If you haven’t figured it out yet, making your way through life is all about relationships and keeping, quoting a cheesy Sun Tzu, your friends close and your enemies closer! Personally, I don’t like having dinner with enemies, including my old grammar school bullies, mean spirited high school teachers, and the grumpy South American whom I occasionally purchase my coffee from in the morning, so I concentrate on my friends.
In turn, here are 6 people I would recommend you trying really hard to get along, and build relationships, with (I’m assuming you keep your wife or husband close!):
Unfortunately, we live in very litigious world and having someone who advocates for your legal well being is paramount. Go out to dinner with your attorney at least once a year and buy him a nice bottle of wine at Christmas. You never know when you you’ll need legal service or advice and being able to call your lawyer at any moment is a nice security blanket.
You’re going to get old and break down – this is a fact. If you’re in your mid twenties or early thirties you may feel like a raging bull, but once 40 comes, things can start to go down hill. So, find a young doctor and grow old with him or her. Get a check up every two years if you are young and certainly every year if you’re getting on in years.
I don’t advocate doing your own taxes. I know most smart folks can do their own returns, but they’re missing out on an opportunity for an expert to look at their financial situation. A good accountant can offer advice on finances and provide insight on tax law/strategy. Sure, there is a cost involved, but I think the idea that one is optimizing their tax status via a professional outweighs the cost.
Yes, it’s cheaper to own a reliable vehicle over an 8-10 year period versus leasing a vehicle every 3 years. Most folks who do not buy cite maintenance and repair issues; however, if you know a good mechanic and treat him well, then he’ll be sure to do quality work and maybe even anticipate problems with your vehicle (stay away from costly dealerships as most of their profit comes via parts and service and not sales). So, find a good mechanic and stick with him (bring the vehicle to him for oil and filter changes even if it’s cheaper at your local Jiffy-Lube)
How often do you see your parents? Do you have dinner with your father and mother at least once a month? Parents can provide an abundance of advice, comfort, and love. If you’ve moved far away from your parents, have you considered moving back? For thousands of years most families lived relatively close to each other to leverage the service, advice, and resources of each individual in the family. Why has this changed, especially in the US?
6. Boss / Industry / Employees
Whatever you do for a living and whether you have a boss, are self employed, or own a company, you should keep the people in your profession close to you. If you work for someone, then make sure you’re building a relationship with your boss so they can be your advocate in the organization. If you own your own business and have employees, then making your employees happy will make them more productive. If you’re a brilliant entrepreneur, then keeping close friends in the industry your’re involved in is critical.