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My Top 4 Business Influencers and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

Cat LeBlancEvery great athlete has a trainer. Every musician has a teacher. And every coach… Has a coach!

I’m always surprised when coaches don’t want to talk about who influenced them along their journey, or worse – don’t believe they need a coach themselves! I’m proud of my continuing education as a business owner — and I love to share the teachers that have had the most impact on me.

If you run in certain circles online, you will already know that the launch of this year’s round of BSchool has been going on, and it seems like just about everyone is an affiliate for the program and recommends it. Well, I’m not an affiliate for any of these wonderful people, but I do highly recommend them, and I want to share the biggest lessons I’ve gotten from working with each of them.

Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur

I did a one-off session with Natalie last year when I was thinking of running a contest to build my list and also give back to my community. I had been following her for some time and I got WAY more than I expected from our session together.

Natalie gave me the advice I was looking for about the contest, but she also wanted to know about my business direction. I explained to her that I was planning on creating a membership site full of content where I could reach lots of people and guide them through the process of finding their business idea and starting their business.

At this point Natalie started to dig deep to find out my motivations behind this type of business model (and I pride myself on knowing about business models).

She uncovered that what I really want is to MAKE SURE people get the results they are looking for. I realised through speaking to her that the membership site model is not for me; I was actually getting talked into it by seeing it all around me.

What I really want is to be able to work in a way that is leveraged but also really ensure people get the results. No one can fall behind. That was the foundational idea that led to my Business Startup Bootcamp.

Lesson: Just because it seems like everyone is doing something, doesn’t mean it’s the right path for you.

Ramit Sethi of iwillteachyoutoberich.com

To say I am a massive fan of Ramit’s is a bit of an understatement. I have been following him since the beginning of my business journey and I buy almost everything he creates — even his course “Dream Job,” which is for people looking for their dream job, when I don’t even want a job! Because he is just that good, I learned a tonne, even from a course that, on the surface, would seem irrelevant to me.

Ramit is a walking example of self improvement, which is very inspiring to me. He has transformed his business, life and body. He’s all about mastery and I think he does this amazingly well. He personifies Jay Abraham’s strategy of preeminence.

There are two main concepts that I learned from Ramit that really stuck with me and have influenced the way I do business.

The first is absolute integrity. Ramit won’t accept money from people who have credit card debt. That kind of integrity helped me make the choice that I simply won’t take on clients I can’t help.

Second is stepping out of the box and innovating, rather than just following the market. Ramit is now adding in real accountability to his ecourses, something I don’t see many people doing. I believe he is leading the way in creating amazing actionable content. As I mentioned with Nathalie, I am all about getting results, so this kind of thinking inspires and motivates me.

Lesson: Commit to absolute integrity with yourself and your business, even if that means going outside the box to improve the way things work.

Selena Soo of s2-groupe.com

Selena basically broke all the old-style networking rules by building relationships with people based on giving and trust. By doing this, she was able to launch her business and gain traction right away. She did something that many people would consider impossible: she launched with big name testimonials all over her website, and by doing that, created a new niche for herself. All while still being herself.

I love to see people out there not just throwing the word authenticity around but actually living it and making a huge difference to people’s lives while doing it. Selena showed me that authenticity isn’t just an overused catchphrase, it’s a way of life. And when you truly embody it, the old “rules” no longer apply.

I also learned that generosity can be a business model. So many people are afraid of the “freemium” model, but Selena proves that being outstandingly generous can reap huge rewards.

Lesson: Be yourself and be generous of spirit — even if everything around you says that won’t work.

Victoria Prozan victoriaprozan.com

I worked with Victoria right at the beginning of my business and she is responsible for my tagline and the term “Business Strategist & Venture Catalyst”.

Victoria champions creativity in business. In a world where everything is about formulas and blueprints, she shines a light on how creativity shows up in business and also shows us how we are all creative.

Personally, I do tend to live in the left side of my brain, but through Victoria’s influence I am seeing how much creativity there is in business and how we do need to bring our whole selves to the table. There is creativity and individuality in how we approach everything we do from social media strategies to more traditionally creative things like writing and designing.

And I feel like this is so important, because that creativity is what makes your business uniquely yours. Be creative and find the things that truly set you apart and help you thrive.

Lesson: Nurture the creativity in everything you do in order to make your business uniquely yours.

In fact, I feel like these four lessons and teachers have become the pillars on which I have built my business:

  • focusing on client results via Natalie
  • integrity and innovation via Ramit
  • generosity and authenticity via Selena
  • and boundless creativity via Victoria

We are all, of course, more than the sum of our parts. We absorb the lessons we are given from different teachers at different times and synthesize them into something wholly new. But even after we have internalised things and coaxed them to grow into something new, we owe a great deal to the teachers who planted the seeds.

I know I will always be grateful to my teachers, and I’d love to hear who your greatest teachers have been and what lessons you have taken away from them.

I’d love to hear your insights in the comments below…

4 Responses to My Top 4 Business Influencers and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

  1. Cat, You are an inspiration and influence for me so it’s fascinating to find out whom you admire in the business world. Thanks for letting us inside your virtual business black book. xx

  2. Love this list, Cat! Definitely gave me some new people to look up. My list is long but Kendrick Shope, Jenny Shih, Derek Halpern and Ash Ambirge are all on it for sure!

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