Have A Business Hero You Admire?

12 March 2012 Entrepreneurship

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Are there times were you want to quit?

Well there are times when we feel down and need some inspiration. We all know that there are plenty of people out there that we look up to, but who is your business hero?

So to get you feeling motivated, here are some great business people to get you inspired.

1. Stephen M.R. Covey

Because I see trust as a crucial element in business success, I deeply admire Stephen M.R. Covey. He wrote the wonderful book Speed of Trust, where he demonstrates that trust–which he defines as others’ confidence in both your competence and your character–and makes a business case for success as a high-trust business.

I was so impressed with this that I asked him to write the foreword for my own latest book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (and was thrilled when he agreed).

Thanks for the insight provided by:


Shel Horowitz, Author


2. Alan Mulally

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, is hands down one of my top business leaders. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership by seeing where the flow was going and started taking action to keep Ford a viable and growing company while other vehicle manufacturers such as Chrysler and GM continued with the status quo.

In a culture where so many are taking the easy way out with government assistance, bailing out, etc., Mulally continues to be a forward thinking leader and may return Ford to the number one car manufacturer not only in the US, but in the world.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith, Chief Results Officer


3. Tory Johnson

My business hero is a woman who has risen from unemployed to the very pinnacle of her career, and who has done so without compromising her ethics or her commitment to her family. Tory Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Women for Hire, a business that helps female entrepreneurs achieve more success in all aspects of their lives ­ especially in business.

Tory is also a regular contributor on Good Morning America and numerous TV and print media across the country. She¹s been a mentor and a role model for me, and she has been enormously generous with her time and her influence, but not just with me. It¹s her generous attitude and genuine concern for other people that have helped her achieve her success, and I strive to follow her example as I work to achieve my own success.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Marianne Carlson


4. Marie Forleo

In business, I look up to Marie Forleo of marieforleo.com. She is a successful women entrepreneur who found success online by infusing every aspect of her business with her own unique style and personality. I admire how she connects with her audience and the clarity of her message. She also gives back with every program she offers so there’s greater meaning.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Emily Kristofferson, Marketing + Media


5. Gauri Nanda

My hero is Gauri Nanda, the CEO of Nanda Home and the inventor of Clocky (the alarm clock on wheels). She started her business right out of MIT as a student by looking at and solving a problem creatively. All business owners should learn how to think outside of the box like she does. Business should be about finding creative solutions to problems.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Barry Weinstein, President


6. Milton Hershey

As I’ve got older it became more than clear that my purpose in life was to make as much money as possible so that I could give it all away and do some good in the world. Big houses, cars, mean so little… You begin to look for a way to make a difference. One of my greatest inspirations was Milton Hershey who gave away his entire wealth while he was still alive!!

Not only that, he risked his entire fortune on his dreams including building a factory in the middle of nowhere before he even had figured out how to create the product. But he knew he would. As Henry Ford said, if you think you can or you can’t, it’s true!

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Craig Wolfe, President

CelebriDucks http://www.CelebriDucks.com/

7. Tory Johnson

Who do I admire in Business?

Tory Johnson, Workplace correspondent for GMA and CEO of Spark & Hustle and Women for Hire.

I admire Tory because not only has she proven her ability in building her own business and brand, she is teaching thousands of others how to be successful. Tory has created a forum (Spark & Hustle) for small business owners (mostly women) to be empowered to turn their passion into profits (a huge need in this economy). With her no-nonsense approach, she gets people from having that idea (Spark) to moving right into massive activity (hustle) to create a profitable income stream.

In addition to her savvy business skills what impresses me most is that she is creating a culture where women support each other, build each other up and endorse each other in business. Although Tory is bold, direct, smart and savvy, she also has heart and that to me is the secret ingredient to a leader that will not only be incredibly successful, but more importantly, change lives and to me, that is true leadership.

Thanks for your time. Pick Tory, you can’t go wrong with her as an example for women to follow!

Thanks for the insight provided by:


Pam Guyer, Founder

Executive NVP http://www.hippmoms.com/

8. Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball hands down is my personal business hero. In fact so much so I named my production company in honor of her Desilu Studios. I admire her perseverance after being told in her early years that she would never make it as an actress – yet she went on to win 4 Emmys and become the first woman to run a major television studio. This quote from her says it all “I’m not funny. What I am is brave.”

Thanks for the insight provided by:

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Kimberly Anderson, Lifestyle Expert, Host

Kikilu Productions

9. Alan Weiss

My hero in business is consultant, author and speaker Alan Weiss because he delivers the services he chooses to provide exceedingly well. He creates communities from those who follow him. He continually innovates by listening to clients and others so he’s never standing still.

He uses what he recommends to others, so he’s walking his own talk and enjoying the fruits of taking his own good advice. Through all of it, he remains balanced, able and willing to support charitable work, take vacations several times a year and enjoy his life.

Thanks for the insight provided by:


John Earl Carroll

Award-winning Columnist, Author, Consultant, Coach
President, Unlimited Performance, Inc.


10. Wayne Huizenga

My business Hero is Wayne Huizenga. This is not because I grew up a die-hard Dolphins fan but because of his amazing business journey. In 1968 Wayne started his career with a single garbage truck in Miami. By 1983 he was the largest disposal company in the US but didn’t stop there starting Blockbuster just 4 years later. I wouldn’t be able to cover the reasons he is my business hero in 5 sentences.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Zalmi Duchman, CEO


11. Norman Brinker

My business hero is Norman Brinker (Steak and Ale, Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Burger King, etc). I stumbled across his bio in a box of free books I had gotten and for some reason felt compelled to read it. It really changed the way I thought about business and how I went about accomplishing goals.

The book is a reflection of a man who worked hard, failed on occasion, worked harder, set goals, came back from near death – and succeeded. I’m so inspired by his leadership and ability to push past the bad and make something good happen, that whenever I’m faced with a business problem I jokingly say to myself “What Would Norm Do?”

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Andrea K. Rozman, Owner of Your Gal Friday


12. Jeff Bezos

What defines a business hero for me is someone who can literally create something from nothing. When I look at the great businessmen who have done that, Jeff Bezos immediately comes to mind. His passion and creativity lead the formation of Amazon.com, a company that has literally changed the way we buy practically everything. Jeff’s ability to think ahead and never let his businesses fall behind has been a driving factor in the way I work, he has been a great inspiration.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Jeff Lustig, Marketing & Business Development Manager


13. Nanette Lepore

My business hero is fashion designer Nanette Lepore. Did a story on her last year. She manufactures 85% of her merchandise in the US on principle. She makes the business model work, and claims not to sacrifice much in margins.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Erika Miller, Correspondent

Nightly Business Report

14. Michael Kittredge

Entrepreneurs that inspire me: Mr Kittredge inspires me because he was able to create an empire from candle wax and a string. He’s also very personable and has taught me to have a common sense approach to business.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Mychal Connolly, Co-Founder


15. My Dad

The person I look up to most in business is my dad. He is 79 years old, and still runs his textile business, that he started about 50 years ago…and runs it by himself. My dad has seen many changes in the industry, and when everyone else decided to retire, or shut down their business… my dad persevered, and changed with the times.

My dad is a very successful business man….he has raised 4 children… sent us all thru college, and graduate school… he even sent my mom to college…(cause she felt left out). He sent us to camp, taken us on trips…he really has worked so hard…and he is a wonderful success story of the “American Dream”.

Thanks for the insight provided by:


16. Sir Richard Branson

My business hero would have to be Sir Richard Branson. I love the primary ethos of his business group, Virgin, which aims to enter industries that they feel are under-serving consumers on price and quality.

On a personal level, Sir Richard appears to be a passionate and fun leader, which translates into the Virgin brand’s cheeky irreverence. Plus, how many of the world’s top entrepreneurs do you know that try to break high-adventure records in their spare time?!

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Dhanesh Shelat


17. Tim Ferriss

My business hero would have to be Tim Ferriss. He’s the author of two New York Times bestselling books — one about his automated finance process, The 4-Hour Workweek, and one about his self-experimenting fitness regime, The 4-Hour Body. He has made himself his entire business. That’s what his books are about — turning yourself into a worthy business and selling your strengths.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Ryan Holiday, Director of Marketing

American Apparel

18. Leslie Haywood

Leslie Haywood of Grill Charms is my business hero, because she took a simple idea and built it into a business, while dealing with a health crisis (breast cancer) and raising children. Grill Charms are small stainless steel tacks you put in your steaks prior to cooking to identify which are spicy, mild, medium, etc.

My product, Trip Me Not, is a long skirt that lets brides practice walking in a wedding gown, so they don’t trip on their big day. After launching my business, I happily got pregnant, but it turned very scary when it became a high-risk pregnancy.

Happy ending: I survived the pregnancy, and we have a healthy baby boy. Now I look to Leslie for inspiration about balancing children and business.

Thanks for the insight provided by:


19. Lisa Price

My business hero is Lisa Price, founder of the Carol’s Daughter line of beauty products. As an aspiring female mogul, I appreciate her humble grassroots beginning to now being a leader in the beauty & personal care industry. Her marketing savvy and instinct are impressive and inspire me to pursue my dreams. She is a positive role model for teens who takes every opportunity to share her story and encourage others.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Rasheda Kamaria

20. My grandfather and his 8 siblings

Has to be my grandfather and his 8 siblings. Came to the US after 20 years in Cuba b/c they couldn’t get in the first time.

They all helped each other and were great family men. They had their own businesses and were entrepreneurs before the term was cool or there was a college class on how to be one. Were true role models by examples, not just words. Grandpa died this past July at the age of 93 and 4 days. Living a great life and greater legacy. Fortunate I had 42 amazing years and the privilege of being his eldest grandchild.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Bill Begal

Begal Enterprises, Inc. Disaster Restoration Specialists

21. Lee Iacocca

Mine? Lee Iacocca. He’s old, granted, but the turnaround-miracle he performed at Chrysler not only saved the company and saved thousands of jobs for American workers, but it also restored faith in American performance. Additionally, he’s a tough talker and in tough times, we need such confident optimism.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Dr. Marlene Caroselli


22. Greg Muender

My business hero is our President and Founder, Greg Muender, who, at only 24, continues to amaze and inspire me with his ability to work through seemingly negative situations and turn them into opportunities that result in the benefit of all.

It all started when, after receiving three traffic tickets in three weeks, he started our company which now helps over 500 drivers every month. He continues to find opportunities to excel and grow with every hurdle, and he inspires each of our employees to make the best of each challenge they face throughout the day. He’s my hero in business and someone I respect dearly.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Sara Schoonover


23. Betsey Johnson

My business hero is fashion designer Betsey Johnson. She’s proven her longevity in a fickle industry through innovation and creativity. Her outlook on life is whimsical and her business continues to thrive.

Thanks for the insight provided by:

Kerri Quigley, Owner


24. Gary Vaynerchuck

Gary is a social media leader and is a living, breathing example of entrepreneurship that all should look up to. He started with his wine shop that is dad worked in and grew his empire over time. He know owns a digital agency in the city and wants to buy the New York Jets.

Thanks for the insight provided by:


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