friends

Make Your Best Friends Better

photo shows two people helping each other climb a mountain slope with a blue sea in the background

We are tethered to those around us. It’s not just an economic thing. It’s not necessarily a karma thing. But the things that happen in our tightest circles have consequences—for everyone involved.

Studies have shown that “your chances of becoming happy, depressed or obese in the future, as well as the likelihood that you would give up smoking, were all strongly correlated with similar changes in your closest friend,” as reported in the new book Friends: Understanding the Power of Our Most Important Relationships.

And you thought your BFF was special before!

Those studies have found that, like a team of mountain climbers, our close friend group can create a virtuous cycle. As one ascends, everyone else follows. When any of you improves, you all do.

  • Point your friends to resources they might be able to use. Making connections is one of those habits that’s practically free to practice and could be invaluable to the other party. (As an aside, this is why we love being able to offer free guides on our website… Never know who may be able to use them!)
  • Connect your resources to your values, and recognize others when you notice them doing the same. When folks live in an aligned way—and are conscious of it—it creates a positive feedback loop. As an example, we’ve been working with a few clients recently who’ve helped challenge our thinking about some of our holdings and examining the big picture in fresh ways. We’re all better for the process.
  • Celebrate together, hang in there together. Okay, this has us thinking about you, our clients. We love cheering on your milestones, those moments where you realize you’ve got what you need to do something in your real life… and we’re here to navigate the rest with you. Ups and downs, highs and lows. Part of the joy we share in the good times is the community we forge in the not-so-good ones.

The takeaways seem pretty clear to us (and for our friends!). Want to reach new summits? Build and invest in a team that will help make that happen. We know it’s been a good approach in our shop.

Clients, write or call when you’re ready to talk about your next goals, challenges, or anything else.


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Richard R. Berner, In Memoriam

berner

My old friend Dick Berner passed away recently, at the age of 89. Although afflicted with chronic and serious conditions, he was making plans to get out of bed and start taking care of business again, all the way to the end. When not totally lucid from the effects of pain medication, he spoke about working on imaginary deals.

Dick was an early mentor. He hired me to come to Louisville when I was just 22 and living near where I grew up in the middle of Omaha. He taught me more about working with people in a few days than I had learned in 18 months as a life insurance agent.

He would have been about 48 when we met, and was operating an insurance agency, a savings company, a bulk oil distributor, an auto parts store, and a fledgling new vehicle dealership. Just a few years prior, he got out of a more established dealership. (It operates on a much larger scale today in the hands of his son-in-law and daughter, forty years later.)

Within a few years of meeting, he started developing acreages and homesites, and got his real estate license. For most of the last thirty years, real estate was his primary business.

Dick was tireless in business, endlessly working on new ideas, always thinking. And he nearly lived out my long-held ambition of working to age 92.

Perhaps because he had always figured things out and was not afraid of new ideas, he challenged me with new things all the time. I got a business education right on Main Street in Louisville that was priceless. It has served me well ever since.

Life is filled with joy and pain. The mortality rate, being 100%, is a source of some of that pain. But the lives we lead tell a story. It fills me with joy that I got to be a small part of Dick’s story, and have him be such an important part of my story.

Rest in peace, old friend.