A few days ago I received a package in the mail from a fellow blogger and upon opening it up I was literally blown away with what I saw—An awesome looking book, with a killer cover design, and a personal note from my friend Danny Iny.
For those of you that don’t know, Danny just published his book “Engagement: How Super-Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same.” What made this book unique is that other than having many of his own thoughts on community engagement, Danny solicited 1000-3000 word essays from dozens of other top bloggers in the world (folks like Mitch Joel, Mark Schaefer, Brian Clark, etc.)
When Danny asked me to contribute my thoughts to the work a few months ago, I really had no idea it would be turned into such an exceptional book, and to say I was impressed with what he had done while leveraging the power of others would be an understatement.
In fact, when I saw the book a simple thought came to my head: “Dang Danny, you’re kickin butt brother. Well done my friend.”
The Power of Actually Doing Something
Occasionally I get asked what my favorite blog post is I’ve written here on The Sales Lion. Although there are a few that come to mind, at this point in my life the one I’m most proud of is “Eventually, Mr. Blogger, You Actually Have to Do Something.”
I say this because that article was all about action. It was about creating. And it was all about reaching our talents as business owners, marketers, and bloggers by stretching ourselves to the point of success.
With the Thanksgiving season upon us, I wanted to take a moment to show my gratitude to bloggers who have touched me this year. Folks that are pushing, creating, and getting uncomfortable in the process. I want to thank those people, like Danny, that make me say in my Southern twang, “Dang friend, you really are kicking butt.”
21 Bloggers Who are Kicking Butt and Taking Names
1. I’m grateful for Diana Baur. For those that don’t know Diana, she writes at A Certain Simplicity and I’m honestly blown away with her magical prose every time I stop by. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of writers on the web, but she is easily in my top two or three. But Diana is really not a ‘blogger’. Yes, she pens her thoughts at times but she also manages to be an expat in Italy, who runs an exceptional bed and breakfast, while also making pottery that is laced with her artistic personality.
2. I’m grateful for Nancy Davis because her blog is so very real. Recently, she talked about her inability to pay her rent. As a struggling mother trying her best to raise a son by herself, Nancy doesn’t spend her time crying the blues, but rather openly discussing the ups and downs of this journey called ‘life’.
3. I’m grateful for Steve Roy of Ending the Grind. If you haven’t been following Steve recently, you’re missing out on one of the most real-life struggles I’ve ever read about online. So much was I moved by Steve’s story that I recently drove about 4 hours from my home and spent a day with him, which you can read about here.
4. I’m grateful for Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks. Somehow, Gini continues to make all of us look very lazy day in and day out. To me, she is the ultimate symbol of action. For example, as I write this she is likely rushing home on a flight from her most recent speaking engagement so she can feast with Mr. D and her dog Jack Bauer for the holidays. But beyond owning a business, teaching all over the country, and writing a book; Gini still manages day in and day out the best community on the web with her blog at Spin Sucks. To say Mrs. Dietrich is kicking butt would be a mild understatement.
5. I’m grateful for Mark Evans, who I recently became very connected with at the MeshMarketing conference in Toronto. Anyone who puts on a conference like that, not for the money but mainly for the passion, is someone who earns my immediate respect. Thank you Mark for being a social media leader up North there and thank you for allowing me to get a taste of one of the coolest cities and people in the world.
6. I’m grateful for Joe Pulizzi of Junta42. Not only is Joe the clear leader in the content marketing industry and movement, but he also is one of the kindest people I’ve met in this industry. His passion for great marketing is palpable. And his passion for helping others catch this same vision is even greater. But I also have to thank Joe for taking a risk on an unknown ‘pool guy’ at Content Marketing World, an event that will go down as the moment my career changed forever.
7. Speaking of Content Marketing World, I’m grateful for the person I met there that took me under his wing and truly looked for ways to help me reach success—Michael Stelzner. Most of you have already heard the story of how Michael and I met and the fact that I was flabbergasted with what he’d accomplished with Social Media Examiner in the space of two years. But the fact that he has been able to build such an amazing blog, business, and community in such a short period of time is as profound as anything I’ve seen online.
8. I’m grateful for Amy Porterfield, who literally might be the kindest person I’ve met in all of my speaking travels. Amy is the type of person that simply makes everyone around her feel at peace, unjudged, and open to bigger possibilities. This is why she has become one of the preeminent thought leaders on Facebook and is literally just beginning to scratch the surface of her potential in this industry.
9. I’m grateful for John Falchetto, my best friend online, and one heck of a life coach. You know, I think all of us needs that one person we can bounce ideas off of, count on for honest feedback, and go to if we ever feel stuck. John is that guy for me. But beyond that, John has literally been on fire this past year. He has become the voice of expat success across the globe and recently produced his first eBook entitled: Reaching Business Goals on a Shoestring Budget. (not aff) Considering John puts his money where his mouth is in everything he does and says, this is one guy that is without question kicking butt online.
10. I’m grateful for the Hubspot and Inbound Marketing phenomena. I know you’ve all heard the story as to how Hubspot and inbound marketing changed my life and saved my business, but the movement that is inbound marketing is literally still in its infancy, and I’m more than stoked to be a part of its growth in the coming years.
11. I’m grateful that amazing bloggers like Jay Baer and Mitch Joel have embraced my thoughts on this industry. When I think of social media smarts, there are two people that exude leadership in this field—Jay of Convince and Convert and Mitch of Six Pixels of Separation. So when I see tweets like this one below, I’m not only humbled but also grateful that such leaders would be so kind to shine their light on a guy like me that can use all the help he can get to reach success in a very crowded industry.
12. I’m grateful for people like Marlee Ward, who I was able to spend some serious time with at the most recent blog world and who literally could not be a more generous and kind person. Not only is Marlee an absolute hoot, but she has truly started to find her groove in business and has found a way to build success as an entrepreneur coach on and offline.
13. I’m grateful for Deb Ng and the rest of the folks at Blog World. As everyone already knows, my first experience at Blog World NY was accompanied by some negative feelings, but that did not stop Deb from attending my session at Content Marketing World and immediately afterwards inviting me to speak at the LA event. Soon after, I came to know Deb as a person, and realized that folks like her and Rick Calvert truly do care about the direction of this incredible industry, and want so very badly to be the best they can be.
14. I’m grateful that Chris Brogan always finds a way to make me feel like the only guy in the room when we chat at events. As one of the premier leaders in this entire industry, Brogan continues day in and day out to give thought provoking content to the world freely and pushes himself to dig deeper with each post. I consider Chris a friend and can’t wait to see what else he has in store for the future.
15. I’m grateful for Ryan Hanley. Most of you might not know Ryan yet, but his story is similar to mine, with the only difference that he is just now starting to write and teach about the powers of social media and content marketing. Coming from the insurance industry, Ryan is trying to change the way things have always been done there and in the process he is becoming a thought leader and statu-quo pusher in his own right. Keep kickin butt Ryan.
16. I’m grateful for Pat Flynn, quite possibly the most humble man I’ve ever met. I mentioned my thoughts on Pat in my recent Blog World recap, but the guy is literally liked by everyone because if his earnest desire to teach, serve, and inspire his massive community at Smart Passive Income.
17. I’m grateful for Derek Halpern, a guy who took the time to Skype with me personally for 30 minutes and tell me why my conversion rates stunk on The Sales Lion. By listening more to the wisdom of Derek and the rest of his words found at Social Triggers, my blog growth has been tremendous over the last few months. In a matter of less than one year, Derek has become a major thought leader in this industry and will only continue to introduce new concepts as the future rolls forward.
18. I’m grateful for my great friend JK Allen, who has been producing as much as any blogger I know recently. Between his full time corporate job where he exercises daily ‘intrapreneurship’, and his newest venture GrowthEffect.com, JK is truly willing success into his life again and again.
19. I’m grateful for Al Smith of the C.A.R.E movement. Talk about a guy that his turned his life around, Al Smith has had his share of low points. After wasting years away due to poor decisions, Al is now on a mission to promote his CARE movement, and he’s well on his way.
20. I’m grateful for Brankica of Blog Like a Star who finds a way to again and again teach me something I didn’t already know. Bran, to me, is the ultimate example of ‘self-taught’. With her dogged determination, she not only writes in English as if it’s her first language, but she has built a profitable blogging business by constantly giving value to her readers and being fearless in the process.
21. I’m grateful for Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living and Kristi Hines of Kikolani. Talk about women of action, Farnoosh and Kristi are true symbols of what the word means. Recently, they both quit the comforts of their high paying jobs to go out on their own and truly reach the potential that they feel they’ve been given. How can you not appreciate such audacity and faith?
22.****(OK, I cheated) I’m grateful for Nikki, Danielle, JT, Larsen, and Pink……OK, those people aren’t bloggers, but they’re my wife and four children, and without them and their patience and love, I’d have no blog at all. To say I was thankful for these five people wouldn’t come close to expressing my deepest feelings on what my family means to me.
Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you that support this community. There are so many other folks that inspire me out there and have helped me along this journey during these last two years, but I’m completely earnest in saying that my cup is overflowing right now with gratitude towards each and every one of you.
Thank you all so very, very much.
What bloggers would you add to this list? Who else do you see out there kicking butt and taking names? As I mentioned above, there are so many people I’ve not included in this list but would like to, and so please shine the light on someone else you can think of at this time.
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