Jim Rohn, businessman and motivator, once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
It’s something that actually makes a lot of sense since those are the people who influence you the most. It also might make you a little uncomfortable if your friends aren’t the most motivated people.
Most likely, you enjoy your time with your friends (they are your friends after all!) and wouldn’t want to think that they might be holding you back in some way.
However, not all friends help push you down the right track in life. This isn’t because they’re bad people, but maybe they’re not motivated to do something great or take control of their finances and lives. It’s time to determine if you should be spending more time with some other people.
I was listening to a BiggerPockets podcast recently with their guest Noah Kagan (founder of Sumo and AppSumo). This was a little different from most of their other shows because Noah is more into running businesses than he is in being a landlord. Regardless, the show proved to be very interesting.
My favorite part of the episode was when Josh (the founder of BiggerPockets) went off on a little bit of a rant. Here are some cleaned-up excerpts:
The saying is “you are the product of the X people you surround yourself with” or whatever it is, but it’s absolutely true.
I mean, I’ve learned this from personal experience. I remember when the people I spent time with were out drinking and hanging out and partying and I was like “oh, cool – this is life” and then I realized “wait a second – if I hang out with people who are out there who are making things happen – business owners, folks who are just motivated and looking to change the world, like, that was going to allow me to grow with them.” And I completely experienced that myself […]
I’ve had over the past few years a few people that I love. These people, ya know, my heart is with them, but their life, the stuff that they’re doing is just not in alignment with what I’m doing.
And so, I had to make difficult decisions and say “you know what? I’m no longer going to spend the time and energy that I’ve been spending with these people. I’m gonna now focus on people who are doing the kinds of things that I want to be doing.”
And that was very difficult because I only have so much time in my life. When I made that decision, for weeks I perseverated it and was like “aw, I’m such a bad person – what am I doing?” Ya know, this is how we grow up, but still… and I realized it was the greatest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Getting out there and spending time with those people who are making a difference, who have beliefs of where I want to be, allowed me to grow.
I actually loved this. I think we all know at least a couple people who might fall into the group that Josh is referring to… people you love, but also who you know aren’t on the same page as you. They might even be bringing you down in life.
So what does this mean? Dump all your friends and get new ones?
Possibly. If you’re hanging out with a lot of people who really are going nowhere with their lives, it might be time to consider that these people might be holding you back.
But for most of us, that’s not going to be the case. A lot of us will find that our friends are not actually bad influences, but their goals might not be aligned with our own.
If that’s the case, getting rid of your friends might not be the best answer for you. Instead, you might decide that it makes more sense to just include more people in your life whose goals do align with your own and give them a larger slice of your time.
Maybe that would be a financial mentor or another kind of trusted adviser. I’ve found that my financial mentors have greatly influenced the direction of my life in a positive way. Spending time with others who have similar passions or goals as you do can help push you forward.
If you don’t know people in your personal or work life who could bring a more positive and beneficial atmosphere, you need to be more resourceful. Meetups are a fantastic way to start bringing in some more influential people into your life.
For instance, if you’re hoping to build an income stream through real estate, take the time to go and introduce yourself to others at your local Real Estate Investors Association (REIA) meeting or other meetup. Start to build relationships there. Offer to buy someone lunch sometime to hear their story and seek out any tips or advice that could be helpful for you.
The important thing is to start surrounding yourself with smarter people.
I’ve found that another way to surround yourself with smarter people is to fill your “dead” time with some virtual friends. And by that, I mean doing things like reading useful books, listening to educational podcasts, and subscribing to pertinent blogs – anything related to the direction you should be moving in your life. Here are a few examples that I enjoy.
Ensure that these things have a focus on business, finances, real estate, or whatever passion you might have. And let it fill up your time when you’re driving (not the reading part!), on the subway, on the treadmill, or wherever else you’re at where time can be otherwise wasted.
These tools don’t have to interfere with your everyday life, but rather should complement it. You want them to help become an influence on the direction you’re headed. I’ve learned so much (and continue to learn) from books, podcasts, and other blogs.
Then I learn even more afterward because I can have an intelligent conversation about what I’ve taken in when talking to my financial mentors about it later.
Being around smarter people helps not only make you more knowledgeable on various subjects, but it will motivate you to make the changes that matter.
If you’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with, don’t you want those people to matter?
It’s time to better yourself by surrounding yourself with smarter people. Think about the people you spend the most time with and determine if you should be spending more time with others instead.
Would the average of the five people you spend the most time with be considered a positive or negative in helping you get to where you ought to be in life?
Thanks for reading!!