3 Lessons from the Thought Leaders I Admire Most


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By Matt Johnson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Today’s topic is deeply personal to me, but I’m going to pull out lessons that are really applicable to anyone in the thought leadership game.

When I think about the thought leaders I look up to, admire and respect the most, these are the top 5 who have impacted and influenced me in various ways.

  1. Tim Ferris - He thinks like no one else I know, and his engineer/architect approach has heavily impacted how I think and approach problems.
  2. Derek Sivers - He popularized the concept “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no”. He has an ability to pierce right to the heart of a challenge and come up with a simple rule of thumb to deal with it.
  3. Richard Koch - He went from consultant to half billionaire through just a handful of key investments, and he spends his days almost exactly like I do - mornings are for work, afternoons are for walks and reading and thinking.
  4. Seth Godin - He understands the philosophy of marketing at a deep level and I love that.
  5. Mark Sisson - He’s one of the OG's of ancestral health, he consistently publishes on his blog and has built a huge audience around his Primal Blueprint.

Lessons learned:

  • They can't help but teach, train and lead. Listen to Mark Sisson on Rogan, he's a great example. He didn't perfectly promote his book, in fact he said flat out it's all the same principles he's been teaching for 20 years just in a format that's more accessible
  • They design their life to suit themselves and their personality, not the demands of others. Seth Godin selects speaking gigs based on proximity to NYC and the travel logistics. He doesn't say yes easily. Tim Ferris shows up at the events that are strategic and otherwise focuses on the podcast and writing books. Richard Koch spends a good chunk of his days writing, thinking, and managing his investments.
  • None of them appear to be driven by the latest marketing trends. They have all found a way to build an audience that suits them and stuck with it. Tim Ferris and Seth Godin both have their blog and their podcasts. The others use podcast Guest Interviews to reach more people and promote books, where I'd love to see them start their own. These folks that are extremely influential in their spaces have found the marketing form that works for them and have stuck with it for the long haul.

There’s a bunch of other thought leaders that could have made this list, but those are the ones that stuck out to me for the way that they run their life, their impulse to teach, train, lead, and the fact that they don’t just on the latest marketing trends and yet they still do fantastically well.

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