Drew Hamilton
Four years ago, while looking at colleges with my son, I learned a very valuable lesson from that 17 year old.  We were looking at a college in California with a new film building and state of the art equipment, due in large part to a huge endowment from a California jelly company.  I certainly was impressed.
My son made a very astute observation and asked a question of our tour guide.  He asked if students from other disciplines within the college were allowed to take film classes?  Our tour guide emphatically stated, “ No of course not. “ No one, not even actors could attend film classes.  That was a deal breaker for my son.
Later I asked him why?  He said, “Mom what kind of new ideas will I be able to come up with in my group if all I have to draw on are film majors?  Some of my best ideas have come from brainstorming with my geeky math, history and English friends.” 
I revisited this idea last week.  I was asked by a colleague my opinion of the following question, “Should an established Linked in group allow new people, who may not have the proper credentials, into their established group? “ I remembered what my son had said a few years ago and answered yes! 
In the real entrepreneurial world you need fresh ideas.  True, some people join groups just to see what the group is all about.  Others may join and not contribute.  However, while avoiding the fishers and non-contributors you may miss out on finding a diamond in the rough who will move you and the group to the next level simply by seeing things differently, with a fresh pair of eyes.  You may be in a rut and not know it.  They may be a catalyst for positive change.
As an entrepreneur, don’t always invite people you know to your mastermind groups or corporate events.  Invite people who may think outside the box.  They will help keep your ideas fresh and your creative juices flowing.  By seeing things at a slightly different angle they help you to get unstuck or not get stuck at all.
Hanging with the peeps feels safe.  However to grow as an entrepreneur, you need to push the limit and search for new ideas and solutions in the unlikeliest of places.

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