If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. – Isaac Newton
This is a list of people that have influenced me in one way or another. Some of them I’m very good friends with, some of them I’ve met or talked with only a couple of times, and some of them I have never met yet. I limited the list to people that have something I can link to. The idea behind this page is that you can read about them, and learn from them the same way I did (a harder task with people offline). They have much wisdom to share:
Josh has changed my life in more ways than he can imagine. He has taught me the importance of systems in life and work, how to manage my energy, the craft of coaching, the importance of investing in people, the love for aphorisms, and more.
If I had be succinct about what makes Josh so impressive, it would be this: he knows how to live well. Work, family, leisure, personal growth, humility, patience and kindness are all elements that Josh has mastered, and he’s only 30. I look up to him in many more ways than just business knowledge. He’s a mentor and a real friend.
I’ve met many impressive individuals in my life, people that belong to the 0.1% of the population in terms of skills, influence, ambition, etc. But that’s all within the realm of humanity. Sebastian Marshall is on a separate category, though, because one has to be super-human to live the way he does. My guess is he executes, processes, learns and iterates 5x-10x faster than the rest of us.
However, his genes and work ethics are nearly as impressive as his concern for humanity, his desire to move the world forward, his willingness to sacrifice himself for the people and causes he stands for, and his consistent dedication to make everyone around him live better. A great commander that the world will miss when he’s gone. I’ll be eternally grateful for all he’s done for me.
I can say three things about Ben, that I can’t say about anyone else. 1) When I met him I realised I had to step it up, he shattered many ideas I thought indestructible. 2) Every time I’ve had an epiphany, I realize Ben had it first. 3) He’s the only person younger than me that I’ve ever asked to mentor me. And I’m 24. A true lifelong learner and brilliant mind.
Ryan is a weird case. I used to think he was just an asshole. And if I had one criticism towards him, is that he’s too harsh with the common folks. However, once you remove your ego from the process of reading him, you can’t help to admit that he’s a genius. And I’m not exaggerating. I’m positive that if someone runs some scientific test on him, they will prove that he’s actually a genius. His stoic writings always remind me of the values that matter: responsibility, civic duty and tranquility. For that, I thank him.
Alain de Botton
First with his TED talk, and then through his books, Alain de Botton is the reason I fell in love with philosophy. He sparked my interest in the likes of Seneca, Montaigne and Schopenhauer. His gentler vision of success is what I needed to hear at a certain moment of my life, and I’m grateful to him for articulating it so well.
- Alain de Botton’s TED talk
I rarely read Seth nowadays, but that’s because I read everything he wrote until some years ago. A master of inspiration, his influence was very strong in the beginning of my non-traditional path. His short book “The Dip” has been a key argument supporting my life choices when dealing with naysayers.
Clay, another mentor, believed in me early. From the moment we first talked, he has been encouraging and guiding me through the online world. Always willing to listen to my crazy ideas and proposals, I’m very grateful for his support. A good friend, a Seth Godin disciple (which says a lot), and a smart man.
My brother from another mother. A warm-hearted soul with a methodical and analytical business vision. A real, down-to-earth entrepreneur. One thing that never stops impressing me about Jun is his unparalleled work ethic. No one works harder than Jun. Everyone should learn some discipline from him. If I have to bet on someone becoming a millionaire before turning 30, I’m betting on Jun.
I don’t even know where to start with Mr. Wright. We have shared so much, trying to separate the friendship from the lessons is hard. I owe a lot to Colin, he connected me with incredible people, provided advice and feedback in almost any idea I’ve had, and has been on the other side of hundreds of wonderful philosophical debates. A dear, dear friend, both online and offline.
Erica is, for me, a symbol of rebellion. And I met her at point in my life when I needed some rebellion. The biggest compliment I can give to her is that she made me nicer. Her love for humanity and nature is contagious, and her tranquility impressive. She may not be conscious of it, but she has taught me to slow down, and feel more. A beautiful person and spirit.
Holly is the reason I got involved in social media in the first place. She was the first person I ever emailed asking for advice, and the person who encouraged me to blog in English. A true warrior, with the wisdom to show for it. She’s put me in my place more than once, and I needed it every time. I consider her a mentor, and a very good friend.
I never understood the power of a healthy body and lifestyle, until Adam started helping me. He was the first blogger I ever followed, and someone I wanted to work with for a long time. When I finally did, I was elated. His patience, support, energy and commitment are unmatched. Much of my daily energy and clarity I owe to Adam.
Another one of my best friends, online and offline. Monica and I have been through a lot together, and she has taught me many lessons about what we do for a living, and business in general. She is very sharp and analytical, so her insights are always invaluable. She has guts, intelligence and a great sense of humour. Every conversation we have leaves me smiling.
I’ve labeled Jenny Blake as “the best thing on the internet.” First person who I ever skyped with in English, she has been supportive ever since. She has connected me with great people, and always offered valuable feedback to my ideas. Here’s what’s unique about Jenny in social media: every blogger loves her. Her energy, smile and work ethic can get anyone moving and feeling good. A great friend who you can’t help but to love.
I still remember the first essay I read by Paul Graham, about the addictiveness of technology. I’ve read all of his writings, and I find myself quoting him often. I thank Graham for taking the time write such detailed articles about controversial and relevant topics. A modern philosopher and value creator, in every sense of the word. Can’t wait to meet him someday.
Besides making me laugh, Adam has done much more: he has inspired me to want to speak passionately about what I believe, while being funny if possible. Also, as someone who is very interested in podcasting and interviewing, there’s one thing Carolla does best than anyone else in the planet: he can keep an entertaining monologue going for as long as he needs, an underrated skill. He’s more than a comedian, he’s a deep-thinker with a big conscience.
The Einstein of our generation. In an entrepreneurial time where design, creativity and emotions became as important as science and technology, Steve rose above everyone else. Looking back, his Stanford speech was a mainspring for my challenge of tradition and conventional paths. A genius that won’t be forgotten.
- Steve Jobs’ Stanford speech
Sir Ken Robinson
Similar to Steve Jobs, Sir Ken Robinson’s speech was a turning point in my relationship with education. I used to see education as this rigid path, and something that was passed on to me from someone higher in a hierarchy. Of course, I was wrong, and Sir Ken helped me see that. Meeting him is a goal I hold seriously, and the day I get to do that, I’ll make sure to thank him first.