Not too long ago I read an article on Entrepreneur.com that touched on shifting your circle of influence and it has resonated with me ever since because I'm a firm believer that your circle of influence has a strong impact on how successful you especially when it comes to your finances.
"Who you associate with is who you become."
Below is a snippet from the article I read:
"There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did and who always will.
Once you get clear on who you are and what you want, you must re-evaluate your circle of influence. Who you associate with is who you become. The term "role model'' is not used enough in our society. It’s extremely important to have role models. A role model will raise your standards. A role model will not let you get complacent. Finding a role model or mentor will spark your mind because they are playing the game at a higher level than you are.
If you hang around five confident people, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five intelligent people, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five millionaires, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five idiots, you will be the sixth.
If you hang around five broke people, you will be the sixth.
Such a simple concept, but what a difference it can make on your performance and business. There’s no faster way to advance into the top 5 percent of your industry than this. Yet, most people don’t do it."
Honestly, this definitely struck a chord with me. Simply said: "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with". That being said, it's important to understand just how your circle of influence impacts your financial goals.
How your circle of influence affects your finances
The people (and things i.e. what you read, what you listen to, what you watch etc) have a strong impact on your finances whether you choose to believe it or not.
If you are continuously surrounded by people who think they can never save or they can never pay off debt and are all about accepting what life gives them, then you are very likely to start thinking the same way because there's nothing really motivating or empowering you to do better.
If you are spending most of your time watching or reading things that add nothing towards the progress you want to make with your finances, then it's the same - you'll find it harder to get the motivation that you need to start making progress.
So how do you know when you need to make a shift?
Well, It's actually not that difficult to start. It's all about taking an assessment of the people and things around you as it relates to what you want to accomplish and that assessment will help you determine where you need to begin. For example, if you've been thinking about and talking about paying off debt but everyone around you is adopting a "YOLO" mentality and you seem to have fallen into this same line of thought, that's an indication that you need to shift your circle of influence.
If you've been wanting to start your own business but everyone around you thinks you are wasting your time, then that's another indication. Think you can't find a better job that pays you more money (which you can put towards your savings or debt) because everyone is telling you that it's not possible? It's time to make that shift.
You want to set a goal to find and surround yourself with the people and the things that are going to get you motivated to do better and challenge you to actually start accomplishing your goals. You are more likely to accomplish your goals if you are surrounded with the right influences.
However, keep in mind that shifting your circle of influence doesn't mean you start picking fights or cutting people off for no reason. It means that once you identify the type of people you want to spend more time with, you need to start spending less time with the people who have nothing to contribute to your purpose or progress.
It also doesn't mean that you never watch your favorite mindless TV show ago, instead it means perhaps maybe cutting back the amount of time you spend watching TV so you can allocate some time to doing things like reading a personal finance or personal development book.
What if you don't have the right people around to motivate you when it comes to achieving your financial goals?
Thank goodness for the internet! You can find virtual mentors online i.e. people you admire or that have achieved a goal you are trying to reach and study everything they've done to become successful.
Read about them online and in books, go over every interview and article you can find on them, listen to them speaking or watch them on YouTube, learn how and why they operate the way they do, learn about their businesses and why they are successful. Study their failures and how they overcame them. Let them become your new circle of influence. Some of my personal virtual mentors? They include Warren Buffet, Sara Blakey, and Oprah just to name a few.
The long and short of it all is that you can't allow yourself to become complacent, you can't settle. This is your life and if you truly want to succeed, you are going to have to take a hard look at who and what you are surrounding yourself with, make positive changes, start taking action towards accomplishing your dreams of financial success into reality and look to your circle of influence for the motivation you need to keep going.