Choose Who Over What

Prioritize people when considering big change.

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Have you heard that saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”? I think Jim Rohn gets credit for saying it. I know it’s trite, but damn is it true. 

Want to be more fit? Find fit friends. Want to start your own company? Start hanging out with other entrepreneurs. Don’t like the attitude of your friends? Fire them and find new friends. Who you surround yourself with definitely shapes the person you are today—and who you’ll become in the future.

Earlier this month on Leadmore Podcast, I explained how I’m thinking about choosing what’s next for me. Today, I want to break down the importance of WHO versus WHAT.

Who Over What

If you think back on your favorite memories and moments in your life, I’d guess that the one constant is that you were with people you love and care about: family, friends, colleagues, and mentors. 

At the end of your life, you’ll be grateful for the relationships you built—not the money you acquired or the awards you won. We all know this is true, but too often we get focused on the job title, the compensation, the location, or the resumé.

The hardest part about leaving Lemonly at the end of the year will be missing the team. I love going to work every day with this group of people. I’ve hired each of them and worked with many of them for six, seven, or even eight years. 

Consider this: You sleep roughly 50 hours a week, you spend 40-ish hours a week with your coworkers (in-person or remote). That leaves 70-ish hours with your family, friends, and hobbies. If you’re spending nearly a quarter of your week with your coworkers, you might as well like them.

As I weigh my options of what to do next (start my own company vs. join a company), WHO I get to work with is at the top of my list of criteria. I want to work with people who push me. I want to work with people who teach me things. I want to work with people who make me laugh, who make me excited to come to work. 

If you’re considering a change in your life, or maybe feel stuck where you’re currently at, take a hard look at WHO is in your life. Optimize for WHO first, then WHAT, and you’ll end up a better, happier person.


The Listen

I was reminded about the importance of WHO during my conversation on this week’s episode of Leadmore Podcast. I sat down with my co-founder and friend, Amy Moore. I had so much fun on this episode, retelling the origin story of Lemonly, asking Amy how we made Lemonly an industry-leading brand, and having some co-founder discussions we’ve never had before until this episode. If you’re a fan of Lemonly, you’ll be a fan of this episode.

The Read

I know I’ve mentioned crypto in this newsletter three weeks straight (you’re starting to see what’s on my mind), but this article from Packy McCormick’s Not Boring newsletter sort of broke my brain: Infinity Revenue, Infinity Possibilities. The article is about a game called Axie Infinity. It’s Pokémon meets blockchain. It’s a long read, but a wild one I definitely recommend.

The Tool

Audio is another trend I’ve been stuck on for a while. After 60 episodes of a podcast, I know the medium is powerful for content and communication. One idea I keep thinking about is internal podcasts. I think every company should have its own podcast for hiring and onboarding. Another interesting wrinkle on audio is live conversations (like Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces). Spotify is in this space now, too, with their app, Greenroom. After an event like last night’s NBA Draft or the Olympics, you can jump right in and listen live to what folks think. Check it out.

The Tweet

This newsletter is about change. We think about change as an occasional thing, when we switch jobs, move to a new town, get married, or have a child. But the truth is, we’re always changing. This tweet reminded me of that so clearly.

Have a great weekend everyone.