A client and new friend, Shari Swoish, and I were speaking last week.  She mentioned that “Make a Difference Day” is coming up on October 22.   This is a day when we celebrate those who are making a difference to make the world a better place.   As Shari and I were speaking, a juicy idea came to me.  What if we all made a list of the 12 people who have made a big difference in our lives or businesses so we can show up at our best and send out the love?

Wouldn’t that be a great gift to share with the world?   So if you like this idea, make your list and share YOUR list via your blog, social media, ezine, and other ways you share your influence with the world.  It’s a gift we can share to express gratitude, and all kinds of great things flow from gratitude. I’ll start.

  1. Henry DeVries, New Client Marketing Institute – In 1985, I enrolled in an “Introduction to Public Relations Writing” course that Henry was teaching as UC San Diego Extension.  His encouraging words about a press release I wrote about the sex habits of the Komodo Dragons at the San Diego Zoo started me on the path to a career in the field that has been rewarding in ways too numerous to measure.   He was the coach I hired in 2001 to bring my very new business to the six-figure level.  Today, we are friends, colleagues, and co-collaborators.
  2. Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound –– In 2006, Joan explained to me how affiliate programs work, and she signed up to become my first one.  Within days, the publicity tips booklets I created earned fans around the nation, thanks to her influence.  She’s been a mentor, a colleague, and a friend since then.
  3. Susan Harrow, PR Secrets — In 2008, Susan was hosting a mega sale of some of the best information products in the world to help aspiring experts get known.  I was early along my journey and not especially well known for my expertise at that time.  Boldly, I asked Susan if she would consider including my content in her big event.  After thinking it over and considering my heart-felt appeal, she said YES.  It was the beginning of several great collaborations, including me hosting Susan for a big event in Seattle that opened up a new audience of fans for her work.
  4. Liz Goodgold, Red Fire Branding — Liz is the best prepared, most energetic, fun-to-work-with event partner I’ve worked with since I opened the doors to my business in 2001.  We met in February of this year, and that was a game changer for us both.
  5. Patricia Fripp, Patricia Fripp Speaking School — What Patricia Fripp did to upgrade my speaking skills in one weekend is nothing short of remarkable.   She gave me straight talk, tough love, and encouragement during that important weekend, and today she is a fan and advocate of my work.
  6. Drew Gerber, Michelle Tennant, Shannon Nicholson, Wasabi Publicity– In 2009, Michelle interviewed me for one of Wasabi Publicity’s popular Happy Hours.  It was my first time sharing a new talk about transforming boring bios from wallpaper to wow.  Listeners loved it, and I have since been engaged to share this popular talk by webinar, teleseminar, and live by scores or quality internet experts and professional organizations.
  7. Nancy Marmolejo, Viva Visibility — Nancy hosted a powerful event called I Heart My Biz last November and invited me to be a sponsor.  She knows how to produce “rock star” events that change lives — including mine.  The mindset shift she helped me make to stand in an on my value during that three-day event in Anaheim has been profound and powerful in my business and my life.
  8. George Kao, Online Marketing Training with George Kao — George Kao is known for teaching people to make the most of social media in just 15 minutes a day.  He also is someone who does an amazing job teaching people through the impact of webinars.   He has modeled his approach so I can embrace it in my own business.  He has also been  generous in guiding me to up my own game in social media as he’s advocated for how I serve to his extensive and very loyal community.  George, thank you.
  9. James Roche, Roche Marketing — Last year, I wanted to get really serious about turbo charging the information products aspect of my publicity tools and training company.   Over a series of nine 45-minute telephone sessions in 2010, James helped me get my game on in a much smarter and bigger way.
  10. Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing — A couple of years ago, Robert posted a question on a social network called Biznik to hear from someone who could change his mind about the value of publicity.  I responded in a thoughtful way.  That opened the door for Robert and me to have a phone conversation that led to me sharing my expertise with his Action Plan Marketing Club members.   Then, Robert invited me to attend a weekend event for collaboration at which I was introduced to some amazing new friends and co-collaborators who have since been influential in helping me to grow my influence and impact in a big way.
  11. Bill Baren, Bill Baren Coaching — Bill Baren was among the fabulous folks I met at Robert Middleton’s weekend event for collaboration.   He and I hit it off, and he invited me to attend a similar gathering at which I was introduced to a remarkable group of inspired business owners up to big things.  Since then, I’ve graduated from his Master of Enrollment program, served among the experts who contributed to his “Know Like Trust” Telesummit to share my “Rock Star Readiness” expertise,  and  signed on among the “movers and shakers” who are part of his Big Shift Coaching Experience.   What I appreciate most about Bill  — aside from his expertise, heart, and smarts — is that he was the first to see a vision for a bigger dream for me and my business beyond what I could see for myself.  And, he has helped me see it so that I can take smart action to bring that vision to life.
  12. Steve Juetten, Juetten Personal  Financial Planning — and my husband of almost 24 years — It’s a roller coaster ride of opportunity and challenge to start, grow, and reinvent a business over a window of 11 years.  My husband Steve has believed in me since we met in 1983.  His encouragement, love, and friendship are priceless beyond measure.

So, there you have it.  The 12 people who have made the most profound difference in my business so far.  If you are inspired by this post, create your own list of 12 and share it with the world between now and October 22, 2011 — which is the official date of Make a Difference Day.   It’s a great exercise that will mean something to the people you celebrate as you look forward to wonderful collaborations and successes still to come for all.