In other words, you are the company you keep. So, choose your company wisely! I’m sure you can remember a time when you were younger and your parents told you to be careful who you ‘hang around with’ or spend time with. For good reason as Jim Rohn once said “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. How carefully have you chosen those 5 people?

The type of people you choose to surround yourself with speaks volumes of your values and what you stand for. We’ve heard of being guilty by association; where behaviours and acts of people you spend time with affect how others see you. If you are in a group of 5 friends and the other four all act in a certain negative way, purely by association, you will be lumped with these 4 friends and categorized the same as them. In business, if your small team of 5 has four people who are lazy, unmotivated, unambitious and unexcited, not only will others see you as having these traits too, but you will also start to feel that way. It’s not fair, but it’s life and it’s all based on perception. You need people who will boost you and who will bring your average up, not down. You want the company of the 5 people you spend the most time with to have a positive impact on you and your business, so bear that in mind when choosing these 5 people.

You may not like to admit it, but when it comes to relationships, we are strongly influenced by those closest to us. Have you ever noticed that you and your sibling, best friend, or significant have common habits and traits? It’s because you rub off on each other. The more time you spend with people, the more their habits (good and bad) rub off on you. So for your sake, find people who have beneficial habits and habits that will help you be and get to where you want to be.

Putting this into the perspective of business and being an entrepreneur, you want to surround yourself with ambitious and knowledgeable people. People who will drive you to be the best version of yourself, and give you guidance along the way.

Don’t aim to be the smartest person in the room – enjoy learning from other people. Their knowledge and wisdom, imparted onto you, is a powerful and extremely useful tool. They could’ve spent hours reading books on certain topics and will give you their main lessons in a 30 minute conversation. Cherish that. Not to say you shouldn’t go and read that book afterwards, but take advantage of knowledgeable people and use their value to add to your own. While it’s important to surround yourself with positive people, these people also need to be brutally honest with you and provide you with constructive criticism. You are more likely to take advice from those closest to you, so it is imperative that these people aren’t afraid to speak the truth. They can be critical, yet supportive. Having others be critical towards you will help you. While it may be a tough pill to swallow at the time, acting on these criticisms and improving these aspects of your life and behaviour will develop you as a person and an entrepreneur. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research (source below), novices prefer to receive positive feedback, whereas experts wants negative feedback so they can take this on board and improve.

Always seek to improve, no matter how hard it may be. With success, comes more criticism. However, this builds your mental toughness and we should really thank the critics for it. The company that an entrepreneur keeps has a profound impact on him/her, and subsequently the success of their business. As an entrepreneur, you have to be ruthless. If someone is bringing down the team’s morale and therefore your average, you have to reconsider their involvement in your life. This relates to the law of averages (source below), which is the theory that a result in any given situation is the average of all outcomes. In the example below Clemmer spoke of the of sales calls. For every 10 sales calls he made, he would get one appointment, and for every 3 appointments he made, he would make one sale. However, you can improve your averages! For Clemmer, this meant brushing up on presentation skills to increase sales. For entrepreneurs, it could mean getting rid of toxic people who are bringing down your average. Keeping these kind of people around will drastically hinder your performance both as an entrepreneur and as a business.

Especially in your twenties, when your goals, beliefs and values are constantly changing, you need people around you who will help you achieve those goals, and not detract from your life or endanger you reaching those goals. We must find people who bring out the best in us, so we can thrive to our fullest potential. When you are constantly surrounded by certain people, their values and habits are imparted unto you, so it’s no surprise that you take on their mentality too. You should surround yourself with people who challenge you and who make you want to be the best version of yourself.

Always remain conscious who you are keeping close to you, and ask yourself if you would be happy to be the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.


Share this article with your team, and let them know you value them for driving you to be the best version of yourself! GSY.



Further reading

Innovation and the Law of Averages – Jim Clemmer

Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek and Respond to Negative Feedback” from Journal of Consumer Research