People Who Have Inspired Me Through Hustle

In January, I watched the annual group of “top lists” roll buy with disgust.

What utter bullshit.

If anyone’s top list of anything is as vertically driven as those then that person should just lock themselves in their closet. The reality is that as humans everything inspires, influences, and shapes us. For me this is definitely true. I come from a non-marketing background, and have been influenced by people ranging in levels of success, and walks of life. Most people that influence me I have never, and likely will never meet. I pull my inspiration from a much larger pool.

I am most impressed by people who hustle against the odds to achieve success, regardless of the level of success.

Thinking about it more I realized that almost daily I think about certain influencers, some I know personally, some I obviously don’t, and decided it would be awesome to share such as list.

And so here they are, in no particular order (because this grouping of people is as random as it gets).

My Mom and Dad

Why they inspire me:

My Mom and Dad instilled the relentless drive for success and work ethic I have now. A bit of a gift and a curse. What really inspires me about them is that they always provided for me and my sister regardless of external influences. They created their own paths, and careers out of nothing more than hard work.

Daily takeaways:

Work harder than hard

Neil Patel

Why he inspires me:

When I first met Neil he was a dick to me (I probably deserved it). The second time I met Neil he really showed me how brilliant he is (and he wasn’t a dick). Neil is someone I look at on a constant basis to exemplify the hustle it takes to make it online. He has also been willing to share the lessons he has learned on He has followed a diversified path to success and that is what I admire most about him.

Daily takeaways:

Try new and different paths to success

Pete Cashmore

Why he inspires me:

Pete Cashmore has turned Mashable, and his own brand into one of the most valuable brands in Social Media. He jumped on social media before Youtube or Facebook were popular, or before Twitter even existed. He was truly a pioneer in the social media content space, and has continued to create a quality product over the last 5 years.

Daily takeaways:

See the possibilities in something new

Rae Hoffman


Why she inspires me:

I don’t know if someone’s story in the business and overall perspective has effected me more than Rae. She is not only an amazing online marketer, but she got to where she is through struggle, which is something I associated with right away. And now that she has success? Like any one who is truly motivate, she only wants more, which can be seen by the success of her consulting company Outspoken Media. (which she is partners with Lisa Barone and Rhea Dysdale)

Daily takeaways:

Never settle

Russell Simmons

Why he inspires me:

I group up completely immersed in hip hop culture, and there are very few business and cultural entities that I have more respect for than Russell Simmons. If you look at the history of Hip Hop/Rap’s emergence as a mainstream form of music, almost everything flows back to Simmons. He was also the industries first mogul, and major trendsetter. Mix all of that with the longevity of his success, and it is easy to see why I have so much respect for Russell Simmons.

Daily takeaways:

Be brave enough to create something entirely new

8 thoughts on “People Who Have Inspired Me Through Hustle

  1. Dave,

    This is a blog entry I will read again later because I enjoyed reading it that much. Bravo! Great post!


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