Growing up, my mother often would talk to me about how important it was for me to make good decisions on who my friends were. She told me that who I hung out with would have a big influence on me. I always thought that was silly advice. I was who I was, and just because I spent time with someone didn’t mean it would have much baring on me and how I lived my life.
Flash forward. I am now an adult, mother of eight, and still learning just how wrong I was in assuming that others don’t have influence on me. A few months ago I became friends with a person who was extremely passionate about what he did for a living. He was so committed to follow his passion that he walked away from a good paying job to do what he loved. He knew that by doing this he probably wouldn’t be making a lot of money. The truth is that for almost the whole thirty years he has been pursuing his passion, he has barely scraped by. He lost his house and eventually ended up living in his office.
But he is happy. He is grateful for working at what he loves every day. He is committed to working at his passion until the day he dies. Granted, there is a lot of room for growth as he adjusts the way he is following his passion. He is learning ways to create a more profitable business and is implementing what he learned.
By spending time with my friend, I’ve started to catch myself when I get caught up in the grind of my own business, and I’ve started to focus exclusively on what it would take to grow my business. I now stop and look at him and the smile on his face. I then ask myself what choice I need to make to help me feel more passionate about my life and what I am doing?
I have recently made some big decisions, like making time to go back to school, that I wouldn’t have made if I hadn’t hung out with someone that was more committed to his passion than I was at that time.
Bottom line, Mom was right. Be careful who you spend time with. They will influence you.