manly mentors

The Top 10 Most Inspiring Manly Mentors

Behind all great men, there are great mentors.  Through the GDP, I have made so many amazing connections, friendships, and have learned several lessons along the way from people who are much smarter than me.  The GDP Podcast is currently tracking to hit 1 million downloads in 2016 and it is downloaded in over 130 countries.

Below is a list of men who are doing amazing things in the world, living a life of passion, purpose, and teaching others to do the same along the way.  I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few men who have been an inspiration to me, the GDP, and hundreds of thousands of our listeners who listen to our podcast.

Ryan Michler, Founder of Order Of Man

Ryan Michler

Ryan Michler is a force to be reckoned with!  He is known for having amazing podcast guests like Sean Whalen, Jocko Willink, and Andy Frisella.  Ryan is inspiring men to be better men and to step up their game in all areas of their lives.  He helps men with health, wealth, fatherhood, marriage, confidence, and so much more.  One of the coolest things about Ryan is his “why.”  Ryan came from a fatherless background as his dad was out of the picture by the age of three.  Ryan doesn’t use this experience and background as an excuse to check out, but instead step up.  Ryan is relentless when it comes to always sharpening his own sword and challenging himself to be a better man, friend, father, husband, mentor, and student.  I am honored to call him a close friend and he has helped me in countless ways.

What I have learned from Ryan:

  • Being the man my kids need me to be and the provider my wife needs
  • The importance of teaching my kids life lessons that will last them a life time
  • Crush excuses and just execute

Here are the GDP interviews with Ryan

Honoring our Veteran Fathers

How Your Childhood Can Effect  Your Parenting Style

Aaron Walker, Founder of View From the Top

Aaron Walker is, without question, a veteran entrepreneur. Starting his first business at 18, and selling to a Fortune 500 company nine short years later, demonstrates Aaron’s passion for success. Unwilling to rest on past success alone, Aaron started, bought, and sold eight successful companies over the past 36 years. Having a strong desire for personal development has kept Aaron in a weekly mastermind group for more than a decade with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and seven other notable Nashvillians. Aaron has enjoyed a 35-year marriage with his beautiful wife, Robin. Today, Aaron spends the majority of his time helping men grow in success and significance as President and Founder of View from the Top, a premier life and business coaching resource.

What I have learned from Aaron:

Aaron’s interview with the GDP has become one of the most downloaded to date.  I am proud to call Aaron a good friend, mentor, and someone I talk to often.  He is one of the most kind and genuine people I have ever met.  I have learned:

  • You have one shot at being a dad and kids spell L.O.V.E. in T.I.M.E.
  • How to profoundly impact the lives of others
  • Money can always be made, but time with family is priceless
  • We can do what we love, change lives, and be profitable

Here is the GDP interview with Aaron

The Ultimate Guide to Work/Life Balance

Mark Divine, Navy Seal Commander, Author, and Founder of Unbeatable Mind/Sealfit

Mark Divine

Mark Divine is a highly sought after speaker, coach, author and makes frequent media appearances to discuss Seal way of life.

He is from upstate New York with a degree in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business. Mark’s first career was with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse Coopers) as a Certified Public Accountant..

Four years after being with Coopers, Mark left behind the corporate world to pursue his vision to become an elite Navy SEAL officer. At 26 he graduated as honor-man (#1 ranked trainee) of his SEAL BUD/s class number 170. Mark served for nine years total on Active Duty and eleven as a Reserve SEAL, retiring as Commander in 2011.

Mark embarked on his third career as an entrepreneur in 1996 by co-founding the successful Coronado Brewing Company (CBC) and founding the web e-commerce site He later sold his interest in CBC, but continues to run as the leading web site for gear and information about the SEALs. In 2006 he launched US Tactical, a government contracting business where he gained contracts with Naval Special Warfare Group ONE for training support and with the Navy Recruiting Command for a nationwide mentoring program for SEAL trainees. This latter program was credited with increasing the quality of Navy SEAL candidates and reducing the attrition rate at BUD/s by up to 5% and was the inspiration for SEALFIT.

What I have learned from Mark:

I became a raving fan of Mark two years ago when I read his book “Unbeatable Mind.”  It was definitely the book that took my life, my work, my family, and my business from good to great.  After starting the podcast, I decided to send Mark an email from his website to see if he would like to come on the GDP Podcast and talk fatherhood.  My expectation was that I wouldn’t get a response.  Mark is in high demand, gets several (if not hundreds) of emails every day.  However, not only did I get a response, but I got a response from him personally!  He was all in coming on my podcast and talking fatherhood.

Since that podcast, he invited me to come on his podcast SEALFIT.  It was such an honor to be a guest on such a large and respected platform.  After that podcast, he invited my wife and I to attend “The Unbeatable Mind Retreat” for a weekend in CA.  There was no way I was going to say no.  My wife and I went to the weekend retreat and it was a game changer!  Over the past year, Mark and I have developed a great relationship and communicate often.  I am proud to call him a friend and mentor.  Here are a few things I have learned from Mark:

  • How to Create an Unbeatable Mind
  • How to Starve the Fear Wolf and Feed the Courage Wolf
  • How to ask myself empowering questions that will lead to real solutions
  • How to train my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and intuitional being
  • How to take time to take care of myself so I can serve others in a more profound way

Here is the GDP interview with Mark

How to Create an Unbeatable Mind

Jake Herbert:  Olympic Wrestler

Jake Herbert is an Olympian, Actor, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Wrestling Ninja. Wrestling has gotten him a Full Athletic Scholarship to Northwestern University, taken him to over 30 different countries, meeting rock stars, celebrities, billionaires and presidents.  He is the co founder of Base Wrestling and Double Leg ninja.  He looks forward to reaching his goal of creating 50,000 ninjas by 2020 through helping, teaching, and educating coaches, kids and parents about the importance of installing physical literacy into the youth of America.  He will never let a day go by without learning something new.

What I Have Learned from Jake Herbert:

I am proud to say that Jake has become a close friend.  Honestly, this man is one of the most genuine dudes I have ever met.  Jake and I talk often.  He is actually even a member of my Dad Edge Mastermind group where he is inspiring several other men on a weekly basis.  He even took the time to facetime both of my boys (Ethan and Mason) a few months ago before they stepped out on the wrestling mat of the state finals this past season.  Below is what I have learned from Jake:

  • The Gold Medal Mindset
  • Putting 100% heart and soul when pursuing a dream and goal
  • How to inspire others and impact the lives of others by being the example

Here is the GDP interview with Jake:

How to Develop The Gold Medal Mindset with Jake Herbert

George Bryant:  New York Times Bestselling Author, Husband, and Bonus-Dad

George Bryant is a professional Husband, Bonus Dad and family man. He is also the New York Times Best-Selling author of The Paleo Kitchen and creator of the wildly popular Paleo food blog “Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.” After spending the first 20-something years of his life in a constant battle with his weight, and then nearly losing both his legs while on deployment as a US Marine, George took matters into his own hands and began his own Paleo-journey. What started as a simple place to post recipes for friends, has since turned into an award-winning food blog. After being in the Marines for 12 years, George has since been medically separated and is enjoying working full time creating delicious Paleo recipes, while hoping to change as many lives for the better by making REAL food recipes simple and tasty.


What I have learned from George:

George came on the GDP podcast and gave one of the most powerful interviews we have ever had.  It is still the most talked about show we have had to date.  George literally blew our audience away his interview.  When we booked George on the GDP podcast, the intent was he would talk about how dads be healthier.  However, the interview took an unexpected turn and George talked about his childhood, his battle with eating disorders, and what it means to be a bonus dad.  It was by far the most real and raw interviews we have ever had and so many people still talk about it to date.

I am honored to call this man a good friend.  I speak to him often through text or even a phone call every now and again.  George is only 31 years old, but is incredibly wise beyond his years.  Just an amazing man.  What I have learned from George:

  • Vulnerability is strength
  • A chaotic tough childhood is an opportunity to embrace what we will not pass down to our families
  • When we focus on helping others without worrying about the financial rewards, the rewards will show up
  • Just because you are not a biological father doesn’t mean you don’t love your bonus child/children any less

Here is the GDP interview with George

Learning from Life’s Big Challenges and Becoming a Bonus Dad

Eric Davis:  Navy Seal and Author of “Raising Men”


Eric Davis served our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the Global War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school in Coronado, CA.  He is an expert of technical and physical surveillance and was part of an elite group hand-selected to perform intelligence collection in denied areas around the world.

Eric has spent years developing, writing and executing curriculum for the SEAL Teams. By leveraging his expertise in the development of systems, structures, processes and practices Eric was instrumental in significantly reducing the failure rate, of Naval Special Warfare’s internationally recognized Sniper course.

Since departing from the SEAL teams, Eric has worked in corporate performance, sales and leadership training bringing an unprecedented amount of innovation, efficiency and structure to the domain of business and personal performance.

What I have learned from Eric:

Eric came on the GDP podcast and blew us away with some unforgettable life lessons!!  Our audience really loves our “Seal content.”  Eric has quickly become a good friend and someone I talk to often.  I am also happy to announce that Eric and I are working on collaborating on some promotions together here in the future.  He is truly an awesome man who has some much insight to share.  So much more to come!  Here is what I have learned from Eric:

  • Lead from the front and by example
  • Embrace failure and take the lessons learned
  • Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family effectively

Here is the GDP interview with Eric

Lead Your Family from the Front

The Spaniard:  Professional MMA/UFC Fighter and Author of “Driven”

Charlie Brenneman is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, speaker, mentor and author. Following a successful high school wrestling career, Charlie took his talents to Lock Haven University where he achieved a top 12 finish at Division I Nationals and 1st Team All-Academic. After teaching Spanish for three years and winning Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes, Charlie decided to leave his job to pursue a master’s degree and begin his professional fighting career—“The Spaniard” was born. In 2011, he was ranked as high as #7 in the world, and in 2015, he published his autobiography, Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage.

What I have learned from The Spaniard:

I’m humbled to say that The Spaniard has become a very close friend of mine.  We talk often and share insights with each other.  I can say without a doubt that this man is the real deal.  He is incredibly humble, a great father, amazing man, and loyal friend.  The Spaniard and I talk all the time.  We share ideas on a weekly basis, we talk live on the phone, and we text often.  If you would have told me a year ago that I would be swapping texts with a former UFC fighter…I wouldn’t have believed you.  However, through the power of podcasting…powerful friendships can develop.  Here is what I have learned from the Spaniard:

  • How to live a life of Excellence
  • How important it is to give my family the best part of who I am
  • To support my kids in every aspect

Here is the GDP interview with the Spaniard

How to Live a Life of Excellence 

Carlos Condit, Professional MMA/UFC Fighter

Carlos Condit is an American mixed martial artist, competing in the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Condit is a former WEC Welterweight Champion. As of May 31, 2015, he is #4 in official UFC welterweight rankings.  28 of Condit’s 30 wins have come by way of knockout or submission. He has never been knocked out or stopped due to strikes; Condit’s only TKO loss was by injury.

Carlos came on the GDP podcast and gave an interview that was beyond inspirational.  There wasn’t one part of the interview that was planned and it was definitely one of our best!  Our interview with Carlos has been one of our most popular shows and has sat in the #2 spot of the most downloaded episodes to date!

What I have learned from Carlos:

I wouldn’t have ever thought in a million years I would be spending time on a podcast with professional UFC Fighter, Carlos Condit.  I have always been a huge fan of Carlos in the cage because he always illustrates his skill and his integrity.  He is tough as nails and always shows his opponents the highest level of respect.  Carlos came on the GDP podcast and gave an interview that was beyond inspirational.  There wasn’t one part of the interview that was planned and it was definitely one of our best!  Our interview with Carlos has been one of our most popular shows and has sat in the #2 spot of the most downloaded episodes to date.  Here is what I have learned from Carlos:

  • No matter the obstacle in life, get on the side of gratitude as quickly as possible
  • Teach our kids how to rebound from failure

 Here is the GDP interview with Carlos

Developing a Mindset of Grit and Gratitude

Frankie Edgar, Professional MMA/UFC Fighter

Frankie Edgar is a professional MMA fighter in the UFC. Frankie started his successful fighting career with a solid foundation of wrestling.  Two-time State Place Winner for New Jersey, 2nd in HS Nationals in 2000, 4x Division 1 National Qualifier for Clarion University and College Freestyle All-American in 2004.  He currently fights in the 155LB weight class in the UFC with 18 wins, 4 losses, and 1 Draw.  Frankie has 3 kids – 2 boys and 1 girl.

What I have learned from Frankie:

When Frankie agreed to come on the podcast, I was beyond humbled.  I have always been a huge fan of Frankie, but never in a million years did I think I would have a conversation with him.  I mean…seriously….Frankie Edgar??  I have watched this man for so long in the octagon and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Never in a lifetime would I have imagined having him on our podcast.  Frankie came on the GDP Podcast and inspired the hell out of us!  So many amazing life lessons and he was incredibly transparent on so many levels. Here is what I have learned from Frankie Edgar:

  • Remain calm, cool, and collected in the midst of chaos
  • The importance of teaching our kids grit and emotional resiliency
  • When it comes to being a parent of youth sports…take a seat and just enjoy. Let the coaches do their work.

Here is the GDP interview with Frankie

Life Lessons From the Octagon

Jocko WIllink, Navy Seal and Author of “Extreme Ownership”

Jocko Willink spent 20 years in the Navy SEALS as first, a SEAL operator then, a SEAL officer. He retired in 2010 after serving as the SEAL Commander of Task Unit Bruiser in Ramadi, Iraq.  At the time, Ramadi was one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Through the combination of efforts between his unit and other military forces, he helped bring stability to the region and Task Unit Bruiser became the highest decorated special operations units of the war in Iraq.

He is a bronze and silver star recipient, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt, the former Officer-in-Charge of training all West Coast SEAL Teams, a New York Times Best-Selling Author, and, like I mentioned before, one of the baddest men on the planet.

What I have learned from Jocko:

  • Extreme Ownership is the sign of a true leader
  • Extreme Ownership is taking responsibility for every action we take, no matter the consequences
  • Extreme Ownership and Leadership means we are 100% responsible for our families, teams, and people we lead.
  • No excuses…only Extreme Ownership

We don’t have an interview yet with Jocko, however this blog is an invitation for him to come on the GOOD DAD PROJECT PODCAST.


Having this podcast has been a blessing.  It has blessed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men in 130 countries around the world.  It has blessed me because, I have learned a new lesson from an inspiring guest every single week.  Here is the really cool part…I never had to sell or convince any of the above guests to come on our show.  All of these men gave their time freely and jumped at the chance to come on the podcast and talk fatherhood.  This tells me one thing…that no matter who we are in life, what level we are playing at, or how much we are in the lime light…fatherhood is EXTREMELY important in every man’s life and we enjoy talking about it.  We enjoy sharing insights and we enjoy receiving insights from other like-minded men.


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One Comment

  1. Great List! Many of my inspirational models are on it and i learned a few to look up I would add Dr. Eric Thomas aka ET the Hip Hop Preacher, David Rutherford also a former Navy Seal, my own father, and a fellow from the past Mr Earl Nightingale.

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