Years ago, one of my friends asked me to be on her Board of Directors.
She didn’t understand my hesitation and confusion.
“What Board of Directors? You don’t own a business or oversee a project…”
“My personal Board of Directors,” she explained. “Every person needs to surround themselves with people they can trust who can offer advice, give a swift kick in the butt, or be a shoulder to cry on. And I want you on my board.”
I happily accepted.
A few years later my friend’s husband texted me to say they were getting a divorce and needed my help selling the house.
“What?! I thought you were happy and everything was fine!?”
“She cheated on me, and it wasn’t the first time. I’m done dealing with it,” he said.
I was in complete shock. I had no idea that my friend would do this; that she would jeopardize her family for a fling.
After a lot of thought, I texted her.
“I’m so disappointed in what you have done. You have teenage sons, and I know you well enough that if their girlfriends or wives ever cheated on them, they would have Hell to pay. You are teaching them that this behavior is okay and acceptable.”
“I’m so sorry,” she wrote. “I’ve let everyone down. I hope we can be friends again in the future.”
“We ARE friends” I replied. “That’s why I’m telling you this. I don’t need an apology from you, and you don’t need me to forgive you. Just do better.”
Today, my friend is an amazing mom, great friend, and still one of my favorite people. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I unknowingly fulfilled my job requirement as a member on her Board of Directors.
And this got me thinking….
There’s a saying along the lines of “You are the sum of those of whom you surround yourself.”
So, we have to ask, who do we surround ourselves with? If we each had a Board of Directors, who would be sitting at the table?
Would those people be loyal or backstabbing? Gossipers or confidants? Money-wise or financially stupid? Do they listen more and talk less? Have a growth mind-set or a know-it-all? Are they respectful of differing viewpoints or belligerent and rigid?
Do you have friends and family members that will give you a swift kick in the butt when needed, or do you only surround yourself with people who put up with lousy or ignorant behavior and then talk badly about you elsewhere? Do you have people who want you to be your best and push you to succeed, or do they try to bring you down and keep you there?
Not every person can fulfill every role. Chances are, you already have different people that you go to for different areas of advice. And as you look around your table, you might see some empty chairs that need filled, or some replacements needed.
I dumped my three best friends in college who were also my teammates, sorority sisters, roommates and classmates because I just couldn’t deal with their crap anymore. It was not a great time in my life.
A friend of mine lost all her closest friends when she started her tough and daunting road to sobriety. Today, she realizes she is in a much happier spot.
Surround yourselves with the people who lift you up and make you better, not who bring you down and enable bad decisions. The sum of all these people should bring you balance while keeping you on the right path- not tearing you down while left feeling unworthy.
Take the time to determine who is on your Board of Directors. Think about the roles they each play, the advice they give, and the help they provide. Hopefully you’ll choose people who cheer you, support you, and care for you. But hopefully, when necessary, they’ll also kick you in the butt.
And those friends, well… those are the friends you need at your table the most.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Sixteen years of helping clients. Nine years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com