Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
At the very end of 2011, one of my dearest girlfriends gave me three questions to think about for the upcoming year: What are the lessons you’ve learned this past year? What do you want to leave behind? What do you imagine for your life in 2012?
I know myself very well, and in all prior years those three questions would’ve specifically had to do with work. But after four years my business was running at a level where it wasn’t dependent on me seven days and nights a week. That allowed me the freedom to invest my energies in life outside of work.
I got really clear about what I wanted to leave behind, and what I’d learned from past relationships gone wrong. I focused on the importance of finding my other half. Who was I looking for? I imagined the kind of person who would make a wonderful husband for me. Then, in January, I went out with him. I dreamed him up and he came true. Now we’re getting married and having a ball planning the rest of our lives.
Things happen when we get really clear about what we want. In 2007, after eight years of working in the media industry, I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Like a lot of folks, I worked in environments that were unhealthy and quite toxic. Life was not very fun.
I got quiet and spend some quality time thinking about the things that made me genuinely, extremely exuberant. I get a kick out of creating experiences, building a brand, and running a business.
It’s so important to be committed to the concepts we invest our time and energy in. Running a small business requires a lot of planning, but when we’re immersed in something that motivates us, it’s a whole lot easier to persevere.
We can’t rush it. If we try to force life to happen, something might happen, but it probably won’t be what we wanted. Instead, focus on the vision and let things happen when they’re supposed to.
After my third layoff, after a lot of preparation and tons of research, I wrote a business plan and brought my dream to life. My company, Sweet Revenge, is my cheeky revenge at working for bad bosses and ending up with a really sweet life.
– Marlo Scott