When I started my entrepreneurial journey back in 2006, one of the most impactful things that I heard was: You are always the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. The late Jim Rohn taught that and he was an early mentor of mine, a brilliant speaker and his recordings continue to influence my life.
Initially when I first heard this, I refused to believe it was true. But as I thought about it, & paid attention to people, I had to admit it was! Birds of a feather flock together! With my freshly written financial goals in mind for my new entrepreneurial journey, I had goals of increasing my net worth far beyond not just my own experience, but beyond that of my friends as well. I would need to “spend time” with people who made a lot more money, AND who had achieved business success.
I Had to Change! My initial denial was because the advice made me uncomfortable with where I was in life.
I thought I’d have to give up friends but what it really involved, was adding new ones instead. At first, I was stumped…. wealthy people don’t exactly run adverts seeking new friends or inviting you over for a chat!! I remember sitting in my house, looking around and thinking “how am I going to find 5 people who will spend time with me and are a lot more wealthy and successful than me??”
Very quickly I learned ….
Stop Wasting Time Trying to Change People
Have you ever spent time trying to change someone and all you got was resentment and arguments? It’s sad sometimes, because even with the best intentions in mind, you can never change people. You can evolve WITH them, but only when they are equally engaged in the process.
You Can Always Choose Who You Are With
Once accepting that you cannot change people, you can take steps to change the people you are with. If the people at the “water cooler” of your life are negative, then you can make the choice to stop participating in the drama. Believe me, they will all get along just fine without you. It becomes interesting to note how many people never miss you once you change.
How I found my 5 People.
Attending company events where similar minded people spoke was mandatory, but that was just a quick few days high. What to do about EVERY DAY hanging out with my 5?? Off I went to the local Chapters/Indigo bookstore. Now in case you don’t know me, my career was a performing musician with English literature and Biblical research being my favorite reading materials for decades. I still remember the UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING being in the Business Aisle at the bookstore. I kept waiting for someone to come over and say “you don’t belong here”. Anyhow, first two books that caught my eye were Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and T. Harv Eker “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”. Robert and Harv …my first 2 rich “friends” started to revolutionize how I thought about money, life and my actual thoughts and attitudes!! SO DIFFERENT from anything I had ever thought or known before. I hung out with these guys every day reading and re-reading their words.
Then I discovered the conference call scene. Now, twice a week, I was hearing wealthy successful “friends” speak in real time. My business home library continued to grow, and I bought audio versions for the car too. By now, I had more than 5.…I had learned how to “hang around” with multi millionaires and learn from their life wisdom. EACH ONE OF THESE MENTORS, HAD NO IDEA I WAS THEIR NEWEST FRIEND. The income of the 5 people I was now learning and taking advice from was vastly different from the previous years of my life. Mission accomplished. Jim Rohn had set me on a course that radically changed my life forever.
I have to admit, that after a lifetime of thinking business people were just dorks or geeks or suits or robots I have fallen in love with the tremendous creativity of business building. It’s the most creative adventure I have ever been on. The personal development and many challenges have enriched my life and added fun, adventure, possibilities and the dignity of a life vision far bigger than I had glimpsed when I first started my home based business & journey to freedom.
And I didn’t stop at 5!! I have built a lifestyle of continual improvement. Challenging myself to build a lifestyle of wealth and success, surrounded by like minded, equal energy, synergistic partners.The advice, that first made me uncomfortable, was some of the best advice I have ever taken to heart.