Be Your Own Guru: My Top Leadership Gurus of 2017

Be your own guru Isabel Valoria Rao

In today’s world of self help, leadership development and life/wellness/health/executive/performance/business coaches, there is no shortage of experts with their recommendations on how to live your best life.  As a dreamer and overachiever freshly in my 30’s, I am no stranger to the self help space.  I am constantly looking for ways to pump myself up with motivation, get myself out of a funk or simply keep the momentum going. 

There is so much advice and content out there that it can get a bit overwhelming.  What I tend to do is find someone who resonates with me, obsessively follow them for a good few months and then find someone new in which the whole cycle starts all over again.

With all my obsessing and following and yearning to better myself since my mid-20’s, I’ve come up with a nice list of ‘gurus’ that I follow.  I have their books, follow them on all social media platforms, listen to their podcasts, receive their newsletters, and/or binge watch their YouTube videos.

However, you can follow all the influencers you want, but it’s up to you to truly make a real change in your life.  It’s up to you to pick the best out of what everyone has to offer and come up with your own life code, live by your own mantra and essentially be your own guru.  At the end of the day, you’re left with yourself, the habits you’ve formed and the choices you’ve made in life.

I’m sharing my list of gurus below in no particular order, but I did categorize them to either Leadership or Lifestyle, of course 🙂 I look up to these people for their own unique reasons, so I hope some of them resonate with you, too!  Let me know if you follow them as well and please share with me your guru recommendations. ❤

My Leadership Gurus

Joel Brown, Addicted2Success

Joel Brown followed me on Twitter, I followed him back, I checked out his website and I was hooked!  I visited Addicted2Success a lot when I was freshly in my career to help keep me going during the tough times.  It’s the perfect quick boost of motivation if you’re down in the dumps during the workday.

Dorie Clark

I cannot remember exactly how I found out about Dorie Clark.  I think it was from Googling “personal branding” or something along those lines.  I still receive and read her email newsletters as she delivers so much valuable and relevant content not just for entrepreneurs, but for anyone who wants to “Stand Out” in this crowded world.  I highly recommend her book “Stand Out” that essentially shows you how to be a thought leader in your chosen field.

Brendon Burchard

Jett and I were getting ready for a long 7-hour drive to Kelowna for a summer and we wanted to download some podcasts for the drive.  I came across this Charged Life podcast by Brendon Burchard, which looked intriguing.  We listened to a few episodes on the road and my mind was blown!  I immediately signed up for his mailing list and ordered his book “The Charge”, which was full of revelations for me as I pored over it every night.  His new podcast series called The Brendon Show is incredible and I listen to it whenever I need some pumping up.

Marie Forleo

Again, I cannot recall how I came across Marie Forleo.  I’m guessing it was during a YouTube blackhole that I was sucked into late at night because her MarieTV videos are totally relevant and just AMAZING.  Not only are they entertaining but also full of useful advice to “build a life and business that you love” staying true to her tagline.  I love watching her videos of Q&A Tuesdays and interviews with influential authors and entrepreneurs.  She’s got so much personality, looks like she has a lot of fun filming and I totally want to hangout with her lol.

Sofie Von Marricks, Hot Rich Love Your Life B****

I love Sofie Von Marricks’ no-nonsense advice and positivity.  She is a business and lifestyle coach who blogs about everything from how to make more friends to how to manifest more money.  I’m pretty sure I came across her through some good old Facebook stalking back in the day.  She’s a fellow Canadian, millennial and Scorpio, so I really feel like I can relate to her.  So much so that I still receive her e-newsletter and watch her YouTube videos today.

Sheryl Sandberg

And last but certainly not least, the Queen of Ladies in Leadership, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook (I don’t need a hyperlink to Facebook, do I?) and author of one of my favourite books ever, “Lean In”.  Although a bit idealistic, it is a MUST READ for all ladies aspiring to be leaders in whatever they do.  I received this as a recommendation a couple years ago from my VP HR at Zedi and I can’t thank her enough because I’m pretty sure this book changed my life (not to be dramatic or anything …) If you have not read this yet, you MUST.  If you’re not a reader, try her famous TED Talk on for size.  I recommend it for men also as they’d learn a lot about what women have to go through and how to help the women in their life lean into their careers.


Because this blog post is getting WAY too long, I am going to split this up into two parts.  This post is Part 1 My Top Leadership Gurus of 2017, soon to be followed by Part 2 My Top Lifestyle Gurus of 2017.

Do you subscribe to any of the above coaches or influencers?  Who do you follow for leadership and motivation?  I’m always up for discovering and reading on new lessons and perspectives, so please let me know!  I hope you enjoyed this post and please go check out my gurus’ content!

❤ Isabel

One thought on “Be Your Own Guru: My Top Leadership Gurus of 2017

  1. Pingback: My Fave Five Lifestyle Gurus | Isabel Valoria . com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s