Cooke for offering loads of advice and support over the past few months.
- Joseph Archibald for his enthusiastically unbridled approach to internet marketing (keep your chin up Jo!).
- Steve Kamb for being a living case study of how to create an awesome brand.
- Derek Halpern for publishing well researched and written articles on marketing.
- Greg Ciotti for being the new Derek Halpern
- Michelle Dale for showing me how a service business should be run (in more ways than one).
- Jade Craven for selflessly offering me invaluable advice.
- Vladimir Prelovac for making me the editor of the ManageWP blog.
- Leo Widrich for always being ready to help.
- Kelly McCausey for being the first person to ever interview me.
- Ruth Zive for showing freelance writers how it’s done and generally being an awesome person.
- Bon Crowder for being an awesome supporter of LWB.
- Jana Schuberth for inspiring stories and encouraging words.
…and to anyone I have forgotten, please accept my sincere apology and my thanks for helping me to get to where I am!
Who Has Influenced You?
So now it’s your turn — if you could mention just one person who has had a positive impact on your own attempts to leave work behind, who would it be and why? Let me know in the comments section!
Creative Commons image courtesy of Kate Pulley