Time For a Divorce? You Become Who You Surround Yourself With

3477103474_e4e7aca6f9Your mom told you in high school, “Billy down the street is bad news.  I don’t want you hanging around with him.”  My response to this one was “Ma, you don’t even know him.”  My parents didn’t even want to hear me complaining when I had to explain cleaning desks in detention for clowning around with “Billy” in class.  I guess our parents had some insight after all.

Reflecting back when I was 22, starting my first real business, I would make continuous progress only to be offset by my old routine of late nights drinking beers with my best buddies.  Don’t get me wrong here, the friends I grew up with are amazing people who I will cherish our memories until the day I die.  The challenge many of us face is that the typical conversation doesn’t change while you are changing.  It sounds something like “My job sucks…I met this hottie at the bar last night…man the Cubs sucked yesterday…did you see American Idol?”

When I would bring up my new business interests, nobody wanted to hear it.  And I don’t blame them.  It’s like you having a friend in who is a vegetarian and stands for animal rights and you talking about the fatty sirloin you just devoured.  If the odds serve me correctly, 95% of your friends will work a job the rest of their life.  And the fact is that we become who we spend the most time with.  One of my first mentors explained it to me with this special formula:

Take your 5 closest friends.

…Add up their incomes.

…Divide the total incomes by 5.

…You will likely find yourself within $5-10k of the average income–YIKES!

This is when you delete all of your old friends’ number out of your phone book.  KIDDING!  You don’t have to divorce your old friends if you want to become successful.  But, you may want to add some successful people into your circle though.  As you do, over time you can assure your income rise proportionally.

So why don’t you just start hanging out with millionaires?  Maybe it is comfortability.  What are you going to talk about with them, getting blacked out drunk at the bar?  The conversations will start to get deeper as you share common interests like talking about business, leadership, philanthropy and such.

Again, you are who you surround yourself with.  So, if you are looking to meet other business-minded individuals, try going to weekly business networking events, connecting in with people in groups on social networking sites or joining an entrepreneurship club.  Or try picking up your golf game.  Leverage the benefits of being an entreprenneur and start hitting the ball at the driving range in the afternoons.  You’ll soon cross paths with some CEO’s skipping out on the office.  Maybe now you know why I spend many afternoons working on my horrendous slice. 😉

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  • You are what you hang out with and where you spend your time. It's all so true!

  • Michael DiGiovanni

    Very true Brad, You are definitely the average of who you spend your time with. Great Blog articles Brad.

  • Absolutely, thanks Dirk!

  • Your mom told you in high school, Billy down the street is bad news. I don’t want you hanging around with him. My response to this one was …

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  • That is quite an idea but I can’t agree with you more. When it comes to choosing friends we should not just surround ourselves with those who have the same goofy character we have, but we should do consider choosing people with specific goals to succeed in life. For instance, young people who prefers trading their private student loan for a business loan could become a much better friend in the future since he has already a set up goal in life and that is to succeed with being an entrepreneur.

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