On the Shoulders of Giants

by Brian SperonelloIcon

My Giants

Since one aspect of this blog is highlighting the influences that effect my thinking, I thought I should have a section dedicated the people who have had the most impact. These four people are the ones that I find guiding my thought process the most on a day-to-day basis. To borrow a term from one of them, they are my "Anchors."

Tim Ferriss
Tim is number one on my list. Between his blog, The 4-Hour Workweek, and The 4-Hour Body, I don't think anyone else has influenced me more besides my parents. His example makes me want to continually get more out of life. Most people simply assume, based on the titles of his books, that Tim is about doing less. That couldn't be further from the truth. Tim is about doing less, but only of the things that don't matter or make you unhappy. More than that, he's about getting the most out of the things that you do choose to do. "Inactivity is not the goal. Doing that which excites you is."

Robert Greene
Robert Greene is next because he's been the biggest influence on my view of the world around me. His writing is primarily about strategy and social interactions. His books The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, and my personal favorite The 50th Law have all pushed me to work harder at understanding the hidden forces behind the surface of what I see every day, and to continually try to look several moves ahead. I know I still have significant room for improvement, but without Robert Greene I would be even further behind.

Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday has done for me internally what Robert Greene has done for me externally. He writes about psychology and philosophy on his blog, and also serves as a role model because he's already accomplished more than me while being a few years younger. His writing pushes me to get better at my own self-assessment, awareness, and understanding. Having the ability to control external situations requires first that you are able to control your own behavior, and Ryan Holiday pushes me to have a greater ability there.

Seth Godin
As someone who works in marketing, Seth's views on the field have been helpful for my professional development, but his influence extends far outside of my office. He has written a ton of books, my two favorites are The Dip and All Marketers Are Liars, and his brief daily blog posts run the range from inspirational, to analytical, to informational. Somehow he always seems to squeeze a tremendous impact into a few short paragraphs though. Among the things he's helped me understand are the current economic shift we're experiencing and how fear effects my ability to reach my potential.