You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
How true. If I had to say what was the main game changer for me – it was when I became more connected to successful women entrepreneurs who were role models and inspired me to do better. They gave me the confidence to grow – both personally and professionally.
Back when I started my business, I was in my 50s, and most of my friends were winding down their careers, talking about retirement and their focus was definitely not on business. My colleagues at that time were government bureaucrats and so anything entrepreneurial was totally foreign to them.
For a few years I surrounded myself with other women in the start-up phase and we supported and encouraged each other on our journey to succeed with our businesses. However, truth is we were all at the same stage, struggling to make it work and while we bonded, these relationships weren’t going to catapult me to the next level.
So it wasn’t until I decided to get a coach and reach out to women who’d ‘made it’ that I started to see my potential. Like a lot of women, I was the one holding myself back as I questioned whether I had what it took to run a successful business.
Winning the local entrepreneur of the year award was a big boost, but even then, I felt a bit of an imposter. My business coach helped me to realize that I did have business acumen and she pointed me in the right direction. I was the eager student, completing assignments and soaking in all the learning coming my way, which is something that Michael Hyatt recommended in a recent blog about staying relevant.
In his article – How to Stay Relevant in a Constantly Changing Marketplace, he encourages entrepreneurs to stay curious, read new books, further their learning through webinars, courses, podcasts, conferences, join a mastermind group or hire a coach and lastly meet new people.
Meeting new people allows you to grow, learn and broaden your thinking and business horizons. One of the biggest game changers for me, was when a couple of years ago I was introduced to a successful woman entrepreneur who has since become a close friend and business partner. She has fired me up to do more and be more. Staying open to broaden your circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues means you are ready for new opportunities.
Today, when I look at the five people I spend my time with, I am learning from them constantly – one helps get me organized, another encourages me to dig deep, be curious and ask questions and a third is always showing me the way and making me look beyond the obvious and think big. Then there’s my husband and daughter – both entrepreneurs – who keep me grounded and don’t let me take myself too seriously.
Who are the five people in your life? Are they who you need to move forward, or are they holding you back? As we grow and enter new phases in our life and business, we maybe need new people on the bus with us. It could be it’s time to “recruit” different people, who see your potential and can help you get where you want to go.
If you want to get ahead, don’t be scared to change the company you keep.
Image: Role models via Shutterstock