8 People I Highly Regard (Who Are Still Alive)

A while back I wrote a post on Guides. Guides help to shape us and also help to move us from one point along our story arc to another. The crazy part about the modern world is that we can choose our own guides and be guides to others without ever shaking their hand or sitting down for coffee. Many of my guides are people I have never met (though I hope to some day). I have gleaned so much from the gentlemen below and I just wanted to share a little of their stories with you so that perhaps you can learn from them as well.


Donald Miller

I was handed a book called Blue Like Jazz over the summer of 2012 while I was traveling with a mission team around the US. I read it in two days and immediately read Searching for God Knows What. I couldn't get enough! This author - Donald Miller - has such a conversational writing style that captivated my attention. Since, I have read all four of his books (a new one comes out in a few months). Through his memoirs, he has taken me through the enormous struggles of his life and shown me how it resolved. The stories have taught me so much about faith, story, and life. I urge you, at least to read his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. You'll want to go conquer the world when you put it down. Site | Twitter

Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy came to my attention when I became heavily involved in photography. He first struck me because he put out incredible work but as I researched him more, I realized where this guy's heart was. He grew up singing in his church, is an outspoken Christian and has a lovely family, is adopting two Haitian babies (Yay!) and has given back in a number of different ways such as Help PortraitSite | Twitter

Zachary Levi

I stumbled upon the TV show, Chuck, a during its second season and it has retained its spot as my all-time favorite TV show ever since. Zac starred in the show as Chuck and I immediately loved his style. After reading a bio on him in Relevant magazine I found out he is a Christian! A few years later he voiced Flynn Rider on Tangled (my favorite Disney movie) and starred in the Broadway show, First Date. There's a lot to be said for the guy who has made it in Television, Movies and Stage performance. Site | Twitter

Chris Guillebeau

As an avid blog reader it was only a matter of time before I came across Chris' work. He runs the blog, The Art of Non-Conformity. I actually found out about him by reading two of his books (this one and this one) which both made a tremendous impact on my life and business. He writes at ChrisGuillebeau.com on living the unconventional lifestyle. Site | Twitter

Chase Jarvis

As far as I can remember, Chase was my first photography hero - he had it all! His portfolio was epic, he maintained an incredibly informative blog (Here's an interview with Chris Guillebeau by Chase Jarvis - super good!), and he had several crazy creative personal projects. Of course, he hasn't ceased to amaze me. In 2010 he co-founded Creative Live which is an online educational platform hosting "creative classes from the world's top experts." Categories include:

  • Photo & Video
  • Art & Design
  • Music & Audio
  • Craft & Maker
  • Money & Life

If you're a creative entrepreneur, you've got to check it out! Every class live-streams for FREE. Of course, if you miss it but still want to see it, you can purchase the course. Anyway, Chase has had a huge influence on my life unbeknown to him. Site | Twitter

Timothy Ferriss

If Chase is my oldest hero, Tim is my most recent hero. (Here's an interview with Chase Jarvis by Tim Ferriss - you'll understand if I freak out about this one) Long story short, the guy is brilliant. A few of his accolades include Chinese National Kickboxing Champion, first American to hold a Guinness World Record in Tango, horseback archer in Japan, hurling competitor in Ireland, MTV Breakdancer in Taiwan, Princeton University Guest Lecturer and speaker of five languages. He self-brands himself as a human guinea pig which, if you have heard of his books The 4-Hour WorkweekThe 4-Hour Chef and The 4-Hour Body, you'll know exactly what he means by this.

In my life, he has revolutionized my thinking on productivity, entrepreneurship, lifestyle design, learning and experimentation. Site | Twitter

Jon Acuff

I found Jon Acuff through his blog, Stuff Christians Like. After becoming quite addicted to his writing, I read his book Quitter... then his book START. Now, we're pretty much besties because he follows me on Twitter so...

I would highly recommend the guy's work and even highly-er recommend this video of his convocation at Liberty University. Brilliant stuff! Site | Twitter

Dave Ramsey

Okay Dave... in a nutshell, the guy took all of my thoughts on money (which were fairly small), wadded them up, threw them out the window, wrote a new list of thoughts and I'm a better man for reading it. If you haven't gone through his Financial Peace University, it will change the way you perceive finance in a good way! Make sure to get the audio series - his voices is addicting, seriously. Sometimes I put on his CD just to listen to him tell stories about when he was a kid... did I just say that? Site | Twitter

These gents, though I don't personally know them, have been mentors in my life, shaping my thinking, guiding my decisions, and teaching me. who are your guides?

Cover image by Irregular Productions