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Here are the top ten people I am glad I met in 2014 and why!

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Alan Wiener, Holocaust Survivor – I had the chance to interview Alan and he said I could ask him any question I wanted to about his years spent in concentration camps and losing all 100+ members of his family. The thing that stood out the most was his attitude, humor and ability to find the positive in everything. He ended with saying “Instead of being bitter, I chose to be better!”

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Tom Rhodes, Comedian – He taught me how to laugh and make other people laugh on the spot! I went to his show with a friend of mine and he was so good at improvising and being his true self on stage! I left that night thinking, “Wow… I have a lot of work to do!” Make sure you are always working to be better at what you do!

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Sean Stephenson, Motivational Speaker – Sean had the best opening and closing of a speech I have ever seen! It was one of the most motivating stories I have ever heard and he got me fired up to bring my A-Game when speaking on stage! What are you doing to be the best at what you do?

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Jim Jacobus, CSP – Jim was my buddy at the NSA Convention this year and I could not have had a better person to be partnered with! I came to him at the beginning feeling low in my career as a speaker and he supported me, encouraged me and gave me a line I will always remember, “Always be happy, never be satisfied!” Thanks Jim!

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Geoffrey Tumlin, Communication Consultant – Geoffrey wrote one of my favorite books on communication called, “Stop Talking, Start Communicating” and I read it several times this year. We had the chance to have lunch while I was speaking in Austin, TX and his insights, friendship and passion for communication left me feeling inspired and motivated to improve my abilities as a speaker and coach! 

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Darren Rowse, ProBlogger – I met Darren at a conference I attended in Portland, OR where he spent the day talking about how to grow your blog. He was the one who inspired me to put together the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge and while he was on and off stage he demonstrated what it means to be a leader in your niche! What are you doing to build your community on and off line? 

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Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Consultant – Meeting Alan is like you meeting one of your heroes. One of the first keynotes I ever watched and studied was Alan’s and I remember saying to myself, “One day I want to be as good as him!” I had the chance to meet him this year and learn from him during the NSA Convention! Biggest thing I took away from him was, “Go for it! You already don’t have the business, the contact, the relationship… so reach out. You can’t go into a meeting and come out worse off than you already are so you better reach out and start growing your business!”

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James C. Humes, Author and Speaker – I was introduced to James by my mentor Randy Harvey who gave me his book “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln” when I was competing for the World Championship. I interviewed James at his house this year and it was the best interview I had! He taught me about the power of speech and why communication is king! #SpeechisPower

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Chris Guillebeau, NYT Best Selling Author – There are a few leaders I like to follow on a regular basis and Chris is one of them. He ads a lot of value to the world, continues to reach new and bigger goals and is a genuine guy filled with a lot of passion! Remember, you become who you surround yourself with, so make sure you have the right people motivating you in your life! 

Continue to meet people in your life who inspire you, who make you stronger, better and more successful! Surround yourself with those people who bring out the best in yourself! I hope you have a great New Year and I am looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together in 2015! As always…

Dream BIG,

Ryan Avery

Author Ryan Avery

Hi, my name is Ryan Avery! Every Sunday I share the "notes" I use to build my keynotes. They are personal stories and tangible strategies we can use to improve the way we communicate at work, at home and with ourselves.

More posts by Ryan Avery

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Paula Howley says:

    Ryan, this is an amazing list of extraordinary people.

    And there isn’t a single woman among them.

    You are missing the perspective of half the world! I challenge you to seek out more female speakers, leaders and champions in 2015. I guarantee you your knowledge and wisdom will expand MORE than 50%.

    Go get ’em Avery.

    Btw, hanging out with you this year was a definite highlight for me. And thanks for my book title!

  • Ryan Avery says:

    Paula, you are 100% spot on! I had a conversation with Chelsea about not having a woman on this list and what I need to do differently in 2015! My “Top 10 people I met in 2015” will be more inclusive and I appreciate you letting me know! I am excited to read your book and be one of the first people in line to get my copy 🙂 Keep making things happen Paula and I can’t wait to see you again in 2015!

  • Lefford Fate says:

    Ryan, thanks for being such an inspiration. You made my Top 10 list as one of the most influential people I have met. Thank you for coaching, supporting and befriending me. You have helped me to Dream Big. Let’s rock 2015!

  • Ryan Avery says:

    Lefford it has been so fun to work together and to see you reach your dreams and watch you help so many leaders grow! I am looking forward to accomplishing our goals together in 2015 and making things happen! #DreamBIG

  • Henderson Orndorff says:

    Paula, Thanks for pointing this out. I, too, had my concerns about the diversity of all types. It was great to see Sean Stephenson in the list. Anyone who impresses Ryan is obviously dynamite.

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