Today the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.

I’m going leave the political debate out of this. With 51.9% voting to leave the E.U. and 48.1% voting to remain this has been a difficult decision for the country.

Instead, I want to share some thoughts on what Brexit has taught me about the company that I keep.

Jim Rohn the U.S. Author and Motivational Speakers told us, ”You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with”.

This is something that I talk about a lot with my clients.

Very often my clients feel lonely and isolated. Many do not have any friends or relatives that run their own business. They don’t have anybody to talk to when they want to celebrate the highs and have a shoulder to cry on during the lows of running a business.

I encourage my clients to build their network, surround themselves with people that understand the challenges that they face and share the same aspiration to build a successful and profitable business.

Personally, I believe that I have done a great job of surrounding myself with likeminded people.

I have a fantastic business network and the people that I choose to spend time with are upbeat, positive, have a desire to make a difference and be the best version of themselves.

But this morning I realised that in doing this I have been missing out on valuable perspectives from elsewhere.

If you were to poll my family and the people that I choose to call friends, I suspect you would have found that 95% of them voted to remain in the E.U..

If you were to scan my Facebook feed over the past few days then it would seem that 100% of my Facebook ‘friends’ were planning to vote to remain in the E.U..

I went to bed lastnight quietly confident that the U.K. would vote to remain in the E.U., after all the vast majority of people that I know agreed with me.

I had successfully followed Jim Rohn’s advice, I am the average of the people that I surround myself with.

There’s just one catch.

If you ONLY surround yourself with people that agree with you then you miss out on seeing situations from a different perspective.

I’ve decided to step away from social media for the rest of today as there are too many ‘keyboard warriors’ around.

I’ve seen several posts telling the Brexiters that they shouldn’t complain ‘when interest rates rise and they can’t afford to pay their mortgage any more’.

This makes a massive assumption that they are in a privileged enough position to have a mortgage in the first place.

Equally Brexiters are accused of being ‘ignorant racists’.  I find it hard to believe that 17.4 million Britains are ‘ignorant racists’.

There are two sides to every story and if I have learned one thing from this Referendum it is to be more open to understanding both sides of the story.

So today, let’s take a step back and breathe (as the wonderful Ann Wilson encouraged us to do this morning) and make a commitment to really understand both sides of the story and identify how we can work together to create this new version of our reality.

It’s not going to be easy but it’s time for kindness, compassion and working for our collective good.

And while I will continue to surround myself with likeminded people from today I also commit to making more of an effort to REALLY understand other people’s perspectives and viewpoints. 

How about you? What have you learned from the E.U. Referendum?  Leave me a comment and let me know.