World-renowned movie star, performer and producer Will Smith was asked once how he was able to stay fresh after decades in the business. He replied that he kept people around him that not only supported him and had his best interest at heart, they also challenged him.
When it comes to business, that same attitude should be in place. Friends are friends outside the realm of business. But often some friends don’t have any business being inside the circle when it comes to your own company.
Don’t get it twisted. No one should go it completely alone. But you have to keep the right company.
How do you decide who’s a contributor and who’s a drain? Start by making a list of your friends and/or the people around you. Cross off the ones who don’t really bring anything to the table, those who are just along for the ride or the free stuff they think your business might generate for them and the ones who aren’t supportive.
Next is time management. Those associates who add to the mission are the ones you want to spend the most time with. Certainly, we don’t expect you to blow off friends. Just limit the time you spend with the ones who take and don’t give.
Choose new friends
If that list with supporters isn’t very long, go find some new friends. Seriously, you’re not being mean; you’re being smart. After all, the ultimate goal is a successful business venture, so what better way to accomplish that then by surrounding yourself with people who have, as they say, “been there, done that.”
Go to seminars and events related to your business. Meet people, connect and surround yourself with people who share your interests, and are ambitious, too.
The people you need
Remember, one of the keys to success is educating yourself on the business you are pursuing. There are three kinds of people you need to do that. They are:
• A person, usually older, that has already been successful – a great source to learn from
• A cheerleader, someone to give you energy and keep you excited, someone who believes in you and what you are trying to do
• An equal… someone to exchange ideas with, someone who will be honest without being hurtful
Your peers should provide inspiration, motivation, even a bit of competition. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and are willing to help you go higher. Leave the losers behind and go for the win!