Have you heard the saying, “You can’t soar with eagles if you hang with the turkeys”?
It’s so true.
But how do you make sure you’re flying with the eagles?
First, take stock of the people in your life. As renowned businessman Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Say good-bye to (or at least minimize contact with) people whose limiting beliefs and negative energy weigh you down. If you spend your days surrounded by complainers and engaged in venting, then it’s time to expand your network.
Connect with people who share your interests, values, and business goals. You’ll be able to create a support system of people who care about you, listen to your ideas, and provide some laughs along the way.
And you’ll feel like the best version of yourself when you’re with them.
Plus, you’ll expand your network, which will have a positive impact on your business.
Seek Out Mentors
It might be uncomfortable to ask for mentoring from someone who inspires you if you haven’t met them yet. But you’d be surprised at how often people are willing to help. Most successful people achieved their success with help from mentors and are willing to do the same for others.
Choose experts who share your values and have the talent and experience you aspire to. Good mentors will encourage you. They are thoughtful listeners who challenge you to grow and move out of your comfort zone.
And remember to be a mentor for others whenever you can.
Associate Yourself with Success
How do you grow your network and find others who share your values and goals?
It’s all about getting out into the world and connecting—whether face-to-face or online. There’s an abundance of opportunities to make valuable connections just by following your interests.
Taking action is especially important for entrepreneurs who work solo in home-based businesses. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Network with established entrepreneurs in your community and online. Listen to their stories. Learn from their mistakes and successes. Apply what you’ve learned to your own business practices.
- Be proactive by attending a conference or presentation in your field, with a speaker you admire. Or host a mastermind group where you bring like-minded people together.
- Be inspired by the broader world. Business blogs and inspirational videos, such as TED Talks, help you get motivated and pointed in the direction you want to go.
Take Plato’s Advice
Break free of those who aren’t interested in new ideas and possibilities. The reality you live in today can change simply by learning and taking action.
For example, consider Plato’s classic parable on perception of reality, The Allegory of the Cave. His story shows us how our perceptions can hold us back.
The Allegory tells the story of three people imprisoned in a cave since birth. They are restrained so that they only can see a wall that is filled with the shadows of objects passing by. The prisoners believe the shadows are real and play a game guessing which shadow will appear next. The prisoner who guesses correctly is praised and called a “master of nature.”
Then one prisoner escapes from his bindings and leaves the cave. He is shocked by the world he finds. He doesn’t believe it’s real. But as he becomes familiar with his surroundings and discovers the truth about life in a sunlit world, he sees his former life of shadows as a lie, a false perception of reality.
He returns to the cave to help the other prisoners escape. But they do not believe his story about life beyond the cave and threaten to kill him if he tries to free them.
Bottom line? The people you surround yourself with in business and in life have a huge impact on your level of success. Choose the ones who are open to new possibilities, who lift you up and encourage you to soar.