in personal growth

Lessons Learned in Good Company

17N

November 21, 2009. A brisk Saturday evening much like any other cool Chicago night. Little did I know – this seemingly harmless evening would result in something much greater, much more terrifyingly awesome, than any of us would have ever expected.

In short, my Saturday night was probably definitely better than yours.

  • Maybe it was the delicious cupcakes.
  • Or the Mongolian feast
  • Or the Yellow-skintight-turtleneck-wearing Fabio
  • Or putting my car seat back and pretending to be seven feet tall
  • Or the ice cream social
  • Or “Slap Jack”
  • Or MASHING (the teenage girl slumber party MASH)
  • Or Graphic tee, pleated khaki, one-sided-braid-sporting 50 year olds
  • Or winding up at one of the most random underground hair salon swinger parties ever

Whatever it was. There was something magical about Saturday, November 21st. On that fateful night, through all of the terrifyingly random shenanigans, I walked away with a valuable lesson:

No matter how random, scary, or ridiculous a situation may get, when you surround yourself with the right people – when you travel in good company – everything seems to work itself out. Anything is possible.

Think about Zappos. A little over 10 years ago a group of friends decided to start a business. A few friends set out to make money together, and have fun doing it. Through the years, they maintained that community spirit and committed themselves to building relationships. Back in July, Zappos sold to Amazon for over $850 million. They must have gotten something right.

They realized the power of the collective spirit. They took things in stride and made the best of every situation. They understood that having fun and loving what you do is one of, if not the most important ingredient to success.

One ridiculous night out in #DTA (downtown Aurora) taught me a lot about how I look at both personal and professional relationships. With most – I would have considered Saturday night to be a complete disaster – but with the right people, with some great friends – it was a night I’ll truly never forget.

Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?

P.S. MASH Results: I’m marrying Mari in Africa, honeymooning in Europe, and living in Naperville with our 7 kids and pet turtle. Not to mention, I drive a Corvette. Sweet.

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31 Comments

  1. Naperville. Great City. If it weren’t for cold winters I might’ve tried to work for OfficeMax just so I could live there for a year or two. Oh wait, it’s not Texas. Nevermind.

  2. Naperville. Great City. If it weren’t for cold winters I might’ve tried to work for OfficeMax just so I could live there for a year or two. Oh wait, it’s not Texas. Nevermind.

  3. You forgot to mention what kind of house you are going to live in with you 7 kids and pet turtle!

    But you’re spot on about surrounding yourself with the right people. In addition to that, I’d add that it’s important to ask, “Am I a pleasant person to be around?”

    • I knew there was something missing. I ended up in a mansion. Not a bad gig, eh?

      Being someone that people want to be in the company of is just as important as being in good company. Right on Meghan!

  4. You forgot to mention what kind of house you are going to live in with you 7 kids and pet turtle!

    But you’re spot on about surrounding yourself with the right people. In addition to that, I’d add that it’s important to ask, “Am I a pleasant person to be around?”

    • I knew there was something missing. I ended up in a mansion. Not a bad gig, eh?

      Being someone that people want to be in the company of is just as important as being in good company. Right on Meghan!

  5. Oh, this is brilliant. The only thing that would have been more brilliant is if we had pictures to recap the perfect night of horror in the western suburbs. #DTR next weekend!

    Nice correlation to Zappos! For our next foray, we should just start a business instead of risking losing life and limb via #fabiomongojacksswingers17hairsalon.

    And heck yes we live in a mansion. Duh.

    • Hey, anytime you want to talk business, you let me know – I can only imagine the good times that would be had.

      As long as you appreciate this – that’s all that matters. I don’t expect most of the people to get too much out of it – mostly blank stares – but I did my best to relate our ridiculous weekend antics to the bigger picture. Not bad huh?

      And #DTR – next weekend? This weekend? We need to make that happen!

  6. Oh, this is brilliant. The only thing that would have been more brilliant is if we had pictures to recap the perfect night of horror in the western suburbs. #DTR next weekend!

    Nice correlation to Zappos! For our next foray, we should just start a business instead of risking losing life and limb via #fabiomongojacksswingers17hairsalon.

    And heck yes we live in a mansion. Duh.

    • Hey, anytime you want to talk business, you let me know – I can only imagine the good times that would be had.

      As long as you appreciate this – that’s all that matters. I don’t expect most of the people to get too much out of it – mostly blank stares – but I did my best to relate our ridiculous weekend antics to the bigger picture. Not bad huh?

      And #DTR – next weekend? This weekend? We need to make that happen!

  7. Anytime, I mean anytime, MASH is being played, magic is surely in the air. It has to be.

    I have many memories playing in the back of a bus on the way to some history museum. Except us kids in Colorado called it MASHO. The “O” being the option of living in an outhouse of course.

    And yes, liked the tie in with Zappo. I’ve often wished the same thing; to run with an idea with a group of people you love being around.

    Look out Matt, I might just be pitching an idea to you sometime soon. Seriously…

    • MASHO? Interesting – couldn’t “outhouse” be the “bad” choice in the “house” category?

      Haha, who am I to question the rules and regulations of our beloved back-of-the-bus game. First it was Mash, then it was Truth or Dare, 3 kids later I learned these games weren’t always as harmless as they seem…lol

      Pitch away Paul – I am all ears – you know how to reach me.

  8. Anytime, I mean anytime, MASH is being played, magic is surely in the air. It has to be.

    I have many memories playing in the back of a bus on the way to some history museum. Except us kids in Colorado called it MASHO. The “O” being the option of living in an outhouse of course.

    And yes, liked the tie in with Zappo. I’ve often wished the same thing; to run with an idea with a group of people you love being around.

    Look out Matt, I might just be pitching an idea to you sometime soon. Seriously…

    • MASHO? Interesting – couldn’t “outhouse” be the “bad” choice in the “house” category?

      Haha, who am I to question the rules and regulations of our beloved back-of-the-bus game. First it was Mash, then it was Truth or Dare, 3 kids later I learned these games weren’t always as harmless as they seem…lol

      Pitch away Paul – I am all ears – you know how to reach me.

  9. Surrounding ourselves with the right people not only boost our productivity, but it also make us appreciate the beauty around us. As much as possible, I stay away from people who contributes nothing but negativity and misery, such people are contagious. Still, if one cannot avoid them, we might as well shield ourselves from the ramblings of these people, through indifference. :-)

    • Very well said Walter. You are the company you keep – and surrounding yourself with negativity will only rub off – the same can be said for positive people who will motivate and push you in the right direction. Cheers!

  10. Surrounding ourselves with the right people not only boost our productivity, but it also make us appreciate the beauty around us. As much as possible, I stay away from people who contributes nothing but negativity and misery, such people are contagious. Still, if one cannot avoid them, we might as well shield ourselves from the ramblings of these people, through indifference. :-)

    • Very well said Walter. You are the company you keep – and surrounding yourself with negativity will only rub off – the same can be said for positive people who will motivate and push you in the right direction. Cheers!