Allow me to begin this article with a number of questions. Are you happy with where you are at in your career, or your business? Are you happy where you are at in your life? What type of people are you surrounding yourself with? ‘Glass half empty’ or ‘glass half full’ people? Are the people in your inner circle achieving the results you want to achieve? Are they constantly challenging themselves to improve every single day – striving to be a better version of themselves today than they were yesterday? Are they voracious learners who possess an attitude and aptitude of lifelong learning? And are they earning the level of income that you want to aspire to?
Here’s the thing – we are who we associate with. A mentor of mine once said that if I was the most successful and smartest person in the group I was associating with, it was time to find a new group. The reason being that I had effectively reached a plateau, and if I was seeking to progress to a higher level, I needed to associate with people who already had the success I was seeking, or at least were well on their journey towards achieving it. He said that your success, your income, your bank balance, and your relationships would be the average of the 5 closest people you associate with. And as I look back on my career to date, this has played out exactly.
Who you associate with is incredibly important to your long term success. So if you are not satisfied right now with your results in your life, career or business, take inventory of where you are at and ask yourself the following questions :
- Have you set a crystal clear goal for what you want to achieve? Is your targeted annual income embedded in your mind? Do you have a clear picture of what amount of money you want in your bank account? Have you written in stone your expected sales achievement for the year? If not, why not? The intriguing point here, is that if you have not set really clear goals, then neither have the 5 people closest to you. You are who you associate with.
- Review the 5 people closest to you and ask yourself do they have what you want? This could include business revenue turnover, annual income, quality of relationships, ethics, values and standards etc. Now granted, some of the closest people to you will be family, especially immediate family, and I am not suggesting that you remove yourself from them and break off these relationships, unless absolutely necessary. What I am saying though is that in the area of your life, business of career that you want to drive improvements in, review the 5 closest people in that context, and really analyse whether they have what you want. And if they do not, you then have a decision to make as to whether you make alterations to that relationship.
- Are the 5 closest people to you on the same journey? Are you on the same path, or are you heading in different directions? This point links closely with point 1 and reinforces the critical importance of having crystal clear goals for you. If you find that people close to you are on different journeys, heading in different directions, then again, you have some decisions to make as to whether to make alterations to these relationships and perhaps change the context of these relationships.
- Do the 5 people closest to you challenge you to improve? This could be directly, or through their actions and behaviour. Do they have talent, skills and attributes that you don’t have but can learn to develop, and vice versa, are there skills, talents and attributes that you possess that you can teach them? If you are on the same path, I would expect that you would be challenging each other to continuously improve, to break new ground and stretch yourselves well beyond your comfort zone.
- Are the 5 closest to you focussed on giving, with no conditions attached? Are they willing to invest their time and provide guidance to you to assist in your development, to help you reach that next level? Do you freely invest your time into others without expecting anything in return, knowing that the more you give, the more value you add, the higher you ‘lift all boats’? The Law of Reciprocity works – the more you give without conditions, the more you receive, and often, when you least expect it. Do the 5 closest to you share this principle?
When it is all said and done, you are in 100% control of your actions and who you associate with. Life is made up of a series of choices and whatever choice you make, will deliver an outcome. Be very clear on your choices and ensure that you associate with people who will challenge, inspire and uplift you, because you are who you associate with. And life is way too short not to be surrounded by awesome people!!
To your continued success.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post – I greatly appreciate it, and welcome comments and feedback. Please feel free to comment below, to follow me on LinkedIn, or to connect via Twitter or Facebook.
Darren is a Sales Leadership and Sales Performance Coach, Facilitator & Speaker. He is an experienced and committed coach with a background of sales leadership success in large organisations. He applies a genuine focus to coaching and developing high performing sales leaders who are looking to unleash the potential of themselves and their teams.