Who Do You Want To Be Like? The Correct Way To Have Role Models

You do have role models, right? People whose behavior and success you want to model yourself.  I know you do because every time I see somebody ask this question on blogs or forums, they usually get people responding with at least 10 names.  The problem with listing all these role models is that there are too many people in that list to even keep up with what they are doing, or there are conflicts.

I don't want to name any names, but all too often I see people list one of their role models as being a guy who only markets using article marketing, and another role model is someone who markets using only pay per click.

That is why today I am not going to list people who I only take "partial advice" from like Seth Godin, James Brausch, Steve Manning, Allen Says, John Calder, or Joe Sugarman.

Instead I am just going to list my top three role models and why they are that way.

Role Model #1: Steve Jobs

Many people will agree that Steve Jobs is the best presenter out there. If you watch one of Steve Jobs' videos on you-tube, he makes everything look really simple.  I used to not be too impressed with Steve Jobs' presentations until I knew what to look for, until I saw how simple his power point slides are, the words and the branding he uses and how easy his demonstrations are.

Role Model #2: Armand Morin

I am in Armand Morin's mastermind and he is my coach.  I also try to duplicate the way he presents, but the most significant part of that is the way he speaks.  If you have watched my videos, heard my audios, or seen me present you know that I am kind of a Spaz.  I talk too fast, I slur my words, that is just how I talk.

I have made it a point, especially in the last couple years, to slow down my speaking, project better, so that the way I present is clearer.  Whenever I am going to present, or I want to get excited about something, I will have one of Armand's recordings playing in the background.

It doesn't really matter what the subject is, I just try to get his voice in my head, and get his energy and enthusiasm.  I will also listen to his talks to pick up some of his careful phrases.  For example, you notice that Armand uses words like "free" a lot, or "instantly, or "overnight", or the phrase "100%".  Even when he says things like that, he will slow down his speaking when he says words or numbers such as one hundred.

Role Model #3: Joel Spolsky

One thing you may have noticed about the first role models is that they are computer nerds. They are programmers, they are tech guys, and Joel Spolsky is as well.   Joel runs a company called "Fog Creek Software", and he runs a blog called "Joel on Software" where he gives advice about marketing and software developments.  I haven't seen nearly as many of Joel's presentations as I have Steve's and Armand's.  I have read a ton of his writing.

I read his writing for the attitude he gives.  He is a sassy guy and has a way of telling stories and saying phrases that get in your head and stay there.  He also has strong and direct opinions, which is what I like in a writer.  He writes like a programmer in a clear step by step fashion.

Who are your role models? Do you have too many, if so can you narrow it down to your top three?  What do they all have in common?  Are you picking out the right things from the three?

Comment below. Go ahead, do it right now.

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  1. Britt Malka says:

    Do I have role models?

    I’ve never asked myself that question, but there are people, I admire a lot, and I strive to be like them in certain ways.

    Stephen King – that man is a story teller, if ever there was one! And he is brilliant in creating believable characters.

    Jean-Marie Bigard – French stand-up comidian, who knows the art of mixing the serious with the funny. He can teach you of how oysters mate, and you listen, and a few seconds after, you’re about to fall down from the chair, crying with laughter.

    René Goscinny – French, again, author this time. He can write a story about a little boy (Petit Nicolas), so you know both how the boy feels, and what’s really going on. He’s perhaps most famous for being the author of Asterix (design by Uderzu).

  2. I’m very new at this, so I’m building my role model list. I decided early on to listen to Connie Ragen Green. She’s such a good teacher, she makes it easy to understand complicated things.
    BTW…when you asked me whether I wanted to see info about WordPress “tweaks” or “Plugins” I guess I was referring to the actual programming of setting some things up. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem intuitive. Of course, I love plugin info as well.

  3. I have 3 role models:

    1. Werner Erhard — Werner goes and digs deep until he gets to a transformable phenomenon. He clearly distinguishes it until he, and all that listen, have a choice about that.

    2. Osho — Like Osho, I live my life as an active meditation, only fearing that I disconnect from the source of everything. I live outrageously, I love to shock, and I consider sexual energy suppressed a horrible poison.

    3. Robert Plank — Robert Plank lives with his eyes wide open, always ready to catch the “rule” or “the law” of everything under the fluff, noise, and superficial. Thus everything he says is “operative” and “transformative”. He can upset the apple cart, but won’t leave you hanging. You make the right bet modeling much of your mindset to his.

    4. T. Harv Eker — I model about T. Harv Eker his relationship to making money: he says: it is not the millions, it is who you need to become to be able to attract those millions. I find it degrading to work for money, or do anything for money I wouldn’t do for free. I haven’t done that in 25 years, and hope will never lower myself to that. But… I am coming from a devastated inner world of poverty, and being undeserving: the idea of transforming myself into someone who can and does attract wealth is a mighty one.

  4. David Burch says:

    I like Steve Jobs and Joel Spolksy for the reasons you mentioned. I taught PowerPoint in College and used Steve Jobs as a good example. I like his style. I used CityDesk for years because of it’s simple and powerful approach to generating websites, and would still be using it if Joel’s company hadn’t gone in different directions. For IM, your advice is the advice that really resonates with me.

  5. When you talk about role models, Robert, it is obvious that you ARE modeling your models. I can easily see them in you.

    As for my role models – I go for people who love what they do. Their joy shines through.

    Like you, Armand Morin, is one of my role models. I don’t know anyone who takes more joy in his “work” – he’s just having fun and making money along the way. He is more than generous with his information and his caring. His happiness is contagious! He is intense and leaves no stone unturned when he’s trying to test or figure something out. He’s not afraid to go for it.

    A second role model was Michael Creighton. He was incessantly curious. He too delved deeply into topics he was researching. And he crafted great stories! I loved listening to interviews with him because he was conversant on so many topics. He went from medical doctor to best-selling author to movie producer. But learning all along the way.

    My third role model is John Williams, composer and prior director of the Boston Pops. He not only brought personality to the platform, but he built his own image as THE movie composer. He successfully kept his foot in both venues for many years. From the 1984 Olympics (weren’t you born that year?) to the performance I’m attending Sunday, his music has had a deep and lasting influence on me. And he has probably touched more people worldwide than any other composer. A true master.

    Interesting exercise – I’d never expressed those before. Thanks for the opportunity!

  6. David Burch says:

    My role models?

    Eugene Schwartz: I like his Zen-like approach to copywriting and working in general: working harder and smarter, not longer. His is one voice that I can’t get out of my head.

    Robert Plank: You caught me peddling Time Management on Crack at Action Seminar. I really do like it that much. I like the way you condense everything into processes that are simple and effective.

    Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit. For how he shares the arts of Shaolin Kung Fu and Chi Kung and how he teaches: simple, progressive learning. His Three Golden Rules: Rule #1: Relax. Rule #2: Relax, Rule #3: Of course, relax.

    Matt Furey: I love the way that he does email marketing. Always in my inbox. Always sharing a story. Always transitioning into a call to action.

  7. Rob says:

    I am deafintely a steve jobs fan. He got screwed by that gates and still has a better company and products.


  8. John Wright says:

    I can only one at this time besides the first one of
    yours. One of my favorites is Gary Vaynercheck or how
    ever you spell his name. He is a wine guy and very out
    I love his manner and style. Another one I like is the
    guy who wrote the 4 hour work week. Sorry I am bad at
    names. Sure could use your advice on fixing my web site
    it is like going into a foreign country.
    The calendar is off and I tried to figure it out and
    bring it from march to june and It was all greek to me.
    Too bad you guys couldn’t write a simplified way to fix
    web sites. It seems everything is so complicated and
    Right now I really hate mine.It has been sitting for
    over 2 and one half months because I get really frustr-
    ated every time I get into it.

  9. My favorite in the world of politics is the late Sir Winston Churchill. His courage in standing up for his opinion, and if necessary change party to fulfill his ideals is a strong encouragement to stand up for one’s opinions.

    In the world of internet marketing it would be these:

    Yourself – for taking a stand when your business took off, and committing yourself fully to that way, without keeping the comfortable day job, and becoming fully self-employed.

    Joel Comm – for his tremendous help in bringing people the Top One Report.

    Martin Thorborg – danish entrepreneur who helps people with his danish pod- and videocasts helping others see the vision of eMarketing.

    Britt Malka – who also comments on your blog posts – for her undying commitment to blogging (in both English and Danish), always encouraging people to take action.

  10. Fran Aslam says:

    Hey Robert:

    I have been here a few times. But today, it was a social topic. Come to think of it I do not have role models. But it always helps to have some.

    My current state of mind accepts friends only.

    Tony Robbins said “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what the do and you’ll achieve the same results”

    It is a good idea to copy some one, it is the most natural way for us to copy and learn, we learned that as babies too.
    Now you made me think if I need a role model to copy!

    Fran Aslam

  11. Peggy says:

    My main role model:

    Frances Denniston – teacher, counselor, photographer, traveler, organizer, reader, good cook, hospitable, savy, godly, generous, resourceful, loving, thoughtful and kind.

    She retired from teaching and began tutoring in a Christian School and continued to do so for more than 25 years until about two weeks before her death.

    She was organized. Monday was housecleaning and camera club, Tuesday was tutoring, Wednesdays was a day to look good then visit both the elderly and friends. Thursday was computer day. In her 70’s or early 80’s she learned to use the computer. She always sent e-mail on Thursdays.

    2. I admire and have learned from many marketers who exhibit a high degree of integrity and generosity

    Eric Holmgren of Eric’s Tips
    Armand Morin marketers associated with him including Jeanette Cates and the Fortins

    3. Un-named personal friends – I admire their energy, their positive attitude, their skill, and their use of time, and of course their taste in friends (:

  12. I don’t suppose I have given it much thought lately but thanks for the opportunity. My online role model would be Connie Ragen Green. I like the way she shares herself with her students and is always forthright and open with her knowledge.

    I also admire my friend Katherine Bock. She is a personal coach and is one of the most gracious people I have met. I have never seen her be anything other than her best and she is always there to help.

    My third role model was my Dad. He seemed to find the good in everyone and the beauty in the world around him. I miss him

  13. No question about it, I have more than one role model. There are certain attributes and characteristics I respect and admire in certain individuals – so it’s a bit of a Mix & Match. If I had to choose just one person to name as my role model, it would be Jessica Swanson.


  14. Ron Barrett says:

    Hey Robert,

    Great question. I have been thinking about this for a couple of hours and can’t really say that I have one specific role model.

    If I am ‘forced’ to choose, it would have to be Jesus.

    Here is a man whom so many people try to model their lives after and it is extremely difficult to do because he is perfection.

    That’s where I would like to be but know I never will… but what a goal to reach for.

  15. Sarah says:

    1. Anthony Robbins. I briefly heard about him before, but only really learnt more about him when I read his book. He is able to motivate people, infect people with his enthusiasm, mesmerize people when he is speaking, and make people want to make changes on their own.

    I constantly try to improve the way I think, behave and act based on his teachings.

    In my work, I constantly wanted to ‘downsize’ the number of audience, because I felt I would only be able to make more changes that benefit them, and more in my comfort zone. After reading his book, I realised that to make an impact, I should be thinking bigger. It is definitely possible to speak to a big crowd and still inspire them.

    2. Madonna
    She may be a controversial role model, but she certainly knows how to attract the audience’s attention. She constantly revamps her image, and she is extremely hardworking.

    I think both are similar in that they constantly stay relevant. Tony feels that infomercials don’t work as well as before, so is now getting onto IM. Madonna is never outdated. They know how to present themselves.

    They are probably about the same age too.

  16. 1. Warren Buffett. Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. His conservative style of investing is often criticized but he never waivers in his thinking. The end of his success was predicted when he missed out during the dotcom bull market. Of course the dotcom crashed. Very positive and focused. Independent thinker. If you think you can do it, you can.

    2. Benjamin Franklin – what didn’t he accomplish in his lifetime. If you think you can do it, you can.

    3. Anyone over 100 and still working because they want to. If you think you can do it, you can.

    4. Anyone who makes me feel good about myself. If I think I can do it, I can. (That is a behavior I want to emulate.)

    We all can be role models. How you think is everything in business and in life.

  17. What an excellent question to ask – who do you want to be like? Who are your role models?
    It’s funny you list Armand Morin, since I saw him talk 2 months ago, and I really liked him. I even wrote a blog about his talk.
    But when I think of my role models, I first think of
    – Richard Branson. He is always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in business, and in competition. He’s a fighter and a believer, and I admire that.
    Also, I think of –
    Dame Anita Roddick. She was such a pioneer, and she used her business, money and knowledge to campaign for environmental and human rights. Her life, and her success, makes me proud to be a woman.
    I know I have more, but those are 2 that first come to my mind. Thanks Robert. 🙂

  18. Rob says:

    James Dyson for me. He is a dedicated scientist and manufacturer in an age when manufacturing is a dirty word.
    best wishes


  19. dileepa says:


    1) Dr Mani.

    For what he has achieved, what he is doing & what
    he’s inspired to do more & be.

    To make it simpler, he gave me a different outlook &
    a complete overhaul at the age of 54.

    I am 56 yrs now & he will ever remain to be – that

    2) Sir Richard Branson

    The only field that I was employed in is – Aviation,
    for 32 years.

    Joined as a Flight Attendant & resigned too – as

    Sir Richard, Gosh! From one type of business to
    another & to another.

    His sense of arrogant simplicity, modest sense of
    celeb status, coupled with a high degree achievement.

    — what drives him & what drives his team —-

    — No wonder he has selected a team of self
    motivators —–

    Is it a wonder to have him placed there – by me ! ! !

    3) VACANT

  20. lynn says:

    1. Patrick at Kalzumeus.com – I love his blog, how detail-oriented he is, and basically I’m attempting to replicate his business model with my own products.

    2. Ali Brown – still high enough above me I still can’t see myself as successful as she is, but eventually I want that paradigm to shift. 🙂

    3. Pat O’Bryan – Armand Morin was one of his coaching students I believe. I can believe in a teachers whose *students* are an even bigger success than he or she is…

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