Next month will be a year since I lost a close friend and business mentor in a tragic accident. Jeff Bolton left behind a wife, two kids, parents, a brother, and more people impacted by his short life than can be counted. I know because I’m one of them.
An accountant by trade, entrepreneur in mind, and philanthropist at heart, Jeff’s true gift was the ability to read people, understand what mattered to them, and to see the excellence (one of his favorite words) they could bring to a situation. He relished being the connector, the guy who understood your business, understood mine, and made the introduction that moved agendas forward. Didn’t matter if it was personal or business because, to him, it was all the same . . . friends did business and business was where your friends were.
In the time before his passing and certainly since, I’ve tried to run my public relations firm with his principles in mind. Surround yourself with those you care about, make strategic connections among those you believe in, and always be helpful, whether there’s a financial reason to do so or not. Oh, and have fun. Always have fun.
Whenever someone dies young, it’s natural to lament about how much more they could have accomplished with more time. In this case, though, I’ve come to realize that Jeff’s purpose was to inspire, nurture, and teach. He just did it in half the time it would have taken others.
Rest in peace, my brother, and thanks for leading the way.
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(If you are interested in reading more about Jeff and his greatest accomplishment, helping save his son’s life, read this feature by Ethan Skolnick).