7 people who changed the way I think

Today's post is a series of links, to the websites/blogs of people I've been inspired by, who have influenced me most and who I keep coming back to for interesting ideas, thought leadership and the best approach. I have written a few words with each link but check them out for yourself. 1. Chris Guillebeau: The Art of Non-Conformity

I still haven't figured out how to pronounce his surname, but I was hooked, the first time I read anything that Chris wrote. His honest approach is beguiling in its appeal, and he walks his talk. Or I guess he talks his walk. Prepare to be surprised and wanting more.

2. Seth Godin

I have several of Seth's books and his is the first blog I go to when I want something to read. Seth's insights into how marketing works, the new biz, why people do stuff and using words like tribes are great. If you haven't heard of him already, go to.

3. Gretchin Rubin: The Happiness Project

I started reading Gretchen's posts because they 1) varied in length (!)  2) because they were full of ideas which she carried out, common sense approaches to family and work life, and 3)were all about being happy. I especially loved the fact she likes children's literature (relinquishing my own guilt complex!) and her interviews were not videos but transcribed in blog posts.

4. John Williams: Screw Work Let's Play

John was the first person I came across who talked about 'playing' instead of 'working'  - we should do the things we loved to earn money, not just settling for the fact that 'work' equally inevitable drudgery. In fact, he published a book call 'Screw Work Let's Play'. I attended John's scanner school and some of his scanners' nights in London and I have the book. Big Fan.

5. Pam Slim: Escape from Cubicle Nation.

I loved the title of Pam's blog, and her posts are full of experience, knowledge and collaborations with interesting people. I remember that one of the first blog posts I read, she describes how she was doing some consutling work with  corporate execs and she was faced with lots of crossed arms and glares (the same as she got from teenage gang members she encountered in her work in the City). She faced up to their hostility by saying: "Wow you look like the gang members I work with - what's up?" There was a moment's tension and then laughter. I thought, if Pam Slim has been in cubicle nation and come out of it like that, she is someone to know.

6. Marianne Cantwell: Free Range Humans.

Marianne works a lot with John Williams (see above) and it has been her emails/videos/teleclasses general wow look at me I have a fun life approach which makes it all seem real with the doing the work you love thing. Her clients stories are what kept me going (the shoes ones is good - see here) when I had no job and no idea of what to do.

7. Sarah Cooper: Cows from my window

Sarah is a careers coach, and I quit a rubbish job (rubbish for me!) right before my first session with her. The reason I chose Sarah as a coach is because she had trained as a solicitor (a path I'd nearly gone down) and I identified with that. So early in the days of my changing careers, but crucial ones and she was really challenging and taught me how to ask the right questions of myself, and start to get thinking to take action (most crucial thing in a career change). Sarah lived (until recently) in China with her young daughter, another startling discovery. I thought to myself, really, these people do surprising things!