Top three men who inspire me
There are a lot of inspirational people, men and women, who inspire me daily in all aspects of my life, here are just a selection.
I would like to preface this post with a note that I am every day inspired by my hardworking father, grandfather’s, uncles and cousins (blood and not) and especially my big brothers. The below list is merely a selection of those outside of these circles that inspire me.
Sir Richard Branson
I think most people that are looking at improving their career have looked to Sir Richard as someone they would love to emulate. He is the epitome of a life success, he has a successful company, great work life balance and a great lust and love of life with huge amounts of energy which he injects this into all his companies. On top of having a successful company he also creates and then sells successful companies whilst they retain the overarching brand he has built. That is probably the biggest inspiration is the Virgin brand, not matter where they put it the essence is still there of fun and being a little different than what is already out there and this stays with the companies that he sells off as well.
This is obviously something Sir Richard has instilled into his companies and comes from a part of his own personality that he wanted to infuse into his businesses. If you know anything about Sir Richard you know that he does some seriously crazy things (some may call them stunts) like crossing the English channel in a car boat, trying to do some long-term air ballooning. He also has this crazy idea at the moment to make space travel affordable for everyday people.
His choice to do these things and put himself out there get his hands dirty so to speak or get in on the fun is really inspiring. He has so much success but still runs around and acts like a kid on Christmas morning opening their presents. From what I know, I have started to read but not finished Screw it, Let’s do it, he never takes no for an answer he always finds a way to get what he wants to be done. And this is how he has built all his businesses, people would tell him his ideas are crazy and he would just ignore it and go and prove them wrong. This drive and his never ending enthusiasm for life and for not just his business but all businesses is the most inspiring thing.
QUESTION: Best country you have visited?
ANSWER: Tough call, but probably Australia, I just love the Aussies’ zest for life – a wonderful vibrant country.”
From Like a Virgin: Secrets they don’t teach you in business school.
As someone who is wanting to get into the entrepreneurial world, Sir Richard is a complete inspiration in what I would like to be as a business owner and eventual boss. His enthusiasm is infectious even though I have never met him, although that would be amazing!
Follow Sir Richard on social media
Fred Schebesta, now I have to put in a disclaimer in here I know Fred and actually as I write this work for his company finder.com.au so know him a lot better than the other two men I have discussed here. Fred often asks me how he inspires me I always struggle with articulating it as it’s not one thing it’s his whole persona and way of living his life.
As I mentioned I know Fred personally so know a few other things about him but won’t mention them here but let me say he has been through some stuff that most people would let just crush them or would just let it go and move on. Fred is using this major event in his life to engage in some self-development and self-improvement, he has used it as a catalyst to look inside himself and see what needed work and actually is working on himself. It’s amazing to watch and it inspired my charge into self-development and looking inside myself to make sure I am being a better me.
As well as his personal development and just his general disposition as a person he is an amazing boss and entrepreneur. Him and his partner Frank started a company when they were in uni and sold it for a hefty sum before they were 22 (check). They then started finder and have now expanded into the US which Fred is heading up and spearheading. It’s just amazing to watch and as part of it, I see how Fred’s energy just lifts the whole feel of the company and the office.
He is the bringer of huge ideas, big isn’t a big enough word for his ideas, some work and some don’t but he still goes for them with full force and huge amounts of energy. He is a remarkable person who you know is always up for listening to your ideas no matter how stupid you may think they are he will listen and help you refine and even push you to pursue no matter how much you may feel you shouldn’t or can’t.
There really isn’t enough words for me to truly express how Fred inspires me and most of it probably is because I actually know him and get to interact him so have a different perspective than those that don’t. I am also inspired by him because I can see a lot of me and how my true self in who he is so I am inspired to bring that out and be that person because Fred does it and doesn’t care whether people are up for that or not he is just him and doesn’t apologise.
It’s such an inspiration to watch and I definitely am keen to bring that into my own aspirations of entrepreneurialism, that his love of the big and crazy idea and wellness to try anything and if it doesn’t work try something else. If you ever have the chance to see him speak about his startup and entrepreneur life or how finder is now expanding to the US or anything really you should definitely do it he is an amazing speaker.
He isn’t a big user of social but you can follow Fred on social media
Now not a lot of Australians might know who Anderson Cooper is, but in the US he is quite well known as a CNN anchor of his own show, Anderson Cooper 360, as well as working on CNN’s coverage of elections and electoral debates. He is also well known for going into disaster area’s and war zones when other people run the other way, he started this before he even had his first journalism jobs. He actually went to Rwanda during the genocide when he was in his teens (check this) with his own camera.
But the most amazing part of this, as if just being an amazing and brave journalist, is that Anderson is the son of American writer Wyatt Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. He had a mixed upbringing with his father’s southern roots impacting him and but spending most of his time inside the NYC world of his mother.
Again Australian’s might not recognise the name although her perfume and jeans are sold in Australia so she may be familiar. But really it’s all about the family history Gloria, and therefore Anderson as her son is part of one of the oldest money families in NYC. Her parent’s divorce and subsequent messy custody battle, for her, was headline news. I remember reading in Anderson’s memoir Dispatches from the edge he talks about how for years he thought everyone’s grandfather had a statue of themselves as his grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt has a statue in Grand Central Station in NYC as he helped build it along with most of the train infrastructure of the east coast of USA. This is old money America.
Growing up in the 70s NYC with Gloria as his mother and Wyatt as his father there was a lot of glamour in his house him and his older brother Carter would be dining with people such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and the like. A lot of people would assume that growing up as part of one the old money families of the East Coast USA Anderson would just use his money and family to get ahead. He bucked this trend, and I believe his parents wanted him to know hard work and work for his life not live off their money and name and started working as a model from a very young age to earn money of his own. With this money he bought camera equipment and eventually got him tickets to places like Rwanda to cover these stories when he was still in college.
If you name a war-torn region or disaster zone from the last 20 years Anderson was probably there first and asking the hard questions. He is never afraid to keep asking the important questions of an interviewee when they refuse to answer. I love that he has the courage and bravery to just keep going.
Now I did paint a bit of a glamorous upbringing and charmed life for Anderson but he lost his father to cancer (check and check age) when he was young. He then had his brother commit suicide when he was in his twenties. So it hasn’t been all rainbows and fairy tales for Anderson but he is an absolute inspiration to anyone who has ever wanted to try and make the world a better place and tell other people’s stories to open the world’s eyes to their plight he is the person to look up to, well him and Oprah who he happens to be friends with.
Follow Anderson on social media
Also check out his TV show on CNN Anderson Cooper 360.