It still surprises me how many people have not heard this phrase. Truth can be a little tricky sometimes, and it can get hidden in all these cute aphorisms and platitudes. I have been very lucky in my life to hang around some pretty big movers and shakers. I don’t know what it is, but I just vibrate to the same measure as those guys.
One day I looked around and they were all around me, and they still are.
I can call a good friend the greatest prank caller in the world. So many of my friends are phenomenally successful artists, musicians, and chefs. I don’t even have a rolodex big enough for all of them.
This is not meant to be brash or any kind of boasting and is in no way meant to impress anybody. If there’s anything to be impressed here, it is to impress upon you the power of this principle and the importance of how you spend your time and who you spend it with. You can always reinvent yourself, never forget that, you can always reinvent yourself. I knew this, but even knowing can fall by the wayside if you catch yourself hanging around the wrong crowd. A few years ago I took a real good look around and decided to start making some changes. I fired a few friends and ignited a major reevaluation of my social circle.
Its sad, I have a dear friend who I care for very much that simply will not apply this principle in her life. I have watched carefully as she hung around bars and douche bags, you know the type. The Dallas observer wrote a brilliant article about them a couple of years ago. I think it was entitled “The thirty thousand dollar millionaires.” Fifteen years in the service industry and its all she knows. Because of who she’s hanging around she’s now facing insurmountable legal odds that will effect her life forever. One of the cardinal sins is pride. Its pride that keeps her from walking through that door. The way out is through the door. I love that saying, its actually a zen koan, and its brilliant, its so to the fucking point. The way out is through the door.
I met a lot of very interesting and successful business men through my love of the electric guitar. Us men have a special connection with the guitar. Its like a tool, a wrench have you. Legendary attorneys Dick Deguerin, Rafe Foreman, and Greg Westfall all play the guitar. For example its good to have friends like them when you need good counsel, and if your trying to be anybody in the United States, especially in the entertainment business, you will at some point need good counsel. You are who you hang around.
Do you know how comforting it is to be able to call an attorney the caliber of Rafe Foreman in the middle of the evening when you are freaking out about something?
The best part about this phenomena we are speaking of is this: when you are ready to do the work and reinvent yourself, to live life like we talked about on the edge. Like clockwork, the right people will show up when your ready for them. They will roll up their sleeves and go to work with you.
The first way someone that studies the guitar with me can get on my radar is perseverance. Jim Gardner, owner of Legendary Leadership Arts, is a great example of this. Jim hardly ever missed a class and since he was my last guy on Wednesdays we had time to get together before my band rehearsals. Jim shared with me some of the strategies and tactics he’s developed from his years of experience working in the corporate world with Pizza Hut, Fidelity, Levi Strauss, and now his own companies. We looked at my strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and tactics and developed a new vision for where I wanted to go. Once again you are who you hang around, and I am proud to have a friend like Jim.
I highly recommend giving him a call if you need to get your business and/or organization to the next level.
I encourage you to sit down one night in front of your computer with a cup of something wonderful and in a simple document take a look at this, put it on paper, ask yourself as you go through each name. You can use a strategy I learned from John Maxwell, ask anybody about John Maxwell, he wrote the book on leadership. He says there are two kinds of people, those who lift you and those who lean. Its really that simple baby. Get to it.
Until next time. Hope you had a great St Patrick’s day, and take a look around, and it is my wish that when you do, that you feel as lucky as I do.