Secrets of Success: Start a Collection

Actress Eva Longoria and I were sitting down for a breakfast interview this summer and she was talking to me about other Latina actresses that she admires and has become friends with. She mentions Scrubs actress Judy Reyes to me, and as I’m nodding my head, Eva then says, “I collect good people in my life and she’s a collector’s item.” Instantly I was confused. Huh? You collect people? That sounds like some weird Scientology stuff.

But weeks later, I thought about it again and it made sense to me.

“I collect good people in my life and she’s a collectors item.”

Society tells us that there’s not that much that’s under our control. You can’t control the economy, you can’t control the weather, and as an employee you definitely cant control your job. But what you can control is who you surround yourself with. Surrounding yourself with good people who hold similar values, who are driven to do the right thing, who are motivated to experience and enjoy life is something you can definitely control. You can control who you are friends with and who you hang with. And more importantly, you have something inside of you that tells you who is good to collect, and who isn’t.

We all have that gut feeling. That thing that lets us know what’s right and what’s wrong… more importantly, who is right and who is wrong. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be friends with everybody, but as you grow and learn you’ll realize that there are people in your lives for different reasons. Some are there to encourage you, like family. Some are there to be your going-out girlfriend, you know, the one who is always down to go to the mall or to the movies at a moment’s notice. Then there are the friends you confide in and you share your deepest secrets. And then there’s everybody else, the associates. Those are people that you just know. Nothing more.

But keep in mind what Eva said, “I collect good people in my life and she’s a collectors item.”  You want to collect positive people. People who want the best for you, and for whom you want the best for. These are the kinds of people who will help you study when you need to, cheer you on when you need it, who will share their last chicken wing with you, and who will be happy for you even when things aren’t going well for them. You don’t need the haters. You don’t need the negative Nancy’s or the procrastinating Pauls. Like my favorite rap song says ‘Shake the haters off.’

Collecting good people has been a huge key to my success as a journalist and to the success of those around me. My friends and I are like a little army of positive guys and girls who pump each other up and hustle for one another. If I need a contact, my collection of people can email me the hook up. If I have what they need, I’ll give it to them. I make sure that the people that are around me are people that inspire me to want to be a better person. That doesn’t mean that everyone around you needs to be a boss, that means that you need to feel as if there is something that each friend does that makes you want to be a better person. Collect people in your life that are walking their talk; That you can reach out and talk to and that you can see your life being inspired by their walk.

Like life coach Paul Brunson said, “A commonality amongst successful people is that they will tell you that their crew was tight.” So start a positive and productive collection of people, and watch your whole hustle change for the better.

By Amy Elisa Keith

(Photo credit: curlBOX, Myleik Teele)