Whether we like it or not, we are all products of our environment. This is true whether you are a single parent, foster child, step parents, black, asian, latinx, indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, person with disabilities, etc. So it is important that we are all more mindful of our environments. Yes there are exceptions to that rule but this piece is about being mindful of what elements are in and out of your environment in order to be the in driver seat and take charge of how you want your aspirations to be.
“If you got 9 broke friends, you gonna be the 10th broke friend”
— Steve Harvey, awarding winning American television host (Family Feud and the Steve Harvey Show), actor, writer, producer, and comedian.
As a female entrepreneur, I was someone who kept receiving a lot of advice from other entrepreneurs when I first started (and even now actually); I began to see that those giving me advice were not…well…successful. People LOVE LOVE LOVE giving advice (even if they are not qualified or asked to do so). So why would someone who is generating $0 in revenue with 0 customers be giving advice to other entrepreneurs?
- Because I chose to go to those kinds of startup events
- Because I chose to engagement and tell them about my business
- Because I gave them my attention
- Because I invited them back
They had every indication based on my actions that they should be in my top 5 (my most high touch and valuable network).
It took me a while to see and reflect why this was happening. My mentor from university used to tell me that my associations was my brand. As I grew up, I needed to be more cautious and conscious about that.
Another example of a positive influence was when we were in COVID lockdown. All the gyms and outdoor activities are were shut down. My workout group met online 11 times per week. I was in the best shape ever. Some of my friends lost touch but I got to know my workout group better. Our COVID schedule looked like this:
Monday: Yoga @ 7am-7:30am & 6:30pm–7pm
Tuesday: Yoga @ 7am-7:30am & 6:30pm–7pm
Wednesday: At home workout @ 7am-7:30am & 6:30pm–7pm
Thursday: Yoga @ 7am-7:30am & 6:30pm–7pm
Friday: Yoga @ 7am-7:30am & 6:30pm–7pm
Saturday: Yoga @ 8am-8:30am & take home exercises any time
Sunday: Yoga @ 8am-7:30am & take home exercises any time
At the beginning of one of the 7AM yoga sessions, this girl who is a stellar runner and top athlete, said “I am glad we are doing yoga now. I just came back from my run” Holy F*** !!! How could she have already done a long run before 7am! It was unbelievable. She was saying it like it was normal and everyone else in that group were not surprised by her remark. Most of them are also marathon champions too. I could have been the only one who was freaking out in my head about this. It was clear that she didn’t say that to show off or anything. This was a “normal” thing for people like her. It inspired me to do better and achieve more during the pandemic. What she thought was normal was so refreshing to me. During 2020 and 2021, I ended up losing all my vacation weight, started intermittent fasting, and wrote and published my first book.
Pillars of Life:
I gave you two examples of how certain people influenced two of my pillars. What are yours? Are you at the place you want to be in those pillars of life? Who are in your top 5 that may have influence on them?
What can we do now?
- Find out who are in your average of 5 (if you live with someone, that is already 1 person on your list.)
- What traits do they have? What successes and failures have they obtained? (you don’t have to tell them)
- Are you around your top 5 simply because of habit or convenience?
- If any of them need to be put on pause or switched out for a little while, what kind of new person would you want in your network?
- TIP: Ask for introductions within your circle to the most impressive person your friends know.
- TIP: Find out who has been successful at the thing you want to be better at — what did this person do? What were the steps? What were the obstacles?
Remember, the world isn’t the way that it is, it is the way that we are. When we start being mindful about who we let in, we start living.