Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
— Proverbs 27:17

When I was in middle school I met my best friend "Sheila". We both kept to ourselves, both stayed out of trouble and eventually became very close friends. Sheila and I were close throughout high school and our early years of college but then something happened. Sheila and I started to grow apart. We didn't like the same things anymore. We didn't want to go to the same places and our circle of friends changed dramatically by the year.

As I got older, I was looking for friends that would help me be a better Christian and Sheila, well she wanted to find friends to party with. The change in friendship was not a negative one, but it was a struggle because we were used to being friends for so many years. We were familiar with each other. Because of the choices Sheila made in boyfriends, career, school and life in general she did not play an important role in my life anymore. Our friendship drained the both of us because we were trying to hold on to a the persons we were when we first met instead of building each other up.  What I had to give to the friendship was no longer enough and eventually we parted ways. 

Lesson learned: Just because I was friends with Sheila for a long time doesn't mean she was meant to be in my life for the long haul. I learned to let go. I also learned that there are people with certain characteristics that I will always need in my life. Sheila did not fit in any of categories and that's ok. 

Before I continue, let interject by saying I am inherently an introvert and prefer to be left alone with my thoughts most of the time. I prefer small crowds over large ones and feel very awkward when thrown into social situations. I always felt very insecure about this in my earlier years, but as I got older and did a little research on my personality type, I realized that I wasn't alone and it was ok to want to be alone.

It's ok to prefer reading a book in my home with a hot cup of coffee over going out with friends. My preference for going to movies alone, taking a walk alone, going to the beach or doing any activity alone, is a good thing because I like my own company and find that I plan, work out problems and strategize better when I'm alone. But I know that I do need friends. I need people in my life that are on my side and guess what? You do too. As a matter of fact here are some great books that are currently on my shelf for character and relationship building.  I'd love to hear what you think so drop me a note after you've bought them and your done reading. 

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Whether in my professional or private life, there are times when I need a team of reliable people for several reasons. To keep me on the straight and narrow, to encourage me when I'm down and to inspire me to move forward.  If you're like me, you don't need a large crowd. Just a small group of people to walk with you through every stage of life.

Over the years I've found that there isn't a specific number of friends any one person should have, but there are certain types of individuals that I believe everyone should build relationships with to be the best they can be. No one can do it alone.


  • Nothing significant will be accomplished alone.
    You need a trusted team to build you up, hold your hand, correct you and guide you.  A great network will always make what seems impossible, possible.
  • We need others to help us, and we need to help others.
    One sided relationships never last. Eventually, someone will get burned out and bitter. When I was in my twenties, I unknowingly allowed quite a few people to come into my life with the sole purpose of draining me.  These days I've gotten much better at discerning intentions and have no problem with "trimming the fat." Great relationships require effort and sacrifice from everyone.




is true love. True friendship is rarer. 

Your Mentor

Your mentor is the person who you seek to emulate.  He or she constantly reminds you that you can do it too. They have been tried by fire and have come out as pure gold.  Now they are reaching back to help those coming behind them, including you. Your mentor is mature, gracious, humble and wise. They are the voice of expertise in whatever area you are looking to flourish. They can open doors for you, and most importantly they share their knowledge willingly. They guide you patiently and are not afraid to correct you when necessary. They always see the potential in you and will gently push you forward. Think Paul and Timothy. 

Your Motivator

This person is always there to cheer you on. They love to see you win. They are not threatened by your success but rather take pleasure in the mere fact that you are moving ahead.  They will encourage you when you feel weak by reminding you of who God made you to be. Your motivator is genuine and has no problem reminding you that you are a conqueror in Christ.  You don't need a team of motivators, and you certainly do not need a bunch of "yes men".  In my humble opinion one or two sincere motivators is enough.

Your Challenger

I have one of these in my life and I have to admit that sometimes she gets on my nerves. Why? Because I'm a dreamer and sometimes I want to do things that make absolutely no sense. My challenger is always there to knock some sense into me. She is always pointing out every angle and possible outcome in my big dreams and forcing me to see the potential negative consequences.  Yes, my challenger irks my nerves but guess what? I need and love her. She is always there to give me a dose of reality, and she does it because she doesn't want to see me fall. She is wise in her counsel and refuses to agree with everything I do for the sake of remaining friends. She is a straight shooter and can always be trusted to speak the truth.

Your Coach

I love my coach friends because I am a coach and can relate to everything they tell me. Since I am the coach type of friend, I can explain our approach. I am the voice that demands you get things done. I push you to accomplish your goals. I take no prisoners and have no patience for excuses. When we talk, I analyze the problem,  work out an action plan and expect you to follow-through. I will motivate and encourage you along the way, but only if I see effort on your part. No effort from you means no effort from me. I am the voice of progress. I genuinely want to see you win and will always be there to help you do just that. Yes, you can cry on my shoulders when you need to, but only for so long. Eventually, I will ask you to wipe those tears and get back on the road to success.

Your coach will seem insensitive and cold sometimes, but that is only because we are wired to fix problems and create plans to fix them and win. We see every moment as an opportunity to do better and any moment spent in a pity party is a waste of time for us.  We are in the business of giving wise counsel coupled with actionable steps to get where you need to be. When we invest, we invest all the way. You are our top priority, and your well-being is always at the forefront of our minds. We never see you as a failure no matter what you do. Our motto is as long as you're alive, there is a chance to do better.

Your Connector

Your connectors are there to get you into places you couldn't get to on your own. They are your big time networkers and are always willing to get you a seat at the table. You may not be close to them, but you need them to get you where you need to go. These friends are the first to see the possibilities and will grab your hand to run through the door when an opportunity comes knocking. Don't let go of their hand. God placed them there to take you to the next level. 

Your Confidant

Your confidant is your grace-giver, you burden bearer, your tried and true. These friends will be there when you are on the mountain top and when you're in the valley. They stick closer than a brother and will defend, protect and love you until the end. They may also have a combination of the other five character traits, but they are mostly there just to be your friend. They forgive you when you fall, they know and keep your secrets, and they can move with you through different stages and seasons in your life. You don't need to leave these friends behind because you grow together. If you have a confidant, make sure to cherish them because they are rare.

There you have it!

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Until next time, 
Live in gratitude. Live in love.