Your way is the best way, so own it

by Craig McBreen · 54 comments · Branding

Before you drop some serious bits of wisdom in the comments below, I would love to ask you a few questions. So let me set this up.

This post isn’t about motivating yourself, creating a better web presence, or simply killing it online.

It’s about all of the above and more.

It’s a little lesson on looking inward, experimenting and constantly recalibrating.

Do you want to know your key?
I’ve described my glass half full outlook and explained why technology, tribes and transparency are shifting our economy.

I believe it and will sing it ’til the cows come home.

What does this mean?
Whatever your plans in blogtopia are, YOU hold the golden key, my friend.

But if you really want to succeed (I do) you need to work harder than Lindsay Lohan’s probation officer.

Really, get to work and figure out exactly how that incomparable you fits into the online model.

I preach this over and over and over, but only because it’s so damn true.

REALLY. Think about you, your talents, your personality, and how you can weave that into a bang-on web presence that no one else can touch. Then, work to make it better.

Part of the process is of course finding a complex problem, but then solve said problem(s) and then figure out how to convey your message loud and clear, in a way that only you can do.

I see more than a few peeps out there working, testing and constantly recalibrating to make Their Thing Work.

It’s a mix of dogged determination, creativity AND personality.

They own it, and their increasing success is partly due to the fact that they wrap their content in personality.

They’ve figured out exactly what they do better than just about anyone and they do indeed bring it in their own special way.

I love positivity. I enjoy watching people succeed. And I get an emotional charge watching these careers unfold.

It’s a prime motivator for me and I imagine you’ll get a little charge out of it too.

Making “it” happen online is not easy. It’s a crap ton of work and most burn to a crisp or simply give up, often just when they are on the cusp of something special. I want you to make it work.

So today, let’s talk personality.

If you’re a blogger and I say “Pool Guy,” or “Lion” and I happen to slip in the term Content Marketing, I think you’ll instantly know who I’m talking about, right? Mr. Sheridan has not only created a neat little niche for himself, he’s gone on to become a sought-out public speaker and I’d say the sky’s the limit. I’ve met him, and what you see is what you get.

Mars Dorian has not only crafted a bang-on business model, he’s truly created a name for himself using his own brand of illustration and Uber-Slang infused with a German accent, that’s entertaining, enlightening and informative. He’s created his own language, really. I personally think the guy rocks and love his style.

I’d say young Ryan Hanley is taking the Insurance industry by storm and we just might have another Lion on our hands, seriously. If you haven’t checked out his 100 Insurance Questions Answered in 100 Days experiment you should. It’s simply awesome. I often think, “If only I was THAT motivated at that age.” We’ll be hearing a lot about Mr. Hanley in the coming years, you can take that to the bank.

Adrienne Smith generously writes out tips, tricks and a little bit of everything regarding internet marketing and blogging in general. Her tagline states it’s her mission to help you achieve success online, and I would say she’s committed to the cause. She’s not only committed to the cause, she is everywhere, and I mean everywhere. She’s generous, kind and extremely knowledgeable and I don’t think you’d ever be shocked if you met her in person. She’s the real deal AND she’s making it happen.

John Magnet Bell not only crafts timeless tweets, he has a very unique site. He hatches short, imaginative writing prompts, twice a week. He calls this an “adventure in open-source storytelling.” I call it ingenious and inspirational, and it might just be the jump start you need. I haven’t found anything else like Start Your Novel on the web and it’s not just for writers. If you’re stuck creatively, head on over to Mr. Bell’s place for some juice and see where it takes you.

Dino Dogan is everywhere, isn’t he? The guy rocks, everyone who meets him seems to love him and he undoubtedly knows this space. You might know him as “Mr. Triberr“, but he’s a marketing consultant, author and speaker. I’m still kicking myself for not getting to BWNY a day early, because I missed his presentation, but there’s always next time, right?

See how it works for these very cool peeps?

So here are six people, each doing something completely different. There’s a brand behind each name here. They’ve each built a platform that continues to grow, built on ingenuity, tenacity and personality.

So, why not bust out your very best rendition of that Frank Sinatra tune, right about now? But don’t just sing, get busy.

If you’re looking for a community of business owners who are unanimous in their desire to create their own little dent in this space, join us.

There will be many big changes here over the next 2-6 months and it’s all about You, your business and how you will rock it online in your own special way. I’ve been inspired by the people above and You, so thanks!

If you have other examples of bloggers absofreakinlutely killing it, we would all love to hear about them.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Dino Dogan September 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I love John Bell’s “thing”. It’s so different and unique. Love it :-)

Adrienne is amazing of course, and Marcus and I had a grand ol’ time hanging out at the last BlogWorld. Since we’ve known each other for years online, it felt like meeting an old friend. Who also happens to be a wicked awesome speaker :-)
Dino Dogan recently posted..What City Should TribeUp Next?My Profile


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 1:40 am

Thanks Dino! You’re not so bad yourself young man.. :-)
Adrienne recently posted..13 Steps to Relationship Marketing Success I Learned While Getting My Hair CutMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 1, 2012 at 2:37 am

Hi Dino,

Me too. John is extremely creative and helpful :)

Adrienne simply rocks, no doubt, and Marcus is indeed a “wicked awesome speaker.” But I hear you’re not so bad yourself in that department ;)

Thanks for stopping in, Sir!


Jack October 1, 2012 at 6:25 am

Dino’s right, got to love a guy who is beating the tar out of writer’s block and those writing lessons are awesome.
Jack recently posted..Write Better Posts & Have More Sex In SeptemberMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 3, 2012 at 3:15 am

“beating the tar out of writer’s block ” is a great way to put it ;)


Andrew Stark September 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hi Craig

It’s like being the purple cow rather than a white sheep.

With so much noise going on you do need to have determination to go against the conventional thinking and do something different. Some great blogs you have highlighted, all have a great look and unique feel, no cookie cutter free themes.

Andrew Stark recently posted..I’d be Telling A Lie If I Said This Was Easy…My Profile


Craig McBreen October 1, 2012 at 2:41 am

Hi Andrew,

Well said ;) And cheers to purple cows.

You’re right and these six people are doing this so well. They are all sharp, creative in their own way and extremely hard workers. Many people our there inspire me, but I wanted to highlight these six today.

Really appreciate you coming by. Thanks!


Yeremi Akpan September 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I agree with you, Ryan has so much wisdom that his youth is called to question! Age is not just a number, you know…

Thanks for including Adrienne in this post. She is a breath of fresh air in any community. If I have learned anything from her, it is that pro bloggers can still give their audience the personal treatment.
Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Link Building Strategies – The Content Marketing AngleMy Profile


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 1:40 am

Thanks Yeremi, I really appreciate that. I’m truly touched and honored.. :-)
Adrienne recently posted..How To Track Your Links In FacebookMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 1, 2012 at 2:43 am

Hi Yeremi,

I’ve learned a ton going through Ryan’s site. He’s a teacher and he’s making waves and we’ll be hearing a lot more about him.

Adrienne is simply one of the best community builders I’ve seen on the social web. And you’re right. She’s successful online, but is also very generous in many ways.

Great points and thanks so much for stopping in!


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 1:39 am

Wow Craig, I’m honored and touched to be mentioned in this post among some amazing bloggers.

I’ve watched Marcus blossom and Dino’s the man! I love how they both tell you the truth and nothing but the truth and that’s what we need. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mars and I’ve been By John’s place a few times as well. Guess I need to make a return visit.

I appreciate mentioning me here and I’m touched that by just being me and really wanting to help people that little old me can really make a difference. See, we can be ourselves yet stand out. You just said it all right here.

Thanks Craig, I really appreciate being included in this awesome list. Wow, what a great way to start my week. :-)

Yep, smiling from ear to ear…

Adrienne recently posted..How To Rid Spam From Your Facebook News FeedMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 1, 2012 at 2:50 am

Hi Adrienne,

It is well deserved. As Yeremi said so well, you do give your audience the personal treatment.

Marcus and Dino simply amp me up, and they are the real deal, just like you. Mars and John both occupy very unique spaces on the social web and certainly bring the creativity.

You’re welcome, and I do think the fact that you wrap this in your true personality is a huge part of what makes it all work.

Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping in.


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thank you Craig again for all your kind words.
Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:01 am

You’re most welcome, of course :)


Josh October 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

I like Adrienne because she provides solid advice/information in a positive way. You don’t get hammered with scare tactics and fear.
Josh recently posted..How Do You Measure Power/Influence In Social Media?My Profile


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Thank you Josh, I appreciate that you feel that way when you visit my blog. I like to think of it as old home week. ;-)
Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:02 am

Hi Josh,

Perfectly stated :)


Jayme Soulati October 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

What a bang up list and a few peeps I’m unfamiliar with, so off I go to become acquainted.

I admire that you continually try to motivate your community with positive inspiration about what blogging can do. As @joshwilner so eloquently put it over at @JonBuscall blog — each of us is on different pathways traveling in parallel.

To find the treasure, we have to keep on, and emulate the peeps you identify above.
Jayme Soulati recently posted..Who Knows The Future of Blogging?My Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:05 am

Hi Jayme,

You should check them out.

Thanks! I like what Josh said, and that is so true. Me, I honestly do get amped-up by many of the fine people in blogtopia. Too many to mention of course, so I wanted to keep by list to six, for now ;)

Thanks for stopping in!


Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech October 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hi Craig, Great all-star list of amazing bloggers. Each one definitely does blogging their way and owns it. Dino has changed my life with Triberr. Truly a visionary. John never ceases to inspire and impress with his creativity and encouragement. Adrienne, well she’s like having your best friend there for you on the Internet, helping you every step of the way.

You’re right, each of these amazing people inspires us and lifts us up so we can do our best as well.

Looking forward to seeing the changes around here, Craig!
Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech recently posted..Evernote: A Powerful Organizational Tool!My Profile


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you Carolyn for those nice words… Ah…
Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:10 am


You might have the biggest fan base in the blogosphere :)


Adrienne October 2, 2012 at 3:30 am

They’re definitely the best Craig. I couldn’t ask for better people to be connected with. You included my friend.
Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:40 am

Back at ya :)

Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:09 am

Hi Carolyn,

This is an all-star list to me, and they are all so different. I imagine Triberr has done the same for many and John’s space is truly unique. And Adrienne. Well yes, what you see is what you get, and she’s very successful ;)

Thanks for stopping in.

Glad you’re looking forward to it. Because after one year at this I am truly dialed-in and will be making some big changes, so I’m being realistic with the 2-6 month plan ;)


Tim Bonner October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hi Craig

You’ve introduced me to a few new faces today so I’ll check them out.

Adrienne is someone who always creates added value and you know you’re only going to get good solid information and advice from her every time.
Tim Bonner recently posted..Self Confidence – Oh Yes, I Can Dingle Dangle With The Best Of ThemMy Profile


Adrienne October 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you Tim, I appreciate that you feel that way. Makes this blogging thing so much worth it ya know! :-)
Adrienne recently posted..How To Become A Better Blogger – A Bloggers RoadmapMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:12 am

Hi Tim,

That would be a great idea.

I’ve found more than few actionable items on Adrienne’s site and have put them to use. Even a guest blogger at her place, Annie Andre, motivated me to just do a video.

Thanks for stopping by!


Ralph October 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hey Craig. Great list. You are sure to generate some great inspiration for many folks. Love all these guys but have to admit I just discovered Mars recently. Very cool. Mr. JS Bell is an inspiration. I don’t always understand it but know there is a killer mind at work there.

Adrienne is like a bloggers encyclopedia. Kinda the go to for anything blogging or related. Kinda like Danny Brown for me when I think of no nonsense marketing and blogging.

What I really appreciate about Mr. Sherman is he is true to his word and hill call to action is all business. He doen’t pulling punches,does he?

Thanks for sharing some of these inspiration of yours. I would add Marjorie Clayman to this list simply because of her integrity and honest approach to the medium.

Cheers bud! I am sure we will be tasting you one day soon. I look forward to the big things coming.
Ralph recently posted..You will {not} find Normal here. Is Normal where you are?My Profile


Ralph October 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

OMG! Tasting? I MEANT toasting! Dam auto-crrect got me again. Sheesh…..
Ralph recently posted..You will {not} find Normal here. Is Normal where you are?My Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:13 am

Texting with your thumbs again ;)


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:18 am

Hi Ralph,


Great group and I’ve been reading Mars for over a year. I love his creativity and approach to blogging.

Mr. Bell is an inspiration and I do feel like I’m getting out of the bubble when I venture to his place.

Adrienne knows all about blogging. She is a teacher, and a generous and inspirational one at that.

Marcus is the real deal, for sure. Always been one of my favorite people on the social web.

Marjorie is great, yes! I also love, love her comments over at Olivier Blanchard’s Brand Builder blog. But yes, integrity and honestly for sure.



Bill Dorman October 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Yo Adrienne…………..she rocks and so does Mr Bell or whatever name he is going by this week. Ask him how long his hair was when he grew it out for 5 years………:).

Yes indeedy, the rubber hits the road with this crew.
Bill Dorman recently posted..Help me help you jump the humpMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:23 am

Hi Bill,

Adrienne does indeed rock, and you now see how popular she really is. Well, we already knew that ;)

I’ll have to talk to Mr. Bell about the hair, something I don’t have.

Rubber meets road, no doubt.


Marcus Sheridan October 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Craig, honored brother and furthermore love the eclectic mix of GREAT people you’ve discussed here.

You’re doing great things my friend:-)

Marcus Sheridan recently posted..7 Reasons Why Blogging is Failing to Generate Leads For So Many Marketing AgenciesMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:30 am

Hi Marcus,

Well, when I think of branding and story, what you call Your Shtick, yours is so very clear. Plus you’ve put in the time to not only build a business for yourself, but inspire so many to unleash the power of inbound and content marketing.

Made it easy for me ;)


Ryan Hanley October 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Wow… Craig… Seriously Thank you bro! That is a ridiculously motivated and inspirational list of individuals and I’m completely honored for you list me in their ranks.

All I can say to add to your argument is “Be Yourself, Ferociously.”

People will responds…

Then it’s all about work.

Love what you do brother…

Ryan Hanley recently posted..Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield and the Power of UnpluggedMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:32 am

Hi Ryan,

You’re welcome and I do think you’ll be rocking it for a long time to come.

“Be Yourself, Ferociously.”
–Love that, and agree 100%

Great stuff you’re offering up over at you place. Keep it up!


Bell October 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

A bit late to the party. o_O Glad to see it’s heating up, though.

Thanks for including me in such fine company, Craig. Bill mentions my hair length up there. It is short now and has been for years, but at one point it was almost two feet long. Yup, old school metalhead, me.

What else can I say, except that I love what I do, and it’s great to be a part of this never-ending conversation.
Bell recently posted..Bad Movies and Writing – The Blog Post, Part IIMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:36 am

Hi Mr. Bell,

It is turning into a party.

You’re welcome and it’s well deserved, as you are doing something truly unique. I like what Dino said about you.

I used to be friends with more than a few metalheads ;) Funny thing is I pictured Dave Mustaine when I read your comment.

It shows that you love what you do!


Mars Dorian October 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Thanx for the mention, Craig
I know most of the other people here – gotta check out Adrienne and see what she’s up to ;)

I think the online world has given us unprecedented opportunities in creating our own, unique personal brand. People still think they have to play by some corporate rules, which is simply not the case anymore (if it ever was !)
Mars Dorian recently posted..What a Double D Bra Sized Woman Taught Me About Experimenting OnlineMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 2, 2012 at 3:39 am

Hi Mars,

You’re welcome!

All great people, and quite a diverse lot I would say.

I completely agree with you. With the tools and technology available, it truly is amazing what some imagination and tenacity will bring you. Bypassing the gatekeepers is step one ;)

Just keep bringing it, Sir!


Annie Andre October 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I’m a big big fan of Adrienne. And Mars is quite a character. I met up with him when I was in Berlin in August. I’ll defenitely check out the other people on the list.

but i have a request.
I would love to see a list like this of online people who are killing it with their brand but aren’t marketing branding or internet marketing. Like an artist or a guitar instructor. Someone who isn’t living and breathing internet marketing but still killing it.. Catch my drift? :00
Annie Andre recently posted..Free Travel Packing Checklist + Life In Our New French Town (Monthly Report#4)My Profile


Craig McBreen October 3, 2012 at 3:27 am

Hi Annie,

I think Adrienne might have a larger fan base than Chris Brogan ;)

And I love what Mars is doing.

I’ve been thinking about doing some more serious interviews (possibly video) of people outside our little bubble doing great things. Not sure when and if this will come to fruition, but I have some ideas … Heck, it might even be someone who picked up and moved her family to France ;)


Jeevan Jacob John October 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm

They are great bloggers who I respect and follow (well, I follow most of them :D).

Great examples of how we could do things, Craig (I am still reading more of these blogs, to learn their style to improve my own for my new blog :D).

Personality? Well, it can add a lot of uniqueness to the mix, right? But, most of all, it’s about the content delivery, isn’t it?

For instance: Adrienne comments and visits every blog I can follow – and her style of commenting is something to learn from ;) Mars on the other hand delivers content through comics and a different style (which is awesome too!)

Don’t forget to add yourself into the mix, Craig ;) You are also a wonderful blogger to learn from :D


Craig McBreen October 3, 2012 at 3:32 am

Mr. Jeevan,

Good thing?

I picked this group, because they all do inspire me in some way, and they are certainly bringing the personality.

Adrienne is one of the best community builders out there, plus she gets things done and is making it happen. Being successful and social at the same time.

Mars is honestly one of the most unique bloggers out there and I certainly respect what he’s doing.

But they’re all great.

Thanks for the kind words, Jeevan. I really appreciate that!


Mary Stephenson October 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Hi Craig

It looks like I have a lot of websites to check out so I have bookmarked this page. I agree Adrienne is super and I found you through her blog, so now I shall check out the rest of your list.

There was a time I was writing for no one to read and now I am finally getting some visitors thanks to Adrienne and what she stands for. I have been meeting some pretty interesting people on the internet lately and have higher hopes for success.

Being inspired by others makes all the difference in the world. It can give you knowledge of what your gift is to the rest of society, even if it is only in some small way making a difference.

Thanks for the great post and the great list of those you admire.

Mary Stephenson recently posted..How Creative Are You?My Profile


Craig McBreen October 4, 2012 at 2:59 am

Hi Mary,

Well, they are all great in their own way. And so glad you found me through Adrienne’s place :) She’s a connector!

To me, it’s all about moving beyond the blog, networking and finding the right people. If you can either meet offline or even have a phone conversation, even better, right? I’ve had some pretty great email exchanges with people who read this blog too, and finding that what I’ve written has helped someone if some way, well that’s a great feeling.

“Being inspired by others makes all the difference in the world.”
–Yes, indeed!

Thanks for the great comments and cheers to success!


Jill Tooley October 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

You only mention a couple here that I haven’t checked out yet — Ryan and Adrienne. I bother JM Bell and Dino pretty frequently, and Mars and Marcus are awesome as well. Stellar suggestions, Craig! You know how to pick winners. :)
Jill Tooley recently and Money Management: Is This Free Service Worth the Effort? | A Newbie’s ReviewMy Profile


Craig McBreen October 9, 2012 at 3:40 am

Hi Jill,

Ryan and Adrienne are both great! Nice peeps to know for many reasons.

I can’t imagine you bothering anyone, but if so, I’m sure those two take it in stride, ’cause they’re cool like that ;)

Oh yes, Mars and Marcus are absofreakinlutely killing it :)

Thanks for stopping in!


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