These amazing people inspire me. They are either widely-known or up and coming influencers in the fields I work in, such as #Communications, #SocialMedia and #EdTech. Perhaps you already know of them, or maybe you’ll find someone new to learn from. The list is in no particular order.

Each of these names represents a wealth of knowledge: they have written amazing books, deliver speeches and workshops, offer ecourses and share articles. They are generous, intelligent, innovative and so much more. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few in person, the rest are on my wishlist!

Also take a look at my partners page for influencers that I currently work directly with. -Renee 🙂

Oprah: who hasn’t heard of Oprah?! This woman has been a constant presence and inspiration through much of my life. I particularly love how she has triumphed over so many odds with such grace and generosity. She’s built her own career by lifting up others and has influence on a cross-industry, global scale.

Brene Brown: I first learned about Brene many years ago when my friend and Zestee partner, Manuela Damant kept raving about her. Now the world is catching up in realising the incredible importance of the messages she is sharing about “Daring Greatly”.

Seth Godin: This wise man speaks a lot of business sense. His latest book “This is Marketing” opened my eyes to how marketing really can be used as a positive force for change in the world, instead of just to sell people stuff they don’t need.

Yvette Adams: I had the good fortune to get to know Yvette back when she first started The Creative Collective on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She’s since grown it into an impressive digital agency, and also founded The Training Collective and Awards Hub.

Donna Moritz: Another Sunshine Coast resident, Donna has been sharing her visual content creation tips and more on her blog, in an ecourse and speaking at conferences worldwide. I’ve been lucky to spend some time with Donna and have learned a lot from her.

Amy Porterfield: is an online marketing expert, who has been sharing her experiences and knowledge via online courses, podcasts, webinars and more. I love her mix of business and humanity, and how she faces the reality of running a business.

Melonie Dodaro: CEO of Top Dog Social Media and author of LinkedIn Unlocked, we’re lucky enough to have had Melonie relocate from Canada to Amsterdam. No matter where you are in the world though, you can learn from her book and LinkedIn posts.

David Allen: has been helping people supercharge their productivity via his book “Getting Things Done” as well as via speaking and conferences.

Suzi Dafnis: first as founder of the Australian Businesswoman’s Network and now as CEO of the Her Business Network, Suzi brings women entrepreneurs together to learn from each other.

Stu McLaren: I discovered Stu’s “Tribe” via the HerBusiness Network and have been hooked since.

Tess Rutgers van Rozenburg – Rottier: it’s not just her name that’s impressive, Tess is working hard to change the world for the better via Ideas from Europe and other projects. She leads the way in developing new business models and bringing people together all around the world to solve global issues.

Gori Yahaya is the founder of Upskill Digital, and is an absolute bundle of energy, ideas and inspiration. We met in Amsterdam recently, and he and his team do an amazing job at improving the digital skills of thousands around the world.

Sheryl Sandenburg: from executive positions at Google then Facebook, her call to “Lean In” has reached millions of woman in business. She inspired many to start local Lean In circles, which have had a huge positive impact on families all around the world.

Emmy McCarthy: a “community builder and small business champion”, Emmy is the managing director of Amsterdam Mamas. She’s grown that community from a few people to thousands, but most importantly, has supported people to connect and support each other.

Gary Vaynerchuk: his style can be a little overwhelming at times but his experience and wisdom is incredible. His videos, books, podcasts and blogs generously share absolute gold for anyone who wants to succeed in digital.

Judge Judy: perhaps not someone you would expect on a list of business influencers, but I’ve learned from her straight-to-the-point common sense from watching her shows and reading her book.

Colleen Geske : Founder of the “Stuff Dutch People Like” blog, which led to a series of books, Colleen in a Canadian living in Amsterdam. She’s a genuinely lovely person and very talented writer, speaker and businesswoman.

Jessika Lynch: I’ve met Jessika a few times at the TEDxAmsterdamED events where she is a cofounder and on the board of directors. Jessika herself is a though leader and teachers others to become the same. Along with Maartje, she is also co-founder of Women Talk Tech.

Michael Stelzner: founder of Social Media Examiner, I’ve watched and listened to many hours of Michael sharing his knowledge and interest in social media on his podcasts and

Maartje Blijleven: her surname in Dutch translates to “happy life” and she contributes to this for many people through her work at “We Love Communities” and as a digital coach. Along with Jessika, she is also the cofounder of Women Talk Tech.

Billy Allwood: You won’t find Billy that active online personally, as Billy is one of these influencers who is active out in the community. The impact of many years hard work to improve the lives of english-speaking expats in The Hague can be seen via and felt at the annual Feel at Home in The Hague Fair.

Matt Mullenweg: co-founder of and CEO of Automattic. I met Matt at WordCamp in Leiden and enjoyed a brief chat. WordPress has changed the online landscape dramatically, giving powerful publishing tools to anyone who has an internet connection and the desire to learn.

Greg Shapiro: making people laugh is hard work, and Greg has been doing this for decades. The “American Netherlander” share his keen observations on life here in Holland in his books “How to be Dutch” and “How to be Orange” as well as in stage shows across the country, and at his “home base” of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam.

Neale Donald Walsch: his “Conversations with God” books had a big impact on me from my early adult years. He continues to influence many around the world with his writing and retreats.

Alexandra Galviz (Authentic Alex): This increadibly well-spoken, compassionate and intelligent young woman was one of the LinkedInLocal co-founders and is a LinkedIn “Top Voice”, amongst many other great things. She takes authentic to a whole new level, sharing both amazing and challenging parts of her life.

Mike Dooley: His daily TUT “Notes from the Universe” have been gracing my inbox for years now and continue to delight. He now has a book and speaks worldwide as well.

Emilie Wapnick: kicked off by her TEDx talk, and followed up by a book and her “Puttylike” online community, Emilie is a champion for people like me who love to do a lot of stuff! She calls us “mulipotentialites” and gives us pathways to better understand how we CAN do “everything”!

Marcus Buckingham has been changing the way that people think about their career. His latest book is called “Nine lies about work”.

Simon Sinek became well known via his TED talk and I’ve recently bought his book “Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action”.

A HUGE thank you to everyone on this list. Whether you know it or not (yet), you have been a positive impact in my life. What you do matters.

Who inspires you? I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know!

Renee 🙂