It’s been repeated so often that it’s basically internet law at this point: Your income will average that of the five people you hang around most.
Whether it’s literally true or just sort of true, it doesn’t really matter – the point is, if you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people.
- If you want to run a triathlon, hang out with Ironman-types.
- If you want to be a published author, go where the published authors are.
- If you want to start a successful internet business, commune with online entrepreneurs.
There are many reasons to hob-nob with people who have achieved the goals you aspire to:
1. They show it can be done. Often we think that success happens to “other” people, not people we actually know. When we get to meet actual achievers, though, we see that they’re really not much different than we are. They put their pants on one leg at a time, they have dogs who chew the furniture, and they have kid/car/in-law troubles just like the rest of us. By demystifying those who live and breathe where you want to reside, you gain a realization that you can do it, too.
2. They know what it takes. We tend to believe the “overnight success” stories. But talk to the Ironman athlete, the best-selling author, the online businessperson, and they’ll tell you that it took a lot of hard work to get where they are. The bad news: It takes extraordinary effort to achieve extraordinary results. The good news: Once you stop believing that luck determines your success, you’ll see that if you’re willing to put in the time and the sweat, you can have whatever you want.
3. They share their secrets. It may be nothing more than where to buy the best wetsuits, or how to cut a minute off your transition time from swim to biking stage, but these little secrets add up – and they’re exactly the kind of help that you won’t read in books or magazine articles.
4. They want you to succeed, too. Most successful people know that there is more than enough to go around, and they’re happy to see you get your share, too. Being surrounded with people who have an abundance mindset will help you think of all you can have in this life, not all that you can’t.
5. They show the gaps in your knowledge, skills, and behavior. If you see that all the self-made millionaires you know invest in real estate and act as their own agent, you might decide it’s time to brush up on your broker’s license courses. If the people who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off all bring their lunch to work and work out at least an hour a day, you may commit to finding more time to hit the gym. Model yourself after those you admire and you’ll find yourself becoming more like them, success and all.
I’m not saying you have to say goodbye to the boys from the old neighborhood, but if you want to soar with eagles, you may have to limit your time with the turkeys.