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Time Magazine recently released its top 100 influential people. The list has gotten a lot of blog chatter and media coverage. It also made me think about my base of inspirational people and why they are important and influential to me.

Some I don’t see often. Some I’ve not met yet. And some are no longer here.

As an entrepreneur, it’s valuable to have a list of business and life rock stars, people that you admire and who somehow add more good to your destiny and being.

For me, these extraordinary souls have accomplished incredible outcomes and overcome challenges. They possess characteristics that I appreciate and their stories somehow act as surrogate spirits that stay very present in my chosen path.

Some are fictional friends and some are real-life mentors. Some are business leaders who I know will be legends one day, and others are people from my past.

I look up to this group often, (most of them don’t know this). I don’t agree with everything they do or have done. I am in awe over their achievements. And often consider how they would handle certain tough situations.

My group of inspiration is not in my everyday, every moment zone, but they always somehow challenge me to be better. And I am grateful for all of them.

1) Jay Leno, such a funny, seemingly uncomplicated guy with a big genuineness about him. Comedy is very important in our world and Jay symbolizes good, plain funny.

2) Madonna, talent, fitness, business focus and drive. Came from simple beginnings, built a global brand. And looks so fabulous for 50 something.

3) Denis Calabrese, started USA Fit, a national marathon training program. He’s a political strategist, astute problem solver and always is calm and confident.

4) Seth Godin, born in the same hometown as me Buffalo, NY, same year too, we are both young. Seth is a gifted, super cool writer, thinker, speaker and entrepreneur.

5) Jeffrey Gitomer, the sales and sales tool machine. Not too many years ago he was pimping t-shirts out of his car. Today is THE sales guy. Gitomer practices what he preaches with direct, smart, optimistic energy everyday.

6) Nancy Walker, a design diva, a brand builder, an entrepreneur, a mother, a dog mom and a wife. She leads a team of forward thinkers and creates positive and memorable experiences and environments.

7) Marcus Buckingham, former researcher with Gallup Organization, today he’s a best-selling author, speaker and enterprise builder. At still a young age of thirty something, Marcus commands nearly $50k for a single speech and he’s an extremely captivating personality.

8) Diana Marshall, first female partner in the prestigious law firm of BakerBotts and now leads her own practice. Probably the most intelligent and creative woman I’ve ever met.

9) Jill Griffin, a fireball authority on loyalty. She was one of the youngest brand manager at RJ Reynolds and today has three best-selling books under her belt.

10) My dad, Norm Post no longer resides here, but remains in spirit everyday. Three days left in his life, leaving us with cancer, he requests my mom take him to work. Why not? He said, with a resilient attitude and a big smile on his face.

11) Dara Torres, even though I’m a card carrying tennishead, Dara makes my list, she’s beautiful, a spectacular athlete, achieved Olympic greatness and is an awesome communicator.

So who are some people on your leading list? And why.