Your journey to accomplish your side hustle/business can be a lonely one, especially when you’re just a beginner.
Unfortunately, there’s no other way around it and everyone needs to feel those “falls and scrapes” or tests and failures until you can ride that proverbial bike to accomplish your endeavor without stopping.
How can you start if you don’t have a strong foundation?
Luckily, the influencers I have listed below have the following character traits that will help you endure this worthwhile, uphill battle:
- ALTRUISM – They are passionate in leaving an indelible mark that benefits the world in a positive way through charity or the messages they deliver.
- GENEROSITY – They dedicate their time to the service of others by bringing value and most if not more than 90% of their content is free.
- AUTHENTICITY – They know that being transparent to others in their successes and failures helps everyone feel they can achieve their success as well; they will destroy any myths that spread the “overnight success” story and they will warn against that idea.
- HUSTLE – Their journey to success was not easy but filled with days of long hours of work, wrong turns, u-turns, do-overs and so forth but regardless, they show every action counts and despite everything still stayed on the path and worked towards their goals, demonstrating the big “C” = consistency.
- HEART – Passion is the fuel that drives them and it resonates in their content so even with all the setbacks life has thrown at them they still keep their eyes on the prize and feel the compulsion within to never stay down.
- HUMILITY – They don’t rest on their laurels. They strive for their own self development by enriching their lives with an endless pursuit of knowledge from books, mentors, interviews and from almost everyone they meet both directly and indirectly.
- ADAPT – They take the harsh terrain of life over the smooth, paved easy road and step out of their comfort zone again and again to gain inner strength.
We can read their content, examine their success and model their traits to navigate our own lives.
My painting, New School, is a contemporary version of Renaissance artist Raphael’s School of Athens.
Here’s the O.G.’s version:
Raphael’s School of Athens
Here’s New School
I painted the forward-thinking influencers who teach us valuable lessons to improve our lives in unique and relevant ways.
In using a bar as the meeting place of the minds, I wanted to show that these lessons are for everyone to hear and not just a select elite.
Also, your own experiences and observations of others in the real world “classroom” gives you the best type of education as these influencers have shown.
I realize there are countless amounts of influencers that have changed people’s lives other than the ones on this list but for now, these are the ones that I found really opened up a whole new world for their readers (and me) in their unique way.
I was also drawn to them because they are all philosophers who are redefining and challenging preconceived definitions of education, success, progress and value.
To be straight up, they are all just dope.
Originally, this was one long post but I didn’t want to overwhelm you with a tsunami of >10,000 words so this will be broken up over the next weeks to showcase a few at a time.
So without further hesitation here’s the post delivered as a series and in no particular order.
(Side note: It was unbelievably hard to write this post (for real – over two years) let alone to create a meaningful short version of how these influencers contribute ridiculous amounts of value to the world. Some have been generous enough to tell a bit of their story. Get cozy and I hope you enjoy the read.)
A master at observing and analyzing human behavior, Pejman is a business natural. He is completely self-taught in the most important aspects of life and business.
From his humble beginnings as a telemarketer to his success as an executive manager and then successful multiple business owner, Pejman has achieved all this through pure hustle and social intelligence.
It was not an easy journey by any means for Pejman but he was able to conquer the impossible with little to no formal education. His story teaches us that the most important learning you will receive is through direct experience and self-reflection.
Life experience teaches the most meaningful lessons, and as he practices what he preaches, almost everything that Pejman has experienced in life becomes a lesson.
There is wisdom gained in every encounter so we learn from him to open your eyes to seeing the world as your ultimate classroom.
In addition to being successful in multiple businesses, Pejman is also a philosopher, having written his analysis on the human condition in his book, The Third Circle Theory.
Pejman delivers a thought-provoking and extremely relevant analysis on how to think out of the box creating his own theory on the stages of life for an entrepreneur.
The ideas in his book are built on strong foundations because Pejman walks the talk, there is no B.S here, but all written with solid life experiences. From the start you’re comforted in knowing that he writes from real life and does not regurgitate tired knowledge, which is so prevalent in the personal development and entrepreneurship world.
If you are tired of hearing the same lessons said in different ways by merely changing some adjectives, Pejman’s content is a haven from that mediocrity.
Whether you’re navigating through life successfully, discovering what it means to be a true entrepreneur or ever contemplating why you either repeat experiences or stay stagnant in life, you will find Pejman’s teachings helpful in sorting out your confusion.
You can find Pejman at his super successful site for entrepreneurs Secret Entourage or read his books, Third Circle Theory and its long awaited sequel Radius. Be prepared for crazy amounts of knowledge, wisdom and value coming your way when you read Pejman’s work.
A student of the world classroom, through his experiences Chris teaches all of us how to reach deep within to find what really brings us joy and take the jump to make that joy a reality.
The platform he has created empowers all of us to venture into the unchartered waters of taking both our passions and our creative drives and living life how we wish it to be and not what is expected.
Chris has created a movement that celebrates individuality with stories that show unconventional ways of succeeding at personal goals.
In his famous book, The $100 Startup, he’s traveled to discover individuals that have the courage to feel truly liberated by making a legitimate living following their passions.
Our passionate drives fueled by our souls is not just a personal celebration of our individuality but one that Chris emphasizes should benefit others as well. Because what brings success is what all great teachers emphasize: bringing value to others.
The goal is to be yourself and have your own voice but the reward is knowing you are helping others as well.
A model of what he teaches, Chris was a volunteer in West Africa for four years at the same time self-employed. He’s lived the dream and wants you to experience this as well.
Chris is never short of inspiring messages and stories to tell. The ever-present theme is the beauty of nonconformity, which is not just applicable in business but extends to include definitions of success and happiness, which are ever-changing.
In the end, what we learn from Chris is that you don’t have to accept traditional definitions of success, business or happiness but to create your own since they are often socially-constructed illusions that have been sold to us.
In addition, to being an accomplished author of several bestselling books, Chris is a breakthrough philosopher and created one of the most popular conventions of the world, the World Domination Summit where his tribe of thousands converge. He’s also helping all of us out when it comes to starting a side hustle so listen to him here. Overall, if you want the inspiration to finally do what has always been in your heart, find Chris here.
In the personal development space, Mark has changed the game by pushing past decorum to spread his philosophy with his signature, stark candor.
One of the most prolific writers of our generation, Mark has the cajones to tell the story only a few have the courage to say with raw content tempered with his Zen Buddhist foundations. He delivers an astute analysis of relationships, gender roles and all aspects of personal development.
When you read his writings, you find yourself sucked into a vortex of deep contemplation that is disorienting at first but then transformative. His work is the red pill of the personal development space turning the world inside out with all social constructs and social ideals taken apart and examined.
Something I found particularly moving was Mark’s approach to emotions. He reminds us of the beautifully simple Buddhist teaching of acknowledgment and acceptance. We shouldn’t push negative emotions aside but feel them since they are natural part of human existence.
As Mark describes, “Negative emotions are like quicksand, the more you struggle to get out of them, the further into them you sink.”
Like all significant writers, Mark takes it upon himself to withstand the barrage of diametrically oppositional commentary from all his readers being able to hear out the discussions that ensue as a result.
Like others on this list, Mark takes his life experiences and makes them relatable lessons for all of us. Although he’s very famous for his writings, there’s always an undercurrent of humility reflected in the common theme that the more he knows, the more there is to learn.
Being a world traveler, Mark has written several essays on his experiences with different cultures.
What’s interesting in his writings is that although life abroad is colorful and exciting and something everyone should experience, there’s always that realization that the scariest, most exciting and important journey above all else is the one within yourself, wherein facing your deepest desires you also face your innermost demons.
In addition to being a philosopher, Mark is very well read having several references to important studies, historical references, literature, supporting several of his arguments.
If you want to read a provocative down-the-rabbit-hole view in the personal development space find Mark’s thoughts here. Or experience the revolution in personal development with his world-famous books here.
Thank you for reading!
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