Last week I wrote about trying to learn and grow to become a better person. Like everyone else, I’ve had people who I looked up to and tried to live my life by throughout the years. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have met someone who ended up making a significant impact on me and ended up changing me for the better.
Jason Harris came into my life by happenstance. I was teaching his boxing class at Church Street Boxing Gym. I saw people come and go from the gym every day, so of course I didn’t remember him. A few days after, I was told that I had a 1-on-1 scheduled with a “Jason Harris” and when we had our session, I officially met him. I recalled Jason instantly. I had given him hell in class for dropping his hands and made him run the stairs every time. He had been visibly annoyed about it, too. (That’s not my fault. Don’t drop your damn hands!)
I had been feeling a bit iffy prior to the session. I wasn’t sure if we’d work well together but 3 minutes into it, we were getting along great. We just clicked. He was pretty much everything I aspired to be (except for the lack of coordination, haha). Fast forward a few sessions later—I decided to pitch my business plan at him in the locker room. I told him that I had a brilliant idea for opening a new gym and threw some numbers at him. He said he’d love to own a gym and would be interested in investing $20k. When he asked why I wanted to open a gym, though, I told him that I wanted to take someone down who had left me jobless and homeless, and that that was my motivation. Jason said something that I’ll never forget. Somehow, it resonated with me more than anything else anyone had ever said.
“Yeah, I’d love to invest in someone with no moral compass.”
I also remember the look of disgust on his face as he walked out of the locker room. I hung back for a few minutes. I felt like shit. Here was someone whom I’d just met but had quickly started looking up to as a guiding figure in my life, and he was telling me that I had no chance at success with my kind of mindset. That moment and his words shifted my whole perspective. I left the locker room wanting to start being better, start doing better, and to find the right reasons.
Today, Jason is my business partner and he has invested much more than just money. He’s given me his time, words of wisdom, friendship, and more. I got a lot done being driven by ego, but I’ve honestly accomplished much more by being a better person. And that’s something I can be proud of. I slip up occasionally because I’m human like everyone else, but I am grateful for the people in my life who keep me in check and point my moral compass in the right direction every day.
“You need people who can tell you what you don’t want to hear.” –Robert De Niro