Boy George was my pre-teen idol.

I’m not ashamed to admit that.

I loved how he dressed. I loved his music. I loved everything about him – or rather everything I perceived about him.  I admired how didn’t live according to other people’s expectations and seemed to have overcome a lot of trouble in his life.

It was okay that I didn’t have the whole story.

Later I realized that he was a symbol for the way I wanted to live my life.  And of course as soon as I was old enough – I realized that I didn’t want his real life at all – I just wanted my perception of his life.

Cut to today and I’ve got a short list of entrepreneurs and businesses I admire – in the same way really.

A few things have changed of course…

  • I don’t have posters of them on my wall
  • I don’t talk to said posters before I fall to sleep
  • I don’t write stories about meeting them one day or try to dress like them

(phew! send out the teenage crush alert, right?)

But I do look at the way I see these people live their lives and operate their businesses…and now that I’m building my own online business (and am no longer 13!) – I’m able to pinpoint the exact reasons I admire them, plus I get to also learn more about the type of business I want to build.

The Fabulous Four

I discovered Marie Forleo before I had a fully fleshed out business, but I got the chance to work with her in a more collaborative way on the first 2 B-School launches.

She was kinda like a supportive mom figure to me in those early days, one that encouraged me regularly and continues to inspire with her consistency.

It’s that consistency in her business that I resonate with.  It’s also her honesty. When something stops working for her business – she acknowledges that and is able to reframe and revise what she’s doing without breaking a sweat.

Qualities that I like to bring in my business – no surprise: honesty, consistency, support. They don’t call her Mama Marie for nothin’…

Laura Roeder was my work bestie for 3 years.  We hit it off right away and I continue to see her business as a evidence of a few key things done right in online business: how to create online products and courses for raving fans, how to find amazing, talented people who want to see you succeed, how to stop being a bottleneck in your business, and how to NOT be afraid of testing every single piece of your business.

So – it’s pretty clear what I want to pull into my own business – structure compelling offerings based on what your audience wants (not what you want), hire a great team, improve my delegating skills, and test as often as possible without being emotionally tied to the outcome.

Thanks Laura – I’m on the path to all 4 already!

Now Danielle LaPorte is an interesting one for me.  While she’s often a mysterious sage-like force that I admire from afar – I recently had a shift.  Like last night recently.

I used to go listen to her because as I confessed to her just last night, “I wanted to be juiced up by you.”  And of course – I love her books, get what she’s sharing in the world, and know that when she’s on stage – she’s in her element.  Dude – she’s a rockstar.

But there’s been a shift. I stood shoulder to shoulder with her last night and I felt it.  No more idolizing, no more she’s there – I’m here.  I realized in a moment of pure clarity that she and I are sisters! We’re struggling with the same things every day–same decisions, similar to do list, similar boundaries, just different set of whats.

Being around her makes me feel connected to my deepest why I do what I do – that I love connecting and “juicing” people up. I’ve always wanted that – from when I was singing at open mic nights in Los Angeles to now as I encourage people to launch their big (often scary ideas).

The quality I look to bring into my own business is the connection I feel when I’m listening to her speak. Connection is like fireworks for me – it’s something I aim to do when I’m coaching, writing, and teaching workshops or programs.  If I’m not connecting – it’s kind of like – what is the point?

So yes, Danielle – I do know and thank you for reminding me.

And finally – one more on my admiration list.

Erika Lyremark is a woman that has scared me and supported me for the last year.  I joke that I can’t quit her and I like to be around her because she “scares” me.  But the truth is – I love how she operates without operating.

She sets boundaries with her customers.  She is clear about what she can and cannot support. She holds herself and others to a high standard.  She’s always direct – and never lets you off the hook.  But she’s like a proud mama too.

And guess what people – the boundaries, the expectations, the proud mama – that’s what I strive to be in my own business with my own customers, in my own life, and what I work to bring into my programs.

Please keep scaring me Erika – I need that!

What does all this admiration mean to my business?

What I admire – is a direct reflection of what I want to bring into my own life or business.

  • Clear decision making skills
  • Honest assessment of business activities
  • Supportive to customers, non-customers, everyone in audience
  • Always asking questions – what’s working? what needs improvement?
  • Willing to test everything
  • Willing to take a chance
  • Willing to care deeply while still making clear boundaries
  • Able to inspire, juice people up
  • Able to hire amazing collaborative team
  • Willing and Able to get out of my own way + delegate.

The key to admiring another business the right way

The truth is that I admire lots of online business owners.  I look at their business model, how they launch, what they’re offering.  I admire anyone who’s starting a business and can keep pushing through day after day to make it happen.

I don’t admire them because I want what they HAVE. I want to find a way to bring those traits that stand out to me into my own business.  It’s almost like each woman is in my business swipe file.

And if you’ve heard my rant on email swipe files – you’ll know what my stance is pretty simple –  you don’t actually swipe them.

When something or someone stands out to you as possibly useful for your business, look at the following instead of just being a copycat:

  • determine the intention (even if it’s from your pov and “wrong”)

  • discover what elements of that person’s business stand out to you

  • decide to use or implement the elements that will help you elevate your own business.

But most importantly – Implement the “how they create” not the “what they are creating”.

How to use your admiration list

So you’ve got a list of people you admire or businesses you admire. So what.

What do you do with it?

Don’t just let it sit in your stack of papers or to do lists or gather dust.

Look at it often to decide what fits, what doesn’t, and to discover something new that will help you either grow or understand something about your own business.

I’ll be pulling out my complete list – later this month when I’m launching the next round of Fearless Launching – I’ll go to the list for inspiration and to see how I can pull in more of the qualities I admire and respect about the businesses I admire most.

I encourage you to do the same – especially when you’re creating a new product, writing a new blog series, launching a new service.

What businesses or entrepreneurs do you admire and what qualities or standards or way of operating can you pull into your own business?


Woo hoo – weekly commitment to Natalie Sisson’s 30 Day Blog Challenge is COMPLETE!

If you’d like to see other posts about the same topic of who you admire and why – go to Day 9 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Natalie is an ace at getting people to take action – heck – I didn’t need any convincing to participate in this challenge!

Thanks Natalie!!