Who’s Your Biggest Business Crush?

No matter how many years you’ve been in business, or how successful you’ve become, my guess is that you have a business crush.

There might be someone you admire, who is where you’d like to be. Perhaps you have been following someone for months or years who inspires you to be a better version of you. Or maybe there is someone who is constantly creative and innovative, breaking out of the proverbial box, who challenges you to stay on the cutting edge with your work.

My current business crush is Michelle Salater, founder of Sumer Copywriting. Michelle is a bundle of energy, brilliant strategic thinking, warmth, and sincerity. Watching and learning from her, I am not surprised, just awed by every advancement she makes in her business. Though she primarily works with the big businesses, she is always looking for ways to bring her programs down to size for the small business owner too. Thanks for the inspiration Michelle!

Last week I asked my panel of contributors who they admire, want to emulate, or are inspired by in business, and why. Twelve business owners stepped up to the plate to share their business crushes with us. The benefit is learning about more potentially awesome business role models to follow. Enjoy!

1. Crushing On Magic

I love Magic Johnson, how he re-invented himself after having health issues and didn’t use the news to stop him from building his brand and his businesses. When I think about adversity and challenges and a person who has overcome those challenges, I think of Magic Johnson. He is who I aspire to be.

Thanks to Eula M. Young of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

2. Who Else But Oprah?

I’ve always admired Oprah Winfrey (www.oprah.com). However, my admiration has risen several more notches since she stepped up her game to run a network, publicly admitted that it was harder than she thought, and openly stated how willing she was to learn from her mistakes — and doing all of this while consistently pursuing a spiritual path to fulfill her divine purpose on this planet.

Thanks to Jane Blume of Desert Sky Communications

3. My Business Crush: Fabienne Fredrickson

Yes, I confess. I have a business crush on Fabienne Fredrickson. She seems to have a solid business that helps thousands of people on different levels. She obviously works hard and plays hard too. Demonstrated throughout her various social media profiles and weekly ezines. Her business uses constantly innovative marketing that attracts her ideal clients. Further and this is one of the key reasons I admire her is that she is CRYSTAL clear on who she works with. From the outside looking in, this seems to keep the non-serious, those who would argue with and try to negotiate your rates people at bay (or away :0). Her website: Clientattraction.com

Thanks to Stephanie Treasure of Stephanie Treasure Marketing

4. Peter Shankman: A Hero To Many

If I had to name someone I totally admire in business it has to be Peter Shankman. Along with being an entrepreneur and an investor, he has brought us the incredible resource that is HARO (Help A Reporter Out). Every single morning, afternoon and evening HARO sends out has given our company and innumerable other companies chances to become sources for reputable media outlets. Our company has used HARO on a daily basis, and in turn, we have been featured in hundreds of different blogs, articles, and radio shows. He truly motivates anyone who sees him or hears about him. I look up to him because he found a unique way to benefit multiple parties at the same time all while becoming a successful businessman and public speaker.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of GovernmentAuctions.org

5. Barry Diller And His Many Leaps To Success

My secret business crush is certainly Barry Diller. Barry Diller is the Chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and was responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting. This is someone who, after mastering the broadcasting and film world, made a successful leap to and building from scratch loads of successful Internet properties, many of which we all use daily. Every step of this man’s career has been a paramount success and he is someone to strive to emulate in the business world. I admire his ability to take chances and refusing to allow himself or his business to stagnate. Someone who is embraces change and masters every field he enters is someone anyone can look up to.

Thanks to Dahlia Roth of Free Government Auctions Info at GovernmentBargains.com

6. Jeff Bezos And Amazon’s Jungle Of Success

If I were to say that I was crushing on someone in business then the name I would write in my notebook in class everyday is Jeff Bezos. Mr. Bezos is the founder and president of the widely successful online conglomerate Amazon.com. Jeff created Amazon in his garage and went on to create the dominating force in online shopping today. What started as a site dedicated to sales, Amazon.com has expanded to include things like web services like streaming media, music downloads, and allowing others to sell items on the site, and to publish books and music. Now he has gone on to develop the Kindle e-reader but is also expanding his enterprise to include selling everything under the sun. If I can achieve even a modicum of Jeff Bezos’ success I’ll consider myself a terrific businessperson.

Thanks to Eli Israel of Foreclosure Magic

7. An Oracle Of Our Time

Thomas Friedman is more than a New York Times columnist, author and speaker – I believe that he is the Oracle of our time. Friedman is willing to challenge all assumptions (even those that are culturally sacred) to find new truths and to better understand the forces of globalization, technology, politics, culture and business. On a personal level, I strive to be more like Friedman in my own company – keeping an open mind to new truths and insights. I want to better understand the world in which we live and work.

Now if only Friedman and his publishers could learn effective global social media!

Thanks to Becky DeStigter of The International Entrepreneur LLC

8. She Inspires Me To Be ME

Several months ago, I signed up for copywriter extraordinaire Alexandra Franzen’s e-mail newsletter, and I must say, she has quickly become my #1 inspiration. I love her because she is fearless about running her business HER WAY, and also because she has made such a name for herself that she is booked at least six months in advance. Ms. Franzen inspires me to be true to myself, and to flaunt my uniqueness. Needless to say, I aspire to someday be similarly in-demand as a designer.

Thanks to Barbara Austin of Sweet Dreamz Design

9. The Adventures Of The Virgin Knight

The only individual worthy of being my business crush is Sir Richard Branson. Not only is this man a knight, but he has also created over 250 companies under his megabrand Virgin including casinos, gyms, homes, hotels, airlines, and phones. He is also a very outspoken individual who thrives off of adventure. He took a hot air balloon across the Atlantic and developed the very first spacecraft for passenger flights at a cool $200,000 per ticket. Sir Branson is also a renowned philanthropist who has promised that he will donate the next 10 years of his profits to the development of renewable alternatives to carbon fuels. From corporate deity, to environmentalist, to knight, to a man of action, how can I not admire Sir Richard Branson?

Thanks to I. Aronovich of Awardable

10. Conquered The Desert..Next The World!

As I think of the businessman I admire — Sheldon Adelson – I hear the bells and chimes of slot machines in the distance. Coming up from modest means, Mr. Adelson created the computer trade show Comdex and sold it for hundreds of millions of dollars before purchasing his very first casino: The Sands. The Sands, which he took public in 2004 to make his immense fortune, is one of the longest standing and most successful casinos on the strip, and owns the Venetian, Palazzo, and other Las Vegas properties. Mr. Adelson is ranked by Forbes as the eighth most wealthy American. What I admire about him is that he came up from nothing and grew his empire over time taking full advantage of each of the opportunities he created for himself.

Thanks to Hans Eberstar of Auto Auctions

11. A Funny Named Company Equals Billions

I admire the man known as Sergey Brin. As many know, Sergey co-founded Google. Over the years Google expanded to become a full-fledged farm for new technology including Gmail, Google News, acquired Youtube and of course launched the widely innovative Google maps, which brought navigation to a whole new level. He dropped out of Stanford in 98 to start Google out of his friend Larry Page’s garage and today the two are billionaires. Also, Mr. Brin’s little company emerged from the ashes of the dot-com crash, paving the way for others to again make money in the tech market. What I most admire about Mr. Brin is the he and his company encourage innovation and not only help, but reward employees that break new ground and invent something that becomes widely adapted while they are employed.

Thanks to Elik Aaron of SaleRacks

12. She Calls It As She Sees It

My current business crush is on Erika Napoletano aka @RedheadWriting on Twitter. I have been following her since the beginning of this year after coming across one of her blog posts. From that point on, I was hooked. I love how she shares business and life lessons learned with her followers in a blunt and non P.C. manner. If you don’t mind reading material that contains some R rated stuff, Erika will provide you a wealth of information that you can apply to your business and life.

Thanks to Barbara Goldberg of Back On Track Solutions

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your biggest business crushes! We hope to hear from you again. And to all our readers, if you have an innovative idea to share, we hope you will leave it in the comments below.


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  1. Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great post! My business crushes share one thing in common they are all: self made billionaires, philanthropists, and women. I admire their rags to riches stories and I look up to their business acumen and success. They are:

    1. Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO of Act•1 Group

    2. Sarah Blakely Founder/CEO of Spanx

    3. Oprah (of course!)

    I really think this blog post is an excellent idea…I might even blog about it (of course with credit due to this post). Thanks for sharing this post on BizSugar 🙂

    • Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for adding your top picks to our growing list of amazing people to watch! Three great women to emulate. 🙂 So happy you found this post on BizSugar.

  2. Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great idea for a post! It is very true that we all seem to develop business crushes. I agree with Barbara Goldberg – I definitely have a business crush on the Redheaded writer herself! Also agree with I. Aronovich and I too have a business crush on Richard Branson. One I’d add to the list would have to be Mark Cuban. He is passionate and a believer in hard work, which I think is truly what made him a success and can make anyone a success who believes in their own abilities.

  3. Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s very true that it’s normal to develop business crushes – especially as an entrepreneur who can appreciate everything they have had to accomplish. This post got me thinking about who my own role model/business crush might be. I was able to immediately come up with a few local businesses I admire and also several worldwide moguls.

    • Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

      Stephanie, Care to share your top picks? Thanks for reading. 🙂 Sharing those we love and admire in business gives us new and different people to stretch us to shine brighter. I hope you will post yours here too. Shannon

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