// 06.16.2020

10 inspiring people every entrepreneur should follow.

Social media has a bad reputation; it fuels procrastination and mindless scrolling, wastes time and adds little value to our lives. There’s a lot of truth to this, but there’s also good to be found amongst the debris.

First, it connects us to an almost unlimited number of extraordinary minds. Entrepreneurs are driven, passionate individuals, but they also rely on others to inspire them. Looking at others is part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey, and Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube bring those voices and ideas closer.

Second, seeing these exceptional people is one thing, but using social media to reach out and create relationships is another. Social media can be a positive force to expand networks and start conversations with those previously hidden.

Finally, it’s encouraging to see entrepreneurs beyond the face of their business. Social media offers a peek into the lives behind fast-growing startups and pioneering unicorns. That in itself is invaluable to those devoted to building businesses and reminds us that at the root of every idea is a person just like us. Here are ten entrepreneurs you should be following.

Mark Manson

Mark Manson is a life enthusiast, thinker, entrepreneur and author – he wrote the New York Times Bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Known for his down to earth advice on everything from purpose, love and productivity to growth, morning routines and self-acceptance, Manson is a fountain of sound thought for our time. And what makes him an invaluable person to follow is simply how relatable his words are. Whether it’s a tweet, Instagram post or blog post, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you can’t apply to your life. He also does a weekly newsletter, which B. Member Marcel van der Heijden recommends as a golden tip for personal growth.

Jorg Ruis

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Jorg Ruis is a veteran of the business world. Before founding Culture Builders, a startup helping organisations build cultures that improve performance and happiness, Ruis was CMO of Amsterdam based Messagebird and before that CMO of The Next Web. In 2017, he also starting vlogging; a smile-inducing mix of entrepreneurship, adventure and family life. If you want to be inspired by a true entrepreneurial spirit, Ruis is the man to follow.

Susan Cain

Entrepreneurs are often seen as outgoing, confident individuals who aren’t afraid of much. In reality, however, that’s not the case – entrepreneurs are introverts too. Susan Cain knows this well, and her TED talk (10.5 million views and counting) argues for and celebrates the power of introverts. For those who want to build businesses with ambitious aims but equally enjoy the quieter times in life, Cain is someone to look to.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the founder of the Huffington Post, founder of Thrive Global and author of fifteen books. She’s also be named in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. An impressive list. Her most venture, Thrive Global, aims to help people create healthy habits that build resilience, happiness and health amid the increasing levels of stress and pressure associated with work. It’s an important idea headed by an incredible woman. Follow her for insightful thoughts on taking care of yourself whilst striving to excel.

Ivan Zhao

Founder of Notion – the collaboration and productivity platform worth $2 billion – Ivan Zhao is somewhat elusive compared to the others in this list. His Instagram offers poetic glimpses into his everyday life whilst his Twitter is a goldmine of curious cultural material and snippets of Notion HQ. All of it is fascinating, but none of it is pretentious. As a company who is growing at an astonishing pace, following Zhao is an intriguing look into the workings of a remarkable mind.

Kathryn Minshew 

Kathryn Minshew is the CEO and founder of The Muse, a career-development platform that was one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World in 2018. In 2011 and 2012, she was included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, and has also gone on to co-author a book and start an indispensable podcast called The New Rules of Work. Minshew is all about business today; high performing work environments, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and the work-life balance to name a few. An empowering woman who is in tune with the times, follow her if you want your business to keep up.

Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Trinity Mouzon Wofford started her wellness and superfood business Golde in 2017 when she was twenty-three. When she was twenty-five, she became the youngest Black woman ever to launch a line with the beauty-giant Sephora, and she was also included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 this year. Whilst her achievements are staggering, she’s still acutely aware of the hurdles she faces as a young founder and a person of colour. Wofford is an exemplar of drive, passion and conscience, and every entrepreneur can learn something from her.

Lauren Singer

Living a zero-waste life may seem hardcore or even impossible, but activist, blogger and entrepreneur Lauren Singer said otherwise her TED Talk back in 2015. After starting her well-known blog Trash is for Tossers and her organic, vegan laundry detergent company The Simply Co., Singer went on to found Package Free, an e-commerce platform for plastic-free products that are made with only natural ingredients. Last year, they raised $4.5 million in seed funding. If you’re looking for a young female entrepreneur to inspire your sustainable ideas, look no further.

Irving Fain

Irving Fain is the founder of Bowery Farming, a pioneering company that uses indoor farming to bring nutritious, sustainable pesticide-free vegetables closer to people. In 2018, they raised $90 million in funding and a further $50 million in 2019. As you’d expect from the founder of such a company, Fain is a perfect blend of entrepreneur and environmental activist. Follow his Twitter for a healthy dose of planet-positive initiatives and thoughts on how we can do good together.

Valentina Milanova

Securing funding in a male-dominated VC world for a femtech startup whose lead product is CBD-infused tampons is difficult. But, Bulgarian entrepreneur Valentina Milanova and her startup Daye did – $5.5 million in their seed round last year. Daye is spearheading an industry that has lacked innovative solutions partly due to the wrongly taboo nature of sanitary products. As such, Milanova is a worthwhile voice to follow as previously untapped markets open up for disrupters to make a difference.


Next read: 7 perfect pandemic pivots you can learn from.