Top 10 Online Leaders Changing the World with Big Heart: My Confession
There is no path in the jungle, you have to make your own ~ Yudhishtara
When I think about my favorite leaders online, they all have one thing in common:
They inspire me, they make me smile inside, and they totally ROCK HARD -- 100%. (OK, that's 3 things.)
They're also changing the world with a big heart, and they're damn good at what they do. That means they're working for -- and accomplishing -- something bigger than themselves.
They're also committed to making a big impact in the world. (Did I mention that?) This is key.
Finally, they're all online entrepreneurs in their own right, who've carved their own path in the jungle.
So, that's my criteria and purpose for this list. This is my confession, where I goo-ily confess my secret feelings for these all-around kick-ass, gutsy (and sometimes insane) fearless leaders. These are my current top 10. Not anyone else's. People who are changing the world -- with style. People who are leading from a place in their hearts that just calls them to step up to the plate and deliver EVERYTHING. (Coolwhip and cherry optional.)
It's hard to do this. Damn hard. I've worked hard to carve my own path, and it's taken me years to find a vehicle I feel comfortable sharing that in. I think I may have come close to finding that (and started flowing with it finally with my passion-maker life purpose test). It kind of feels like jumping in the seat of a Disneyland ride, or a big-ass roller coaster: When the doors slam shut and you're buckled in, you're taking off and you know its on. You're in for a crazy ride. Nothing to do but hold on tight, enjoy the ride, and scream loud as hell...
But time will tell: Finding your life purpose is one thing; going out to kick ass on a daily basis in alignment with your purpose is another monster altogether.
Each one of these absolutely brilliant, big-hearted and beautiful people offers so much knowledge, power and heart it hurts...!
Note: Believe me, there are so many others that I'm truly indebted to, that deserve to be on this list, and I will definitely be writing more along these lines. In choosing this group, I've stuck with the absolute criteria mentioned above, and I'll do my best to continue sharing my findings with you...
...and here it is, DRUMROLL PLEASE....
My Top 10 Online Leaders (sorry, Letterman fans, in no particular order) Changing the World with Big Heart
1. Everett Bogue
Everett is the brilliant mind behind one of the big surprises of this year, emerging from somewhere in the cosmos, Far Beyond the Stars (how could you not love the name?). I've come to really love and admire his minimalist approach, no-nonsense approach and gorgeous aesthetic. Also, his openness in sharing the secrets of his success.
Check out Everett's latest gorgeous Minimalist Business e-book (you can read the first 40 or 50 pages free!) and store.
My confession: Ev, your work is smart, concise and useful as hell (OK, maybe a bit more useful than hell) - and you really do practice what you preach. But I still can't get over the fact that you manage to reply to my tweets, despite the fact that you only work like two hours a week! If I do end up moving to the bay area, I don't promise to sell my car, but I do promise to use a bicycle more often! (should I get a fixed-gear? I'm a little scared...)
2. Chris Guillebeau
Ahh, where to start with this quietly ferocious non-conformist empire builder...? Chris's Art of Non-Conformity caught my radar just about the time he had completed his somewhat infamous blog redesign, and was starting to tunnel to his inevitable world domination. I was immediately struck by the ingeniousness of this one man world-domination machine, and continue to be blown away by his content, and conviction, and his release of one bestselling "unconventional guide" after another.
My confession: Chris, you already know I ordered The Art of Non-Conformity the day it came out. I love the way you deliberately kept the price low, and the book PORTABLE, by starting your first run in glorious paperback, and I love the way it looks and feels (go Reese - and the Penguins) on my desk...
Most of all I love the way you're uncompromising in your support of all good things and all good people. What you don't know is I secretly pray for you often on your journeys around the world, and currently on your unconventional book tour to every state in the union (and Canada too, is that really necessary...?! ;) ). Watch your back, Chris -- the world needs you!
Learn world-domination with Chris from the comfort of your Twitter home... (wherever the heck that may be)
3. Danielle LaPorte
Danielle's no-BS, straight from the heart, seriously Fierce wisdom approach has kicked up a pretty illustrious dust storm. I started following White Hot Truth as she was really starting to gain traction (and still had dread-locks!) and have loved watching her rise up into the no holds barred super-goddess with Quan Yin and that other goddess on speed-dial that she is -- a role she wields with grace and style... ("applying willfulness sparingly, like gas to fire. ('cause, she is the fire.)" (Couldn't a said it better meself.)
Danielle, I confess, I bought the Fire-Starter Sessions, which I adore, on your B-day, but I haven't summoned the courage to plunge in for real yet...! I love the passion and supreme excellence of it, though, I think I may just be blinded by your luminance! One day, we will look each other directly in the eyes, and galaxies will collide and melt in far unseen places...
p.s. thanks again for that article on entrepreneurial time management, it was the first time someone explained productivity in a way I could actually grasp and use for myself. Really. Thank you.
4. Seth Godin
This man needs an introduction like he needs another best-selling book....
One of the things I love about you, Seth, is that you always manage to be brilliant, useful, self-assured and... well, just brilliant, without coming off as egotistical, or maniacally self-absorbed, as you right-well could. I loved your recent post about the myth of preparation, and used it to help prove to one of my favorite clients she was right in her suspicion that it may be time to launch her new astrology site already (after a couple years of preparation).
Most of all, though, I love the way you're leveraging that insane brain-power and authority to speak to a world that's locked into average, and inspiring us to step up into our true power, our indispensable brilliance, and our ability to really make a difference. Plus, you bring in obscure Buddhist concepts like Prajna into the fold, and actually make sense of them, which is just rad. Even though Everett has already (mostly) convinced me to get rid of my books, it's going to be hard to let go of my Linchpin - especially since you seem to be done with publishing...!
We're all glad you finally got a twitter account for your blog, Seth. Even if you never reveal the REAL mystery of your mismatched sock thing with us there, we'll have to be content with thinking outside the socks...
p.s what IS your next book...? ;)
5. Mark Silver
Mark is a business man with a heart the size of Texas (OK -- maybe more Oregon-sized) and some SERIOUSLY massive knowledge to share. I briefly mentioned his brilliantly concise Backwards ebook and workbook in this post about fire-starter blogging for business, but he really deserves an entire article... "When you want to make a difference, but need to make a profit," Mark is your man.
Mark, I confess, I had a few eyebrow-raising moments the first time I entered into the home-spun, old-school vibe on your site quite a while back. But I have to say, you continue to blow me away with every article you write (and videos now too, yay!). The level of insight, tenderness and depth you put into the issues that hit us small biz owners and entrepreneurs the hardest - it's truly priceless. Thanks for rockin' it from the heart always...
OK, halfway through -- unless I start economizing here, I will NEVER publish this post! The next five of you, I love you as much as the previous five, but I have to get back to the rest of my life, so I'm going short and sweet for you. I think you'll understand...!
6. Glen Allsopp
This ridiculously brilliant young guy, the brains behind Viral Marketing : ViperChill popped up seemingly out of nowhere and gave me (and a few million others since then) a schooling in how to get it done right, and live good while you're at it. When he's not baring all in 2,800+ word articles on going viral, SEO and living self-employed -- you'll presumably find him on the beaches outside Bangkok.
My confession: Glenn, I wish I had your smarts when I was 21, but I was the product of a slightly different age and upbringing, and was convinced I had to get a real job after college to change the world -- whoops!
Every time I see your name pop up in my email subscription I smile inside, 'cause I know I'm going to enjoy every minute of reading your latest, get some amazing free advice, and I know you've enjoyed every second of it too. And every time I read your work, I find it pretty hard to believe where you pull this stuff out of... keep it up bro!
Oh jeez -- OK, I'm going lightening-speed now...
7. Johnny B. Truant
Johnny B. Truant -- need I say more? The man has more balls than you can shake a shtick at (...what?) I mean, he's not afraid to tell it like it is, bend spoons, and shake up some serious s*** while he's at it. He's also the funniest punk rock small business consultant/entrepreneur EVER to talk about copywriting . That I can be pretty sure of.... Oh, yeah, check out Question the Rules: The business and life you want is waiting for you.
Johnny, you know I love you through and through. Even though I totally bailed on my first real launch -- which you were secretly consulting me on in that interview we rocked -- and ended up launching about 6 months late, you still showed me some love and didn't throw me to sleep with the fishes. You were my first real audio interview with an up-and-coming a-lister, and I will never forget it. Plus, you're funny, even when you're not, which is rare.
p.s. Kathy Griffin rules.
8. Leo Babauta
OK, here's another no-brainer on my top ten list: Leo Babauta. I don't know what it is about Leo, but everything he touches seems to turn to gold. I don't think it's his zen approach to life, so much as the fact that he really practices what he preaches, he's a damn good writer (one of the best i reckon) and he has just plain simply brilliant ideas. Or maybe it's just a heart of gold. Big ups and special mention to his A-List blogging bootcamps, zen cohort Mary Jaksch, for all around radness.
Hi Leo, thanks for taking the time to read this. I know you don't have a lot of time, but you've learned how to use it wisely... :) I confess, I sort of resented you years ago when I first found you, because you were so smart and successful, and made it look so damn easy, while i was struggling away with life and everything. Over time, I really came to admire your work, and the way you live by what you teach. Despite what you may argue otherwise, you are truly a sort of zen master of the ages.... my favorite article you've written is probably the art of doing nothing followed by a close second: The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People.
p.s. your kill your to-do list method is the only one I've tried of dozens that actually works for me. Cheers, and thanks again...
9. Dave Navarro
Dave Navarro, "the Launch Coach" (not the rockstar musician dude -- ok, a different kind of rockstar). Oh man, SO MUCH ridiculously valuable information i generally just don't know what to do with it all. I'm still processing the content from his 2009 More Buyers Mastermind, and looking fwd to seewhat he comes up with this year! If there's one thing you should check out with Dave, it's his Launch Coach Library -- some of the deepest, most useful content you could ever exchange your email address for.
Dave, there's nothing much I can say, except, one day, we will share a beer, and you will make me laugh (in a good way I mean). I love to see how hard you work, and the sacrifices you make for your dream. I know you keep pushing yourself past the comfort zones to go all the way, and your an inspiration to me, as I try and do the same. Rock on.
10. Jonathan Fields
Jonathan Fields is one of those remarkable people you read books about or watch movies about, but he's actually really real. And down to earth too. Aside from having a great name (just rolls off the tongue aye?), he's done a lot of crazy stuff in his life, as a lawyer, running a yoga school, as an author, a consultant and career renegade.
My confession: Jonathan, I didn't really get you when I first found you years ago -- I think it's because we're actually really similar in so many ways. Plus, the flower in your feet thing probably didn't help ;) -- I have to say, though, you've taught me one of my biggest new lessons -- the 7 magic words. I love that you really live that in your life, work and business. Cheers--
OK, that about wraps up my post on my top 10 online leader entrepreneurs who are changing the world, and rocking my life.
This has been the single hardest post I've ever written, and I've enjoyed every second of it. In fact, I couldn't stop (hope i didn't go on too long...)
To you 10 angels of my online life - I want to say again THANK YOU. Thank you for being here for me through thick and thin (even if you didn't know it at the time) for leading by example, giving me the inspiration to do what's right and stick to my guns, even when its seemed like the whole world was up against me...
Even though you may not have known I was there (to confess, online networking is not my personal forte, but I'm workin' on it), I've been watching, and waiting, and rooting for you all along.
The thing is, each of you are not afraid to dive deep into your own self, connect to the source within, and pull out the gems of beauty, brilliance and wisdom hiding in there to share with the rest of us (along with the occasional maybe not-so-pretty stuff you may still be working on, which makes you real). That's really something so priceless, it's hard to express.
Some day (hopefully not too far from now) maybe we'll get to share a drink together. Meanwhile, keep rockin' and keep on doing what you do best. The world needs you! For real.
p.s. I know i've missed at least 1,000 people equally worthy of praise. Please help wrong the right, and share your favorite leaders in the comments. Or whatever else that comes to mind, have a go. I'd love to hear from you.. Click here to follow my twitter list of online leaders changing the world with heart...