Mel, Karin and Gary Vee – My Top Influencers for 2018

Motivation, in essence, is any thing or any person that moves you to take action. Generally, our motivation can originate from external or internal sources but it always requires the person to make the choice to take action.  Over the years, I have found that motivation can come from any source. You can simply have an idea and decide to start working to make it happen. You can be motivated by the things that you see or hear. You can hear someone else talking about their own experiences and see the wisdom from their journey.

One of the people who have been inspirational to me throughout this year has been Karin Bohn.  She is an entrepreneur, interior designer and YouTube vlogger. She has been successfully running her business for nine (9) years and only over the last two (2) years has taken to social media to share her knowledge and her experiences. I have found Karin inspirational because of her willingness to tackle some of the tough issues that she encounters in her own journey.

Her Day In The Life vlogs gives us insight into the constant grind that represents work in order to succeed at what you are doing. One of her episodes deals with the fact that we are not always going to find our jobs inspiring or fulfilling. There are going to be things that we do not love doing but we will do them because we have to in order to be able to do the parts that we love. Fortunately, as someone who has worked in an organization for more than ten years, I am fully aware of how hard it is to try to find the time to get everything done that you have to do during the course of a day.

Karin wants to ensure that her viewers are not seeing entrepreneurship as an option for them just because they think that it is a glamorous lifestyle. She wants us to acknowledge that it is a grind and that it takes real work to be able to handle the technical competence, e.g. interior design, as well as the finer points of managing a business and leading a team of individuals. Her constant reminder, that to be successful takes more than just the traditional 8 hours between 9 am and 5 pm and her advice about how we should approach sales and selling to ensure consistently we have business in the pipeline, are two of the biggest things that I took away from viewing her videos.

While this is not something that she focuses on helping her audience to learn, I also revamped by daily scheduling based on Karin’s approach. Instead of simply working with a to-do list, I started assigning tasks into my calendar and allocating time for them to be completed. Whether it’s making a call, working on a report, designing a programme, writing a blog post or going to a meeting, if it’s to be done on any given day, it has to be in the calendar.

Another one of my inspirations this year has been Gary Vaynerchuk or Gary Vee as he is more commonly known.  He is a successful entrepreneur and is most famously known for transforming his family’s wine business into a multimillion dollar enterprise. Gary has been an entrepreneur all his life and appears to have been able to readily tap into his inherent entrepreneurial mindset in order to identify the course he would want his life and his career to take.

I know that this is not so for everyone. Speaking for myself, the entrepreneurial mindset was not inherent to me. For many years, I considered the idea of owning my own business to be too much of a challenge for me. I preferred to use any ideas that I came up with in the pursuit of fulfilling my organization’s purpose and my CEO’s vision. All that was fine until I decided that I was willing to try a different approach and that changed my mindset.

Gary Vee talks about his journey in moving from his family’s business to starting over again on his own. He is always willing to share honestly about the sacrifices that have to be made if you are going to be successful. He reminds us that we have to be willing to try things, we have to be willing to make prudent choices, sacrifice on luxury now to achieve what we want to get later on down the road.  He talks also about the fact that we have to be willing to give value before we can ask to get. We have to be willing to forego the approval of others because not everyone is going to see or agree with your vision for your future.

Gary Vee’s biggest advice for all who want to pursue and achieve their own dream; stop dreaming or wishing or talking about it. Instead start taking action. Do something, no matter how small.  He is also consistently reminding us that the path to success is not easy. He also offers advice on how best to use the internet and social media platforms. It takes hard work to succeed and each word of advice from any person who has made the journey before us, is invaluable.

Gary Vee is also the author of several books. The two that I have read so far are Crush It and Crushing It.  In the first one he outlines a step by step guide for getting started in your business and then using online methods for building your brand and promoting your product. In the second book, Crushing It, he outlines success stories from people who used his advice to achieve their dreams and begin creating the life that they wanted. I highly recommend his videos, vlog and books to anyone who is interested.

The 5 Second Rule is a book written by Mel Robbins. This book is designed to give us a strategy for doing the things that we need to do even when we don’t feel inspired to take the action. It is extremely useful to anyone who finds that they often procrastinate about the things that they know are important. It is an easy read and filled with many real life examples of others who are or were in the same state.

In this book Mel discusses how she developed her system. She tells her own story and uses herself as an example of how the tool she has developed can help us to do more and achieve more. She outlines the way to use the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown to do things as simple as getting out of bed in the morning, or as complicated as having that difficult conversation that you have been putting off for months.

As someone who has consistently struggled with procrastination, this book has made a significant impact in my life. It has helped me to shift my mindset. Being able to articulate that it is acceptable to take action event when I don’t want to, or don’t feel like it, or the action feels so uncomfortable that I think it must be wrong, has been liberating for me. Recognizing that this struggle is normal for some people and having an easy tool to use to fight and win, has inspired me to take some significant actions throughout the course of the year. It has helped me to push past some sticking points in my mind, when I wanted to put off the action until another time when I felt that I would feel more inspired to get it done. So it has become one of my new sayings; ‘Do it anyway.’

The advice and guidance from all three of these influencers can be found on YouTube. They each have extensive collections of videos and great information for anyone who is interested.  I have found that YouTube is proving to be an excellent source for high quality programming. I know, that sounds like a commercial but it is not. It’s a fact.  I have even started recommending that the people I train consider it to be a source for anything they are trying to better understand or learn from scratch.

I know that while these three, Karin, Gary and Mel have proven to be a great source of inspiration and information for me, you may find others that work for you. The important thing that I recommend to everyone is to look for your influencers and motivators. When you find them, please feel free to share. If you already have some, go ahead and leave a comment to mention your own inspiration for 2018. It might be useful to someone else who is looking for guidance as they continue their own journey to growth and development.



Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit



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