“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
It’s common for budding and established entrepreneurs to underestimate the importance of the company they keep. Bottom line: The people around you matter.
You can either choose to hang around people who pull you down and mock you for going after big goals and thinking differently, or you can choose to spend time with people who inspire you. The people you want in your corner will support your dreams, raise your standards and believe in your ability to make the impossible possible.
Most entrepreneurs are surrounded by staff, clients and spouses and while that’s all nice, they are not necessarily the people who will be able to help you to get where you need to go, as their agenda and interest is just different from yours.
- Your spouse and partners may route for you and support you as much as they can, yet they have no day to day involvement with what you do and if they did it may worry them in any case!
- Your clients, nice as they are, love your work and want you to remain their best kept secret and have no interest in introducing you to others.
- Staff are also interested in supporting you yet they often get to shoulder the responsibility or even see the big picture.
Being part of a tight-knit group of people who are in a similar position as you who have plans to accomplish business and personal goals similar to yours is the best way to surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up.
This is the essence of a mastermind alliance. A successful mastermind is one that operates in complete harmony and cooperation for the success of each individual member, as well as for the success of the group.
You need people who will challenge you and make you better, thereby raising your average or helping you maintain a high one. Many entrepreneurs strive to be the smartest person in the room on every issue. But if you’re always the smartest person, you’re hurting yourself. You want to surround yourself with people who can run circles around you in as many areas as possible, people who are exponentially better in a variety of ways.
It is really hard to give a silent critique of the people around you. It may feel judgmental and ruthless, but understanding their influence on your performance is critical to your success. That being said, write out a short list of the five people closest to you and give each a score of 1 to 10 in terms of the help that they provide you in running your business perhaps in terms of emotional, educational and practical support.
The answers are always interesting. That answer becomes your benchmark. Your focus can change in order to improve your score. As your score increases, you will notice that your personal achievements will rise accordingly.
In my experience, mastermind groups are a mixture of the rare and expensive. The free groups tend to lose momentum and can’t quite get going, as quite literally there is no commitment, no skin in the game as it were. The expensive one’s require a years commitment and I have found to be great, except the numbers are just too high for most and even more importantly the time required to invest is often just too much, coupled with being too far away.
This is why I created my own mastermind group, originally three years ago which I have since revised and refined to what I believe offers the very best of all worlds. I think it is important that the environment needs to be local, private and convivial and I have found that discussions across a table over lunch, make for the best discussions of all, especially when we can make good use of time too.