By: Colby Harris
It seems today everyone is constantly discussing investing and the importance of investing wisely. From the trusty options like real estate, bonds, and stocks to the madness of crypto and NFT’s, everyone wants the same thing: highest return on investment. Today, I am going to share with you the number one investment to see the most unimaginable return on. This investment is not a product or a service nor a certain stock or a piece of land, and it has no government controlling it.You can not see or hold this investment but if you are wise enough with it, you will likely enjoy it. My trillion dollar investment is something that takes nurturing and time to form - relationships.
As summer closes out, I am very excited to say I have just wrapped up my 3rd summer at Grit University and closed out my first year working full-time at Grit.org. This year has been unforgettable in all aspects and I cannot wait to continue to spread our message and impact lives. On a professional level, this year I invested my time into launching a podcast, coaching youth sports, developing performance programs, and running a summer sports camp. All of these investments of time have paid very different dividends. Some pay me in enjoyment, education, and fulfillment and some happen to pay monetarily. Overall though, the investment that stands above all this past year has been into relationships. These relationships have come in many forms from familial and romantic relationships to friendships and professional relationships. Each style has served varying purposes for me and today I want to share the impact each has on my life.
First off, my professional and acquaintance level relationships have been beyond helpful to kick starting my efforts at Grit.org. One key thing I learned about professional relationships is that they should not be transactional. Just because you and another person are collaborating on a business effort does not mean that you should always consider what is best from a business standpoint. The coolest part about networking and meeting so many amazing individuals through business and work is that these relationships - when not viewed as transactional - turn into long term friendships and the likelihood of collaborating or doing business together again increases tenfold. To be meeting so many amazing people along the way has been one of the highlights of my young career. When recording a podcast or hearing a speaker at camp, I always know that this person has served a purpose at Grit.org. This is because at the bare minimum, they have inspired and educated me to be the best form of Colby Harris possible. I value other people's insight and experience so much and you should too. Everyone has a story, allow them to share it with you and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. You know what they say, it’s not what you know but who you know.
Now on a personal note I want to discuss my less formal relationships. My family, friends, and girlfriend mean the world to me. They have seen every shade of me but have never ceased to support me and be there for me when I need it the most. A commitment I made last year was to start having a more intense awareness of HOW I invest in these relationships. It’s one thing to go out to dinner with someone, but it’s a whole other experience to turn your phone off, shut out all distractions, and deeply engage with them throughout the evening. I wanted to apply this to all my closest relationships because I felt so burned out from work. There is nothing wrong with needing an outlet from the stress and anxiety that work brings. For me, there has been no substitute for quality time with those I love. My girlfriend has been a true rock for me this past year and despite us both being extremely busy, we still manage to make time for each other and there is nothing I enjoy more than quality time with her. We laugh, go on fun adventures, and talk about life while simultaneously enriching each other. There is no substitute for people like this in your life. Over the past year I have come to understand that sharing experiences and enjoyment of life itself with those you love is a sensation that is incomparable to any other worldly success or accolade. If you have not found these people for your life yet, do not worry as they are out there, but only if you are willing to invest in finding them will you be united.
There are many forms of relationships, but only two types: positive and negative. Some people have a distaste towards others because they invested into the wrong relationships, but that is true for all people. You should not turn your back on everyone in your life due to one bad apple, you just need to drop that from the tree. The most amazing part about investing in relationships is that you will always win as long as you have the right perspective. Each and every relationship I have ever had has taught me something. From a father I don’t speak to, to failed business partners, and even friends I no longer engage with, each opportunity to interact with another person has taught me something. Looking forward to a new chapter for the back half of 2022 and into 2023, I encourage you to to invest in relationships without an end goal in sight. In my eyes, the difference between existing and living lies within the people you surround yourself with. Invest in those who make life worth living.