The 52 People I Hope to Interview in 52 Weeks during 2013

Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Barbara Corcoran, Elon Musk, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Dave Ramsey

Top Row (L to R): Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss; Bottom Row (L to R): Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Elon Musk, Dave Ramsey

 

I realized in the past year through my work with my business coach that I am a storyteller at heart. There are few things I like more than trading stories with people who are fun, funny, outgoing, and smart.

I love interviewing entrepreneurs because I’ve found as a category that they tend to encapsulate all of these qualities.

I can just shut up and listen because people who have owned and built businesses tend to have great tales about their experiences.

That’s why one of my big goals for 2013 is to do more interviews with entrepreneurs.

In service of that big goal, I sat down a few weeks ago and wrote down a list of names of the top business owners, entrepreneurs and authors who I would most want to interview during 2013.

Of course, I could have kept this list to myself. I could have stuck it in a drawer. That would be the safe thing to do – it would spare me the embarrassment of everyone knowing if I failed to meet my goals.

But what is the fun of doing things the “safe” way anyways?

So I decided I would share the list with all of you.

You can follow my progress, cheer me on, and even suggest questions ahead of time.

Check Out the List of the 52 Entrepreneurs I Want to Interview in 2013

As you read through this list, you will notice that there are many people you have heard of, and probably some you haven’t.

This list includes some of the biggest names in business and entrepreneurship, but don’t mistake my inclusion of these household names with hubris. I am well aware many of these individuals are incredibly busy and it may be very difficult for me to land an interview with them.

But I included these well known names on my list because (1) you never know who will say “yes,” and (2) big, lofty goals inspire us to great heights.

The good news is this is all good for readers of Smart Business Revolution. Helping entrepreneurs share their stories can be tremendously valuable to this audience of entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking to grow.

You will find that there is no one common thread which holds this list together, though there are certain common traits.

These are all people who I admire for various different reasons, and who I know would have wonderful stories and experiences to share with this audience.

Many of them are employing new techniques online or using social media in ways that has helped their businesses achieve tremendous growth.

Others have little to no online presence, and have achieved great growth only by carefully and deliberately put one foot ahead of the other slowly and quietly over time.

There are a couple more reasons why I’m publishing this list now:

  1. I hope you will keep me accountable towards achieving my goal of interviewing as many of the people on this list during 2013 as possible.
  2. I want to inspire you to tackle a big challenge for yourself in the next year. What is your big goal?
  3. My big goal for next year (2014) is to write a book about innovative entrepreneurs who are creating companies today that are

Finally, as you read through this list, think about what big challenges you will take on for yourself during 2013.

I plan to update this list as I go along and write in the dates of the interviews as they happen, so check back in a few weeks or months to see how I’m doing.

1. Leo Babauta, founder of Top 100 blog Zenhabits.net
2. Jeff Bezos, visionary founder of Amazon.com
3. Sir Richard Branson, who needs no introduction. Visionary entrepreneur and creator of Virgin Group of companies.
4. Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works, Co-Author, The Impact Equation, Trust Agents
5. Kris Carr, blogger at Kriscarr.com, Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution
6. Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger.com, self-described “recovering attorney,” content marketing expert.
7. Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group Real Estate Brokerage and perhaps a long-lost relative (I have no idea if she is).
8. Melanie Duncan, expert on Pinterest marketing
9. Naomi Dunford, small business consultant and creator of Ittybiz.com
10. Tim Ferriss, angel investor/advisor, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef.
11. Jonathan Fields, attorney, business strategist, Best Selling Author of Career Renegade and Uncertainty, creator of The Good Life Project
12. Pat Flynn, ethical blogger, social media marketing strategist for independent film productions and creator of SmartPassiveIncome.com. DONE.
13. Marie Forleo, entrepreneur and business strategist, marketing maven.
14. James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee chain
15. Chris Garrett of Chrisg.com, Copyblogger
16. Charlie Gilkey, founder of ProductiveFlourishing.com, speaker, small business strategist. DONE.
17. Seth Godin, author of numerous books including Purple Cow and
18. Chris Guillebeau, blogger at ChrisGuillebeau.com, author of The $100 Startup, founder of World Domination Summit.
19. Lewis Howes , expert on LinkedIn and social media for business
20. Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com and author of Delivering Happiness.
21. John Jantsch, founder of DuctTapeMarketing.com, author of The Commitment Engine and the Referral Engine
22. Guy Kawasaki, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and early Apple employee. DONE.
23. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
24. Danielle Laporte, blogger at Daniellelaporte.com, author The Firestarter Sessions
25. Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas Brewing Company.
26. Sean Malarkey, expert in social media marketing and resident of Santa Barbara (lucky devil). DONE.
27. Andrew Mason, founder of Groupon
28. Britt Michaelian, blogger with Worksmartlifestyle.com
29. Chris Mittelstaedt, founder of The Fruit Guys
30. Elon Musk, co-founder of Paypal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX
31. Rami Sethi, bestselling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and the blog by the same name.
32. Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, Drive and the forthcoming To Sell Is Human. DONE.
33. Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup
34. JD Roth, creator of the financial advice blog Getrichslowly.org , More Than Money blog, and author of Your Money: The Missing Manual. Also an organizer of the World Domination Summit, which I’m planning on attending in July 2013.
35. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
36. Gary Shinner, co-founder of Mighty Leaf Tea
37. Sonia Simone, CMO of Copyblogger Media, content marketing evangelist, publisher of Teaching Sells
38. David Siteman Garland, creator of TheRiseToTheTop.com
39. Pam Slim, career strategist for new business owners and author of the book and blog by the same name, Escape from Cubicle Nation.com
40. Jaime Tardy, creator of EventualMillionaire.com – coming later this year
41. Gary Vaynerchuk, wine and social media entrepreneur
42. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
43. Scott Belsky, founder of co-founder and CEO of Behance.
44. Andrew Warner, creator of Mixergy.com. DONE.
45. James Wedmore, video marketing expert
46. Chase Reeves, Founder of FatherApprentice.com and co-founder of Fizzle.
47. Dave Ramsey, author and host of The Dave Ramsey radio program
48. Michael Gerber, author of the ground-breaking book The E-Myth and business consultant.
49. Seth Goodman, co-founder and President of Honest Tea, which has experienced a 60+% annual compound growth rate since its founding in 1998.
50. Brad Feld, managing director of Foundry Group venture capital firm and author of Startup Communities and Startup Life.
51. Melinda Emerson, small business consultant, NY Times columnist and Twitter evangelist, author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.
52. Mike Wood, founder of LeapFrog educational toy company and SmartyAnts, an online learning system.

What do you think of this list? Do you have any suggestions for other additional interesting entrepreneurs who I should interview? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S.  If you know someone listed above, and you wouldn’t mind making an introduction to help me in my quest, I would be eternally grateful to you. Thank you!

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  • Rick Littleton

    Good luck with your big goal. That’s a great list – I look forward to the interviews. As for me, my goal is to add three new people in sales. We’re a small software company in Austin, Texas, and we have a team of 22 right now. If we can add 3 more in sales, we can expand into the Western U.S. So I hope to hire those three new people during 2013.

    • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

      Rick:

      It sounds like you are doing the right things if you already have 22 people working for you. Quick question, though – if you haven’t been in the West yet, why start with 3 employees? Could you start with just 1 to see if it’s a good market for your company? No sense in spending 3 x the salary if you don’t know if the market is a good one for your company.

      You could phase in the 3 over 12 months – i.e. hire 1 new sales person per quarter, just to make sure you aren’t moving too quickly.

  • Amy Mandleman

    This is a great list. I haven’t heard of a few of the people listed here, but many of them I have seen interviewed before and I bet they would make great interviews for your podcast. I’m hoping to quit my job in January as soon as I have enough money saved up.

    • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

      That’s a bold goal, Amy. I think you are doing the right thing in trying to save up money first before quitting. There’s nothing worse than having to go back to work for someone because you had a cash flow problem.

  • Jorge Gomes

    John:

    I have a few more entrepreneurs to suggest you add to the list. You may try Ted Turner – he’s a great interview subject and he built CNN. Also Michael Hyatt (former head of a publishing company and an author) and Ken Austin, who founded Tequila Avion.

    • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

      Jorge: I don’t know how I forgot about Ted Turner. That’s a great suggestion. Maybe he’ll be coming out with a new book in 2013 and I’ll be able to grab an interview related to that (it’s a good way to get an interview with someone). I’ll also check out the other folks you mentioned.

  • Jim Gefferson

    What about Stephen Pressfield? He wrote War of Art. Great book. Also may want to interview MJ DeMarco who wrote the Millionaire Fastlane, which I read on holiday last year. Really powerful book.

    • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

      Thanks, Jim. I have heard people recommend War of Art and Millionaire Fastlane before – they are both on my list of books to read! Thanks for the suggestions.

  • http://www.popularblogsite.com Vince (PopularBlogSite)

    This is a very beneficial list for me. Thanks for the great information John! Appreciated!