Here are some of the people in the "inspiration" folder in my Google Reader, on my "Must Catch" list on Twitter, and some other stuff that I've been checking into frequently.
Julien Smith. OK, I probably mention Smith enough on Twitter, but seriously, he's braver than you. He's probably smarter than you, too, but really, he's the one who is going to get you over your next hurdle. He's the second author on "Trust Agents" (which, while it's trite to recommend at this point, you still need to read if you haven't), and I'm probably going to wind up reading his short book "The Flinch" (ebook free from Amazon; he's working on a free audio version, too) every six months or so just to remind myself of where I really should be. Follow him on Twitter, as well. He's the kind of guy who can tweet one word, get 200 retweets, and spark you to action.
Marc Ensign. I found Marc Ensign this week, thanks to Julien Smith. I'm still picking through his blog archives, but I like what I've read because he's happy to tell you what you're doing wrong. And if you get defensive or dismissive about what he's saying, you are most definitely doing it wrong. Check out, for example, the reason he doesn't like your Facebook page. He's @marcensign on Twitter.
Shama Kabani. I linked that to Kabani's Twitter account, but her company, Marketing Zen, has some good resources on their website. I've been following her for a couple of years since I received a review copy of her book, and the thing that really put me over the top with having to share her stuff was an interview she did last week with Inc. magazine. I didn't quite agree until I slept on it a few nights.
Josh Spear. I'm not even sure what Josh Spear does (Twitter); I just know he posts about some pretty awesome stuff, including staying at amazing resorts, getting into some pretty exclusive cars and restaurants around the world, and lots of sneakers and watches (and y'all know I'm a sneaker guy). Of all the stuff that's in this post, he's definitely the guilty pleasure of the bunch.
Ashley Ambirge. Ambirge runs a copywriting company and a blog called The Middle Finger Project. "Because," her tagline goes, "entrepreneurs do it better and vulgar titles are funny." Ambirge is crass, smart and a lot of fun. I'm lurking in a copywriting class she's teaching (I can't make it to the actual class times, so I'm watching the videos after the fact; I'll probably clear my calendar to make room for the sales portion of that. Ambirge is into lifestyle design and doing what it takes so that you can live happy. Taco Bell says they can help you live más? Ambirge actually does it.
Project Gutenberg. This is a free ebook project that scans material copyright has expired on and offers it free in a variety of formats, including some mobile-friendly stuff and a format you can read on your Kindle or Kindle app. My library is growing fat because of the project, and I have a ton of reading to get to.
Like what you see? Buy me a cup of coffee. Or a nice dinner. Or a new car. You decide what the information and energy are worth.
Here is a list of books I've read this year. As I write about them, I'll link them to the post.
• Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
• Damned, Chuck Palahniuk
• High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
• Republic, Plato
• The Holy or the Broken, Alan Light
• A Day in the Life of a Minimalist, Joshua Fields Millburn
• Triburbia, Karl Taro Greenfield
• Electric Barracuda, Tim Dorsey
• The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells
• Naked, David Sedaris
• What in God's Name, Simon Rich
• When Elves Attack, Tim Dorsey
• Skagboys, Irvine Welsh
• The Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
• A Walk in the Snark, Rachel Thompson
• Night, Elie Wiesel
• It's Not About the Tights, Chris Brogan
• How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming, Mike Brown
• Relativity, Albert Einstein
• Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
• CTRL ALT Delete, Mitch Joel
• Born Standing Up, Steve Martin
• Possible Side Effects, Augusten Burroughs
• Choose Yourself!, James Altucher
• Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, David Sedaris
• Born on a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet
• Walden, Henry David Thoreau
• Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
• A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
• I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
• Ignorance, Stuart Firestein
• Dubliners, James Joyce
• Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, R. Buckminster Fuller
• Confessions of a Sociopath, M.E. Thomas
• Growth Hacker Marketing, Ryan Holiday