Your choice of friends reflects on you- the concept isn’t new.
Watch Joe Rogan confront a friend about it at 1:50 (or click here):
By observing how those you care for act, most conclude that you approve and think in much the same way.
But it goes much further.
Humans are tribal and, for better or worse, get influenced by the people with which they’re together most.
“You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with” –Jim Rohn
At best, the “wrong” people will hold you back from your potential.
But the “right” people can push you to greater heights than you’d have ever thought possible.
With that in mind, it’s good to think of your social circle like a beautiful tree.
It needs to be nourished with water, fertilizer and sunlight so that new branches and leaves will grow. On the other hand, pruning the unhealthy growth prevents single parts of the plant from weakening or killing the whole.
To be blunt: it’s just as vital to add and keep the right people as it is to remove and avoid the wrong ones.
How does this help introverted entrepreneurs and professionals?
Success requires the right influences.
Many introverts pushing themselves in business can show you how to use that introversion to your advantage. ]
Extraverts or ambiverts can guide you to improve your social skills for the situations in which you really need them.
And as salmon fight together against the current, seeing how other people pursue similar challenging entrepreneurial goals will encourage you to swim even faster.
These people will support you so you can continue forward even when your path is hardest.
Still, it’s important you don’t view this concept in either extreme. Humans are imperfect and all of them make mistakes; it’s foolish to idolize anyone. What is more, having a lofty ideal impossible to live up to is incredibly demotivating.
But you can still learn something from EVERYONE.
Life is grey- not black and white. Instead of simply concluding that Elon Musk is an incredible human being who can do no wrong or that you can learn nothing from your grocery store cashier, be nuanced.
Elon does set a good example in some ways and has a few great habits to copy. He’s also been historically poor with relationships, can be overly demanding and struggles with target fixation.
The cashier may certainly have come on hard times and does have an unenviable job. Though in spite of it they’re also demonstrating an admirable work ethic and refusing to let life beat them down.
You can learn from both.
How could the power someone’s social circle have affect them in real life? Consider three examples:
Example 1: All their friends live for the weekend parties, work for money without a goal and constantly drag them out for drinks.
After hearing the “wantrepreneur” express interest about a side hustle, the friends ask “Why do you need to do that? You earn enough and are comfortable with this job… relax.”
Example 2: Their friends are exhausted from being in the rat race too long. They don’t blatantly discourage their peers’ ambitions, but theirpaths toward the white picket fence sow doubt.
Often the “wantrepreneur” thinks “you’re doing just as good- or even better- than everyone and don’t need to work harder.”
Example 3: High performers in their social circle constantly push the needle and the “wantrepreneur” feels guilty whenever they take too much time off from their side-business.
When they find themselves on rough terrain, they’re inspired… “look at what these other people are doing. I can do better- I will!”
Of the three simple options- which would you choose? The answer is clear.
It’s not easy- I get it it. When I lived in the States, my family was very unsupportive of my first entrepreneurial step into sales.
If it was up to them, I’d either spend more time in college or continue the career I’d already set myself up for. “You shouldn’t start your own thing. It’s too hard. Most don’t survive sales… and 9/10 small businesses fail in the first year.”
They thought I should risk little and pursue less demanding (and therefore less fulfilling) endeavors.
It held me back.
When I moved to Vietnam I made sure my new circle of friends was completely different.
I keep high performers from nearly every arena in that circle- those that have followed their own path to do with their life what they wanted. From successful entrepreneurs to professional athletes, they’ve pushed me to do my best.
I now spend my “free time” on things like business building, training or reading. It’s not outstanding- that attitude is what it takes to perform at the highest levels.
And without the associates I have it wouldn’t have been even remotely possible. It’s safe to say that keeping the right people in my own life has caused major change.
So does that fulfilling life sound good to you? Be honest.
And ask yourself… how does my social tree look? Does it need water or maybe a little pruning?
Let me know what you think- I’d love to hear your thoughts!