September 24, 2016

Networking: Create an Inner Circle That Pushes You to Success

 If you are looking to improve your life in any way (personally/financially/professionally), one of the first things you must do is consider who you are spending the most time around and how they are influence your decisions. It’s no secret that our inner circle of friends and colleagues has an enormous impact on our mental state, productivity, and overall outlook on life, and only be auditing who we share our time with can we hope to improve that circle of influence.
Let’s begin with why our inner circle is so influential. World-renowned personal development coach Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around.” If we take this to be true, it’s incredibly important that you surround yourself with others who are driven, motivated for success, and who do not accept an average lifestyle. If you find like-minded individuals who have the same goals as you and who share a passion for greatness, their ideas and mindsets will begin to rub off onto you. It’s as if we cross-pollinate with each other as we grow, and your goal should be to grow with as many successful individuals as you can.
Seek out people who are in the same fields as you and try to interact with them on a regular basis. Attend classes they might give/attend. Follow them on social media. Try and speak with them about what they’ve accomplished and how you could implement their work ethic into your life. Before you know it, you’ll begin to see enormous challenges as nothing more than detours that you can navigate with the new skills you’ve acquired. As your circle of influence begins to grow, you’ll begin to spend more time around additional groups of people, all while making new connections that can help push you farther than you’ve ever imagined.

"The person you become is influenced largely by the books you read and the people you keep around you." - Anonymous
To use an example of this from my own life, I have experienced the power of personal influence. Early last year, I was looking for opportunities to serve in a volunteer role, and my former boss introduced me to a 12-week leadership program sponsored by our local Chamber of Commerce. During this program, I was introduced to a number of city and business leaders throughout my town that provided me with a collection of great information regarding economic and social development, as well as how to become more involved in the community.
During the graduation dinner for the program, I had the honor of sitting with the mayor and two individuals who sat on the Economic Development Board for our town. As I conversed with them about the issues surrounding our town, including unused commercial buildings and our ever-growing housing complexes, I realized that the encounter with these three men was due solely to my willingness to reach out and place myself with individuals who shared my desire to grow and expand as an individual. My conversation with my former boss about joining local volunteer groups led to that graduation dinner with the mayor.

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around" - Jim Rohn

If you are trying to find new ways to improve your situation, I cannot stress how important your inner circle is to your success. The most important step on this journey is to identify exactly what it is that you want to accomplish, and then to find someone who has either already accomplished that goal or is currently in the process. Find them, talk with them, meet with them on a regular basis, and learn from them. Their knowledge will rub off on you, and you will be that much more experienced for the future.
One fear that many people have when confronted with the idea of changing their circle of influence is the fear of losing old friends. You’ve been best friends with two or three people since high school or college, right? There’s a certain sense of nostalgia that we have with our old friends. The problem with never seeking out new influences is that we grow complacent with our lives, and more times than not, our close friends have done the same.
When you find those successful individuals that you idolize, the goal should be to spend enough time around them that you acquire many of their skills, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely disregard the previous members of your circle. It simply means that you should be focused on prioritizing time for those that want to see you succeed. If your old friends support you and are able to provide much-needed guidance and suggestions, then by all means keep them around and listen to them. But if they’ve become accepting of an average lifestyle or if they keep you from growing as an individual, business leader, or parent, it might be time to reevaluate your inner circle.
Adopting a new group of influencers can be challenging. It requires a serious look at yourself and those around you, and the most important step is being honest with yourself regarding who it is that you want to become. Using that guideline, focus on those that you feel would help you achieve that goal and then position yourself to be around those individuals. Doing this will help you learn new skills while also providing your mentors a chance to teach a new generation of men and women who want to achieve what they’ve achieved.

Daniel Moffett
Follow me on Twitter: @dmoffett2306

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the power of influence. Thank you!

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