There’s a piece of wisdom I’ve taken to heart and carried with me through my entire entrepreneurial career: You will be the same person in the future as you are today except for the people you have in your life and the books you read.
This idea came from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, a motivational speaker for half a century, with a huge following. He was one of those people who had a gift for saying very wise things in a very memorable way.
As entrepreneurs, we all agree on the importance of books: They’re how we stay relevant and up to date with the latest knowledge in both our businesses and the marketplace.
But who are our closest friends? And who will we be spending the most time with over the next ten years? The answers to these questions will tell you how successful you can be.
Who do you surround yourself with?
The opinions of our close friends and associates will always carry importance. They will always be a factor in how we plan our futures, what goals we set, and how we plan to take action on them. I often ask my clients at the 10x level, “If your revenues and profits were to go up by 10x, what would be the reactions of the five people whose opinions matter most to you?”
Would they be supportive and excited or upset and critical of them for changing their performance and results as an entrepreneur?
This question is so crucial because if those we are closest to have a negative response, it means that we’re also going to be emotionally affected in a negative way. This happens in all areas of life when someone starts to grow—especially for entrepreneurs. It’s important to realize that if those we let into our inner circle have a negative attitude toward our greater success and criticize us for having bigger goals, it can stop us in our tracks.
I’ve found this to be the biggest barrier that prevents entrepreneurs from growing beyond a certain point. Instead of focusing their energy on making significant breakthroughs, they’re focused on maintaining the status quo in their relationships. It’s also hard to talk about because if you have your eyes on a bigger future, it may mean you have to cut some people out of your life and replace them with new ones.
I always ask entrepreneurs with a huge future ahead of them what’s more important to them: their bigger future or being accepted by the people who want them to stay as they are?
How to shape your future.
One of the most important decisions you can make in getting to where you want to go is to make sure that those who are closest to you are always on your side.
Take a close look at your five closest relationships and determine whether these people are voting for your success or keeping you complacent.
If you surround yourself with people who support you, you will always have an atmosphere of positive energy and momentum—and the more successful you will become.