When I want to grow up, I want to be like….
As a tyke and a young adult, I had absolutely no idea.
My dad is a great guy and a good family man and there’s many things I’ve learned and carried from him. However, I didn’t really want to be a chemist. Blowing stuff up and recording lots of little notes isn’t my shtick.
My mom was an accountant. Enough said, right? How many of us find that interesting?
My grandfather was a postman. Both my grandmothers were teachers.
All of these are wonderful places in society, but it didn’t fit me. Didn’t interest me whatsoever.
I admired athletes--- but I was long and gangly and tripped over my feet. That wasn’t for me. I really couldn’t aspire to be like them. It wasn’t going to happen.
As I got into college, business and finance really resonated with me. I starting finding people that I wanted to be like.
I started to find mentors and role models and what my path looked like. I also found people I DIDN’T want to be like.
Here are five GREAT mentors and role models who I want to be like (or at least take some of the traits I admire the most):
Business Leader# 1: Warren Buffett
In case you’re not familiar, Warren Buffett is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. They are a HUGE company that invests in a bunch of other companies.
Some they own outright and some they own a piece of.
Here are some of the companies they own outright:
Here are some of the companies that they own a piece of:
38.6% of Pilot Flying J; 26.7% of the Kraft Heinz Company, and significant minority holdings in American Express (17.6%), Wells Fargo (9.9%), The Coca-Cola Company (9.4%), Bank of America (6.8%), and Apple (5.22%).
You can imagine, they are pretty wealthy company!! Warren and his partner Charlie Munger have built Berkshire Hathaway into the 5th largest company in the S&P 500.
Needless to say, he’s a pretty wealthy dude!
However, that’s only a small piece of what I admire about him.
- He is known for living in the same house for decades.
- He hasn’t lost himself in the fame and fortune.
- He stays humble and hungry
- He’s loyal to restaurants and brands
- He buys something and holds it for a very long time
- He sticks to his guns and convictions, but isn’t afraid to say when he’s made mistakes
- He drinks cherry cokes (and even has his face on some cans!) and eats burgers and is proud of it
- He plays bridge and other card games like a normal retired person
- He loves his job so much, he’s working into his late 80’s (currently 88)
- He’s giving away the vast majority of his wealth
- He has some awesome quotes and nuggets of wisdom. Here are two of my favorites
“The basic ideas of investing are to look at stocks as business, use the market's fluctuations to your advantage, and seek a margin of safety. That's what Ben Graham taught us. A hundred years from now they will still be the cornerstones of investing”
“During such scary periods, you should never forget two things: First, widespread fear is your friend as an investor, because it serves up bargain purchases. Second, personal fear is your enemy. It will also be unwarranted.”
Business Leader# 2: Jeff Bezos
If you don’t know his name, you know his brand!
Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com.
That’s right—the Amazon we all know and love. That ships us stuff we buy so we don’t have to leave the comfort of our own homes. That has created a huge demand for the cloud so we can leave our hard drive space minimized.
Like Warren, he is filthy rich. In July 2018, his net worth was estimated to be $150 billion. With his recent divorce to his wife, we can guess that’s probably gone down significantly.
However, he’s not only founded Amazon. He founded another company called Blue Origin which is taking spaceflight and interstellar travel to the next level. He’s competing with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to take people into space.
Here are some traits that I really admire about Jeff Bezos:
- He is hungry for more and doesn’t settle in one company or in one industry
- He came from a humble background. He was adopted and wasn’t someone destined to succeed
- As a kid, he rigged an electric alarm to keep his siblings out of his room
- He was one of the first shareholders in Google when he invested $250k in 1998. So, not only was he incredibly smart in developing his own company. He wasn’t afraid to take risks and invested very intelligently in other amazing companies. Today, those shares are worth over $3 billion!
- He is intellectually curious and puts money where his mouth is
Business Leader# 3: Pat Flynn
These first two names you are probably familiar with or you know their products.
This gentleman, Pat Flynn, you may not know.
He’s not a billionaire. He’s probably not even in the hundred millionaire club (yet).
However, he is an amazing business leader and someone who I really, really admire.
He is the founder of Smart Passive Income podcast. Check it out here.
In his podcast, he’s been on this journey to develop multiple streams of income and have it be ‘passive’. Honestly, passive is a sexy name and is probably a misnomer. I suggest ‘residual’ income instead of ‘passive’ because you have to work at it.
Anyhow, there’s this new term out there called “content marketing” and Pat is the king of it! No, he’s the emperor. No, he’s the….. I don’t know. He’s at the top and he’s awesome.
Basically, the idea is to provide valuable content for people to consume--- like hopefully, you’re getting value out of this blog and other ones on www.DavidDenniston.com. You might want to create a podcast or you might want to start a video blog or you might want to write a book.
I have done ALL of these things and I’ve always found Pat’s advice to be rock solid.
Check out his books:
Here’s some of the things that I admire about Pat:
- He’s authentic and genuine
- He has a bunch of multiple streams of income and businesses, proving that it works and he doesn’t just teach people how to do it. He actually DOES it himself
- He has launched multiple podcasts and blogs
- He’s curious and constantly trying new things. He experiments!
- He loves his family and they are super important in his life
- He’s taken a few pictures with me!!
Business Leader# 4: Elon Musk
I’m sure you know this name!
Co-Founder of PayPal
Founder of Tesla
Founder of SpaceEx
Founder of the Boring Company
Co-Founder of Neura Link
According to Wikipedia…
He holds South African, Canadian, and U.S. citizenship. Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk moved to Canada when he was 17 to attend Queen's University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received an economics degree from the Wharton School and a degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He subsequently co-founded Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million in 1999. Musk then founded X.com, an online bank. It merged with Confinity in 2000 and later that year became PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
In addition to his primary business pursuits, Musk has envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a vertical take-off and landing supersonic jet electric aircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet. Musk has stated that the goals of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the risk of human extinction by establishing a human colony on Mars.
This dude doesn’t know when to stop! He has this whole history of starting, stopping, selling. He has so many interests that he makes MY head spin and that’s saying something!
He has his fingers in so many pots that I don’t think he has any fingers left.
Here’s what I admire most about him…
- He really wants to make a difference in this world
- He really cares about the products that his company produces
- He also cares deeply about his customers and wants to make sure that they have amazing experiences. He’s been known for tweeting back at customers when something goes wrong and then try to help fix the problem.
- The impact he’s had on the world with PayPal and Tesla and how he’s focusing on the future. I think he genuinely wants to help people and isn’t just paying lip service
- He is truly himself and doesn’t really care what people think. His appearance on the Joe Rogan show was the stuff of legend.
Business Leader# 5: Ryan Deiss
Similar to Pat Flynn, you probably haven’t heard of this guy either!
However, for someone like me who creates content and is looking to grow his business, I really admire this guy.
Like some of our other friends, he started his business, Digital Marketer, out of his dorm room.
He’s friendly and out-going and just a regular dude.
He’s the kind of guy you want to hang out with!
However, he’s also a super savvy businessman.
He’s built a whole team around courses teaching people how to monetize their marketing efforts on Facebook and YouTube and Instagram and LinkedIn.
They’ve built certifications and various programs that are not only super helpful and educational, but they are also done with excellence.
I’ve bought a few of their courses and I’m a super cheap guy! As a matter of fact, I would pay to get some of my staff certified so that they are better educated on various platforms.
- He’s upfront and honest and doesn’t BS
- He loves his family and insists on a regular schedule so that he doesn’t work 80 hour weeks
- He has created a really large team and grown Digital Marketer by doing the things that they recommend others to do
- They’ve diversified their content strategy—doing blogging, video logs, podcasts, and pretty much any kind of media you can think of
- He’s had multiple streams of revenues and businesses and has led large $ masterminds
- He’s also taken a picture with me…. =-)
So…. Those are my favorite business leaders… who are yours?
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation.
Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for specific guidance.