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You Never Know Whom They Know / You Are Known By The Company You KeepWednesday 10/17/2012
DirkDirk Cummins / MainStreetChamber - Houston
Chapter President / State Director

You Are Known By The Company You Keep


As I write about this subject it takes me back to my childhood. My Mother would constantly remind me to be careful and choose my friends wisely because people will judge you by the company you keep.


Unfair? Perhaps. As a youngster I thought this was something Mom was making up as she went along, and besides, she didn’t like some of my friends anyway. Does any Mother like all the friends we keep? Probably not!


However, let’s examine this “momism” a little closer. It seems this first came to light in the 6th century BC by a man called Aesop. Aesop is best known for writing a few stories with a message hidden inside. They call these fables, and 2 of these fables (The Ass and His Purchaser, and The Farmer and the Stork) dealt with that same message. The words of wisdom from The Ass and the Purchaser is; “you are known by the company you keep”. The message from The Farmer and the Stork is; “birds of a feather flock together”. By the way, the second fable ends tragically with the stork being killed along with the other birds.


I agree that it is not fair, but it is reality, and by now, we all know; perception is reality. Just look inside your own thoughts to validate this for yourself. What do you think and feel when you see four or five teenagers on a street corner wearing their pants down around their thighs. How about when you see four or five Marines in uniform? Now if the same Marine changes out of his dress blues, puts on a pair of pants that hang down to his thighs and is on the corner with the other group … then he is like the others, right?


So what? Here’s what! It’s time for a reality check; if you want to do business with business owners; be around business owners. If you want to do business with wealthy individuals; be around wealthy individuals. If you want to be known as the “go to” person; be around “go to” people. If not, your business will surely reach the same tragic ending as the stork in Aesop’s fable.


Consider this; Houston, Texas is the 4th largest city in the United States. We are ranked as one of the best environments for entrepreneurs. We have a plethora of networking events; we have as much, if not more creative genius than New York or Los Angeles. Why aren’t you around the people who want to help you make it happen?


To learn the ins and out of networking and relationship building, contact people like Bertrand McHenry, Steven Kay, Steve Levine, John Cruise, Ervin Hughes, John King, Tony Gambone and Ken Marsh to name a few. Don’t know how to contact them; drop me a line and I’ll help.


“Show me who a man’s friends are and I’ll tell you who he is.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



About Our Show Advisor: Dirk Cummins is a practicing financial consultant who attended the University of Virginia at Quantico, Virginia while serving in the United States Marine Corps. He is a CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT® (ChFC®), and has completed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®)certification curriculum. Dirk is also a CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST™ (CDFA™). Dirk's areas of specialization include business and individual planning. Dirk's professional career began in 1974 in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. In 1978 he accepted a position with Lineberry Financial Group and relocated to Houston. He has held various positions within the financial services industry prior to starting his own firm. Dirk has been involved with numerous volunteer groups and is currently serving as the President of the MainStreetChamber Houston Chapter and State Director for the MainStreetChamber. He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Academy of Finance at Spring Branch ISD and on the Pro Bono Committee for the Financial Planning Association Houston chapter. He has also served as Past President of the Crossroads Chapter of Services Cooperative Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served as an Advisory Board member of the Entrepreneurial Development Center and a member of the Board of Directors of Women Achieving Independence & Financial Success. He was a Republican Party Precinct Chair in Harris County, and an Election Judge in Harris County.
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