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Top 10 Role Models for young people

Top 10 Role Models for young people

Top 10 Role Models for young people

 So I've been reading all the breaking news about Tiger Woods and how he’s gone from being a great role model to a cheating, lying husband and it got me thinking. Who are some good role models to look up too for people our age?  So here it is, the top 10 role models under 40.

 The keywords here are unconventional, but extremely effective!


1. Gary Vaynerchuk (founder of Wine Library TV)

Born in Belarus, Gary’s family migrated to the US and his father eventually opened a liquor store. Gary helped turn the small company into an industry leader at an early age. In 2006 he launched Wine Library TV which caught on and became very popular. By using social networking tools Gary created a huge following and eventually became very well known in the industry and as an internet personality.

He took what he learned in building a business and his internet video blog to create his own personal brand. He has leveraged this into numerous speaking engagements as well as a 10-book deal he signed with Harper Studio worth over $1,000,000.00. His first book Crush It , was recently released and preaches his message of doing what you love, monetizing it and gives you an idea of how to put this plan into action.

Gary is a very motivating and inspiring guy. While he may be unknown to many young people right now, he is quickly gathering a large following through the use of social networking tools. He is a true pioneer of doing things his own way, building his own personal brand and “hustling” relentlessly.


It must be the bangs

2. Kevin Rose (Founder of Digg.com)

You may not know Kevin Rose yet, but you will. Founder of Digg.com and host of the weekly internet TV show Diggnation. Kevin was featured on the cover of Business Week in an article titled, "How This Kid Made $60 Million In 18 Months". Though the article was somewhat deceiving basing Rose’s net worth on his stake in Digg.com, not his true holdings, it got him a lot of publicity. Founding Digg.com with $6,000 and turning it into the hugely successful site it is today is no easy task. Kevin works incredibly hard and isn’t just a kid who made a site that luckily made it big. He is an intelligent business man who can replicate his success. Another venture of his Revision3.com is the host site for his weekly video series Diggnation, a show that now averages around 250,000 downloads per episode. He has built a business on being real and transparent and it is something that will pay dividends for years to come.


3. Carolyn Rubenstein (Author and Non-profit founder of CCC)

At the age of just 24 Carolyn has accomplished great things. At the age of 14 she started Carolyn’s Compassionate Children, a non-profit organization that served as a pen-pal program for children battling Cancer. She later decided to change the focus of her organization to providing scholarships to help childhood Cancer survivors who where still dealing with medical bills and needed help paying with college. She wrote a book titled “Perseverance” (True stories of Cancer survivors). She is truly an inspiration too all of us and sports the kind of unconventional selflessness, seldom seen in our culture. Oh and by the way, she graduated from Duke with a BA in psychology and is currently taking her PHD program in clinical psychology. Smart, motivated and relentlessly driven. I wonder if she’s single?


We can tell he means business.

4. Drake (Actor and Musician)

The hottest name in Hip Hop without a question right now is Drake. He has come a long way since playing Jimmy on Degrassi. While he has more than enough haters out there wondering how a middle class Canadian can be running the rap game, his fans praise him as the next savior of the industry.

So he makes good music, why is he a good role model You ask? How many other musicians do you see out there who have number 1 hits on the charts without yet having a record deal? He has created his own buzz and built his own business by doing things his way and not treading the beaten path. Releasing his hugely popular mixtapes on his blogs and creating a following by just making good music and putting it out there, Drake has created one of the biggest bidding wars between record companies in history. He is a true pioneer in the industry and it looks like we will be seeing a lot more from him in the future.


5. Tony Hsieh (CEO Zappos.com)

Building a business on loyal customers, by offering unmatched customer service. Quite a refreshing idea these days in America let me tell you. Tony is the CEO of Zappos.com the largest online shoe store in the world. It is estimated that over 60% of Zappos customers were repeat buyers in 2005.

Tony preached in a recent speech “Chase the vision, not the money” a message that he clearly used in the way he ran his business. By creating a winning company culture and providing service to customers that went above and beyond their expectations, Tony built a hugely successful brand.

Recently Zappos.com was acquired by Amazon.com for $940 million dollars in cash and stock. He may not have been chasing the money, but it sure found him.


Just doing his thing

6. Dwayne Wade (Professional Basketball player)

Dwayne Wade is a NBA Superstar. Having led his team to an NBA championship in 2006 and winning the NBA Finals MVP award, Wade also led the 2008 USA basketball team to a Gold Medal in Bejing, leading the team in scoring. It’s no question he is a young star still on the rise at the age of 27.

Wade persevered through many challenges growing up. After being recruited by only three colleges because of poor grades, Wade chose Marquette. After being ineligible to play basketball because of grades, Wade sought out a tutor to improve his writing skills and eventually gained eligibility and thrived at Marquette.

While Wade is clearly a star on the court, it is what he has done off of the court that separates him from his colleagues. He formed the Wade foundation which promotes health and education to children in at-risk situations. He also bought his mother a church, who had been a former drug user but has since devoted her life to ministering the church.

Among other things he has bought a home for a woman whose nephew burned their home down and wrote a $25,000 check to keep the Robbins, Illinois public library from being shut down. He is clearly someone who takes philanthropy seriously and makes it a priority in his life.

7. Lauren Conrad (Actress)

Talk about growing up in front of the camera. We have all heard the horror stories of young actors and actresses that grew up on TV and then had their fame lead them into trouble. What we don’t hear about as much is this young woman who has remained very real and down to earth despite being an A-list celebrity since her high school days on MTV’s Laguna Beach.

Lauren has also delved into entrepreneurship writing a semi-autobiographical book “L.A. Candy” and also gaining an endorsement deal from Avon’s “Mark” line. She recently launched LC, her own clothing line available in Kohl’s stores nationwide. Her rise to fame was unconventional, but she made the most of it, made us fall in love with her and capitalized on her success.  


8. Angelina Jolie (Actress, humanitarian)

I think we all know her very well by now. However it isn’t her movies or Hollywood marriage that puts her on this list.

Angelina is probably one of the most well known humanitarians and she has preached her cause many times to the public. However while many Celebs promote causes and write checks, Angelina is more hands on. She has been named a goodwill ambassador and been on field missions for the UNHCR, meeting with refugees in over 20 countries. She has since won a myriad of awards from various humanitarian organizations and has donated millions of dollars help her causes she supports.

She has also adopted 3 children along with husband Brad Pitt from orphanages and given them a life they could never dreamt of having. While the limelight is always close behind, Angelina has done a great job of getting out there and making a difference. We can all say we want to change the world; she is someone who is actively doing it.


9. Tim Ferriss (Author, drug dealer)

Ok, so he’s not really a drug dealer, just and ex-nutritional supplement company owner who is transforming the way we do business. One of the leaders of a new generation of businessmen, Tim is an innovator and someone who has done things his own way. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek”, avid blogger and angel investor. These are merely a few of the things Tim has done in his 32 years however. He is a master at deconstructing complex tasks and learning new skills quickly. His writing is great and I recommend his blog to people each week it seems. He is one of the big names of the Web 2.0 revolution and in the coming years, we will surely be hearing much more from him.


10. Taylor Swift (Country music singer)

We all know this girl by now, a truly talented artist who transcends genres. She’s over 18 now so I can also mention that she’s very cute.  Taylor has handled the spotlight with class and is a great role model for young women.

While she has earned an estimated $18 million she has not forgotten those in need. She has been involved with The Nashville Area Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the National American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund as well as starting her own campaign to protect women from online predators. These are only a few of her vast philanthropic efforts and she seems to understand the need to give back to her community. Taylor is still a rising start, having already accomplished so much, she is only 19.

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