There have been hundreds of people who have influenced me and inspired me in my career so far. This week was a huge eye opener for me and I am going to have to make a couple of really tough decisions in the next few weeks. When I was thinking about what to do and how to handle a few things 5 people popped into mind. I don’t think any of these 5 people ever knew that they actually made an impression on me but the reality is that without these 5 people I probably wouldn’t be as tough as I am, nearly as smart (which I still don’t think I am) or as confident in myself as I have grown to be. Sure I still have a lot to learn and a ton of ways to grow but I wanted to thank 5 people in particular who probably aren’t expecting it. There are a lot more I would like to put on this list but these are the 5 I would like to mention first and say thank you to.
1. Melanie Seery. @mellies on Twitter. If there is one person who taught me to not put up with shit and to just fight back it is Melanie Seery. From the first time we met in person in Times Square and ate probably the worst steaks in our life I knew I met someone special. Not only is she brilliant but she is a fighter and someone who no matter what says what needs to be said. She is kind, caring and a force to be reckoned with when she puts her mind to something. Melanie is someone that I look to for strength and inspiration and to keep pushing through when things are tough.
2. Gail Gardner – @growmap on Twitter. Gail and I have a love hate relationship. We love to hate everything and everyone, just kidding. We agree on most and when we disagree it can get ugly. The thing that she has taught me after hours on the phone and listening to me vent is to not worry about what will happen, just do whats best and what you honestly feel is right. She is a very smart person who I look to when I need a good kick in the ass. I met her through a mutual friend and am forever thankful that I have her in my life. She is smart, dedicated and outspoken. Gail is someone I see myself knowing for a very long time. I will always value the confidence and trust and faith she has in herself and what she believes in.
3. Kellie Stevens – @KellieAFP on Twitter. Kellie Stevens is one person who doesn’t give up. Legal threats, major corporations and even some threats directly on her home doesn’t stop her from helping to bring awareness to theft and unethical marketing practices. Her dedication to her beliefs and studies is not only admirable, but she helps to shape an industry and teach people how to increase their bottom line by removing theft. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t know what a toolbar was or how people were stealing from my Clients. Kellie is one of the people who single handily shaped my career by showing me the dirty side of Marketing and trusting that I would do the right thing. Without her I would probably be one of those idiots sitting at a desk doing what a Network or what Google tells me is the right thing instead of looking for what is really happening and what you really need to do. I owe a large part of my career in Affiliate and SEO to her and am thankful to have her as a friend.
4. Lisa Picarelli – @LisaP on Twitter. I had known Lisa for a pretty long time but never really got to know her until a couple years ago. I got stuck in a snow bank a couple winters ago in the middle of Indiana and when I finally got unfrozen and thawed out Lisa came out of her warm hotel room to come gossip with me. Not only has Lisa had an amazing career as a Chief Editor of a major publication, but she is also one of the smartest and most loyal people I have ever seen. If you are a friend of Lisa’s there isn’t a thing in the world she wouldn’t do for you. She is absolutely one of the best people I have ever met and anyone who is lucky enough to become friends with her knows it. Loyalty and brains are two things not not commonly found together. Lisa has both and many other incredible qualities and I feel very fortunate to be able to be friends with her.
5. Beth Wallace – Not sure who she is on Twitter. I recently went in house with a company and had about a million mixed feelings about it. A big announcement was made in the company today which threw me for a huge loop and will possibly cause a giant change in my life again soon which got me worried. One of the reasons I went on board with this company was a woman who consults for them named Beth Wallace. Not only is she incredibly bright but she is probably one of the most level headed and stable thinkers I have ever seen. It is rare that I would honestly say I look up to someone or would want to work for them, especially after only a limited time meeting them. However in a few short weeks I can say that about her. Beth is an extremely accomplished Direct Marketer and she is currently consulting with a few different companies. If anyone ever needs someone with a sound head on their shoulders and solid unbiased thinking, Beth Wallace is a person that can do that. The reality is that Beth just gets it and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion. She gets when it is right and when it is wrong and is a natural problem solver. She encourages people to speak up, but to do it in the proper way. She is someone who I hope to keep in contact with for a very long time.
There are a ton of other women who have inspired me and that I rely on for advice, friendship and inspiration. Some of them include Lisa Riolo who is probably the smartest person I know, Tricia Meyers who is always so positive it is scary. Rexanne Mancini who is a natural born fighter. Cindy Ballard who just doesn’t give up, especially with airlines. You have Leader who has more brains and is better at creating SEO strategy than anyone should ever be able to. Women like Karen Garcia and Kristin Kinsey who I probably wouldn’t survive marketing shows without. I feel very fortunate to have some of the smartest women in the world like Jen Goode, Kim Salvino, Jilly Beans, Liz Gazer, Debra Broderick and Jeanine Crooks in my network of friends and contacts and want to thank everyone else who I didn’t list here. There are many more of you and each of you have inspired me in one way or another. Happy Holidays and thank you again for being a part of my life.
Here is a song that I think sums up what they have taught me.