When people ask me which entrepreneurs I look up to in business and life and those who I’d love to meet and be friends with and learn from, I wouldn’t be one to list off all these huge names like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.

As you may have noticed, I do not care about these people’s net worth or money they have in their bank. These people are not the normal businesspeople that are typically in people’s mouths for successful people. Or idols like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. Simply cause my measurement of a person’s persona is way more important to me. The listed people, well most of them, are people that, I believe, if you were to contact them, you’d get 15 minutes of their time if you ask them something genuine and offer something mutually beneficial, and 9 times out of 10, themselves are the ones that will reply to you (don’t quote me on this though).

These are my 5:

1. Brad Burton of 4N – outside of his business success and acumen, simply for his look on life and down-to-earthiness

Ever since I came across this guy, I clicked with him and his approach to life… And business. His persona and way of life is pretty much a ‘middle finger to people and things who want to stop me or hit me with barriers’. I won’t go into his story but if you want to know about it, you can check it out online, he’s UKs #1 Motivation speaker, ask him how he became number 1 ha-ha, (I’ll give you a clue, he’s a boss like that). Again, I have never met him, but I undoubtedly believe he is so cool to hang out with!! 

2. Emma Jones of Enterprise nation – met her once briefly and once for an unrelated discussion as part of a project I was involved in. 

This is another one I heard of in the business circuit, more specifically around the time I was involved in Start-Up Loans, that I saw seemed to be a cool person. But I had never met nor come across her properly until I was involved in a project when sixth formers in a school were taught business skills like presentation skills, idea brainstorming, market research, etc. And then they present their business idea to a panel of judges with the 1st prize being money to start their idea, which links to number 5 in my list, where she was a judge on a panel brought in by the company running the project (which I don’t believe is still running). She was someone that I have always wanted to meet since I came across her, but it never happened. Until… The team I coached came second and she liked their business idea and presentation, so she invited us all down for a chat. I appreciate she is extremely busy with her business, so I appreciated the time she offers to have a chat about the business. Her advice and guidance were insane and one that I wish I got when I was younger, especially if I was part of a project like this. Ever since this, I have had the utmost respect for her as a person first and foremost as well as a businesswoman. Feel free to check out the testimonials I received for this project on our testimonial page.

3. Nick Bradley and his team at SUYB – they are so knowledgeable and seems so down to earth (I have only ‘met’ them via FB) – I have only recently come across them.

This guy is so cool and so knowledgeable. His approach to people and business is crazy. His team is insane too, he and his business partner have so much knowledge to share and like to help people without hard selling them. I must declare, I was part of a challenge of theirs in which I was offered a prize but what Nick didn’t know was that I knew of him before the challenge as I had researched a company that I done my PT course through, Premier Global, which I have my opinions on which I will discuss elsewhere. Nick does what I want to do with business, so I like learning from him. And look forward to any virtual or in-person teachings to come. 

4. Michael Grahamsmeskills.co.uk – For anyone that knows me or has spoken to me in a business capacity, this is someone I’d have mentioned in some capacity. One of the most down to earth and coolest people I have met. If it were not for this guy, I would not have a lot of my business skills. He is so cool, and so humble. He has a story and I am not one to tell people’s story, but he is achieved so much at such a young age. I guess it is safe to say, he was a no brainer for this list and for the way this list was going. I cannot thank him enough for what he is done for me in my business journey and Education.

5. Chris Phillips of Just Develop It – Someone I came across by accident but ever since I did that and read about him and what he has done, I have never looked back.

Chris, Chris, Chris!! This is a funny one. I came across him because I was researching the person that started the project that I mentioned above. He has a similar name, so I accidentally landed in him instead. I chose to click on his link because of a company I was familiar with as I was a customer of the, Just Host, which I believe he may have had an interest in as an investor or founder (one to confirm). But as I was looking into him and his profile, he seems to be someone that as a businessperson, I would like to follow as he has done in business. His colleagues describe him as a cool, down to earth person, based on their website, so if I take their word for it, he matches my main criteria as to who I tend to click with. Plus, he is quite young in comparison, so I tend to respect this.

Bonus mentions:

A notable mention, simply due to the fact he was happy to offer advice in my early years of business, is Thomas Jeffs of Lucidica. I ‘met’ Thomas via a business Bootcamp I attended which had, several, entrepreneurs teaching different elements of business. Post-Bootcamp, as I was running a Web Development (probably more of a web agency), I reached out to Thomas, hoping he had remembered me, and he was more than happy to meet with me and offer me some of this time and advice that helped me with my thinking around business and aided in learning about focus, and ‘niching’, which was important at the time of the conversation due to my background and experience. So Thomas had to be mentioned in this list as he was a huge help in my early days of business. Funny Note/Story (which I don’t believe he is aware of): What Thomas did not know, and I did not realise until well after it happened was that I was interviewed for an apprenticeship (I believe) position with Lucidica. I made the decision to pursue the Uni option instead which I got a good earful from a lecturer, but that is a story for another day.

Hak Salih – I believe he was my first ever business ‘mentor’. Another person I met way before actually being mentored (I believe I had come across him via a mentoring event put on by the IOEE) and hoped that he would remember me. But we did and we had a mentoring session in which we too offered great tips and advice for business and moving forward with business. He helped me think about business in a different way and understand the journey for what a business should really be. Similarly, Fiona Green of Renegade Generation should be mentioned here cause she too was one of my first ever mentors that I have met with and gained great insight. If I remember correctly, Fiona was someone I had spoken to briefly in the mentoring event mentioned above but our proper session was way better and more specific to the problems I had, and her advice was great.

Andrew Banks of Shark Tank Aus and The Veneto Group. – I have been watching these online recently, and he is my favourite shark for sure. He is another one that seems to be about his business but down to earth too.

I do not know Andrew in any capacity but from what I have seen on shark tank he seems to be the neutral person. Business when it is needed and the voice of reason when needed too. He is successful but as you may have noticed by the others in this list, it is not a factor I care for. There is not much to talk about with him as I do not have much experience of him apart from what I have seen. But I will not turn away a mentorship opportunity, that is for sure.

I must add the next person simply because he has diversified his expertise and added business to his acumen. Ashton Kutcher more known and an actor, but also a venture capitalist and co-owner of A-Grade Investments. Similarly to Kevin Hart who has a diverse investment portfolio of property (or real estate as they call it), business and his owner companies which includes a successful production company, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who also has diversified his skill set into business having recently acquired an American Football league on top of launching his own bodybuilding show alongside his business partner. All three seem to all-round good guys and have the priorities and values in place and are doing big things outside of their commonly known ‘roles’.

Stacy AndersonBrand President of Anytime Fitness – I love me an underdog!!! Stacy is holding a high position in a company that is so male-dominated. Having watched/seen her on Undercover Boss, you could see the passion in her that has made sure that drives the business in the right direction without letting anything get in her way.

Please note that this was written back in May but only published recently so any recent situations are not reflected in this.