You know that saying “birds of a feather flock together?” In business and in life, we end up behaving as the total of the people and influences that we choose to spend the most time around. People who are at or above where you want to be will inevitably help you to reach your goals, whereas those who aren’t quite ‘up to par’ will often serve only to anchor you away from getting anywhere that you really want to be.
If you’re trying to eat healthier and lose weight, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep agreeing to hang out with people who will just make fun of your resolve and encourage you to order cheesy nachos and beer. When you’re building a business and working towards your goals, you shouldn’t be filling your free time with people who constantly make excuses about the things that they haven’t yet done and who are visibly jealous of anyone else’s success.
With this in mind, it is essential to make a consistent and relentless habit of spending the most time only with those who share similar passions, ambitions and who continually encourage us to be better than we are. Also, to rid our day-to-day lives of the junk media influences which serve only to distract us, while replacing them with quality sources of inspiration, education and improved skill sets which will help to fast-track our overall contentment and success.
While it can be difficult to aggressively cut out all of the unnecessary people from your life (though you absolutely should), I’d like to offer you the homework of two easy assignments that will help in upping your game and bringing better influences into your entrepreneurial journey.
“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”
– Warren Buffet
#1: Join A Local Entrepreneur’s Group.
One of the easiest things you can do is immediately join one or more local entrepreneurial groups who meet on a weekly or monthly basis. These will vary depending on where you live, but I’ve found Meetup.com to be an absolute goldmine for small business owners and online entrepreneur groups. Go on there, register a free account and RSVP for the ones that interest you. It’s admittedly a little awkward to go to these kinds of things by yourself at first, but once you introduce yourself to the people there and start conversation you’ll be on Cloud 9 that you made the decision to go.
If you don’t live in an area that is very active on Meetup.com (or something similar), e-mail your local Chamber of Commerce and see what recommendations they can give you for groups and / or even just business mixers and workshops that you can attend.
If your Chamber of Commerce sucks (some are better than others) and you’ve not found any luck with area meetup groups, then we need to either build our own Mastermind Group (read more on that here) or hit the pavement and take responsibility for putting something together ourselves. Point being, unless you live under a rock in rural Nova Scotia, you can find business owners and entrepreneurs around you if you simply make the effort to reach out to them.
No matter what method(s) you take, homework assignment # 1 is to find and schedule something locally where you can meet in person with like-minded entrepreneurs on a regular basis. And I don’t care how good you think you already are, there is always another level. This isn’t the time for arrogance.
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
– Tony Robbins
#2: Join An Online Entrepreneur Forum.
Remember what we said about ridding your day-to-day from junk media influences? I’m going to go on a limb and say that you spend a fair amount of time on Facebook, Instagram, reading the news or watching TV. It’s a nasty habit and we all do it. Whether you realize it or not (and likely you do), this only serves to distract you and hype you up about things that don’t even matter.
Unless you’re planning to physically make posters and rally against the latest celebrity breakup, let’s admit that these kinds of things don’t actually matter and choose instead to more efficiently spend our time reaching our goals.
Below are ten excellent online entrepreneurial forums with very active communities of like-minded people who are discussing everything that is relevant to what you’re working on.
What I’d like you to do is go through and pick at least one to spend thirty minutes a day on for the next three days. That’s not much to ask. You can be a lurker if you want, but it’s better if you register (they are free) and actually contribute to the conversation(s). Your second homework assignment will be to learn three things each day on these forums that you didn’t already know. These can be tactics, ideas or even just resources that will help you in your own projects.
Forums are one of the easiest ways to interact and learn from people that you aren’t already around, and you’re almost certain to find things within them that can help make your business soar to your highest aspirations. – JC