I believe I’m fortunate to be living in this era. There are certain individuals that are in my life to one degree or another who have influenced my mindset which has resulted in my successes over the past 6 years. I’m going to gloss over the obligatory “Jesus” as that’s just a given in my life. Without Christ, I don’t believe I have much to stand on. So THANK YOU almighty creator of all things. Onward.
Let me first start with Michael Barrish. A strange individual who I “met” online in 2001 or thereabouts through a new medium called “blogging.” He was publishing under Moveable Type (a blogging platform) and his blog still looks the same as it did back then. There’s one thing I remember distinctly about him which involved his fingernails. I exchanged a few e-mails with him about it back then, but nothing came of our connection, other than my burgeoning passion for writing about every stupid thing I could think of. Thank you Michael Barrish. You started me on this online path.
Alas, that was 13 years ago, just before I purchased by first house, and, this is more about those who have influenced me in more recent years, which in my profession, are often measured by the real estate crash of the 2000’s.
Second on the list is a small pairing of quirky individuals who happen to have a pair of flip flops for a logo, and an Australian outlook on business (it’s not really a cultural outlook, but more of a geographical metaphor.) They do it the way everyone else says “you’re nuts” for doing it. These two characters and I (plus everyone else mentioned here) must have nailed all of the same branches on the tree of life when we fell out of the sky. I’m speaking of Kevin Kauffman and Fred Weaver of Group46:10, two “outback” thinkers who opened my eyes to the possibilities when the real estate market was pooping on the locals in Phoenix and all we could do was work through the notorious and now relatively elusive short sale. Without you two, I wouldn’t have “seen the light” and my first few years in real estate would have been a nightmare. So, to you, gentlemen, I offer a heartfelt THANK YOU.
Third on this list is a man who seems to figure out how to hack every skill in life to better himself in record time. At about the same time I became licensed in real estate, I “met” Tim Ferris through a client of mine via the 4 Hour Work Week, a New York Times best seller. He challenged my way of thinking and put a name to the very things that I was feeling about corporate life. As a result, I am a devout follower and will always hold what Tim writes in high regard, as he is willing to do the experimentation that many of us are not, to ultimately make all of our lives easier to work with. So, Tim Ferris, THANK YOU.
Fourth on this list, and by no means are these numbers in any particular order, is Seth Godin. I would argue Seth to be the most brilliant marketing mind on the planet, currently. Every time he writes on his blog, I’m informed, and enlightened, and his points are so concise, clear, and brief, that it’s as much a pleasure to read his posts as it is to glean wisdom from Harvey Mackay, who also tops this list as the fifth. Thank you Seth, you truly open my eyes to ways of thinking that should simply be…obvious.
Sixth on this list is Dave Ramsey, the Godfather of Wise Finance. Dave, I’ve met you in person and told you that once I paid my house off, I would ride my bike from Phoenix to Nashville to scream that I’m debt free. You’re an upstanding steward of Christ to whom I will say, “Isn’t this cool?” when we all get to the promised land. THANK YOU Dave Ramsey, for making my life better by enlightening my brain to the concept of stupid tax. As a result of your ministry, I and a large contingent of the congregation at my church at New Valley Church in Ahwatukhee are debt free.
Seventh on this list is a full on character that just GETS IT. Gary, you are the charisma that I draw from when I think I can’t do it. Your publications are excellent and I enjoy listening to you bitch about how stupid corporate America can be. Plus, naturally, you’re a handsome guy. You signed my copy of Crush It in Mesa a few years back and I’ll never forget seeing you in person and hearing your story. Keep it real, stay strong, and most importantly, THANK YOU!
And lastly, but not leastly, is a man who dominated the blogging scene in the Phoenix Real Estate Market and subsequently went on to be a part of a giant real estate website. That man has modeled technologies in the WordPress world that I have mimicked over and over again. His name is Jay Thompson, and I’m thankful that he’s alive, given the nature of the past year or so of his life. Congrats on your life-changes my friend, and a heart-felt THANK YOU!
So to all of you who have been at the forefront of business innovation, teaching, and general awesomeness, THANK YOU! I can’t wait to see what comes down the line in the future!