Do you have friends or fans?

No matter what your occupation, this is a question that has a huge impact on your quality of life. In order to answer that question you need to know difference between a fan and a friend. Here are some hints.

Fans see you as networking potential ————— Friends see your potential
Fans love you for your performance ————- A friend loves you for you.
Fans are fickle ————— Friends are forever.
Fans want to see only your good side ————– A friend will protect your backside.
Fans demand that you entertain them —————– Friends just want your company.

Several years ago I came to the sad realization that I had almost no friends. I had thousands of fans, I had a successful career, I had lots of stuff, but I had no real friends. I was a nomad. I didn’t herd goats and pitch tents in the desert, but I walked through a desert of countless audiences, herding a dog and a pony and I never pitched my tent anywhere. I had people all around me and I was still alone. I remember telling my wife, Diane, that I was afraid when I died she wouldn’t be able to find six people who were willing to carry the box I was buried in. 
I had nightmares of her pulling the casket down the church steps alone; thump, thump, thump, then dragging it to where “the big black SUV” waited.

I have good news! I now have friends!

So how did I find friends in a desert of fans? I assessed what would be required to develop friendships and I purposefully changed my lifestyle to make it happen. 

 Here’s what I came up with.


Making friends requires an investment of time.

Time sharing meals
Time helping with projects
Time sitting by a hospital bed
Time laughing until the early hours of morning
Time talking until you fall asleep

Making friends requires taking risks
Trust someone with who you really are
Reveal your heart
Be accountable
Hold someone accountable
Debate issues you feel strongly about

Making friends requires that you practice grace
Grace to forgive
Grace to overlook imperfection
Grace to realize you will never find a perfect friend and you will never be a perfect friend.

The best way to gain solid friends is to be a solid friend.

I don’t have hundreds of close friends, but I have made sure I have at least six that are capable of lifting a box!

Sooo…… do you have friends or fans? How did you get them?