The Power of The Company You Keep KDS: 034
The Power of the Company You Keep.
This has been on my mind a lot the last few weeks.
It’s been an overarching theme over the last couple of years as some relationships ended, new ones were formed, and old relationships kindled.
I have a feeling this episode might go a little old school as well as getting a little deep, so buckle up and let’s dive into it.
A Little Context First
I recently went to an in-person Mastermind that was hosted by a friend of mine (more on that in a bit). The event wasn’t like anything else I’d been to for a few reasons:
First, there was nothing for sale.
Second, no one was paying to be there (outside of our travel).
He invited everyone that has been a guest on his podcast and brought them together because he wanted to create something he’d want to attend.
He simply wanted to spend time with like-minded people.
Second, the invite list for this event was kind of like a ‘who’s who’ of male internet marketers (the original guest list was between 40-50 people and there was only one other woman on this list). The guest list was comprised of people who had been on his podcast (the ‘him’ in this scenario is my friend, Trey Lewellen and his podcast is Kommerce Kings).
Trey and I met back in 2013 as part of a Facebook training /mastermind that then became another mastermind. At the time, Trey was selling t-shirts through tee spring (I did a podcast interview with Trey years ago that you can listen to here if you want more info. on how he got started, just keep in mind that his business looks completely different today). Trey is one of those people who have infectious energy… which is probably why we get along so well. He’s pushed me out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion and every time he has I’m grateful.
The event itself turned out to be a more intimate gathering (he said he’s going to do this every year with more notice for people next year, so that should be exciting), which truthfully, I was grateful for.
I was grateful for a couple of reasons:
- I’d get a little more time to just hang and chat with Trey (and his brother)
- The guest list was a little intimidating (just being honest)
It was such a great trip.
Jodi Hersh and I finally got to meet in person (she’s my business partner for the Content Creators Planner and although we met online about 5 years ago this was the first time we got to meet in person) and we spent the day after the event working together on plans for the marketing of the planner now that it’s printed and shipping (WOOHOO!).
Some new opportunities have come out of the event (which I’ll share more about later after things are firm and in place) but more importantly, I had some big personal takeaways which is what I wanted to share with you.
You Are The Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With
We all know this saying, right?
We’ve heard it multiple times and yet until we experience it first-hand it feels… mean?
Meaning, you’re going to have to judge people in your life and start making decisions of their worthiness, right?
Yes and no.
I’ve shared with you in a handful of different episodes that there have been a few friendships I’ve had that have ended (that sounds so dramatic, but it was really more of a moving on). In the last 6 months, I’ve also had that experience with a friendship of 20 years (in my ‘offline’ world). Nothing major, but it just sort of faded out (in a weird way, but I won’t bore you with the details).
Here’s the kicker though…
Without those relationships in my life, I’ve been more productive, accomplished more, and grown my business more in a year and a half than I had in the few previous years.
Simple. These people were my ‘go-to’ people to complain about things with. It’s safe to say they were all dissatisfied with the conditions of their lives.
And I was right there with them.
The crazy thing?
These were some of the people I turned to when I was down or felt stuck.
What the bucket?!?!?!
That’s like asking a vegan where to get a really good filet.
It simply didn’t make sense.
Without these people in my life all of a sudden I had space. Time and energy to produce. Get the work done, as opposed to justifying spending time on Skype with people who had never pulled the trigger and done anything I was trying to do.
Have you ever wondered why we do that?
We ask people that are close to us for advice on things they have no business giving advice on.
O.K., let’s go back to being the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
For the sake of well, life… let’s go ahead and pull family off the table. I’m very fortunate that my family is awesome and I love them all dearly (which mind you, doesn’t mean a little space isn’t good at times).
Think about the people you spend the most time engaging with and ask yourself how you feel afterward?
For the most part, I’m very protective of the people I spend time with whether that’s in person or talking to online. I’ve always been a ‘glass is half full’ kind of person and it sucks the life out of me when people look for the negative or spend the majority of their time bitching and complaining. I also can’t be around people that are wound really tight because it exhausts me (you know the type, they micro-manage everything, interrupt, and you always feel like their mind is somewhere else when you’re with them).
It’s SO vitally important that you consciously choose the people you allow in your life.
My Big Takeaway & A Little Advice
It wasn’t until I got home and was rested that it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I missed spending time with people who were playing at a higher level.
I’m not referring to a certain level of income or business growth (although those things pretty much go hand-in-hand), but people who are truly living their lives to the fullest. They stay focused on goals they’ve created, they test things, they take risks, they push themselves out of their comfort zones, and most importantly, they only want the best for everyone else.
I’ve found that when people are focused on their own growth and success that’s all they want for everyone else. They don’t have time to judge how other people are doing things (or what they’re doing for that matter).
It was so refreshing to be around people who are “solution finders.”
They see the possibility of everything.
One of the guests at the event was Dan Caldwell. Some of you may know him, some of you won’t. He was the founder of the brand ‘Tapout” which was (is) a big brand in wrestling and MMA fighting. Dan sold TapOut a while back, has another company today as well as investments. He was there because he’s looking at opportunities to get more into the online space.
TapOut was founded pre-internet (he was happy to see those of us who were close in age, which made me feel a little old, but that’s O.K., I knew what he meant). Dan and his partners printed the t-shirts, drove to events, set up tables, the whole nine yards (this is why it’s hard when you hear people complaining about how hard it is to make the internet work. It’s not hard, it’s just work, there’s a difference).
Here’s what I love about Dan.
Even though he’s accomplished something major (sold his company for 100 million), he showed up completely open and ready to learn from everyone in the room (he doesn’t consider himself an internet marketer). He was kind, humble, and super honest. It was powerful (everyone who was there showed up with the same level of commitment to what was happening in the room).
I’m not going to go details of each of the guests, but I’m super grateful that we got to be a part of the event and connect with everyone who was there.
The structure of the event was that there wasn’t much structure.
We all had something to present and share (which I’ll tell you how I pivoted what I was going to do a few hours before presenting), but the first day turned into something I’ve never experienced.
The intention was that we would go around the room and introduce ourselves, tell a little bit about our stories, and then go into marketing in the afternoon. That didn’t happen.
Instead, we spent the entire first day sharing and hearing stories.
Which was SO powerful.
Trey & his brother shared some stories that blew me away. I had no idea what they had been through (I’ll have to see if Trey is up for sharing some of that on a podcast interview) and was in awe that they came out on the other side, still enthusiastic and driven to do what they do. Trey is one of those people who, from the outside, looks like everything he touches turns to gold.
That’s so not the case.
Which is part of why I pivoted my presentation… I felt so strongly that those stories need to be told.
They brought dinner in that evening, we had a few drinks and continued connecting.
Oh… and after dinner, his brother brought out his ‘flame thrower’ (literally… you pour gas in this thing and it shoots flames. I only have one thing to say about that… boys and their toys).
My pivot & new service offering
After watching the presentations the next day (I was last), I decided instead of using the content marketing slide deck I had created (which pretty much walked through the process of using the planner. Oh, and we brought planners for everyone) that I would use part of a webinar I had done for something else which was structured more around the power of sharing and telling stories (as opposed to our tool which helps you plan the strategy).
I told everyone what I was doing and skipped the pieces of that webinar that was about an offer and then took what I had learned about what Trey had been through and mapped out a content strategy for him.
Which he loved.
Then he asked me to just do it for him.
Hence the new service offering.
Someone else wanted it too.
Fast forward to today and I’m getting back into services. Something I swore I’d never do.
First, there’s that magical thing called ‘recurring revenue’ that relieves a ton of stress from life as an entrepreneur.
Second, this is completely different.
When I was doing websites and had an outsourcing company I always felt like an imposter because I wasn’t a developer (and never wanted to learn). There was something in me that always felt like ‘one of these things just doesn’t belong here’ and it showed. I never marketed websites or outsourcing ( I know, I know…). It was strictly referral based or came directly through the website (I even took the portfolio off the site the last 4 or 5 years I ran The WPChick).
In the case of content marketing, I do it all.
And I love it.
The other differentiator in working with people who are very successful with what they do is that they don’t want to micro-manage what you do. They hire you because you’re the expert and they trust you to do your job.
We’ve got one contract happening and looking to close the second one in the next few weeks.
I don’t know if and when we’ll put this offer out there. Mainly because with one client we may set up a white label service or work directly with his clients (it’s a natural fit to offer them content marketing based on what he does). Because it’s a higher monthly retainer I have different expectations of the type of clients we’ll work with.
For now, we’re getting processes and systems in place.
And that’s enough.
To wrap this all up…
Without a doubt I can state that without the relationships I have in my business I wouldn’t be where I am today (obviously who I am and how I treat people is part of why these relationships have grown).
I’ve also taken a lot of risks at different times in my business, which is what has allowed me to connect with people who are playing at a different level.
It is SO very important to put yourself out there and connect with people who make you want to be the best version of yourself.
This is where investing in yourself (both in time and money), pays off.