• Jerry Phillips

Looking back to change the future

Today is our wedding anniversary. As we were enjoying a cup of coffee on our patio, it occurred to me that when we met, we had no idea where we would be today. I had to smile when I saw a meme that said, “For those of you who were interviewing five years ago, and answered the question about where you see yourself in five years, you were wrong.” If we had speculated where we would be 45 years after we met, we would have been wrong as well.

My wife and I met when we were still in high school. We went to rival high schools and had never met before that first night, at the county fair. Yes, it sounds corny. But we were high school sweethearts that met at the county fair. I was a farm boy and she was a city girl. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but we are still surviving and thriving today. Two kids from small town Kansas, living in Austin, running businesses that help people improve their lives. Who could have guessed this would have happened?

I’m a little nostalgic today, and it made me think of not only my time growing with my wife and family, but also my time growing with my clients. In the 16 years I’ve had in this business, I’ve been fortunate to develop some extraordinarily strong friendships with the people I’ve worked with. Friendships beyond the business. I’ve been able to meet their families, and watch their sons and daughters grow up and become productive citizens, just like their parents. We have been able to share our thoughts and fears outside of our business relationships. We have built trust in one another.

I have one individual that I’ve worked with for nearly all the 16 years of having this practice. We have not worked all the time, but we have worked specific projects over that time frame. He and I talk frequently, and he is one of the brightest marketing minds that I know. I bounce ideas off him, and he gives me honest feedback on my wild ideas. He has saved me a great deal of time, money, and effort by helping me see when I’m off track. I treasure that relationship. Thanks Mike.

As my business has grown, and as my relationship with my wife has grown, I have seen the benefit of sharing experiences and helping each other mature. We all grow at different rates. Having that understanding and having the patience to let it happen has helped me personally and professionally. Sometimes it pays to stop and reflect. Have you taken the time to look back at your path and understand what you have learned? Have you looked at your trajectory to determine where to want to go in the future? There will be unplanned challenges, like a pandemic and the resulting recession, but with the help of your friends, you can adjust and thrive.

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