Leaving Work Behind

With Thanks To…

Written by Tom Ewer on December 27, 2012. 29 Comments

Thank YouMy 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!

Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau 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:

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.

Tweet your thanks to Chris.

Corbett Barr

Corbett Barr

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.

Tweet your thanks to Corbett.

Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn

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.

Tweet your thanks to Pat.

Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan

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.

Tweet your thanks to Marcus.

James Farmer

James FarmerThe 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.

Tweet your thanks to James.

Steve Scott

Steve ScottI’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!

Tweet your thanks to Steve.

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:

…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

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29 Responses to “With Thanks To…”

  1. Dave
    December 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    This is such a great post Tom. Some valuable content, and sources of inspiration for those of us closer to the beginning stages.

    The people who have had the biggest influences on me so far have been Mark Manson over at postmasculine.com, Sean Ogle, Chris Guillebeau, you, and Therese from The Unlost. There’s so many helpful and inspiring people out there, I feel like the list could go on forever. But as you see the stories unfold, you start to push your own beliefs about what’s possible. I’m excited to check out some of the people you listed here!

  2. Jamie Alexander
    December 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I’m going to say 2:

    Dan from LifestyleBusinessPodcast – I enjoy listening to them both the same, but Dan is the one who travels more and spends more time on tropical islands.

    Derek from Social Triggers – I listened to a podcast he did on Think Traffic and it was the greatest interview I’ve heard. Made me change blogs and also direction.

    I mostly pick up gems from random people rather than digest everything from one blog/book. I remember an interview with Julien Smith on BlogcastFM being especially good.

    • Tom Ewer
      December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Jamie,

      Derek’s a shoe-in obvious but Dan is new to me — I’ll have to check him out.



    • Dan
      December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for the shout Jamie! My mom is baking you cookies…. 😛

      When I was getting started the guys from Internet Business Mastery really inspired me.

  3. Julie
    December 27, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Awesome post! I have learned a lot from Pat Flynn and the Internet Business Mastery guys too.

  4. Kelly McCausey
    December 28, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Awe! I’m honored to be on your list Tom!

  5. Denny Robert
    December 28, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Hey Tom, good list! I’ve got to add Steve Chou to the list. That guy is proving there is money to be made at many different levels on the internet, and in a relatively short amount of time (about 3 years I think).

  6. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon
    December 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

    First of all, what a great idea incorporating “click to tweet” links in as “click to tweet your thanks to _________”….awesome strategy!

    You definitely covered quite a few awesome people who have impacted me in my entrepreneurial ventures. I’m definitely going to check out a few of the people I haven’t heard of here too…just visited Greg Ciotti’s site and it he has some really good posts!

    By the way – here’s a thanks to you for being a part of my 2012 and inspiring me with LWB 🙂


    • Tom Ewer
      December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Thomas — yeah, Greg is awesome. Seriously in-depth and well researched articles. I’m glad that I can inspire you in anyway — thank you for being such a great supporter of LWB 🙂

  7. Dave
    December 28, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Consolidating a list of people who have the most influence/impact on your success is a great idea. It’s good to focus on those people who give you inspiration and direction rather than going off on a tangent and trying to be all things to all people.

    One person I’d like to add to that list is ‘The Reader’. In fact, I’d put them right up there at the very top, because without them non of us would achieve anything 🙂

  8. Steve
    December 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for the mention Tom! Awesome to see my name on the same page as people that I also respect and admire.

    Looking forward to 2013 and moving forward on that potential project we’ve discussed. Hope you’re having a good time with the family in Texas!

  9. Michelle Dale
    December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Wow Tom, I’ve been in bed with a stomach bug all day today and as I reach for my laptop I see this in my email from your RSS feed – thank YOU for the mention and for cheering me up. I really needed it today!

  10. Bon Crowder
    December 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    So kind of you to write this!

    They say what you gives comes back tenfold. In your case that’s merely 230 people.


    There’re so many others out there that have benefitted from your advice and encouragement. And every time they make a step in the direction of leaving work behind, they whisper a quiet, “Thank you, Tom.”

    I know, because I’m one of them.

  11. Ruth Zive
    December 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    So honoured to be mentioned – fabulous list of mentors! You inspire me as well Tom – the feelings are mutual!

  12. Sarah Russell
    December 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Great list, and congrats on approaching your first year of self-employment! My anniversary’s coming up in February, though it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since my last desk job 🙂

    I’m a huge fan of Chris Guillebeau, Corbett Barr, Steve Kamb, Pat Flynn and Derek Halpern, but I’d also add Sean Ogle, Danielle LaPorte and Chris Ducker as role models. Looking forward to great content from both you and the rest of the people you’ve listed in 2013!

  13. Tito Pandu Brahmanto
    January 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    M.J. DeMarco is my inspirator for my freelance (and to be entrepreneur) career. I decide to take this career after read his book. Very inspirational.

  14. Doug
    January 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing your great list. Most of the people on your list are people that I follow too.

    One person who has been a big influence on me is Jim Connolly. He has a few blogs but his most popular is http://jimsmarketingblog.com/ . His blog is one of the few that I read every day.

  15. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion
    January 8, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Incredibly kind of you to mention me here bud, sorry I missed it the first time…but again, can’t wait to see you do even bigger things with your life and your mission in 2013. 🙂


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