Circle of Influence

One of the largest difficulties I have had in my professional life as an entrepreneur is not really having a boss. I answer to no one. I know that sounds great but it has brought with it certain challenges that takes a special individual to endure. You must be self motivated and self aware. It is in fact loneliest at the top of the pyramid.

When I was a younger man I had my Dad Bubba Shurden to go to for advice from farming to business to health and family. He was my hero, my adviser, and my best friend. When he died almost 11 years ago this week I lost all of that. I was indeed alone in many ways. Over the next several years I made a series of really short sighted decisions that I am still feeling the burn from financially. I knew something was missing but I did not know what.

One night I was laying in the bed in prayer and I rolled over to my wife and said, “I really believe that God wants me to go to this Tony Robbins event in Chicago.” She agreed and I went. I didn’t drink the Koolaide. I hooked it up IV style, right in the vain. I left with a thirst for knowledge and many new friends that thought like I did. Why did I fail? How do I change? What do I really want from life?

I started exercising and reading more, two books a month in fact, but the biggest change is I hired a coach, Shasheen Shah. I realized that I was not associating with anyone who could help me to create lasting change in my life and Shasheen helped me to see that.

If you’re like me you want all that life has to offer and that makes you not normal. I encourage you to find a mastermind group, find a mentor, find other people like us to hang around. You are the average of the five people you hang around the most. Keep that in mind.

I know you got in business for yourself for many reasons but somehow you woke up one day to a job and not a business. You’re business is running you instead of you running the business. You know it’s time to make a change. Maybe you just need someone you trust who has a new point of view. Maybe you need a coach.

Stafford Shurden has been in business for himself for 20 years. He also owns 1933 Restaurant, Stafford’s Market, and Shurden Farms, and is an elected Justice Court Judge.  You can email Stafford at 


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