My old high school soccer coach used to say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” He was full of all these crazy sayings, but this one always stuck with me along with a few other very colorful ones that I can’t repeat since my mother-in-law reads the blog. But, the old coach’s words ring very true. Birds tend to stick to their own kind. The same can be said for humans as well. The company you keep helps make you who you are.
Your Traits. Peer pressure is an amazing thing. Take an objective look at your closest group of friends. You most likely have very similar political opinions, vices, mannerisms, hobbies, and other traits. That’s why you are friends in the first place. You gravitate towards people that are similar to yourself whether you like it or not. It is human nature. You need to be conscious of this and steer the boat yourself instead of just going where the tide takes you.
Your Success. One of the biggest factors in your prosperity is the people you associate with. Their input and influences shape your goals, expectations, and what you believe you can achieve. Do you hang out with someone who is constantly pessimistic or who is mud in the boss’ eye? Why? The same can be said for small businesses. If your dream is to one day own a restaurant, you should seek out a successful restaurateur to befriend. If you have aspirations of being an entrepreneur, you should seek similar people to spend time with.
Your Money. The average income of your five closest friends is a great predictor of your own salary. Try this experiment. List the five friends or associates that you spend most time with and estimate each one’s annual income. The average of those numbers will be very comparable to your own annual income. If you want to make more money, then you should surround yourself with people who are closer to your goal salary level. Could you spend more time with the leading salesman of your firm and learn a few things? You bet. I am not talking about trying to spend time with the like of Donald Trump. But, why not seek out individuals who earn six figures or more?
What can you do??
Choose Better! Many of us choose a friend using the same rational my mom uses to choose wine at the grocery store. The label looks cool! Make a conscious effort who you spend your time with and who you look up to. You should be very picky and selective of whom you associate with and spend time around. You will be judged in this area even if you are not aware that you are being judged. You should pick the highest caliber of coworkers, friends, mentors, business partners, etc. You have to dig deep and go past the label, past the exterior. What type of friends are you befriending?
Find A Mentor. You should be constantly looking for someone in your career or several people in your field that you can continuously go back to for help, support, and advice. You should strive to keep in contact with them. Build that relationship and your network of contacts. The time to building a new relationship with a mentor is not when you need it. You need insurance before the pipes burst and flood your basement. You should start looking for a mentor or two or three yesterday.
Surround Yourself With Greatness. You should be bringing your inner circle or your group of friends down. You should be the weakest person on the team that you put together. You should have to push yourself to get better because of the people you have surrounding you. If you play tennis, you do not want to continuously play opponents that are worse than you. You have to play better opponents if you want a shot at getting better yourself. The same is true at work, in life, with your finances, with your relationships with others, etc.
The friends that you choose play an important impact not only in your life but in your finances as well. Your income and lifestyle are a direct reflection of your friendships and the relationships that you have with others. If you take the average income of your five closest friends, then you will have a pretty good estimation of your annual income. You gravitate towards like minded individuals that remind you of yourself or you become similar to those you surround yourself with.