How Solid Is Your Crew?

How Solid Is Your Crew?

Throughout my life’s journey of personal growth and development, I will say I’ve been very blessed to get to spend a lot of time with some really great people. I was fortunate with a loving family growing up even through divorce, and therefore had some great influencers early in life.
We don’t get to choose our family, however we do get to choose:

  • Our friends
  • Our life partner
  • Our mentors
  • Our inner circle

And so this is where we will focus our time.

Friendships matter to me a great deal. Even when losing touch for a bit, do you have the types of friendships that seem to pick up where you left off? Me too. And, I am trying to do a better job of staying in touch to nurture these important relationships. I have never taken my friendships for granted, but it’s important that I communicate that fact to them.

Do you keep friendships where you can learn new things and grow? I could point to many examples, but a good friend Ashton from college has been a master of building trusted relationships over the years.  He was doing it intentionally as early as high school and probably beforehand. He recognized early in life that you can do amazing things only with amazing people around you, and so that’s what he set out to do, surround himself with amazing people.

I hit the jackpot with my wife Jessica, moving into the life partner decision. If you are still on the hunt for this person, I would think about looking for someone who is encouraging, caring, and pushes you to be a better person.  She is a phenomenal wife and mother, and a badass business leader as well. We care deeply for one another, and still argue and debate ideas and decisions that will impact our family in a way that we are working together to solve problems (most of the time!).  

For those in the OTGO community, you will read about and there will also be a tribute to my most influential mentor, David McWilliams. I’ve had some really good mentors in addition to David, but he stands out. This guy was (RIP) the real deal, and helped set me on a better path than I was on in my early 20s. There was much more work to be done throughout my thirties and still to this day, but David really helped me in a critical time in my life. Quite simply, he modeled the behavior of the type of leader and family man I endeavored to become.

And my inner circle is strong. There are a handful of people whom I have absolute trust and faith in, I share challenges and ideas, and who offer differing perspectives and help keep me on track.

Be Intentional

Think this stuff is obvious? Perhaps. But, how intentional are you about surrounding yourself with great people?  

Choose wisely! And, with intention. This, like all of the topics we tackle, is something I am forever learning about and trying to improve upon.  

Some friendships and business relationships I’ve developed over the years will last a lifetime. Some I’ve needed to move on from.

Have you thought about the people you spend the most time with? Are they lifting you up or tearing you down? Are they positive or negative? Are they rooting for you or rooting against you?

Now, I am not suggesting we kick people to the curb that need us, or that give us feedback that might be tough to hear. I discuss these and the concept of enabling versus helping someone in the OTGO Module 4. I am suggesting there are absolutely people with whom we should consider investing less time and less of our energy if we want to make a bigger impact in the world.

Diversify Your Relationships

Please hear this, diversity in relationships is a great thing! When we have people from differing backgrounds and cultures in our lives, collaboration is far richer and results can be far superior.  What I am talking about really revolves around four big-picture questions: 

What is your Vision for your life? Are you spending time with people where mutual encouragement towards hopes and dreams occurs? 

What are your non-negotiable Principles? Are you spending time with people of high character?

And, anytime we are considering others, let’s also consider how we are showing up for them in our relationships. This cannot be a one-way street, else we will be the ones getting fewer invitations to the parties and fewer prospects in general.

Let’s look at each category of relationship and explore some more thought-provoking questions to get us more intentional here.

Let’s ponder this quote:

“None of us is as good as all of us,” Google tells me it was Ray Kroc who said this, the visionary who globally monetized McDonald’s far beyond the vision the McDonald brothers ever had.

I think this quote is true, but especially when you surround yourself with people of diverse backgrounds, people who have a growth mindset, people who are willing to push back and give constructive feedback, and people who are also taking steps along a personal growth path.  

Who are You Flocking With?

So, who are you flocking with? Which of the following describes you?

Are you talking about and making plans for the future with others? Or are you talking negatively about others?

Are you building teams and inner circles (including mentors) that will help you make a positive difference in your life/family/business/community? Or are you hanging out with the same crew forever that prefers the status quo and the same old bad habits and routines? 

Are you putting yourself out there and being authentic in your search for a life partner? Or are you playing it safe and showing only the parts of yourself you think others respond well to?

Are you getting out there and enjoying your hobbies and interests, and forming connections with others?  Or are you staying in your comfort zone doing the same old thing?

And sometimes, people we have never met can serve as mentors:

Are you feeding your mind with great books and biographies of difference makers and engaging with podcasts and resources about personal development? Or are you watching too much garbage, national news, and the weather channel?

Sometimes I end up on the wrong side of the ledger, this is a reminder for me too.  Focus more intention on strong, trusted, and positive relationships. And, create more of these. Add value wherever you can to help your crew. It can have a major difference in quality of life, confidence, and taking action. Also, when you are living out your dreams, you have people with whom you can count on to help you get where you want to go since you provided great value along the way.


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