A lot of business owners look to someone for inspiration. knowldge, leadership and motivation. Quite a few of you take that motivation in the form of the big celebrities such as Tony Robbins, Donald Trump etc. Afterall these celebrities have the books and the audio published on a large scale for that very reason. For me though I look for Influencers that I can have in my daily life. Those that I can talk to, tweet, listen and read on a daily basis. Why? It keeps me on track. It keeps me motivated.....and most of all it keeps me energised. So here are my top 5.

Xero the Business but specifically Hamish Edwards (@Hamish_E) & Rod Drury (@roddrury) http://xero.com

It will be no surprise to anyone that Hamish and Rod the founders of Xero are at the top of my list. I am continuously inspired by the Xero vision. Not just because of the brilliant product itself but also the culture and feel of the organisation. When you meet Rod and Hamish in real life first impressions are laid back, mischeivous and fun, extremely smart guys. Well that was the impression I had when 1st meeting both of them. Follow them around for some time and I'm sure you would be exhausted. Hamish and Rod and the entire Xero team are extremely good at listening. But better still they take that back and turn it into action. Forward thinking and challening just seem to come naturally to these boys.

Craig Wilson (@mediahunter) - NLYZR http://nlyzr.com

Craig makes my list for a few reasons. He is passionate, extremely focused and exceptionally creative. He is the guy you want to sit next to at the coffee shop or at the pub. Craig is fantastic at sharing what he knows. He gives away an enourmous amount of information to help businesses. And he is passionate about kicking the boundaries. If you head on over to his Blog site http://mediahunter.com.au you will find some really great reads. And as with Xero Craig is kicking some goals. His new business NLYZR is going great guns. If you get a chance to sit down with this man and listen to his story and thoughts......take it.

Sholto Macpherson (@sholtomac) - Box Free IT http://boxfreeit.com.au

Not to long ago (thanks to the wonderful Wayne Schmidt @wayne_schmidt from Xero) I was introduced to Sholto. After talking for hours and hours and listening to his inqusitive mind i was hooked. Sholto is a journalist so you would expect he would have the questioning part down pat. However Sholto doesn't just ask questions. He wants to learn.....and that turns into him challenging you. He makes you ask the questions about WHY you do something this way and whether there are alternatives. He then seeks to find some alternatives and challenges you as to whether or not they coulld become solutions for you. But most of all he wants to learn. He has a thirst for knowledge. And will always challenge the status quo.

Michael MC Carter (@practiceparadox) - Practice Paradox http://practiceparadox.com.au

I have followed Michael's journey for quite a few years now. He like the guys above is a very passionate person. He is very driven and always looking at ways to improve not only his business but also himself. He also has a thirst for knowledge and loves sharing the cool tools he finds. Scheduled quick 15 min chats with Michael always turn into hour long challenging ideas sessions. a Dinner ends up with us being kicked out of the restaurant when they are closing. Michael makes my list as he has a passion for seeing people succeed. That passion is a fantastic motivator and challenger at the same time.

My peers

By far one of the best influencing factors for me are my peers. There are a group of accountants that i completely admire, for a whole range of reasons. They are challenging the tools that accountants traditionally use, challenging the things as an industry we are known for and in the process having a bucket load of fun. This keeps all of us on our toes. All of us pushing forward. And best of all - helping each other in the process. I challenge you to pick some of your peers in your Influencers list. Then strive to be at the top of that list.

So who is it that Influences you? And who else do you need in your Influencers Group?