business influencers image2011 was an amazing year for our business, a year that saw us break away from Carbon Copy PRO, our primary Network Marketing company to focus more on building our independent brand as Part Time Entrepreneurs.

It was a difficult decision, as we'd grown comfortable with the system and the people that helped us “cut our teeth” as Marketers.

Just as important, being affiliated with Carbon Copy PRO allowed us to make some money while we sharpened our skills and started making a name for ourselves outside the company.

Yes, 2011 was a year of major change for Rosemary and I as Entrepreneurs and Online Marketers.

Any time there is major change, there are usually found one or more influencers who push you forward towards your new goals.

In our case, there were 5 such business influencers.

The Top 5 Influencers on our Business in 2011

mike klingler imageMike Klingler

Every once in a while you stumble upon someone whose ideology and philosophy is so in line with your own that you just know you want to get to know that person better.


This was the case with Mike Klingler.

We immediately resonated with Mike's straight shooter approach and integrity-based marketing.  When we read a blog post or Facebook message from Mike, it was as if we could have written it ourselves.

And given the fact that Mike is a major force in the Online Marketing industry, we knew we wanted to learn more from him.

It was then that we found out about his main product at the time, Marketing Funnel Mastery.

  • We immediately purchased it, dove in and started implementing what we learned.
  • We listened intently as Mike taught us the value of having our own marketing funnel, independent of any Network Marketing company.
  • We were able to map out our own marketing funnel and, although it has changed somewhat in recent months this immediately changed our mindset about our business.

We were independent Marketers, we were Entrepreneurs (for real this time), and we felt in integrity with our business for the first time in a long time,

It was Mike who also introduced me to the power of Coaching and got me involved with Coaching Cognition, a coaching platform that changed the way I approached the teaching of others.

I learned the difference between coaching, mentoring, and collaborating.

I came to fully understand the value of listening and asking questions.

Not only did I benefit from this training, but so did my coaching students.

How we found Mike Klinger: We discovered Mike on Facebook, through the process of finding one person after another whose marketing style resonated with our own.  Sometimes it takes a while to find the people who will influence the way you think about your business.  Be patient, push forward and keep looking.  They are out there.

cindy schulson imageCindy Schulson

Cindy Schulson is a master coach and marketer who we found while taking Mike Klingler's MFM course.  Her specialty is in helping others find and attract their niche, a problem that had identified itself as a major reason we weren't more successful in our business.

We learned of Cindy's Attract Your Niche product, signed on for the lectures as well as her private coaching and have never looked back.

Cindy helped us understand our niche, identify our ideal prospects and then build out our funnel with solutions to the problems that keep them awake at night.

We recommend Cindy's course, Attract Your Niche to anyone who needs help in determining their niche and is sick and tired of mediocre results in their business.

 How we found Cindy Schulson:  We heard of Cindy Schulson through Mike Klinger.  Cindy is a past student of Mike's whose work was highlighted because of the results she had realized through implementing his teachings.


richard goutal imageRichard Goutal

Richard Goutal is a Collaboration specialist.  The more we got to know Richard and his no nonsense approach to marketing, the more we wanted to work with him,

Finally, after months of reading  and commenting on each others blogs and social media postings, Richard approached me about presenting at his live event, Collaboration Live held in October, 2011.

It was through Richard that we began to get more exposure as Marketers, our first step towards truly establishing our brand as Part Time Entrepreneurs.

Richard's influence was a major contributor to our development as marketers in 2011.

How we found Richard Goutal:  I believe I first noticed Richard Goutal on Facebook, specifically The Relational Marketers group.  Richard is also a disciple of Mike Klingler and active in Coaching Cognition, so we have many areas of commonality.


george fourie imageGeorge Fourie

George Fourie had a major influence on our business, and we've never even met.  In fact, we barely know George.

So how can someone we hardly know be a major influencer on our business?


He is the creator of a blogging community, that co-sponsored a major blogging competition called The Top 50 MLM Blogs.

George was very persuasive in getting us (and others) to join the competition and for that we are grateful.

It would be the first such contest we ever entered and we were a bit nervous that no one would vote for us.

How did entering this competition propel us forward?

  • It forced us to get out of our comfort zone and meet other bloggers, expanding our reach and connections.
  • We learned how to actively promote ourselves and our blog.
  • We came to understand how many people our blog posts reached, and this has propelled us forward to really explode our blog in 2012.

We finished 7th in the Top 50 MLM Blogs Competition, and this put us on the map as bloggers and marketers to be taken seriously.

How we found George:  We found ThatMLMBeat *(and George Fourie) through recommendations of other MLMers and bloggers.  We learned  of the Top 50 blogging competition by getting on George's email list.


vanessa duplessie imageVaNessa Duplessie

VaNessa is just an amazing marketer whose integrity is second to none.  Again, we found ourselves drawn towards her based on her business philosophies.

I first noticed VaNessa when she won a competition that was part of Mark Hoverson's Irresistible Info Marketing Blueprint course.

Mark challenged those that purchased the course to get serious about implementing his teachings, create their own product and show their results.

VaNessa blew them away and was the subject of several emails and webinars that Mark put out.

Her WordPress Express blogging course has become widely popular with both newbie and experienced bloggers, alike.

I purchased VaNessa's product (so should you) and got some free coaching as part of the package.

All I can say is… WOW!

Having VaNessa as a coach the last few months has had a major influence on the way I approach our business.

She took the time to get to know our business, our struggles and our accomplishments and then tailored her coaching to best meet our needs.

She is an excellent coach who I will continue to use throughout 2012.

How we found VaNessa:  Through Mark Hoverson's Info Marketing Blueprint course and the subsequent contest.  Through her efforts and winning the competition, VaNessa increased her visibility dramatically and extended her reach that led her to us (or the other way around!).

Can You Identify the Common Themes?

As we told our story about the 5 major influencers on our business in 2011, did you notice any common themes?

If not, I'll identify them for you below:

  • Social media, specifically Facebook was a major avenue through which we first noticed many of our business influencers.
  • Networking through friends and friends of friends on social media helped us to ultimately find the people that changed the way we do business.
  • Getting on the email list of major players in the industry can expose you to new opportunities and some really cool Entrepreneurs.
  • You can get noticed in a big way if you provide a “living testimonial” for someone's product, by implementing what you learn and sharing your results.  Winning a competition doesn't hurt, either! 🙂

Your Turn

Who were the major influencers in YOUR business in 2011?

Where did you find them?

LEAVE A COMMENT and let us know!

    21 replies to "The Top 5 Influencers on our Business in 2011"

    • Charles Holmes

      What a great post. Congrats on getting # 7 in the Top 50 blogs. These names you mentioned (the five folks) are all new to me. I will do some research on them and learn more about them. I’m always looking for successful people to study and emulate.

      Thanks for providing such a great blog, with great value. I wish you all the best in 2012.


      • Bob

        Thanks for the kind words of support, Charles. Definitely look up these people… they are all successful and incredibly willing to help others, especially those that need it the most!

        May I ask who inspired and influenced you this past year, Charles?

    • Jane

      I wish you a very happy and fruitful new year!

      Thank you for sharing your list of influencers!

      It is a great force to be surrounded by a group of talented people who will not only encourage us but also help us learn and implement new things.


      • Bob

        I agree, Jane. Surrounding yourselves with successful and talented people is a key to moving forward in your business and your life!

        So that leaves me to wonder, since you have become such a successful blogger — who were your top influencers last year, Jane?

        I love to hear those that enrich others; it allows me to expand my list of people to look up in 2012.

        Happy New Year, Jane!

    • Cat Alexandra

      Dear Bob,

      What a great summary of the growth you and Rosemary have made. It seems like it usually requires us to break away from the old familiar in order to rise to the next level. I know it can be an unsettling feeling to do this because I have had to do that myself. This year I embraced the medium of internet marketing and social media in order to grow myself and be a better and more capable leader. I have always been sort of a grassroots builder and a phone samurai. lol Suffice it to say that the past few months online have been a HUGE eyeopener and quite an enriching educational experience for this gal.

      I love what you and Rosemary are doing, Bob. I’ve picked up so many pearls of wisdom from you in just the short time that we’ve been connected. I am inspired to check out your Top 5 influencers in greater detail too. Thanks so much for always sharing freely what you are doing as well as your invaluable insights.

      I just know that 2012 will bring many new opportunities for growth and development. I look forward to experiencing some of that growth alongside you!

      Highest regards & Happy New Year!! 😀


      • Bob

        Thanks for the kind words, Cat. We have also learned much from you, as well. It seems we all small pearls of wisdom to share that complement one another.

        That’s what makes blogging so awesome.

        It’s great how you’ve transformed yourself from a “phone Samurai” (lol) to an online marketer. Like you said, it’s when we learn new things and break out of our zone of comfort that we experience the most growth.

        Seems you did quite a bit of growing in 2011, Cat! Here’s to wishing you continued success in the New Year!

        Thanks for your insights!

        BTW — who were YOUR top influencers in 2011?

    • Mavis Nong

      Hey Bob,

      Thanks for sharing your top influencers with us. Great people to be learning from indeed.

      I couldn’t agree with you more, networking with like-minded individuals does bring amazing results.

      Congratulations on your achievements and business growth this year! 🙂

      I wish you all the very best in 2012,

      • Bob

        Thanks, Mavis… I could very well have included you on this list as well. You have been a tremendous influence on my growth as a blogger this past year, and I thank you!

        Here’s to the best year ever in 2012!

    • VaNessa Duplessie

      Thank you so much for including me in the list above. I am honored and blushing over here. It is my sincere pleasure to have been able to meet you, collaborate and work with you in 2011. I’m looking forward to 2012 and know that working together will be loads of fun and lead to more successes in 2012.

      My influencers this year from a business perspective are plentiful. Two that stand out for me are

      Mark Hoverson and Daegan Smith

      Both are leaders in the online marketing realm and I like their direct tell it like it is style. They know their stuff and they share with others on how to be better at what we do.

      My other greatest source of inspiration is my students who are motivated and rockin’ it. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to hear their success. This reminds me to keep learning and improving myself so I can share my learnings.

      Thank you again for being a part of my circle and I look forward to a great 2012!

      All the best,

      • Bob

        Mark and Daegan are awesome, for sure. Great influencers in their own way.

        I love that your students motivate and influence you, VaNessa! That’s the way it should be!

        Thanks for your insights.

    • Oliver Tausend

      Hi Bob,

      thanks for sharing your insights and your top influencers. Great people to be learning from, right ?

      As a matter of fact, there’s nothing as constant in life as change. So we’d better embrace it and design our change rather than being victimized by it and suffer from it.

      From what I see, you did a really great job designing the necessary changes in your lives, congratulations.

      My major influencers this year were my wife, Michael Dlouhy and Tom ‘Big Al’ Schreiter.

      I am glad we connected in 2011 and I wish you a Happy New Year

      Be blessed


      • Bob

        I’ve heard of the people who influence you, Oliver… they are big names who undoubtedly share many insights. Congrats on finding them and making them part of your life.

        And your wife! What a great person to add on your list. Rosemary will be getting mad at me for not adding her to my list.

        Oh boy, guess I’m in hot water! 🙂

        Thanks for sharing your influencers with us, Oliver!

    • Jim Syyap

      That’s an awesome list. I have a few more days off before the new year. I’m looking forward to reading each one of these. Thank you for sharing.

      • Bob

        Thanks, Jim… glad you’ll have some time to look them up. It’s great to add to our sphere of influence.

        Who influenced you the most in 2011, Jim?

    • Ryan Biddulph

      Hi Bob,

      Being social opens so many doors for you. It’s simple and easy. Set a goal to meet X number of people daily and you will begin attracting folks in harmony with your exact values.

      The sticking point for some is the comfort zone deal. I felt uncomfy at first, venturing out on Facebook and twitter. Eventually I saw how many like-minded folks I met. Then I began learning from these folks, picking up valuable tidbits which helped me grow my home based opportunity.

      Ray Higdon is 1 massive influencer of mine. He adopts a clear and direct teaching style and never sugar coats it., helping network marketers grow their opportunity with proven strategies.

      Doug Firebaugh is another big influence. Like Ray, he walks the talk, and his teachings are simple to follow, easy to implement. His track record is phenomenal so both what he’s doing and teaching, works.

      If you stop by either person’s blog you will see my comments. Another thing I learned in 2011: stick to what works. I stopped commenting for a while and things slowed down a bit. I started commenting – RB Style – and things picked up quickly again. My presence expanded because I gave freely, and I enjoyed the heck out of the giving. If it works, keep doing it.

      Congrats on your huge strides this year. Thanks for sharing your insight Bob.


      • Bob

        Ray is tops, for sure… I am a big fan.

        I have not heard of Doug Firebaugh, but I will surely check him out now.

        That’s the great thing about social proof. One word from someone I know and respect has me off to check off this previously unknown person — and the potential of adding positive influence into my own life.

        Thanks for sharing your top influencers here, Ryan.

        And thank you for your kind words of support. Much appreciated!

    • Cindy Schulson

      I am deeply honored to be part of this list of influencers. Thank you so much Bob. You are an amazing marketer and I absolutely love how dedicated you are to continuously improving your business and helping others.

      This has been a year of tremendous growth for so many of us. I just love that we can all grow together. As I like to say, we’re all in this together.

      Thanks and warm wishes,

      • Bob

        Thank you Cindy. You have added so much to our success this year and we look forward to continued learning this year!

        Best wishes for a hugely successful 2012!

    • Adrienne

      Sounds like you’ve taken some huge strides this year Bob. Congratulations on doing what’s best for you and your future instead of staying where you are because it’s comfortable. I know that sometimes that can be a very hard choice.

      I would have to say that I actually have three influences this year myself. One would have to be Alex Jeffrey’s although the training program I purchased was in 2010, it didn’t actually kick into full gear until January of this year. Had it not been for that course, I would not have stepped outside my comfort zone and started implementing the tactics I needed to get my blog the attention it’s getting now. I feel so blessed that I took notice and dove into that training.

      The second one would be Katie Freiling and her training course that came in April. I specifically joined that program to learn more about branding me since I personally felt I didn’t have a specific place here online but not only did I learn that I was right where I needed to be, I also learned how to let go of a lot of the self limited beliefs I’d been holding onto for way too long. I think that subconsciously they were always there but I didn’t recognize them until I took her course. She had us go through certain exercises so it was a huge wake up call for me.

      The third would be a mastermind group I recently joined and we’ve only met twice so far. It is headed up by Dan Gheesling and there are only four of us but we share what we are working on, what we may need assistance with and then we hold each other accountable for completing what we said we would do. It’s great to have that and knowing you have people you can trust with not only helping you move forward in your business but holding you accountable for completing your work. We all have expertise in different areas so it’s been a God send for me.

      So those have been my main influences that have helped me grow this year. I have no doubt that I will take what I have learned and continue to move in the right direction as 2012 approaches. But as I always say, I’m still a work in progress.

      Thanks Bob for this insightful post and for sharing with us who has influenced you the most this year. I hope you are having a wonderful week and looking forward to the new year! So, Happy New Year!


      • Bob

        Hey Adrienne, thanks so much for sharing your business influencers with us. I see a common thread here between us — we both understand the value of education, learning and implementing what we learn.

        Your mastermind group sounds intriguing. Will be interested to see how that progresses this coming year.

        Wishing you a very successful 2012!

      • Bob

        I see a common thread in your influencers — you have taken steps each time to learn new things and move forward.

        It can be scary to learn new things, and even scarier to try them out. Congrats on taking these steps and becoming the awesome blogger and social media influencer that you are today.

        I have learned many things from you this past year, Adrienne… and I thank you for that.

        Here’s to the best year ever in 2012!

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