I thought I would try Chris Brogan’s idea about writing a Follow Friday post. In thinking about this, there are so many people I would recommend following but for today, I’m going to start with the four men I am around the most in my neighborhood. Randy Elrod, Michael Hyatt, Steve Anderson and Ken Davis. (Literally, we all live in the downtown Franklin area “Franklin Campus” if you will)
Randy Elrod @RandyElrod
Most of you know he is my mentor, closest friend and business partner. Honestly, if he really was just all of those things in my life and nothing more then I would be completely happy but the truth is he is not. He is that one of kind friend that comes a long and really teaches you what life really is all about and his example of how he lives life is really what impacts me the most. I also love watching how he and his wife, Chris, live out their love for each other and passionately pursue one another. Randy is always challenging me to think just beyond where I think I can go which makes me move forward that much more in life. If you follow him on twitter and read his blog, you will be educated, challenged and encouraged. I always am.
Michael Hyatt @MichaelHyatt
I came to know Michael and his wife, Gail, through Randy and Chris Elrod. Michael and Gail have become a dear friends over the past couple of years and any time we get to hang out with no agenda other than good conversation, we always have the best time. But I have to say… when we all start talking social networking, twitter, blogging, publishing… the geek factor in the room goes up about 100 percent and then we all go home to try new things we learned from each other. What I love about following Michael on twitter and reading his blog is the amount of information he puts out there is enough for anyone to learn from on any level. He is constantly looking for relevant content to share with anyone who is willing to read it… By the way, Happy Birthday Michael!
Steve Anderson @SteveTN
Steve is the guy in my life who I think actually travels more than me. He speaks weekly to insurance agents on how to engage their clients more effectively. He has mastered combining the social networking world and the insurance world into an easy place for his audience to really understand the digital world we live in and is always looking for new technology to try out. In his personal life, Steve and his wife Karen are a kick to hang out with. There’s always a conversation to be had and Steve can cook some meals that have sent us all home in awe. Let’s just put it this way… You put Steve Anderson and Randy Elrod in the kitchen together and the experience would be worth it’s own TV show. In the words of Randy when it comes to a masterfully prepared meal “It’s Heaven times ten thousand!” The combination of those two is a cooking powerhouse where every taste of the final creation is worth savoring.
Ken Davis @LitenUp
Ken and I have been friends for years. He is a comedian and speaker (yes there are times he speaks that don’t involve jokes) and he has been representing the work of Compassion International for a good while. I’ve been fortunate to travel with him on behalf of Compassion, which is a blast. But again… Ken is a friend. He is someone who dives into my life and like Randy, challenges me to think and to get very real with who I am. Any time I get to spend with him is precious and the humor involved is unprecedented. He and his wife Diane are a blast to hang with as well. We’ve been on cruises together, had dinner’s on the porch and made fun of his son-in-laws for far too long. I mean… what’s not to love about that! One of the coolest things I love about Ken is in the past two years he has tackled the triathlon world and has caught the bug. It just goes to show… no matter what your age, you’re always young enough to go after anything you set your mind too. Ken is in the best shape of his life and if you hang around him, his energy will rub off on you.
So those are the four guys in my immediate life you should follow today on twitter, but really… there is a fifth. He is not on twitter and is never on the computer. I’m not even sure he has an email address. But I’m going to give an honorable mention to our friend Les Clairmont.
Les and Patsy have moved to downtown Franklin, TN in the past year and have both been an incredible addition to our little family of friends. Les is always the life of the party. He’s incredibly funny and full of one liners and little songs he sings to us. But the greatest thing about Les is through his humor and example of how he lives his life is always throwing out little life lessons. I love Les because you just can’t be around him with out smiling and walking away having learned something from him.
I’m honored that I get to share my life with these men. Every man in this post is an influencer and they are all supported and partnered with wives who are great influencers in their own lives.
You see… we all need influencers and… I think… we all need to influence others. That’s kind of the idea behind Follow Friday. Influence others to follow someone who influences you.
So tell me… who are you influenced by?