Do they lift you higher?
At church this morning, I had a bit of an "ah ha" moment. It's actually something I've heard and repeated many times before, but for some reason today, it just really made sense. I often reference Oprah on this blog, as I just agree with so many of her beliefs. Her statement above does not stray from that.
It is in life and in business that I find it utterly necessary to surround yourself with those that lift you up, and not tear you down.
I think it's important to have people in your life that are honest with you, even when you don't want to hear it. People that challenge and push you to be better. I NEVER want to settle for myself in current form. If I'm not growing, what's the point?! I'm also far from perfect. There is not a day in this business when I think I have all of the answers.
It's funny, in the beginning, I was fully aware that I pretty much knew nothing about this business. Now, 5 years later, I feel much more confident in my decisions, but surprisingly still feel pretty much the same in the fact that I am fully aware that I have a TON to learn in life and in business. As the leader of a business, you have many people relying on you to make the right decisions. You also have to do many different things well. Are you a great designer? Then you're likely not a fabulous manager by nature? Is managing your talent? Then, marketing may not be your expertise? See, when you are growing a business, you don't have the budget to hire people to do all of these things for and with you, so you have to learn to do them to the best of your ability. I am SUPER fortunate to have an amazing team beside me, especially my husband Mark, but we are still only 15 people doing EVERYTHING.
You really don't have to be a business owner to relate to this conversation. Moms, professionals, I think pretty much everyone finds themselves challenged in this area at one point or another. We are trying our best, growing, doing, learning, sometimes spread a little thin. I have limited time, and therefore a limited amount of people in my life. This is why I think Oprah's statement is priceless advice.
No matter what you are doing in your life, your time is a precious thing. Fill that time with people who raise you up. Surround yourself with individuals that push you in a positive direction. People who are honest with you. People who are optimistic about your journey. People who are there not just in the beginning when things are pretty, but will be there when things get a little ugly. People who are COMMITTED. People who trust in your vision. People who will tell you what you don't want to hear because it is what you need to hear. People who are genuinely happy for you because you are happy. And sometimes people who will not tell you their opinion, because they trust your opinion. People who do not gossip. This goes for friends, family, and business.
As you read this, is the same person coming to mind? What role do they play in your life? Have you prayed about it?
I am so fortunate to be surrounded by many amazingly wonderful people on a daily basis. It is with age and experience that I have begun to let go of my people-pleasing ways and started to demand the above for my life and business. It has been pretty life-altering for me, although certainly not without challenge. To be honest, I am facing my own tough decision right now in this area. Just writing this post has helped to clarify that my challenge is not causing turmoil because I lack clarity, but more because it is not the path of least resistance. Sometimes life's best decisions are not.