Our top 10 free-agent gurus

Drum roll please!  Here’s the KindredHQ guide to the TOP 10 people who inspire us, make us laugh and remind ourselves not to take ourselves too seriously every day.

  1. At Number One:  it’s got to be Seth Godin hasn’t it?  Well he has written over 14 books (we’ve got most of them) including Tribes: We need you to lead us and his latest one ‘We Are All Weird’, which argues strongly for a world in which we have more interests and ‘more authority to operate in ways that reflect (our) own unique values’.  Our sort of man.  He writes one of the most successful global blogs and you can even get your business cards made up by Moo with some of his better-known quotes.
  2. Tim Ferriss:  He’s listed as the world’s No 1 Productivity guru, although we know him best as the author of ‘The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich’.  He is possibly one of the best known names in the ‘Lifestyle Design’ genre, and we challenge you not to start googling that if you are bored at work.  He is famous for ‘turning small amounts of effort into oversize results’ and doing so from far-flung places.
  3. Jason Fried (of 37 Signals, the Basecamp people) is a one-off.  He isn’t afraid to do things differently or to express his opinions. He condemns traditional corporate office culture, with its 40-hour workweeks and constant meetings.  And he’s not opposed to a little goofing off in the afternoon.  He wrote the brilliant book ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever, which we’ve discussed before.
  4. Penelope Trunk is an American writer and blogger who examines the life of people in their 20s and their interaction between work and life.  We love her because she writes with humility and wit.  You’ll get the sense that she’s on your side.  We think she’s got important things to say about the way our working lives are changing.  She’s got a fabulous blog here and her third business start-up ‘Brazen Careerist’ is chokka full of useful advice.
  5. Chris Guillebeau – author of The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More.  Everything about Chris and his writing screams ‘do it differently, and do it your way’.  His blog, ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’ urges you to set your own rules and it is the language of revolution.  You’ve just missed the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, but by now you’re getting the picture.  You’ll need to be in fighting spirit, but if a kick up the butt is what you need, then we thoroughly recommend Chris’ approach.
  6. Sara HorowitzFreelancers’ Union.  Sara is the Mother of freelancers in the US.  She’s been an ardent campaigner and advocate for full rights and services for the freelance community there for years.  In a country where there are over 42 million independent workers, she passionately believes that the community should have access to equal services, particularly in health and finance.  We’ve been very inspired by their fight.
  7. Leo Babauta is the Zen-est of all Zen people.  His blog, Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. He wants us to be happy. It also happens to be one of the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world, with about 250,000 readers, and is. Zen Habits features one or two powerful articles a week on: simplicity, health & fitness, motivation and inspiration, frugality, family life, happiness, goals, getting great things done, and living in the moment.
  8. Dan Pink.  If Sara Horowitz is the mother of freelancers, then Dan is surely the Father.  He did, after all, write Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself back in 1997.  In a groundbreaking article for the Fast Company, he predicted a very significant movement towards independent working and taking more control over our lives.  It’s well worth a read, even now.
  9. Hugh Macleod.  We can’t get out of bed without checking Hugh’s daily Gaping Void cartoons.  But even though they are spectacularly funny and right on the mark, we love him even more for poking fun at the lives that we lead and for wanting to change business for the better.   Like us, he really believes that we are all connected by stories, even businesses.
  10. A creative man through and through, Scott Belsky is the Co-Founder of Behance (remember we featured them in our guide to online portfolios).  He’s totally obsessed with helping creative people, organisations and networks organize themselves. He wrote ‘Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality’ about that.   Oh and in his spare time, he coordinates 99U, a creative think tank and annual event dedicated to moving from idea generation to idea execution.

And there you have it.  Some of our favourite thinkers and doers.  We hope you find some inspiration from them too.

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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