I read his book A Passion To Win, which is a really short — maybe too short. I want to share with you some of the lessons I learned, some of which were shocking. Even though I’ve been studying billionaires for a while now and am used to many “success tips”, I was unable to unearth some gold.
For the average reader who isn’t digging for lessons learned, this book could have been a bit more frustrating since he doesn’t always explicitly give you rules on success. But he still does more often than other billionaire books, like Shoe Dog.
Even if you’ve heard of some of these tips before, don’t overlook them. They are great reminders and there are subtle details to these tips that make all the difference.
Most people aren’t as plugged into the personal development space as I am. Therefore, I thought it would be useful to create a comprehensive list of all the top active personal development influencers across the web. The list covers the most impactful leaders for all content platforms, including social, podcasts, and blogging.
As a note, these are modern leaders that are currently active, who have their own personality as a brand online and the largest influence on a raving fanbase in the industry.
1. Evan Carmichael
Evan has one of the top Youtube channels to help people achieve success. Evan is most well known for his “_______’s Top 10 Rules of Success”, which are video montages of a successful people giving success advice. He covers successful people of every domain and skillset, including entrepreneurs, talk show hosts, actors, athletes, world peace leaders, marketers, motivational speakers, philosophers, and martial artists. Here’s an example of one of his videos:
Evan has over half a million YouTube subscribers and posts numerous videos on a daily basis.
There are two qualities I like most about Evan’s videos. First, he spends a lot of time to create curated content in a form I appreciate most: video interviews of top achievers. Second, some of his videos are really well curated and obviously require a lot of digging to find each clip. The video below is the best example I could find. He made a montage of dozens of billionaires and other successful people talking about why you should follow your passion.
I was flabbergasted after watching this. His team probably had to manually watch and dig through a hundred hours of lectures to find the one moment when they talk about the topic.
2. Joel Brown of Addicted2Success.com
Joel started his site addicted2success.com on the side while working a full-time office job. At first, the ads on the site barely paid for lunch. Slowly but surely, his site became one of the most visited self development sites in the world. He was even offered $1 million for it, which he declined.
Joel runs a podcast with the same name. He has many high-hitting guests on his podcast, including millionaire entrepreneurs and meditation gurus. Joel’s content has a flavor of general self-development advice, covering everything from habits to vision boards. There is an entrepreneurial flair to this content, as most of the role models and podcast guests are successful businessmen (Steve Jobs, Grant Cardone, etc.), though he does occasionally add in other big figures, like Gandhi.
3. Stefan James of Project Life Mastery
Stefan teaches a broad and expansive set of skills in the personal development space. He covers everything from goal setting to procrastination to money mindset. He has proudly proclaimed that his platform covers a broad spectrum of topics, including relationship advice, happiness, and how to build an online business.
What’s unique about Stefan’s content is that he covers a lot of details on online business. He has courses and content on Kindle publishing, affiliate marketing, and so on.
He also has a monthly goals reports, which documents his progress on many of his goals, from financial to relationships to bucket list items (like running in Tough Mudder). His goal reports are inspirational to me because you’re shocked at how many of his goals he’s achieved, which including a multi-million dollar stock portfolio and a certain amount of subscribers and followers.
Stefan is firing on all cylinders when it comes to which platforms he’s on. Having said that, his biggest followings are on YouTube, his blog, and his podcast. You can find out more at projectlifemastery.com.
Stefan and his team were gracious enough to let me guest post on their site on the topic of minimalism.
4. Andrew Ferebee of Knowledge for Men
Andrew started with humble beginnings. He was completely broke and emotionally affected from a breakup with his girlfriend. The podcast he ran on the side, Knowledge For Men, saved him from homelessness. He grew a large audience and leveraged that into a business to help men become the best, masculine versions of themselves.
His podcast is one of the top podcasts in the world for this market. Every episode, he interviews an expert in the men’s dating or self improvement industry. Andrew’s flavor of personal development has a clear focus on a dating, relationships, and returning to your masculine, ancestral self.
5. James Clear
James Clear runs a high traffic self development blog that gets over 1 million visits per month at jamesclear.com. His articles have a focus on habit and behavior change with scientific evidence. Therefore, he covers topics like dealing with procrastination, habit formation, breaking bad habits, focus, and creativity. He is well known for his writing ability. He often adds scientific and historical evidence in the footnotes of his articles.
Jaime runs an audio and video podcast called Eventual Millionaire where she interviews millionaires. She has already interviewed over a hundred millionaires and is still going strong. You can learn a lot about how to make money from these interviews, but that is not all you will learn. The millionaires interviewed often talk about other tips, like productivity, mindsets, goal-setting, happiness, purpose, fulfillment, and setting up automated systems.
Jaime started from scratch with no connections to any millionaires. Over time, she grew great networking skills and created a rolodex network of influencers and entrepreneurs. She’s often mentioned by other top influencers.
One thing you should know is that her podcast had a clear entrepreneurial focus. The advice is geared towards other entrepreneurs. This is the one of the only unfortunate things about her content, since not all of us want to become millionaires by starting a business. However, it seems like that’s how a majority of her guests made their money.
7. Mark Manson
Other than James Clear, Mark is one of the only top self help bloggers who writes longer form, personal articles. He has one of the world’s top read blogs at Markmanson.net which gets millions of readers a month.
He calls his material “life advice that doesn’t suck” and has positioned himself as the “anti-B.S.” self development guy. His flavor of topics focuses on:
Not caring what other people think.
Mid to long-term relationships.
Life skills and knowing yourself.
Lately, Mark has lately been expanding outside of these topics and writing on what he pleases, which often includes politics. He also offers a subscription service for his premium articles. He recently published a book called The Subtle Art to Not Giving A Fuck, which has already sold over a million copies. He’s a heavy hitter in this field.
8. Jordan and AJ Harbinger of the Art of Charm
Jordan is a cofounder to one of the oldest personal development podcasts in existence, The Art of Charm. This podcast is over a decade old and still running strong. It’s now one of the top podcasts of all time in iTunes. It gets over a million downloads a month. It started out as a dating and pick-up artist podcast, which slowly morphed into a comprehensive men’s improvement podcast. The flavor of Art of Charm development is all-encompassing, though there is a focus on men’s networking, communication, body language, and dating skills.
Their network of contacts in Silicon Valley has allowed them to get some high-hitting guests, from top entrepreneurs to scientists. You can get advice from everything from how to build a network to how to improve your emotional intelligence to how to get matches on Tinder.
Pay special attention to advice they give on networking, social skills, and emotional intelligence because that is their specialty and what they leveraged to achieve their success.
9. Charisma on Command
Ben and Charlie started Charisma on Command as a blog. They were self-help junkies and gravitated towards social skills topics, like making friends and confidence. Over time, they experimented with different types of content, like LinkedIn articles and YouTube.
YouTube worked really well for them. They skyrocketed to over 800,000 subscribers in a very short time. Today, Charisma on Command focuses on helping men become more charismatic and magnetic to help their relationships. They post consistently on their own blog and their YouTube channel.
11. Todd Herman of 90 Day Year and Grit ‘N’ Hustle
In terms of brand exposure and traffic, Todd Herman is not the most well known. However, behind the scenes, he is a superstar. Todd works directly with many top influencers and entrepreneurs on the web, including Kimra Luna, Pat Flynn, Ryan Lee, Amy Porterfield, and Jeff Walker. He is well known to the audience of these influencers since he coaches them as well.
Todd started his journey as a mentor to the well known motivational speaker Jim Rohn. From there, he started and grew his coaching program for athletes. He has helped Olympians and billionaires reach higher levels of mental toughness and performance.
Todd has a podcast called the Grit ‘N’ Hustle Show where he brings on successful people to interview. You can find more content from him on his blog http://toddherman.me/blog/. Todd’s current focus is on helping entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs improve their goal-achieving ability, productivity and mindsets. He has a flagship program called the 90 Day Year.
12. Mike Dillard of Self Made Man
Mike walked into work one day and told his boss he wanted to quit to start his company. Although his boss doubted him, he became a wealthy entrepreneur. Mike runs a podcast called The Self Made Man, which interviews some of the world’s top CEOs. His mission is to empower men who can change the world. The podcast is business-focused, but any man can benefit from the general lessons of mindset, happiness, and goal-setting that are also discussed. I like how the show often dives into Mike’s personal life, mistakes, and struggles because you learn how money does not guarantee happiness and what healthy mindsets you should have to stay resilient no matter where you are in life. You can find more at http://selfmademan.com/.
Menstrua is a Youtube channel run by Shwetabh Gangwar. It boasts over 400,000 subscribers. The channel covers a variety of higher-level self help topics, specifically around living the best life possible, social skills, dating, doing well in school, choosing the right job, and motivation. Here’s one of his videos:
James runs a personal development podcast that focuses on more broader range topics including health, wealth, love, and happiness.
Thanks to his background in sports reporting and interviewing celebrities, he has gotten interviewees including doctors, retirement experts, relationship coaches, nutritionists, fitness experts, New York Times best selling authors, and millionaires.
15. Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ramit is the best-selling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and the sites IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com and Growthlab.com. Ramit’s blog started out as a personal finance passion project. It has evolved into a multi-million dollar business that reaches millions of readers a month. He sells products to help people earn more money on the side, get raises they deserve, find their dream job, and start profitable online businesses.
Ramit’s flavor of personal development blog posts are hyper focused on a brutally honest style around personal finance, psychology, and entrepreneurship topics, like freelancing on the side, automating budgets, networking, and eliminating the invisible scripts that hold you back in your mind.
16. Fight Mediocrity
There are a lot of animated self-help book summary YouTube channels out there. But the biggest has to Fight Mediocrity (also sometimes known as Phuck Mediocrity). What he does is simple: He creates animated book summaries of top self-development books that last around 5 minutes long. And he will inject his own review of the book at the end (and sometimes sprinkled throughout the summary).
There is a definite focus on quality over quantity. Unlike most other YouTube channels, he will not upload a new video for 1 to 4 weeks. Here is one of his videos to give you an idea:
He covers a lot of the most well known self help books, so they get a lot of popularity on YouTube. There are a few up-and-coming YouTube channels that do something very similar, like Obtain Eudamonia (same thing, more colors).
17. Practical Psychology
Practical Psychology is very similar to Fight Mediocrity except his animated videos focus on science-backed ways to improve your life rather than book summaries, though he does the occasional book summary as well. He is nothing to sneeze at with 1 million+ subscribers on YouTube. His videos, as you might guess, have a psychology focus spin around social skills topics.
18. Mimi and Alex Ikonn
Mimi and Alex were self-help junkies even before they became 7-figure entrepreneurs. Back when they were broke, they practiced visualization. After they got married, they started a hair extension to solve a need of their own. By effectively using YouTube and Instagram, they grew their following to millions of fans. In the process, they effectively marketed their business, Luxy Hair.
Unlike many other CEO’s who claim to have 7-figure businesses, Mimi and Alex actually pocket 7 figures after all expenses are paid. They both have personal YouTube channels where they release vlogs and occasional personal development advice themed around self-love, starting a business, earning money, visualization, and social media marketing.
19. Marc and Angel of Marc and Angel Hack Life
Marc and Angel are a couple. They run the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life. They have a large audience of 130,000 email subscribers and over a million monthly readers. They have been blogging for many years and are well known in their space. Their topics cover a broader range of self development. Their articles are more generalized and list-based, with a focus on improving happiness, relationships, motivation, and dealing with overwhelm.
You will like them if you prefer “listicles” and a conversational tone. They tend to bounce around many general self help topics and give advice from the heart, like Zen Habits, rather than focus on data or scientific evidence.
I would prefer if they gave more evidence for most of their posts rather than just give me 10 tips on how to be happier. I get skeptical when they do that since it could just be their opinion on what makes you happy. Nonetheless, they have achieved quite a large blog following.
20. James Altucher
James run his blog Jamesaltucher.com and his podcast The James Altucher Show. Both are wildly popular. His blog attracted hundreds of thousands of readers a month and his podcast attracts millions of listeners a month, rivaling the audience of a lower quality HBO TV Show.
James’s writing is unique. Every article pulls you in with shocking, and sometimes offensive, curiosity. He reveals embarrassing and evoking stories and feelings from his past. And occasionally, he gives you some advice. The topics he writes about can range quite a bit, but often, the advice is a small tip based on daily life, like how to persuade better.
His podcast has a format where he brings a successful guest on to be interviewed. His guests range from successful entrepreneurs to authors to spiritual teachers (kind of like Addicted 2 Success). What makes it unique is that James sometimes spends weeks preparing for his guests. He reads all of his guests’ books at least once.
21. John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson of Entrepreneur on Fire
John, and his wife Kate, erupted onto the podcast scene a few years ago with a new style of podcast: a daily interview series of top entrepreneurs. With thousands of episodes already releasaed, they forged one of the largest beginning entrepreneur tribes online. Their podcast is a great free resource for you to learn from wealthy, happy CEO’s.
Their personal development content has a focus on male 9-to-5 employees who want to start a business. While there is a lot of business strategies, Entrepreneur on Fire also has a lot of general self help advice as well, including goal-setting journals like The Freedom Journal and advice on building habits.
22. Leo Babauta of Zenhabits.net
Top blogging experts like Pat Flynn and Corbett Barr have claimed zenhabits.net as the most popular personal blog of all time. Still run by just one person, Zen Habits attracts over two million readers a month.
If you start reading the blog, you will quickly realize it has a focus on minimalism, simplicity, meditation, and building good habits. His articles (and entire site) has a minimal design and only features text — no images, social media, or graphics. Similarly, his writing style follows this theme.
I personally would prefer if he gave more evidence for some of his advice. But pay particular attention to his advice on writing, blogging, simplicity, minimalism, or meditation. He has quite a lot of experience and success in those areas, as you can tell by the popularity of his site.
23. Andrew Warner of Mixergy
Andrew is a successful entrepreneur who sold his company for millions of dollars after the Dot Com Bubble of 2000. After getting tired of retirement, he returned to the scene with his interview site Mixergy.com.
Thanks to his network, he has interviewed over 1,000 entrepreneurs, ranging from startup founders to CEOs of billion dollar companies like AirBnB. Andrew offers some of his interviews as free videos or audio podcast episodes; he sells some of the as premium content for a monthly fee. He has covered interviews on nearly every topic related to entrepreneurship, from copywriting to scaling a business.
Although his content has a clear entrepreneurial focus, there is plenty to learn about general self-improvement, earning more, mindset, habits, productivity, or goal-setting.
24. Brendon Burchard
Brendon has a large presence on YouTube, his Facebook page, and his blog Brendon.com. He runs a multi-million dollar training company and the site Growth.com as well. Brendon covers a wide range of general personal development principles, including leadership, peak performance, goal-setting, meditation, staying positive, and productivity.
If you want to learn from him, his YouTube should be your first stop. He gets tens of thousands of views for each of his weekly videos. The next stop would be his Facebook page, which has millions of fans. He posts tons of Quote cards and other inspirational content on there frequently.
Leo has one of the largest personal development presences on YouTube. Leo’s flavor of content has a meditation and spiritual-focus, though he keeps it objective enough so that you can learn from him even if you are not religious.
Leo draws from the large amount of books he has read and the science he has learned to back up his points. Here’s one of his videos:
Most of Leo’s content has an undertone of “becoming the best actualized, higher level spiritual version of yourself.” There is a clear focus on moving towards enlightenment.
26. Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach and 10x Talk
Dan has coached coaches of successful entrepreneurs through his program Strategic Coach. He runs a podcast called 10x Talk. Although his target audience are ambitious entrepreneurs, many of his podcast episodes focus on habit practices, techniques, and mindsets that are beneficial to everyone. He has very specific strategies with coined names from his program that he teaches you to help you feel more fulfilled, happy, and defeat procrastination.
27. Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt is a well known player in the online space. He runs a podcast and blog at michaelhyatt.com and calls himself, “Your Virtual Mentor.” Michael has authored best-selling books like Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want and Platform University: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
There is a definite focus on helping people stop drifting through life, discover their passion, and turn it into an online business by building an audience. If that is not for you, he also touches on how to shift your mindset for success, productivity, and leadership.
28. Tony Robbins
Tony got his start apprenticing under an old self development and motivation legend, Jim Rohn. Starting out as a broke janitor, Tony rose through the ranks. Decades later, he runs a billion dollar set of training companies. Tony started out in the infomercial business but has sinced transitioned to in-person live events for thousands of people.
He is still mainly an offline guy. He is well known for his book Awaken the Giant Within and live events Unleash the Power Within and Date with Destiny. He is the most well known self development man to the mainstream market.Top celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Maria Menounous, and Usher have attended his events. Tony’s content is focused on general personal development principles, such as unleashing your full potential, discovering motivation, rekindling relationships, improving your energy levels, and becoming wealthy.
29. Steve Pavlina
Steve is known as one of the first personal development blogs to ever be created on the Internet. He is still around to this day. His articles focus on a more general, non-spiritual, daily-life style form of personal development. Steve blogs at stevepavlina.com.
30. Maria Popova of Brain Pickings
Maria started her blog for fun. Originally, only her friends read it. Over time, it grew to be one of the largest personal blogs in the world. Brain Pickings is borderline not personal development. I would not recommend it for a beginner.
The topics Maria writes about are often philosophical, esoteric, and intended to make you think. Occasionally, she will profile a recognizable successful person. But usually, she just picks interesting people. Her topics are all over the place. They include storytelling, history, love, powerlessness, courage, crisis, self-pity, and creativity.
Her articles usually are not “How to” or intended to specifically teach you a specific way of doing something. The beautiful images she chooses for her articles make them really stand out.
31. Marie Forleo
Marie worked as a bartender, fitness instructor, and for NASDAQ, but never felt fully fulfilled. She started a fitness event-based business online, which grew into a seven figure business. She chose to shut down the business completely because she still didn’t feel passionate enough about it. Her next venture, a life coaching business, slowly grew into a multi-million dollar business that teaches beginners how to succeed in life and start their own online businesses.
Marie is one of the longest enduring influencers on the web. She started making weekly Youtube videos in 2011 and has never stopped. As she’s gotten better, her production technology has increased.
She calls her content, Marie TV, and she releases a blog version and a version on her Youtube channel every week. The topics she talks about focus on general self-development tips that her female-dominated audience struggle with, which are usually psychological shifts. These shifts include dealing with imposter syndrome, feeling overwhelmed, getting over perfectionism, why you should embrace gratitude, and adopting an abundance mindset.
She often interviews top experts (scientists, speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs) on Marie TV.
You will not get any technical tactics on starting a business for her content because she is more focused on overarching beginner strategies. She has two taglines, which she says in every episode of her videos. These are, “The place to be to create a business and life you love.” and “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
32. Tim Ferriss
Tim is the undisputed heavyweight. His name and his 4-Hour Work Week brand is the most well known in the self development and tech entrepreneur communities. Tim’s book The Four Hour Work Week launched him into the scene from nowhere. Its focus is on optimizing your life and business to get the most return in the least time possible. An interesting fact is that Tim’s book was not an instant success. It was turned down by a dozen publishers and it required a lot of smart networking to spread the word.
Tim is known as the “human guinea pig.” He tests weird techniques, supplements, pills, and drugs to optimize his sleep, performance, energy, and fitness so his audience knows what’s best. Tim’s style of personal development content is more focused on lifestyle design, outsourcing a business, medicines, and weird techniques.
Tim’s podcast is one of the most downloaded of all time, hitting over 100 million downloads. His podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, started as a fun experiment to document the conversations he was having with top performers, thanks to his connections as a tech investor. Over time, his guests have gotten increasingly interesting, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx. His podcast is focused on deconstructing the performance of high achievers so you can optimize your life. Each episode is usually a long form (one hour) interview or question-and-answer session.
33. Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is a motivation, sales, and self help legend. He is spoke of on the same line as other legends like Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, and Jim Rohn. Brian started as a high school dropout working odd jobs. In his early 30’s, he discovered self development and sales, which transformed his life. In the next couple decades, he became a top salesperson and motivational speaker in the nation.
Brian creates content every week on his Youtube channel, Facebook page, and blog http://www.briantracy.com/blog/. The content is high quality, high production, and actionable. It may be too high production and cookie-cutter for some people though. Brian is a great person to follow because he has decades of actual experience negotiating, selling, and improving productivity in business to back up what he says. His content focuses on time management, earning more money, improving as a salesperson, public speaking, and running a business.
Brian is most well known for his “Eat That Frog” productivity concept, which pushes you to finish the task you dread the most first.
34. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary burst onto the Internet scene a few years ago and has become one of the most followed social media influencers with the most engagement. He mainly gives entrepreneurial-themed advice and his main topic of interest is emerging social media platforms. Topics cover everything from staying motivated, productivity, growing a business, and growing a following.
He primarily operates on YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. But his team creates offshoots of his content on Instagram, Tumblr, podcasts, and every other social media or blogging platform.
35. Lewis Howes of The School of Greatness
Lewis has been in the online business space for several years. He became a millionaire by teaching other entrepreneurs how to sell more products by leveraging webinars. Lewis started his podcast The School of Greatnessearly on to help listeners become the best at what they do. It’s now grown to be one of the top self-help podcasts in iTunes. Although his business is for entrepreneurs, his podcast, and the book with the same name, covers topics that can help anyone succeed.
The show interviews everyone from successful entrepreneurs to billionaires to Youtube stars to scientists to coaches. There are also episodes with just Lewis talking on his own on self improvement concepts.
Topics you will hear about in the show include earning more, motivation, generosity, self-belief, taking time for yourself, burning out, mental shifts, persistence, and standing out. There is a focus on more psychological and “internal game” topics.
Pay attention to Lewis’s advice on networking and digital marketing because that is his specialty.
36. Improvement Pill
Improvement Pill is a new member of this list. He is exponentially growing on YouTube, with 700,000 subscribers already. How has he been able to succeed in the already-crowded niche of animated self-help videos?
One possible reason is that his topics cover a wide range of fascinating, useful personal development topics. Rather than focusing on book summaries or social skills, he covers all sorts of different pressing topics, such as The Law of Averages, Meditation, Making Money Online, Cold Showers, and Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone.
37. Caleb Maddix
Caleb is a new entrant that has burst onto the scene. The catch? He’s probably a lot younger than you.
Caleb has a positive outlook to everything he teaches and has already published numerous books for kids on how to succeed. Moreover, he has continued to build his following on Facebook and YouTubet to get high-paying keynote speaking gigs, selling high-ticket courses, and meet with top influencers, like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tai Lopez, and Russell Brunson.
Not bad for a kid.
He’s also skilled at addressing concerns from adults who assume he is too young to teach them anything.
38. Tai Lopez
Tai Lopez is an elephant in the room of online personal development influencers. Boasting an Instagram and YouTube following of over 1 million each, he is nothing to sneeze at.
Currently, he teaches a variety of topics, from entrepreneurship, to general success, to travel hacking, to social media marketing.
He generally focuses on broad ranges of personal development — what he calls “The Good Life” — achieving success in “health, wealth, love, and happiness.”
Tai has helped popularized many books in the self-help industry from science-backed books on nutrition to modern networking books to history books to business biographies. He has also popularized the “book a day” concept of reading a book a day to improve your wisdom (and in turn, your wealth).
He has a flashy way of marketing his business on social media (through tons of expensive cars, mansions, and women) but he argues that if it grabs people’s attention and helps them live a better life, why not?
39. Patrick Bet-David of Valuetainment
Are you sick of listening to experts who don’t have any credible achievements to back up what they say? No more.
Patrick is a new entrant to the YouTube sphere and killing the game. He is self-made millionaire entrepreneur and has seen what it’s like firsthand. There’s no theory behind his words — it’s real world practice.
Patrick uploads daily videos on all topics around earning money and becoming rich. Check him out.
40. Rafael Eliassen
Rafael is an up and coming YouTuber. He uploads weekly and has 44,000 subscribers. You may not think that’s a lot but he is a loyal group of followers who eagerly listen to what he has to say every week. Rafael’s main focus for his videos is around life struggles; this includes fear, inspiration, beliefs, attitude, positivity, and determination.
Ben’s work has been featured on all the big sites you can think of, including, Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur. He has an email newsletter with hundreds of thousands of readers, has a PhD. in Psychology, and trains others.
42. Will’s Personal Development Show
This is me. I’m an up and coming blogger, podcaster, and YouTube on personal development. My unique spin is that I filter all my advice through two filters: is it science-backed and/or is it coming from someone who has achieved massive success in the field? A lot of the content nowadays isn’t backed up with evidence. For more info on what I have to offer, check out my About page.
As you can see, personal development comes in many flavors. Differing interests, personalities, and delivery create different content. Choose who you think will help you and suits you best.
There are even more people I had to resist from including on the list because they have inspired me in personal-development themed ways even though their main focus is teaching online entrepreneurship (like Pat Flynn), fitness (like Matt Kido a.k.a. Gokuflex) or even fashion (like Jose Zuniga of Teaching Men’s Fashion). I wanted to keep this to truly self-help focused influencers. So what do you think?
Did I miss anyone? If you know of a huge personal development influencer that is not mentioned, leave a comment to let me know.
Get All Their Secrets in One Checklist
I’m a self improvement junkie. There’s no denying that.
I spent years studying everything I could get my hands on from all of these people above. In fact, it was overboard. Each of these influencers have hundreds of episodes of podcasts or YouTube videos — and I’ve seen most or all of them.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” -Benjamin Franklin
One common, frustrating theme I have found when talking to people who have mediocre lives is that they’re all excuse-generating machines.
Every time I try to give reasons that their obstacles are solvable and tactics to do so, they come up with a mediocre excuse so that they can remain where they are. I recently had an especially frustrating case of this recently with an Indian man I met who had trouble making friends.
After hearing about my own struggles with this, he came up to me and told me he had similar problems but he was over a decade older than me.
He also had insecurities with his race because most of the people he met were white and he thought he couldn’t relate to them.
But as I dove into the issue, my eagerness to help quickly turned into frustration as I discovered he was immovable as a rock with his beliefs about the world…
The first couple months of the new year are a time when I roll my eyes a lot (in my head — I’m too polite to roll them in real life).
Every year, the same thing happens at the gym. It gets flooded with new people. Parking gets harder. Unused equipment is scarcer. People are proud to tell others they are just getting started.
But 2 or 3 months in, they show up less and less and never show up again.
While this happens, throughout the year, it is especially pronounced around January 1st because this is when New Year’s Resolutions get made.
If you’re not familiar with this American tradition, this is when people reflect back on how bad they did the year before and then set big goals so that this doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, as the cliche goes, the majority of them end up giving up or failing their goals.
I’ve seen the same process play out so many times every year that I have given up hope for the masses.
Even in the last year, I have met a few people at my CrossFit gym who have told me about that they’ve just started working out and they’re committed. I usually ask them why they started and a sense of dread starts bubbling up when I ask this, especially if it’s near January.
The answer is usually, “Because it’s a New Years Resolution” or “I’m doing this New You Challenge I found online.”
They look at me as if I should be proud of what they said but I have to hold back my natural reaction to wince because that is usually a sign that they won’t follow through or stay at it.
Sure enough, many of them disappear, never to be seen again.
I want to introduce a new way of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.
This video does a good job of illustrating how:
Let me break it down for you:
The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions
Your first mistake is even setting New Year’s resolutions. The time frame is too long.
Most people are gung-ho but fizzle out by March or early April. Then, they give themselves more than 6 months to do nothing until they’re reminded again in January.
Years ago, I watched an interview of the Kong Pham, CEO of Jump Cut Studios, a multi-million dollar company in the YouTube entertainment and education space. He says he doesn’t like New Year’s resolutions and doesn’t even make them. Instead, he believes you should always be setting goals and achieving them right now in the present no matter what month or day of the year it is.
Second, people drastically overestimate how much they can accomplish in the short-term.
Take muscle gain as an example. People have told me that they want to gain 60 pounds of muscle in a year and will complain that they only gained 3 pounds of muscle in a month. But the truth is that these are horrible ideas.
Gaining 3 pounds of muscle a month is 36 pounds a muscle a year, which is a lot.
“Don’t be frustrated with small progress. Only be frustrated with no progress.” -Matt Kido
To put this in perspective, Matt has been working out for over 13 years. In that time, he’s only gained about 51 pounds of muscle but have gone from skinny to the most shredded Asian man I’ve ever seen.
That’s only about 3 pounds of muscle per year, much less than what people expect. I would be happy with 3 pounds of muscle gain per year if I could eventually look like Matt.
Just like Matt and Gary Vaynerchuk, I always preach consistency and patience on the decade level. Don’t believe the false marketing hype that you can “gain 30 pounds of muscle in 2 months.” It’s a lie.
Do This Instead…
Try these simple steps instead of this ridiculous one year goal-setting program they call “New Year’s resolutions.”
Get specific. Rather than some vague goal, like “I want to be more muscular and rich”, how about “I want to gain 10 pounds of muscle and earn $75,000 a year by the end of this year.”
Choose up to 3 goals. Any more spreads your time, energy, and accountability too thin.
When deciding on a reasonable goal underestimate your short-term goals (anything under a 3 year time frame) and overestimate your long-term goals (anything over a 5 year time frame). Why? Because we tend to drastically overestimate what we can accomplish in the short-term and underestimate what we can do in 10 years. For example, building muscle is a very slow process. You’d be lucky to build 5 extra pounds in a year, unless you’re a complete beginner or cheating with steroids. Don’t believe the scams that promise “60 pounds in 4 months.” But in 10 years, just 35 pounds is doable and can make you look massive.
Check in on your goals at least every month. Re-calibrate and set new goals every month, if not every week. You should not stop checking in on yourself and pivoting because it’s no longer the start of the year.
Step away from looking at goals once a year. You can still do this but focus on smaller goals.
Use the motivation you have at the start of the year to see quick wins you can celebrate. But you have to quickly transition your motivation to making whatever you’re trying to do fun and enjoyable because New Year’s motivations and using pure willpower only work in the short-term while passion is more timeless.
Start small. Do 1/10th of what you set out to do for the first week. Build gradually. For example, go to the gym for just 5 minutes on the first day. This gets you over the hump of intimidation and procrastination, while making it less of a chore. Dr. BJ Fogg’s free 5-day Tiny Habits program is the most scientific and impactful program I’ve tested that actually works in forming habits. It follows this theme and I recommend it.
Set up check-in’s with yourself. Once a week. Maybe just once every two weeks. This is because life gets in the way and most people never check-in. That’s why they drop off from exercising completely in April and don’t notice until January 1st of the next year.
I am not a delusional self-help guru who believes you can go from socially incompetent, skinny, homeless man to multi-millionaire, charismatic, model in a year by “setting good habits” or “sticking to your resolutions.” That type of thinking is absurd.
But I do believe you can make some tweaks to how you go about improving your life and see better results. And ten years from now, you may be a living a much happier, healthier, and wealthier life than you would have otherwise.
2017 has been a year where I have dived deeper into the subtleties of personal development.
What the heck does that mean?
Well, only a small percent of the public ever get into self-development. Of those that do, most of them focus on fundamental, surface-level tactics. An example would be what you see in listicle-themed content on YouTube and blogs (Top 10 Tips to Boost Your Confidence, Get Over Your Anxiety, or Make Your First $1,000).
The problem with these tactics is that they only get you so far.
If life was simply about following these tips to achieve your goals, then everyone would be a fit, happy, world-traveling millionaire. But we’re not.
Clearly, there’s a missing piece to the puzzle. You can see this most deeply in the “How to Be A Millionaire” content online. There are hundreds of videos, books, courses, and articles on this topic. Yet tons of people have eagerly tried to follow the advice, only to be met with disappointing results.
I consume a lot of content on the internet and through many mediums (books, audiobooks, etc.). Because of how much I consume, you tend to find very weird similarities or quirks between successful people sometimes. Today, I want to share with you three individuals, who probably don’t know of eachother, who passed on an $1 million dollar offer.
1. Jerome Jarre.
He’s a Vine star with over 7.5 million Vine followers. He has successfully translated that into an empire on other social media, with millions following him on Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat. He co-founded an internet marketing agency with investor and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Their clients include some of the top Vine influencers in the world. Jerome was recently offered a $1 million dollar contract with a top New York advertising agency. He turned it down. He explains why in this short video that details his whole story. It is very touching and illustrates some great points I talk about in my own Youtube videos and on this blog. You can achieve happiness without bundles of cash or materialistic things. Sometimes, it is not worth compromising your freedom, fun, or time on this earth for things like money.
It is incredible. It goes into all the science behind it but still keeps it very reader friendly. It goes extensively into detail on all the things you can do without becoming too long or boring.
2. Marie Forleo
Marie had a revenue stream of $1 million dollars through two programs: an annual conference and a yearlong mentorship program specializing in adventure and travel called Adventure Mastermind. It was a very tough decision but her heart was not in it no longer and she wanted to do new projects. She stepped away from the money, a decision many people fail to make. Many people thought she was crazy but she kept to her decision even though a lot of people wanted the service.
One thing she says is that, “If people are saying you are wearing crazy pants, you are wearing the right pants.” I don’t know if I would go THAT far, but I think she has the right idea.
I heard a recent story of a man who makes $1 million dollars a DAY. Not a year. A Day. He hates his industry and doesn’t believe in the product he sells. He says he wakes up angry and bitter every day. However, he cannot quit his business. Although he has made a lot of money, he won’t quit because he can’t leave the money he would be making. That’s not what I want. I would definitely step away from that but it’s a tough decision to make and some people are too comfortable.
Joel’s website is a blog about achieving maximum success in your business and life. He was offered many buy outs from people to purchase his Success blog. They kept rising in price until he got a million dollar offer. Ultimately, he chose not to do it because his creation was “his baby.” He had spent years crafting it. Joel runs a podcast on his site and I have listened to most of them. He has successful people on his podcast and I remember one thing that was said in an interview that relates to this a lot. One man was a successful non-profit entrepreneur and has sold his company for millions. He said he regretted his decision because he also sold his passion. He couldn’t get the same feeling of fulfillment he got from working with people worse off than him and working directly. He said nowadays he simply donates his own money to charities but the feeling is not the same. It is a great lesson and warning to future entrepreneurs.
4. Sylvester Stallone
I want to throw in another one for you. This man is Sylvestor Stallone. He is a well-known actor behind some of the best films ever released like Rambo, the Expendables series, and the Rocky series. Mr. Stallone was once dirt poor. He was homeless and eventually got so good at being able to survive with close to no money that he almost made it into a science. He was rejected from tons of auditions but one day he decided to turn around after a rejection and tell the man that he also wrote scripts. That one decision changed his whole life. This is a great life lesson: sometimes, you have to offer and let people know about things they don’t know you can do. Even if they didn’t ask for it.
Mr. Stallone spent hours everyday writing scripts. He said it started off horrible. His scripts were trash. But he said the key is to keep practicing every day and you get better and better. Too many people quit if they start off bad but the thing is most people start of sucking at something. You just have to keep going.
Now here’s where it gets interesting and relevant. Sylvestor eventually writes the script for Rocky and gets an offer in the tens of thousands of dollars for the script. He turns it down but gets increasingly higher and higher offers. Eventually, the highest was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, you have to remember he was still homeless at the time. These were tough decisions. Eventually, he turns down all the offers because he knew he would regret it for his whole life if he wasn’t a direct part of the movie and playing in the movie. He chose to fully express and follow through with the work of art he created and it ended up doing well for him in his heart AND financially.
5. Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel is a world-famous actor behind many awesome films like the Fast and Furious series and one of my favorite series, The Chronicles of Riddick.
He turned down millions of dollars to be in a Fast and Furious movie to prioritize a film he was currently more deeply passionate about, The Chronicles of Riddick, for a pittance. Although that film series did not make as much as Fast and Furious, it is one of my favorite films (not the latest one. The first one).
That’s all the stories I know of. If you have any others of successful individuals who have passed up on big offers, please leave the stories in the comments below.
If you’re a helpful person, don’t forget to share this story with someone you think would enjoy this stuff!
6. Neil Patel
Neil is an online entrepreneur behind companies such as Quicksprout, Crazy Egg, and Kissmetrics. Here’s a story of how Neil wasted a million dollars in a new idea:
I learned from this story that hiring the wrong people who aren’t scrappy, don’t ship, and spend more than necessary will lead to failure. Neil also didn’t pay attention to advice from others around him.
A lot of my email subscribers have written in asking about how to make money online. Some of you are trying out affiliate marketing, others are interested in Shopify, and others don’t know where to start but want to do something digital.
This is surprising because I talk mainly about self improvement rather than online business.
Having said that, it may not seem this way since I rarely talk about it but I’m actually quite experienced in this area. I’m an information junkie so I’ve been exposed to almost every big name in the industry of “teaching people to make money online” and have consumed almost all of their free content (even though they have hundreds of podcasts, articles, and videos).
The industry is vast. There are over a hundred gurus out there teaching everything from how to make money from info products, Amazon FBA, eCommerce, Alibaba, online courses, webinars, your own physical products, affiliates, Kindle eBooks, online coaching, sponsorships, and so on. There’s Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Derek Halpern, Chris Ducker, Ryan Lee, Jeff Walker, Ramit Sethi, Navid Moazzez, Frank Kern, Ryan Deiss, Jaime Masters, Amy Porterfield, Kimra Luna, Amy Schmittauer, Tim Schmoyer, Derral Eves, Sue B. Zimmerman, Gary Vaynerchuk, Bryan Harris, Brian Dean, Grant Cardone, Tai Lopez, Marie Forleo, Melanie Duncan, Rick Mulready, Jon Morrow, Jon Loomer, Roberto Blake, Stefan James (who I wrote a guest post for), Steve Chou, and more.
Some focus on a specific part of the process (traffic generation via search engine optimization or social media traffic). Others cover a wider range but add their own personal spin (like a sassy female personality).
Many of you are also suspicious. You don’t know who to trust because you’re scared of getting scammed or you’ve been burned already. Rightfully so.
The internet marketing world has many new and young people emerging onto the scene to sell their scams. Almost every day, I see a new Facebook Ad from someone I’ve never seen bragging about how rich he or she is and how you can do the same with their “Get Rich Quick” product.
How do you find a job or start a business and make a lot of money doing it without making the wrong choice? I spent years trying to find my passion and make it a career. I consumed every video, interview, podcast, and book out there on the topic.
Even now, there isn’t as much good, thorough advice as I want. But there is great advice out there that is just scattered among hundreds of interviews and speeches from successful people. I’ve compiled the best of what I’ve learned, what makes the most sense, and what actually has worked in the real world — not theory. Here’s the guide I wish I had for myself years ago: