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Anchors & Sails: Choosing Better Relationships

2:13 PMDaVaun Sanders

A freelance article I wrote for a magazine. Hope it can serve as a motivator for you!

Congratulations are in order. You've decided to follow your passion. You will soon transform into a legendary brand, a force of nature, an immaculate confluence of awesome. Fans, marketing teams and haters will hang on your every hashtag. You know this path isn't easy. Fine. Bring it.

Despite the passion you've poured into the studio, school, the music or the're not even close. Deep down, you know it. There’s no doubt you own the talent. (If there is, stop reading and get busy climbing that corporate ladder.)

Still here? Good. All of your late nights grinding and burned invested Benjamins will go unrecognized without one key component: the people you choose to surround yourself with.

Building relationships is tough work. You constantly decide between people who hold you back or help you reach your goals—the anchors and sails for the idea or career that’s cruising to your success. Here’s how to pick a team that won’t abandon ship.

Anchors: Dead Weight or Life Saver?
  •  Know the Role.
    Anchors are designed to keep a ship from running aground, or drifting in the current. It’s damn easy to drift in this life. Never finish that demo, end up as an open-mic singer. Set out to LA for an audition, settle with a career in porn. No one means to fail at their dream—it happens a little each day. Anchors will keep you on track. They are no-nonsense people who reinforce goals when you need to pause. The tough dose of reality they provide is well worth carrying the extra weight.
  • Size Matters.
    A ten-ton anchor is not a good look for a rowboat. A concrete cinder block tied to an old rope won’t slow down a battleship. Anchors in your life must fit your dream’s scope. If you’re ready to leave the kiddie pool but your anchor won’t budge—it’s time to downsize. Say you’re stubborn, easily distracted, or whatever—make sure your anchors are strong enough to deal with those moments.
  • Time to Cut Loose.
    When an anchor’s stuck on the ocean floor, your ship goes nowhere. Keep several people in your life to serve this vital role. Then you’ll be ready to move on from a relationship if it’s doing your career more harm than good.

Sails: Game Changer or Deal Breaker?
  •  Speed is King.
    You probably know the sails in your life already. These people open doors, move merchandise and make deals happen. They’ll push you further than you ever dreamed—but it’s on you to set the right course. Always follow your dreams and passion, or the wind will take you anywhere.
  • Ready to Row.That wind is fickle. Someone in your crew sends out a dumb Tweet and your sponsors pull out of your next show. Your latest mixtape gets one bad review and you can’t even get your Kickstarter funded—let alone a deal. Always have a back-up plan—or better yet, people who aren’t afraid to row through dead waters.
  •  Respect the Storm.
    Drama, competition and Murphy’s law all stand in your way. Not every storm can be sailed through. If people in your life cannot recognize these moments, there’s a good chance they’ll sink your ship. When hurricane-force circumstances arise, buckle down and wait for calmer seas.
You probably noticed these are not two clear-cut categories. They’re both full of strengths and weaknesses.

That's exactly the point.

Remember to take people as individuals, faults and quirks included. People’s motives change constantly. Who works for you on one voyage, may be a burden on the next.

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