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Paychecks & Balances was invited to a double-secret VIP probation event for influencers. Like all events that happen during the digital age, if it didn’t happen on the Gram did it really happen? Therefore, The Event (coincidentally?) showed up all over social media. Doing my small part to maintain Millennial stereotypes, I’m also blogging about it today.

What is an Influencer?

The term “influencer” has gotten a well-earned negative connotation. Thanks in no small part to social media and scams like Escape from Fyre Festival Island ft. Kelly Hultgren. This year, an influencer is someone with over 2 million followers that can’t sale 36 t-shirts.

However, a more appropriate definition for our list is someone that influences someone to act. You don’t need millions of followers to influence. You only need to have an impact on at least one person’s life to call yourself an influencer.

Whether you go looking for places where you are wanted or resented you will surely find it. – Dr. John Delony (paraphrasing another quote)

There is more than enough negativity online. If you want a break, here are some of the people you should follow to positively nurture your well-being and your wallet.

Motivational and Personal Finance Speakers

TK Coleman – Director of Entrepreneurial Education at the Foundation for Economic Education (and winner of the above speaker-contest), TK is a humble, powerful, engaging speaker with a great message for audiences of all ages at tkcoleman.com.

Paige Pritchard – founder of ThePurposefulPenny.com, Paige was inspired to share her money journey after paying off $98,000 in student loan and credit card debt.

Patrice Washington – no stranger to the P&B Family, Patrice made her presence felt at the conference with a moving personal speech. Learn about her growing podcast, upcoming books, and speaking events around the country at PatriceWashington.com.

Chris & Jenni Graebe – Chris gave us a laugh with his speech. He and his wife of fifteen years are the creative geniuses behind OneLife.works and the hosts of the Live It Well Podcast, which helps couples move toward the life they deserve.

Tara Falcone – a Yale graduate, Certified Financial Planner, and CFA, Tara’s designations are superseded only by her abilities. At ReisUPllc.com, her flagship program, she teaches students to properly manage their personal finances based on her professional experience as a former investment analyst in New York City.

Ashley Eicher – creator of the All Our Favorite People Podcast, Ashley is the host for multiple TV, digital media, and branded content under her production company, AE Entertainment at AshleyEicher.com.

His & Her Moneyalso no strangers to P&B, Tai and Talaat wowed attendees with their story of overcoming financial infidelity on their way to a stronger marriage and a debt-free lifestyle that includes completely paying off their mortgage! Stay tuned to the e-streets for their upcoming Power Couples University including a Master Class from a familiar face by visiting HisandHermoney.com.

Stacey Flowers – TEDx Talk speaker, entrepreneur, optomist, and hilariously engaging speaker, Stacey has been listed as a Top 10 Female Motivational Speakers. But, don’t take our word for it, watch for yourself at StaceyFlowers.com.

Mike Flynn – what do an earthquake, motherly advice, and Doritos have in common? I guess you’ll have to be like Mike to find out, bestselling author of Master Key: A Story to Free Your Potential, Find Meaning, and Live Life on Purpose. Lean more about Mike (and ask him about the Dorito story) at theimpactentrepreneur.net.

Influencers in Personal Finance

Allison Baggerly – We will feature Allison’s full story in an upcoming PB Spotlight. This high-spirited (five foot two?) influencer specializes in teaching women how to budget, pay off debt and make saving a second nature at InspiredBudget.com.

Andy Hill – a man requiring no introduction but I’ll give him one anyway, is a Detroit native, awesome guy, and host of the motivational podcast and blog, Marriage, Kids, and Money.

Bethany Bayless – the woman behind the curtain (and the red glasses), Bethany is an awesome public speaker, professional emcee, and cohost of the personal finance podcast, The Money Millhouse. Learn all about Queen B at BethanyBayless.org.

Bola Sokunbi – A Certified Financial Education Instructor, finance expert, author, and founder of CleverGirlFinance.com, she helps women achieve financial wellness and live life on their own terms.

Candice LathamFrom $47,000 in Debt to Financial Independence, Candice is a woman of many talents, like helping me design my awesome Media One Sheet, and running CandiceLatham.com.

Catherine Alford – a nationally recognized family finance expert and founder of the award-winning personal finance blog catherinealford.com.

Chris Browning – While his beard pails in comparison to mine in luxuriousness, you shouldn’t count this against his personal finance knowledge. Beard growing is hard work! But, Chris (Master Your Personal Finances in 15 Minutes or Less ft. Popcorn Finance – PB126) keeps his finances simple and shares how in the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn at PopcornFinance.com.

Cindy Zuniga – founder of @ZeroBasedBudget, which chronicles her journey to pay off over $210,000 in law school debt and simplify personal finance.

Erika Young – founder of TailorMadeBudgets.com and author of Unashamed: 10 Money Conversations Every Couple Must Have, Erika climbed out of nearly $100,000 in debt with her husband Chris.

Jackie Bledsoe – bestselling author of The 7 Rings of Marriage and an international speaker helps couples create marriages worth celebrating at JackieBledsoe.com.

Jen Smith – her and her husband paid off $78,000 in two years. She’s on a mission to help others do the same at modernfrugality.com.

Jill Sirianni – cohost of the Frugal Friends Podcast and lover of minimalism, debt freedom, and personal finance.

Justine Nelson – founder of DebtFreeMillennials.com, an online community that helps millennials get out of debt.

Kelly McColgan – learn how you can maintain a budget and still live a great life with FreedomInABudget.com.

Kindra Hall – Kindra teaches how to harness, leverage, and use the power of storytelling to address today’s business challenges through KindraHall.com.

Kristin Stones – wife, mother of two, and personal finance blogger sharing practical finance tips on her website and YouTube channel empowering women to take control of their finances at centsandpurpose.com.

Kristina Ellis – bestselling author of Confessions of a Scholarship Winner and How to Graduate Debt-Free, Kristina has helped thousands of families at collegeninja.com.

Liz Eischen – founder and content writers for KitchenTableFinances.com, Liz talks about personal finance, debt repayment and earning more income through side hustles.

TheMarcusGarrett.com

Marcus Garrett – author of D.E.B.T. Free or Die Trying, host of Paychecks & Balances, the blogger behind the award-winner for Best Millennial or Gen Z Blog, and founder of the upcoming TheMarcusGarrett.com.

Nicole Hatcher – creator of FrugalChicLife.com blog, YouTube, and podcast, Nicole is a money coach, wife, and mother of three who paid off nearly $100,000 in student loan debt in just five years.

Rich Jones – host of Paychecks & Balances, a top-five career and personal finance podcast on Apple Podcasts and creator of TheShowStarter.com.

Sahirenys Pierce – the creative behind The Poised Finance and Lifestyle Blog is passionate about making personal finance relatable to the millennial experience. Join her and her 18,000 and counting followers on Instagram at ThePoisedLifestyle.com.

Sylvia Inks – business and financial coach, founder of SMIFinancialCoaching.com, and author of Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid Profitable Business Sylvia specializes in helping business owners find their best (financial) life.

Yezmin Thomas – eleven-time Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist, content creator, and financial coach, Yezmin shares her passion for financial education and debt freedom across blogs, podcasts, and videos in both English and Spanish.

OG Personal Finance Influencers*

*NTTIAWWT! Old-er is not the same as dead. “Respected” and “mature” are other words I could use. But, having aged into Senior Millennial status myself I found this introduction more calming to my spirit. So, here we are and without further ado.

Philip Taylor – I put PT here, CPA and founder of FinCon: Where Money and Media Meet, because I know he’ll be thrilled to find himself listed first under the header of “OG.” You can learn more about the young-ish PT at ptmoney.com/about

Chris Hogan – the deep-voiced Kentucky native–author of Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth–is as likely to offer me the fade for calling him “old” as he is to give a baritone “thank you” for making our list. In either case, your life will be improved by visiting his personal finance and motivational show at chrishogan360.com.

Ken Davis – Ken Davis is one of the country’s most sought after motivational and inspirational speakers. His mixture of side-splitting humor and inspiration delights and enriches audiences of all ages. Learn more about the man, or the legend, here.

Source: Broke Millennials Are Flocking to Financial Guru Dave Ramsey. Is His Advice Any Good?

Dave Ramsey – Lest we forgest the Godfather of Snowball? Mr. Ramsey of DaveRamsey.com and the brand behind The Man, Ramsey Solutions.

The Next Influencer

You?

I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of mentoring in recent years. I’ve noticed that, on average, it takes someone three to five years to realize their own greatness. This means if you have the right network in your life, they will see your potential three to five years before you see it in yourself. If you want a #LifeHack: start believing in yourself sooner! This simple act in self-confidence will place you light-years ahead of most any pack.

Related:

I learned a lot of great lessons during the conference. Many of you will benefit from these Calls to Action here at Paychecks & Balances, LLC, like our expanding PB Spotlight Series–where we highlight the uplifting stories of people striving to make a difference online and offline in themselves and their communities.

Impostor Syndrome is Real

Another important takeaway I had is that no one believes they are an influencer/leader. Even among those already in “the lead,” Imposter Syndrome is real. 

I had great discussions with people with millions of followers. Others had millions of viewers across every platform imaginable. One young speaker had absolutely no social media accounts, and he gave one of the most impactful speeches I’ve heard in my entire life.

Some had few followers but they had the type of personal-engagement with those followers that would make global brands envious. Attendees had won awards from esteemed organizations from across the country, and in some cases, from across the world. Yet, in a room full of accomplishments everyone was unified with one question: why are you here?

Others asked the straightforward question: why am I here?!!?

In other words, whether you’re on top of your game or you “started from the bottom,” you will always feel like you have further to go or you haven’t reached high enough. Don’t let this prevent you from pursuing your #BestLife. I don’t know who needs to hear this but…

You deserve to be great.

In closing, reflect on this quote from author, motivational speaker, and (influencer?), Chris Hogan:

Somebody somewhere is waiting for you to become who you are destined to be. How long are you going to make them wait? Chris Hogan

If you’re thirsting for more positivity, check out our growing list of subject matter experts and guest interviews. We’ve certainly missed out on some influencers in your life, or maybe you’re the influencer missing in somebody’s life. There is enough shine available for us all to Glo Up.

We look forward to making ours a platform that reaches back to lift up, rather than hold down. To that end, drop the name of the people who motivate you in the comments below so they can receive the recognition they deserve (even if they aren’t ready to accept they deserve it).

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