7 People Who Will Inspire You, Make You Smile & Teach You Something in 2016

I was a little surprised when I realized I hadn’t written a post like this in a LONG time.

Like a REALLY long time.

It also got me super excited because nothing feels as good as giving a shout out and helping to spread someone else’s message (note to anyone still stuck in old school marketing: you CAN share what other people are doing, it won’t take away from you. #justsayin). If by any chance you read my recent post on Content Formatting Plugins that Will Surprise & Delight You, you know that I have a process for creating my posts now (I say now because this is somewhat of a new strategy, but that’s for another post). I write directly in my WordPress editor and test & tweak along the way.
I’m reiterating this here because as I came up with the idea for this post I wasn’t sure how to list everyone or categorize them?

My solution?

Alphabetical of course, by last name (when you’re spreading the love it’s O.K. to be diplomatic… and of course because all of these awesome people are unique and not really ‘definable’ by category).

Without further ado, if you’re looking for entrepreneurs who inspire AND provide value? Here’s 7 fantastic people to start with!

1) Sandi Eveleth

I had to good fortune of working with Sandi last year. Sandi reached out to me via Twitter and asked if I had any space for new coaching clients. After our first Skype call I knew instantly that Sandi was someone I would stay connected with long after our work together concluded, and for good reason (well, many good reasons).
Sandi is BRILLIANT at making connections! This is an area I hadn’t ever given much thought to in terms of having a strategy… until working with Sandi. Sandi came to me not quite sure of the direction of her business but discovered that she has a natural talent for connecting people and fostering relationships. And not in a smarmy, star struck kind of way. In a natural and genuine way that brings value to both people. I’ve watched her brand take off over the last year and know that 2016 is going to be an amazing year for her. If you’re looking to ‘Make ALL the Right Connections’, you need to connect with Sandi. She’s the real deal.
[button url=”http://www.sandieveleth.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Sandi[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

2) Lee Jackson

I just recently connected with Lee and knew instantly we’d get along. Lee reached out to me to interview me for his podcast, WP Innovator. Of course I said yes. Lee hails from the U.K, just launched his podcast (which is for Design and Web agencies, even though my interview went in a few other directions… no surprise there). Lee has his own agency where they take clients PSD’s and do the coding. At the beginning of the interview I learned that much like myself, Lee is a huge fan of all things Disney (he had me do my cartoon voice on the interview) and is a fellow optimist (we shared our mutual love of Pollyanna as well). Here’s why I think you need to connect with Lee and follow what he’s doing: He’s a genuinely great guy whose goal is to provide value and connect with his audience. I love seeing people create their own space within WordPress (and even if your business isn’t a WordPress business, connect with him and follow him) by showing up, simply as themselves (you do see my theme here with #JustShowUP, right?). We’re going to see a lot more of Lee in 2016, starting with here, in a podcast interview for The WordPress Chick Podcast. And pretending I have a crystal ball and can see into what the future holds for him, my guess is Lee is going to surprise himself with how he shows up next year.
[button url=”http://leejacksondev.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#e05455″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Lee[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

3) Brandon Lewin

You may have heard me refer to Brandon as my ‘secret weapon’ on my podcast or when I introduced him to you through our webinar (his content, I had the privilege of hosting). Brandon and I connected earlier this year and hopped on a Skype call (for the life of me I can’t remember what the original call was about) but we hit it off instantly. We connected again when I had my first Periscope and he hopped on. I was sharing that I was NOT fond of doing metrics but knew it needed to be a key element to my new content strategy and Brandon mentioned that was what he did (whaaaaaat?). Fast forward to now and he’s helping me with ALL my analytics, keywords, tagging, etc. so my new content strategy kicks ass! I never thought I’d enjoy the analytical side of things but Brandon has a way of making it fun (remember I’m the gal who said “if it’s not fun, I’m not doing it”). If you’re looking for a company to help you with all this you might want to reach out to Brandon sooner rather than later (before his calendar of clients is full). Plus, he’s fun and appreciates my humor (not sure if that would be considered an endorsement? 🙂 ).
[button url=”http://brandonmlewin.com” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#95aa4d” size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Brandon[/button]

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4) Jon Perez

Jon isn’t a stranger to The WordPress Chick community, but he’s kicking things up a notch and 2016 is going to be a big year for him! Pulling out my crystal ball again… this will be the year Jon leaves his 9-5 behind and goes full-time with all the awesomeness that he is and does. He’s recently launched SureFireDesigns and will be bringing you a new podcast in 2016, Dev to Millionaire (LOVE IT!). I’m grateful to consider Jon a good friend but more importantly, I know he’s here to do great things. Jon is a great example of stepping into “Using Your Voice” (not that he didn’t before, but as he’s grown his business it’s become glaringly obvious that he has SO much more to offer than web development). He’s brilliant at what he does, is committed to fully showing up with everyone and adores his family (how can you not dig someone who stays true to themselves and knows what’s REALLY important?). I know Jon is growing SureFireDesign as well as a few other sides to his business but I think you’re going to hear more from Jon Perez that resonates with you beyond web dev and design.
[button url=”https://surefirewebservices.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Jon[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

5) Mike Pisciotta

I was recently connected to Mike via a mutual friend, Joshua Sprague, and am SO grateful for the connection! I’ve got an upcoming podcast episode with Mike but wanted to introduce you to him before then. Like all of us, Mike has a pretty amazing story and one you don’t often hear in our space. Mike spent 10 years in prison and now has a thriving online business with his wife Robin. You’re definitely going to want to catch the podcast episode (coming soon!) because not only is Mike super fun to listen to, if you get NOTHING else out of the interview I promise you that you’ll walk away inspired (but truth be told, Mike doesn’t disappoint and fully #showsup). I hit it off with Mike instantly and felt like we could have talked for hours. I’m excited to see where next year takes their business (which is already doing really well). Mike and I have already talked about some collaboration for next year (webinars!) which I KNOW will be a blast (I am SO over webinars that teach NOTHING. I’ve tried them, they don’t work. Mike is of the same school of thought).
[button url=”http://www.marketingyourpurpose.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#e05455″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Mike[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

6) Christine Sheehy

You probably remember Christine from the podcast interview we did (or maybe you attended her webinar?). I had the good fortune of connecting with Christine a few years back through an online program and we just hit it off. Christine is brilliant with copywriting (something I moan about way too often… although I have to admit I’m having more fun with it the more often I do it! Novel idea, huh?) and is one of the easiest people to like! She’s a published author and will be taking the world by storm next year with her services, courses and podcast (WOOHOO! I have to celebrate every time someone fantastic starts a podcast). She’s got a pretty magical skill of helping you find your own message and then pull that into your brand and all that you do (listen to the podcast interview and you’ll see what I mean). If you’re looking for help with your message and how you #showup with the written word, look no further! You’ve found everything you need with Christine! I’ll be sharing her podcast with everyone when it launches as well.
[button url=”http://www.christinesheehy.co” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#95aa4d” size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Christine[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

7) Allegra Sinclair

You had me at hello. 🙂 I’m either getting a little punchy or there’s something about Allegra that brings this out in me. I’ll let you be the judge. Allegra and I connected a few years back and I’m kind of not kidding when I say she had me at hello. Not only does she have this amazing voice, but she is whip smart and always puts a smile on my face (or cracks me up). Allegra has been ‘Allegrafying’ her brand for the last couple of years and she has definitely found her sweet spot. She has a brilliant podcast where she talks about “Punching Fear in the Throat” (how can you not love that???) and more importantly, being who you were meant to be in the world. She’s a champion for women (to which I can attest) and is a coach extraordinaire! She’s kind of a digital maverick (certainly is brilliant with WordPress) but her gifts go way beyond the technician side of things. I’m so long overdue for having her on the podcast, so stay tuned in early 2016 for an interview with Allegra (probably a blab because she’s totally piqued my interest ‘blabbing’). If you’re looking for inspiration and coaching with some brilliant wit, look no further.
[button url=”http://allegrasinclair.com” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Connect with Allegra[/button] [divider top=”no” size=”2″][/divider]

So there you have it!

I expect to be doing more of these types of posts in the upcoming year. It kind of reminds me of that ‘no such thing as a selfless good deed’… only because I feel as good writing about these peeps as I hope they will feel when they see this post. 🙂

Of course if you have someone fantastic you’d like to introduce me to, connect me with, etc., by all means get in touch!

Quick Tip: If you’re ever stuck with what to write (which fortunately wasn’t the case with me this time… I have plenty of those moments though), this is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, introduce your audience to some great people and simply do something that feels good for everyone involved.

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  1. Amazing!! Thanks so much for mentioned me too!! I definitely clicked every link and followed everyone on twitter 😀 Time to make some new connections!!! Thanks so much Kim, great list, so honored, you rock!

    1. You are a TRUE rockstar & friend Jon! You’re here to do something big with your life – I know it. I’m grateful to be on the journey with you!

  2. OMG! Thanks, Kim. #LOVEiT! You’ve been a great inspiration, a phenomenal mentor and coach, and now a life-long friend. Thanks for your tutelage (which went FAR beyond what I ever expected) and helping me find my true passion and purpose in life.

    I, too, will connect with everyone on Twitter. Thanks, Jon 🙂

    1. You are so welcome Sandi!
      I love that you ‘walk’ your talk all the time. Can’t see where this new year takes you, it’s going to be amazing!

  3. Thank you Kim! Such a delightful surprise to find myself on here – you know the admiration comes right back at ya! I agree with Jon, I’ll be following everyone on the list and watching what they’re up to in 2016

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