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A Holiday of Dependence

I love July 4th. Some of my fondest memories center on an annual July 4th family reunion in Florida's panhandle. My love for the holiday has grown as I've have become a fan of our country's early political history. I can thank one of my favorite clients, Wayne Dahlke, for introducing me to some of the great historical fiction writers covering this era.

As I recall reading some of Wayne's books and various biographies of our government's early leaders I am sitting among family members enjoying a truly wonderful and blessed weekend to begin a week long family vacation in Texas. Outside of Boston or Philadelphia I think you would be hard pressed to find an Independence streak that runs as deep and wide as the one through the Lone Star State.

But the thing about Independence is that it's just the first step on a journey. What you do with independence will determine whether you continue to enjoy its benefits. And the great paradox is that independence is anything but isolation and autonomy from the rest of the world. In the same way that the early United States had allies, champions and heroes you have a constellation of encouragers, helpers, partners and supporters interested in your success.

Business owners are perceived as having a great degree of independence, and in many respects that is true. But those who flaunt their autonomy soon find that progress is much more difficult alone. I want to encourage you this holiday. I would like you to spend a few minutes thinking about how dependent you are on the people who mean the most to you and your life.

Family first. Those closest to us are most likely to be taken for granted. Team You has a deep bench and you probably don't realize how often your spouse, your children, your parents, your nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and extended family admire, appreciate, and support all you do. Remember how big this family is, how great is its love for you and that little else will matter if they aren't part of your journey. I have been blessed beyond measure that the number of family members contributing to the person I am extends from Florida to Texas to Colombia and areas between. I love you all greatly.

Friends forever. A decision to share your life with friends is a bold move. Deep friendships are exciting, joyful, a little edgy and always moving forward. Friends who care for you make you a better person than you would have been otherwise. They tell you things you might not want to hear and make sure you don't beat yourself up too often. To guys like Todd and Matthew and Larry and Frankie and Peter and about a dozen others I am grateful for my dependence on you.

Colleagues. The people you spend your days with include coworkers, customers, vendors, neighbors, competitors and countless others. Those people care about you or they wouldn't bother. We get busy prioritizing and optimizing and sometimes lose sight of how much these folks mean to all we do. My coworkers and clients are my business. Without them what I do everyday would be fundamentally different. Their decision to do business with me is strictly voluntary and I am incredibly grateful for their decision to do so. To Robbie, Patty and Mandy as well as Irene, Solondria, Mary, Theresa, Sam, Chad and Lynn I need to say thanks. To every client that has ever hired us to help with something I want to say thanks as well. It is a great blessing that the list of clients I'd like to name is longer than most readers would want to endure.

The list goes on. These three groups, family, friends and colleagues are common to all of us. But my list keeps going and so does yours. I hope you get a chance today to spend time with some of these people that mean so much to you. I hope you also take a minute to reach out to a few others and let them know that your Independence Day is filled with thankfulness and gratitude for your dependence on them. I just did it and my July 4th is off to an EPIC start!

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