It Takes A Village

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my strong support team. Everyday I am surrounded by people who lift me up and guide me.

Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely path. Most of the time entrepreneurs have no one to turn to but themselves. Entrepreneurs tend to blaze trails and create something out of nothing. Most people don’t understand what that means or what that takes. It’s lonely at the top.

Michelle Obama once said:

“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.”

This applies to all areas of your life. As we grow older we start to realize its not the quantity of people you surround yourself with but rather the quality. Get rid of the haters.

I have a particularly unusual job. I’m 24 years old and I run a construction company. I find myself in a unique situation in which my friends and my peers don’t really understand what I do.  It’s hard to talk to them about work because it’s so far removed from what they have ever experienced. So I don’t talk about my job with them. They have no idea what I do on a day-to-day basis or the kind of stress that I am under. But on the flip side, my friends are the only ones who truly get that I’m only 24 years old. With them I can relax, and laugh and forget about work. When them I can gossip, plan crazy adventures, and (occasionally) ditch work to go skiing.

My parents get it a little better. My Dad used to run a 500+ person company so he understands what it takes to run a successful business. My Mom on the other hand fully embraces the notion that “the sky’s the limit”.  My Dad mentors and advises me. My Mom builds me up and encourages me. When day-to-day problems become end of the world my Mom helps me see the big picture and my Dad helps me fix them.

My business coach ( who really should be classified as my physiologist) does a lot of what my parents do but with a better understanding of the intricacies of the business. He congratulates & builds me up but at the same time he reviews the company’s financial projections and sales figures.

My business partner happens to be my brother. And he is the one person in this world that truly understands what I go through. He shares the weight of the world that I carry. He takes on half the business and walks beside me as we blaze new trails. He is everything that I’m not and I’m everything that he isn’t.

It truly takes a village.

So here is my advice to you. Surround yourself with people who are going to mentor you, encourage you, build you up when you fall, walk beside you, make you laugh, and make it all worthwhile.

Because behind every successful person, there is village of support.

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