27 Champion Influencers Of 2011

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In December of 2010 I embarked upon a brand new journey.

I had just sold my clients from a web design company that I’d built up over a 7 year period, and had even paid tens of thousands of dollars to franchising professionals and lawyers in preparation to franchise the company, but the more I considered what I was doing I realised that my life was not correctly aligned with my inner passion.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t hate the web design business, and in fact many of the skills learnt during that period have greatly assisted me in the other business ventures that I’m currently embarking upon.

However, before I moved into web design I had successfully self-published a number of books, and as of last year I once and for all wanted to continue with the pursuit of my true passion as a writer.

The first port of call was to take my Motivational Memo blog, that I had been writing for many years simply because of the love of it, to where I believed it rightfully belonged as a business, while at the same time use it as a catapult into the world of global authorship – particularly in the form of motivational parables.

Throughout these past 11 months I have had the privilege of being impacted in some way by the following 27 people whom I would like to call ‘champion influencers’.

Simply through either interaction, or purely through my own observation, I have been positively influenced by each of these people throughout this exciting transitional period of my life, and I would simply like to share them with you – and in this way say thank you to these great individuals.

This list is not placed in any particular order, because each of them has had a significant influence on my life this past year.

Yaro Starak

Having hired a business coach for my web design business that resulted in doubling my income in a 12-month period it was a no brainer, when considering taking up ‘serious’  blogging, that I should seek out a blogging coach. I ended up with three to choose from. I chose Yaro.

The crazy thing is this. I searched the whole world for a blogging coach and ended up with someone who lives an hour up the road from where I live.

From his training I have developed a membership site, but more than that I have learnt valuable information on how to build a successful blogging business.

Personal interaction with him has been an added bonus that has added incredible value to my life.

Daniel Dyson

Daniel is my right hand man. He is the one who makes Peter G. James Sinclair look good.

Daniel has worked for my web design company now for a number of years, and so when I changed direction somewhat this past year I invited Daniel to go on the journey with me.

In addition to assisting me he has created an awesome guitar blog, and at our power meetings that we hold each Tuesday he continues to provide a great source of inspiration and action that has brought my dreams this year to life.

He is a designer, a technician, great with film and video, a writer, a musician plus so much more, and through our association I know that the entrepreneurial spirit in his life will continue to blossom in the years to come.

Erin Falconer

In addition to writing for Pick The Brain, of which Erin is the Chief Editor, I also had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing her and talking to her on a couple of occasions.

What impresses me about Erin is her depth of knowledge, the ease with which she communicates, and the way in which she directs the distribution of such incredible material in the personal development arena.

I know that this is just one of a number of roles she has, but when Erin has something to say, listen up, because it’s probably worth listening to.

Farnoosh Brock

What impressed me first with Farnoosh was her interaction with her reading audience. She exudes the fact that she really cares about her readers.

Personally that challenged me, because I have actually had to learn over the past year how to become more personable online. Farnoosh set the benchmark for me.

She too has embarked on her own journey this year by leaving a high paid position to pursue her passion, and I look forward to sitting down with her this December in some café in Sydney when we both fly in to meet each other in person for the first time, after having a number of stimulating conservations already over the internet.

Mohamed Tohami

Talking to a kindred spirit who just happens to live in Egypt was a great joy for me.

What I get from Tohami – as I have been guided to call him – is a willingness to help. That spirit is the very spirit of great influencers.

With him it’s not about the get, but rather about the give. That is epitomized in my friend – and I look forward to working with him in the future in a greater way.

Ken Wert

When I think of Ken, I think of ‘encourager’. Ken has not only posted many a comment on my posts that have appeared on my own blog, but on many of the other blogs where I have been published.

He always encourages, and for that I am grateful.

The world needs its encouragers and Ken is up there with the best. A teacher by profession, I can tell you this one thing, I would love to be a student in his class because he is ‘first-class’.

Scott Dinsmore

It took me a while to pin down Scott. But when I finally interviewed him – wow! I was not disappointed.

Having rebranded his blog recently I have been amazed by the power of engagement he has with his audience.

Personable. Deep. Precise. Informative.

When you read anything that Scott writes you know that he has invested a lot of work into that individual piece and that it is life changing for all who read. Scott is definitely an influencer to watch into the future.

Mary Jaksch

I have a lot of respect for Mary.

After submitting my articles to many blogs around the world, and being accepted by many, and rejected by a few, I finally submitted one to her.

She rejected me. But the difference between her rejection and the rejection that I had received from others was that she extended a hand of help out to me – with advice on how I could have better pitched my piece to her.

Immediately I applied what she taught – and that one lesson has assisted me in being published in even more blogs.

Two words epitomize Mary – courage and compassion: the courage to speak the truth and yet the compassion to give a hand up.

Barrie Davenport


Everywhere I come across Barrie’s writings they exude passion. She eats it, lives it and breathes it.

She honored me by publishing one of my articles on her site, and so following her example I too draw upon that same passion, and am inspired by that passion – so that I pour that same energy into everything that I write.

If you lack passion – then hang around Barrie for a while and you will be ignited.

In addition she also has a tremendous gift in the area of marketing.

Leo Babauta

Simplicity is what Leo has taught me, along with a willingness to swim upstream.

Leo is unique in thought and commanding in expression through the power of the written word.

I simply have nothing more to say – but thank you!

Benny Hsu

When I stumbled across Benny’s site I was caught up in the enthusiasm, the joy and the fun.

His blog is pure ‘excitement’.

His honesty is infectious and his achievements are inspirational. Definitely one to watch.

Jay White

Jay White might be the owner of a blog called Dumb Little Man, but in my opinion he is a Smart Big Guy.

I am indebted to Jay because his blog was the first blog that accepted my first article that I wrote after rebranding my blog towards the end of last year.

Consistently it has driven more traffic to my site than any other.

On his blog he gets the ‘best of the best’ leaving life changing material that has a huge influence on the lives of people from all over the world.

I wish him nothing but continued and growing success in the days ahead and thank you Jay for allowing me to partake of your platform to be introduced to a wider readership.

Melody Fletcher

I met Melody when I started reading her comments on my blog as well as others.

The endearing quality that Melody demonstrates is a sense of fun, honesty and pure joy.

Many of her comments simply made me smile – and for that I am grateful. What us bloggers need more than anything else is someone to make us smile.

Life is too serious for many, but if you hang around Melody for a while, who currently resides in Barcelona Spain, you will soon experience some ‘joie de vivre’.

Wendy Irene

I first met Wendy when she commented on an article that I wrote for Zen Family Habits – and from time to time she has appeared always with her exhilarating and fresh comments.

I love what she writes on her blog: ‘Married to my soul mate, and having the honor of being the mother of two beautiful souls, one boy, and one girl. They are the core of the happiness I have created. I believe that in nourishing one part of your soul, the benefits in turn bleed into the others creating a more balanced, joyful life. By nourishing my creative side, I believe it will make me a better wife, mother, and person in general. I hope this blog can help you find your way of doing that too, to live the best life for you.’

Family being a high priority for myself – I honor what she shares here as an example of a champion influencer.

Lori Deschene

Lori was one of only a few bloggers who actually helped me become a better writer.

On acceptance of one of my articles she professionally returned to me my article with some suggestions for improvement.

Having been a published author since 1997 with very little assistance from any editors, I found the process engaging and enlightening.

From just my few dealings with Lori I knew that I was dealing with a seasoned professional – and it is no wonder that she is reaping such success with her blog and soon to be released book.

Georgina Laidlaw

I am grateful for the assistance that Georgina has provided me with, in her role as editor for the very influential Darren Rowse blog called Problogger and its sister site FeelGooder.

The importance of someone whose responsibility is to guide the content that is launched on any blog is one of great importance, and I have valued the interaction, the suggestions, the acceptance and encouragement that Georgina has constantly shown me.

This was one of only a handful of blogs where I to date have stepped out of my comfort zone of personal development and into the world of blogging about blogging. Georgina has made that transition for myself seamless, and has opened up a whole new audience that I otherwise would have never been exposed to.

John Holling

Having been an entrepreneur for many a year I found that working with John, in his role of co-ordinating guest authors and their contributions at Young Entreprenur, that I was in the presence of a professional.

His directives were clear, his guidance sure, and as I once again was somewhat out of my writing comfort zone I was transported as a writer and a communicator to a whole new audience which has given me great joy and satisfaction.

Donald Latumahina

Donald’s wonderful blog Life Optimizer is about living your life to the fullest. He believes that many people live below their maximum potential. While they do achieve things in life, there are still many more that they can achieve.

He got the idea about life optimization from his background in computer science. In computer science, people always try to optimize the computer’s resources. Whether it is about the time required to complete a task or about the memory space needed, people always try to achieve better and better results. Even minor inefficiency will be the subject of intensive research. In short, they always try to optimize everything.

He believed that the same idea can also be applied to life. Of course, this is a never-ending journey. But through this journey, by optimizing our life along the way, Donald is sure that we can live our life to the max.

Donald, who lives in Indonesia, by opening up his wonderful blog to other contributors, is having a huge influence upon his readers and has been a joy to work with.

Justin Mazza

Justin is a thinker and is always willing to share his thoughts in a positive format wherever he inputs across the web. I have admired his interaction with his audience and his openness at times to share his fallibilities.

This is a rare trait and an honorable one. Justin depicts transparency, and for that I honor him.

His intuitiveness is outstanding and his search for truth admirable.

Sherri Kruger

Delightful. That’s the word that springs to mind when I think of Sherri.

Once again I was embarking into new territory with my writing when I approached her blog about family habits.

But the experience, because family is so important to me, was pleasurable, and Sherri made it so as she welcomed me with open arms.

On her site she writes: I LOVE my family. I love simple living. It’s a lot less stressful and just plain easier. I enjoy learning new ways to make my family better, stronger, and closer. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others so they can be inspired to create a closer and happier family themselves. I know you get out what you put in, so I give my family all of me.

That’s Sherri – a true influencer.

Stephen J Hopson

I had the awesome opportunity of conducting a written interview with Stephen. Born profoundly deaf, he didn’t let that stand in the way of fulfilling his dreams. His mother taught him to speak at home and sent him to public school. He attended college and landed his first job on Wall Street at a major New York bank. Ten years later, he left this secure position to further his career as an award-winning stockbroker.

Stephen is a risk-taker. A spiritual revelation one day made him realize that his real purpose and passion was to become a global transformational speaker and author. In the late 1990′s, he left his six-figure Wall Street career, learned how to fly and began a new journey as a speaker and author. His stories began making their appearance in bestselling books including Chicken Soup for the College Soul and others. In 2009 he decided to go back to school and graduated from Maharishi University of Management with honors with a Masters in Vedic Science (study of consciousness). Throughout all of this, he continued writing his life story and has published his inspiring story.

Peter Irvine

When I think of Peter one word comes to mind. Humility.

Peter is a successful businessman, author and motivational speaker, and is increasingly in demand as a speaker to audiences across the globe on many business topics, including marketing, franchising, vision and sponsorship.

He has achieved remarkable success in helping to launch two of the most recognized brands in Australia: Gloria Jean’s Coffees and McDonald’s.

As co-founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Peter has been instrumental in establishing one of Australia’s fastest-growing franchises. In 2005 they purchased the international brand name for all countries globally.

Peter has been my personal franchising mentor along with being a great encourager of both my family and myself in our current ventures. This has meant a great deal to me.

Peter Buffet

You may think that with a last name like his, Peter has enjoyed a life of endless privilege. But the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffet says that the only real inheritance handed down from his parents was a philosophy: Forge your own path in life. It is a creed that has allowed him to follow his own passions, establish his own identity, and reap his own successes.

Peter’s passion is music with some of his work featured in some of Kevin Costner’s productions including the film Dances With Wolves.

Bill Clinton is quoted that Peter’s book is ‘wise and inspiring…should be required reading’ and Bono adds ‘Very few have the upbringing of Peter Buffet: a very real family with knots and gnarls like any other, but with an eerie commitment to serve ideas and the human race in general, whether that be through philanthropy, song, or conversation, or this – folk wisdom for the folks.’

His down to earth approach to life and the encouragement he gives to pursue our individual passions was refreshing and empowering.

Ken McElroy

Robert Kiyosaki says of Ken that, ‘Ken McElroy is, in my opinion, the smartest real estate entrepreneur in the world.’

I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing Ken when he launched The Sleeping Giant: The Awakening of the Self-Employed Entrepreneur – where this Donald Trump endorsed book brought together 20 self-employed entrepreneurs who share their powerful and inspiring stories of how they found success through self-employment.

In addition, Ken launched a contest that took place on The Sleeping Giant’s Facebook Page where contestants described their dream and passion in becoming the next million-dollar business owner. The winner received $5,000 cash and business coaching for one year from Ken and other top entrepreneurs to the value of $60,000 and I was asked to be one of the judges for the competition.

Ken’s statement that ‘only those who adapt will survive’ and that successful entrepreneurs are those who ‘recognize their strengths and weaknesses and surround themselves with a team of people who can supplement their shortcomings and enhance their strengths’ were truly impacting.

Sharon Lechter

The books that Sharon Lechter has collaborated on over the years have impacted both myself and members of my family, and so I was very excited to share with her, at the start of my interview, how the recording of what a young man did in the book Rich Kid, Smart Kid inspired me to assist my eldest daughter to start up one of her first businesses. After a time she sold her profitable business on to her younger brother and now both, in their early to mid twenties, own and operate their own businesses. It all started with a book.

Sharon Lechter, the co-author of Three Feet from Gold and the co-author of the international best seller Rich Dad, Poor Dad along with fourteen books in the Rich Dad series is certainly a heavy-weight influencer.

Her latest writing assignment is what I would call amazing where she was given the opportunity to annotate a book written by Napoleon Hill who wrote the classic Think & Grow Rich, and that was hidden from the public’s eyes since it was written in 1938 until now.

The title of the book is Outwitting The Devil and it was my greatest pleasure and honor to spend time in the company of Sharon.

Henrik Edberg

I love what Henrik shared with me when I asked him the question: Is there anything of importance that you would particularly like to share with my readers how they can begin to achieve a life filled with positivity in 2011?

Well, some constructive advice would be: Focus on just changing one area of your life/habit at a time, or you will become overwhelmed. Break down what you want to achieve into smaller tasks/steps by using pen and paper. Then ask yourself: What is the most important thing I can do right now?

Then get to work and focus on just doing that thing, that task/step until it is done. Then start working on the next step until it is done and continue in that fashion until you have achieved what you want. It will still be hard work, from time to time, but if you keep it as simple as you can, and keep your focus in just one place at a time, it becomes easier.

Henrik is a powerful influencer with great wisdom and clear instruction.

Celestine Chua

As I surveyed the personal excellence blogosphere there were some standouts that drew my attention – written by people who are helping others to become all that they have been created to become. I love that, and that is why I approached Celestine Chua for an interview – which she graciously agreed to do.

Celestine – intelligent, thorough, instructive, prolific and a true go-getter.

I particularly enjoyed what she answered when I posed the question: What has been the most important lesson you have learned in your journey of personal growth thus far?

Your inner beliefs represent your outer world. So if there’s something in your external world that isn’t what you’re looking for, it means that somewhere inside you there’s a misalignment in your beliefs and thought patterns that’s causing that.

Let’s take for example someone who is overweight and wants to lose weight. Maybe the person will get out there and get a gym membership, buy health and fitness books, tell all of his/her friends that he/she is wanting to lose weight and to support him/her, join Weight Watchers, and the like. However after the initial burst, he/she gets right back to he/she started – and gains more weight in the process. If we are to look inside the person, perhaps somewhere inside himself/herself, he/she wants to remain fat. It’s then important to examine this and understand why/how this belief got into place, then address it, so that he/she can finally be liberated of that shadow. This is about removing the “root” (inner belief) to remove the “effect” (the external world).

I wrote about how to do this in my article: Creating Real Change in Life: Addressing Root Causes vs. Effects. Until that’s done, the outside world will continue to reflect this in some manner or another.

So there you have it – 27 champion influencers of 2011. May I encourage you to visit their sites and come under their influence. You will not regret it.

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