Note: While I usually use Mondays to share a tool or workflow to help you get more done, I wanted to take advantage of the holiday to share some of the folks who have helped me. Happy 4th!
I’m always a fan of sharing good things and good people. Looking under rocks, and finding new and unusual things is a bit of a life-long habit. I tend to find and share a lot (probably too much) and occasionally the people I truly want to highlight get lost in the shuffle1.
With that in mind, I wanted to take a break from what I usually ramble on about to either turn you on to or simply thank five people who have fundamentally impacted me. These are guys worth following, worth listening to and worth learning from. I say this with none of my usual sarcasm; they’ve changed my life.
Seth Godin – My love affair with Seth started with The Dip*. I read it alongside Tribes * in the same weekend and I think that both books have informed pretty much every thought I’ve had since. I also begin nearly every day with Seth’s blog, which has done so much to encourage me to think critically about absolutely everything. Scanning my RSS feeder for worthwhile posts and reading them on my way to work is a big part of what helps me get going in the morning and even when they are only a few lines long, Seth’s daily offerings always get my wheels turning.
Hugh MacLeod – I actually discovered Hugh through a video of Seth’s Tribes presentation. I fell in love with his work and actually spend my days surrounded by this and this and this. His two books, Ignore Everybody* and Evil Plans* have done so much to encourage me to 1) Write more and 2) Talk about my struggles with creativity. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always hated motivational posters. You know, the ones with a picture of five rowers and the word “Teamwork”. MacLeod’s art, which often begin as drawings on the back of business cards, takes this age-old convention and gives it a set of balls. Each one of his daily drawings are an inspiring shot in the arm. If you are trying to unlock your creativity and don’t Subscribe, you are missing out.
Merlin Mann – I talk about him a lot on this site (A LOT), mostly because a good part of what I’m writing about is likely (ok, definitely) rehashed or boiled down iterations of many of his ideas. His Inbox Zero talk was the thing that kicked off my productivity kick. His episodes of the Mac Power Users fundamentally changed the way I use a computer. Everything from his session with John Gruber, to his Time and Attention talk and his recent weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin have had a major impact on my being. I tend to get in my own way and Merlin has become an internal 2×4 to the side of the head for getting out of it. He gives an ADHD mess like myself something to strive for!
Marco Arment – With Marco, it is a bit of a different story. I’ve already written about how I use his product, Instapaper, but I really don’t think I’ve fully expressed how much that product has made me a better me. It has helped me learn so much more about my industry and about my interests. It has helped me fill every free minute, including two 40-minute commutes a day with exactly what I want to read. His former project, Tumblr, was also the thing that finally helped me get into the rhythm of posting to the web with regular frequency (especially when paired with Instapaper, something I plan to geek out on soon here on the site). I also happen to love his blog where he offers a tremendous amount of insight into how he approaches his business.
Danny Brown – While Danny is no longer a stranger (and though he’d never admit it, I’d even go as far to say that we are friends), I will truly be eternally grateful to how supportive he was when I was just getting started on the web. He has an immense amount of patience and a great way of boiling things down so that even I can understand them. Danny writes about what he does, managing to be a better human (and business person (and business for that matter)) in an increasingly digital world. He has a wicked sense of humor, a keen insight into a lot of the changes happening around us and a Scottish accent that makes him utterly indiscernible in conversation.
While these are all names that likely mean a lot to those of you in the Social Media and tech bubbles, I tend to spend a lot of my time out of those worlds and thought I’d share with the rest of the class. If you haven’t checked out what any of these five are up to on the web, it will be well worth your time and your personal development to do so! Enjoy!
**This post includes affiliate links, ’cause I’m shameless and stuff…*
I’m the boy who cried awesome… ↩