“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
This quote comes from Jim Rhon. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to focus on this quote more and more.
Because I want to be a better person.
I want to be a better father.
I want to be a better husband.
I want to be a better leader for my family.
I want to be a better entrepreneur, author, and businessman.
If I have learned anything, it’s this:
If I am not intentional when it comes to the people I surround myself with, I will never accomplish my life’s biggest dreams and goals.
Who Do You Surround Yourself With?
Have you ever given much thought on the five people you spend the most time with, and why? When you think about who these five people are, do they embody where you see yourself? Is that where you want to be?
Are your closest friends growing? Are they encouraging and challenging you to grow? Are they living a lifestyle you truly want for yourself and your family?
If the answer is “no,” it might be time to reassess those relationships. Obviously, this part is extremely tough for a lot of people.
Trust me, I’ve been there. My wife and I have had to make some extremely tough decisions when it comes to who we surround ourselves with.
In this post, I want to share some stories on how I raised the bar in my personal life. With these tips, you can do the same.
When Your 5 People Are Family Members, Friends, and Co-workers
Many of us spend the bulk of our time with our families. I’m not really talking about your spouse and kids here; I’m talking about your other relatives or your in-laws.
When it comes to family, you should ask yourself a few questions. Are these family members offering you support and encouragement? Are they making you a better person?
Even when it comes to my own family, I had to recognize that a lot of my own blood relatives weren’t coming through the way they should.
That didn’t mean we cut them off completely; for us, it just meant limiting our time with them. With these certain family members, we learned we had to take a step back so we could focus our energy on our family.
The driver behind our choice to step back was an overall sense of negativity. When it comes to negative attitudes, I didn’t want that around my children. I didn’t want them to be looked down upon or told they will never succeed.
You see, some of our family members have a fixed-mindset that tells them their life and their choices are out of their control. These people feel as if life dealt them a hand, and they must accept it. They feel as if they cannot change, and that they deserve to be where they are now five, ten, and even twenty years from now.
At the end of the day, we didn’t want our kids exposed to that.
Over time, my wife and I have had to make similar choices when it comes to our friends. While we have plenty of friends from high school and college who we love to hang out with, that was a totally different period in our lives.
As we have grown as parents and as a couple, we now see that a lot of them are living lifestyles we can’t necessarily support. Either they’re making the same mistakes they were making five or ten years ago, or they’re not in a good place in their marriage.
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Over a period of years, we learned to stop spending time with couples who had different values and ideas on marriage than we do. And if we wanted to survive and thrive as a couple, we needed to surround ourselves with couples that were equally committed to their marriages.
Another area we had to limit was our dealings with coworkers. We have all worked with people who are a cancer to their employers and absolutely toxic to be around. These people love to complain about everything, gossip, and talk negatively about everyone else. Other times, they are just plain lazy and unmotivated.
When I was starting out as a financial advisor, I worked with a group of advisors who weren’t necessarily trying to grow. They were content with where they were, so they spent long lunches away from the office.
Over time, I started eating lunch with them to break up my day. What I found was, their lazy and nonchalant attitudes started to rub off on me. Because I was surrounding myself with people who weren’t motivated to grow, I was slowing my own growth.
After a while, I stopped eating lunch with them and got busy working on myself and my business. Once I made that decision and put some distance between us, I was able to grow my business more and focus on my goals and ambitions.
Career Coaches and Mastermind Groups
Beyond analyzing the relationships you have with family, coworkers, and friends, you should seek out people who motivate you. In my own life, I ended up joining the Strategic Coaching Program, which was founded by Dan Sullivan.
I have talked about my experience numerous times, but I have to say, this program was a game-changer for me.
With this one move, I surrounded myself with other entrepreneurs who were hoping to grow and change in the same ways I was. Although these entrepreneurs were diverse in gender and socioeconomic background, they all had something to offer to this group.
This was a huge monetary investment for me, but I can honestly say it paid off.
In addition to this move, I also joined several mastermind groups. In case you aren’t aware of these, these are groups of entrepreneurs or businesspeople who meet regularly to discuss their dreams and goals.
This was amazing for me. As an online entrepreneur, I found it fascinating to connect with other digital entrepreneurs. Remember, I live in rural Illinois, so it’s not that easy for me to find other people in my field who operate on my level.
Since the people in these groups lived all over the country, we would meet online through a service like Google Hangouts or Skype. This offered an excellent opportunity for all of us to air our grievances and bounce ideas off each other. We also opened a private Facebook group where we could collaborate in real time.
One mastermind group that was particularly helpful to me is Michael Hyatt’s Inner Circle mastermind group. This group gave me the tools to establish myself not just as an entrepreneur, but as a family man who had proper balance in his life.
In this inner circle group, we have ten guys who are all committed to being better fathers, husbands, leaders, and CEOs. I’ve shared some of my biggest struggles with this group, and received the kind of feedback I need to make huge, actionable changes. And when I tell them about my crazy dreams and goals, they don't laugh.
When you look at your own life and the five people you spend the most time with, are you doing the best you can? Are you surrounding yourself with positive people who are striving to reach their own goals and dreams? Do you spend time with people who similar values and commitments as yourself?
If not, it may be time to seek out new relationships and opportunities so you can be exposed to different learning experiences and challenges.
This is tough, but it’s essential if you want to grow and become the very best version of yourself. I hope the tips I have offered here can help you find your way.
How do you feel about the five people you spend the most time with?