Years ago I attended a week long seminar by one of my heroes – Jim Rohn. I have long been a fan of Charles “Tremendous” Jones, Og Mandino, Norman Vincent Peale and others. While there were many gifts from the week, two that have served me well for nearly two decades are “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job” and “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
The week was an opportunity for me to look at what was working and not working in my life and these two sentences became marching orders into a new way of being. I began to surround myself with people who challenged me to be better, people who came from diverse backgrounds and experiences, people who were living the kind of quality life I wanted and in a word, people who were “kind.”
What happened in a short time was a career change as I took over and eventually purchased a company in an industry I knew nothing about – Industrial containers. What served me best was the flow of ideas that came with quality friends and spending quality time with myself. I tried not to get too caught up with what my competitors were doing, but instead, kept abreast of what was going on in my industry by being active in the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association and listening to customers. The real magic happened when, armed with this information, I got out of my own way and let my creative juices flow from my extensive resources in a world other than the packaging world.