The middle of the week has arrived and that means that our theme of setting up your environment is halfway done. Monday we introduced the idea that the world around us – our environment – makes the difference in our success and yesterday we talked about our home being set up for success. Today let’s take it to a higher level.
For the past 20 years no matter who I was working with, even when I was in the auto industry, there were several areas I would say that could predict the success of someone five years down the line. Among those things were the books or things they read; what they did with the time they had; how they used the money, tools and seeds they had been given. But there is one especially important thing and that is the people they hang out with.
As a young teen I was given the advice from my parents and those who wanted to see me succeed in life to never hang out with the wrong crowd. When it comes to our friends we spend our free time with, or those we choose to form partnerships with, the idea of keeping positive people who can help build our world is important. Focus on building friendships that can only help you get to the places you want to go. Keeping a friend around who is always looking out for you is great.
And it’s not one-sided, not just about what people can do for you. Too many times in life we can chase people who we need to help us and forget about those who we need to help. But then I have met people who are all caught up in the path of finding those that need the help and not having someone to hang onto to keep them up.
Building relationships is the word we want to use here. In many cases I am building relationships and helping people who may someday surpass my success. Someday I may need to reach out to them to get back up. I once heard that you should have two kinds of people in life: those who are mentoring you to make you better, and those you are mentoring to help them be better.
In the many outings that I attend and the places that I go to speak, I meet so many people who are looking for me to help them out. I am all too excited to help them. After all, the mentors in my life were quick to grab my hand when I needed it most. When I was building my last car wash business. I had a close friend who I speak of often. His name was Richy and, at the time, he had many small companies and ideas floating around, but was co-owner with his brother of one of the bigger packaging companies here in the Dallas area.
Rich taught me the meaning of helping. He was always telling me ways to make my business life better. At the same time I was meeting with three other people in the car wash business helping them get through the tough times and find the niche of clients that kept them working. We all build those relationships to keep us moving forward and to keep us humble.
But let’s talk about one more set of relationships: Family. Most of us have several people in this category of relationships.
Mate or partner. This is one of the most precious of partnerships and relationships you have. You fell in love and joined your lives together. For the most part you are on the same page, but as we discussed yesterday with setting our house up for success we have to consider each other and make it our life together. For Gwynne and me, it’s not hard. We fit together very well, but we still have different tastes and from time to time, to set our lives for success, we must compromise and come to a mutual agreement to keep that relationship strong. After all we grew up in different worlds and met and combined worlds.
Kids. If you have kids they are one very important relationship for you. If yours are younger, you need to spend some time doing what may seem like strange things they like to do. As they get older, you must mentor them and train them to go out into the real world and be able to handle it. Also realize they may grow up and become different than you are. I am still reminded of my Dad and his extreme politics. While I have some of his beliefs, other ideas I think he was too extreme on. Which brings me to my last family members.
Parents. In our house Gwynne’s father is part of the home we share. The joys that make his life are a big concern to her as he is not as young as we are. We have many great times together sitting down to play Scrabble many evenings, having him join us in different activities we do, attending events we all like together. The other part is my mom. She also is widowed now, but off serving on a mission trip overseas which she wanted to do. Our parents are not going to be with us forever. Like the relationships we build in mentoring, I often would talk to my dad about how to handle life. Remember, our parents experienced it once before; use their knowledge to set up your future for success.
In life we will have many relationships. There are those built on friendship to help us become RockStar success stories. There are those that will get cut short due to their time being up before ours. Each person you meet today is part of the environment of success you need for your tomorrow. So build those relationships; they will last longer than homes, jobs, or things.