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May 18, 2007

Surround Yourself With The Right People

Problem: “I know I have potential, I’m not as insanely successful as I want to be.” – You

Solution: “I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people.” – Henry Ford

I think it’s safe to say that Henry Ford had more than a mild degree of success. Love him or hate him, he rocked his work.

Can You Say The Same?
It’s 100% normal to hit those spots where you realize that you just haven’t done the “be all that you can be” part of your have-a-successful-life strategy. But it’s 0% acceptable to let that continue (if you want to rock your work like Henry Ford did).

So what do you do to turn things around in a hurry (and keep going in that upward direction)? You re-evaluate who you’re hanging out with, and choose those people wisely.

If your burning desire is to build a self-sustaining business, and you’re not there yet, don’t primarily hang around people who aren’t there yet either. Chill with people who are. Make sure you’re regularly talking to (and getting advice from) people who are a couple rungs up the ladder from you.

You get a double-whammy of goodness from this, because:

  1. Your need to look great in front of these people who have been more successful than you will drive you to work harder than you would if you were just hanging with people at your level, and
  2. Your strategic thinking will get a makeover as you discover the difference between what you’re trying to do to succeed and what these more-successful people actually did to make it happen.

Constant Source of Motivation + Better Strategies = You-Know-D***-Well-What-It-Equals.
Sometimes You Gotta Let Go
So am I telling you that you need to ditch all your friends who are at the same level of success as you are? Hell, no. But you gotta make sure you have the right balance. If certain people are bringing you down, then you need to spend less time with them and more time with people who will help you stay “up.”

Side Effect: You might just start bringing that other person up with you, and that ain’t too shabby.

But I’m dead serious about the balance. You might have people who seem like good people to hang around with, but who have no ambition to rock like you want to rock. And while it’s totally fine to be social with these people when you want to be, you can’t let their desire not to do too much poison your desire to do a whole hell of a lot.

In other words,

  • don’t drop your chillin’ friends, but
  • do make sure you’re spending more time with people who take action.

Take It From The (Formerly) Fat Guy
Years ago, when I joined a gym to lose some major weight (taking my body fat down from 24% to 11% in 10 weeks), I came to a realization: I was hanging out with a lot of fat people, and that’s why I let my standards slip to the point I gained dozens of un-muscle-y pounds.

I was told by one person at the gym that I needed to “stop hanging around with fat people.” But I didn’t buy that (some of my best friends were overweight). I didn’t want to ditch the people I cared about. But I did realize something – that some of those friends were content being fat, and some weren’t. Some were taking action. So I spent more time around the second group, and as you can guess, the story had a very happy ending.

  • Bad advice to fat people: “Stop hanging around fat people.”
  • Better advice: “Start hanging around fat people who are working hard to lose weight.”

The same goes for your business. Don’t ditch the people who are at your “peer level” or lower. Just concentrate on spending time with the ones who are really taking action to move up.

’nuff said. Time to take some more action …

- Dave Navarro

3 Responses to “Surround Yourself With The Right People”

  • Jul 19, 2007 Charles Burke

    Dave,

    Great article on the importance of associating with people who’ll help build you up.

    Readers should remember that if your “friends” see you changing things in your life and laugh at you, they’re simply in the process of saying goodbye to you, and wishing you well in the only way they know how.

    Cheers from sunny Japan,
    Charles

  • Jul 20, 2007 Dave Navarro

    Charles -

    Good to see you again. Thanks for the kids words.

    I like that perspective about friends.

    - Dave

Comments are closed.