(My friend Nick Pereira sent the following note out to people who subscribe to his email newsletter, at www.nickpereira.com. I took a lot from it, so I asked for Nick’s permission to repost here. Enjoy!)
As I reflect back on the past years building my business and personal brand, the journey has been very interesting, that would be the honest truth. Entrepreneurship is truly an opportunity to grow and expand, to experience new thoughts and a gate way to changing your present reality. I am a huge believer and advocate in entrepreneurship, whether full time or building a part time business after work hours. As I continue to grow, I have noticed a key element to my expanding business, that is it correlated by expanding personal network.
I ask who you spend most of your valuable time with. What kind of people do you associate with and most importantly, what are the conversations like? I had to take a personal inventory on my circle and when I did, I was shocked to find out I was just like them, I even made the same money and developed the same beliefs and values of those around
me. My group was not the type to inspire to be; we weren’t changing the world or making big plans for the future. We never spoke of the community or ways to better our lives and situation.
We did however, party lots, and spends all the money we made on things that brought us instant gratification but would quickly be forgotten and regretted when rent was due. I remember a few years ago, as I was painting my room with a friend, I just moved into a house that over 10 other people were living in. It was on York University property but not one person in the house was going to university. We were all there because it was the cheapest rent we could find. However that day,
while painting that tiny room, my friend introduced to, through audio cd of course, to a gentleman named John C Maxwell.
John C Maxwell spoke about leadership and making a difference, he spoke words of personal responsibility and leading others by being a servant. He spoke of relationships and associations. I became aware that I would become like the people I hang out with the most and that I do not attract what I want, but rather attract who I am. As I dig deeper into this truth, I sought out new associations, not eliminating my friends, but rather limiting the amount of time I spent with negative people, who lives I did not want to acquire.
Of course, when I first decide I would expand my circle of people, I was in an unknown territory, I was told to hang out with people whose lives I wanted to have. I did not know where to begin but as I pursued building my businesses and I grew, I noticed I did not have to seek these people but rather they were attracted to me as I learned. I learned about breakfast networking groups to expand my business, so I joined and there, I was introduced to many successful people, some of which I am still friends with today, some even started to mentor me, they were honest and told me I needed to change the way I presented myself and as time went on, my friends slowly changed to other entrepreneurs and business professionals.
I continued to grow and work on myself and as I did this, all the people started changing in my life, I was attracting a crowd and network of positive, happy people. They were working out, building charities, businesses, getting promoted in their jobs and served as an amazing support group. I challenge you to take inventory on your friends and always remember, you will become like the people you hang out with the most, do not forget, The Power of Association!