Who Are You Letting in Your Sandbox

Jim Donovan I was having lunch the other day with my good friend, Jim Sutton, who, in addition to being my friend, happens to be a great attorney with very high integrity. We were talking about being true to your word and how so many people he encounters try to skate on their morality with a bunch of fancy legal maneuvers.

It reminded me of a woman who once asked me What I would do if the people around me are putting me down? I said, "I'd get away from them."

For me it's the same in business. If I cannot trust the people that I am inviting into my sandbox to play, I don't spend time with them.

Who's in your sandbox? Who's sandbox are you playing in?

Are you surrounding yourself with people with integrity, who always play so everyone wins or are you getting into situations with people you do not like or trust?

Personally, I have one steadfast rule: If I don't like or trust someone, I am not going to be around them. Some people may argue that in business you have to deal with people that you don't enjoy being around, I disagree. As the title of one of my books echoes, this is my life, not a dress rehearsal. I have no intention of spending it in the company of people that I do not enjoy being with.

There are plenty of good, honest, fun, and supportive people that I can play with, who are happy to join me in my sandbox. If you do this, after a while, you will find that the only people who are showing up in your life are the kind of people you want to be around. The others don't even come into your reality.


Who's in your sandbox? Are they the kind of people you want to be with? Who would you like to be on your team? What if you got to know them by offering to help them with something they're working on?

The more you intentionally choose who you spend your time with, the more enjoyable your life will become.

My friend and hero, Charlie (tremendous) Jones said it best when he said, "In five years you will be the same person you are today with the exception of the books you read and the people you hang out with."

Category: Work-Life, Balance
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