You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn.
Jim Rohn was a businessperson, author and motivational speaker. He had a successful career in business after starting out as a stock clerk at Sears. He eventually went on to hold seminars and pass his passion for business and life on to others.
And he’s also known for the quote above. Others have used it as well including Tony Robbins.
It seems that Jim made the statement based on his own observations.
But there is some science behind it as well…
There was an interesting study done with school-aged children.
Fourth graders saw an average drop of about 8% in their testing scores if they had friends that made fun of academic achievers.
Another study found that having strong-willed peers improved one’s own self control.
A psychologist discovered that successful tended to seek out supportive relationships.
Stereotyping has a strong influence on the way people perceive others. Spending time with people that are negatively stereotyped, rightly or wrongly, can make others think negatively about you.
So it seems that the people you spend time with matter. But now the questions is how to find the right people to spend time with.
Here are a few tips…
Share Their Hobbies
If you’re looking to surround yourself with successful people a good place to start is to share their hobbies.
What do successful and affluent people do for fun?
Here are some results from surveys:
- Theater, Cinema, Concert
- Fine Food & Wine
- Museums & Art
You could look to your own neighborhood, city or town. Call the Chamber of Commerce. Ask the person for a general answer to:
What do your members like to do in their spare time?
You should get an answer about favorite past times.
You could also start at one place like the golf course where you get to know a few people and learn about their other interests.
Support A Cause
Successful people like to give back. They’re often involved in their local communities in various ways including giving back to causes.
It would probably be a challenge to find a community that didn’t have several active causes, charities, etc.
These causes often put together events to raise money and get the community coming together for support. You’ll often find very successful people at these events.
You can become a donor. It’s not always expensive, but sometimes it is.
Another way would be to become a volunteer with a cause. It can certainly be one that you care about. That’s obviously a great bonus.
Get involved in organizing. Work your way to become the person that works with the donors and participants. It can be a great way to meet successful people, learn their interests and form relationships.
Work With Them
Many successful people don’t come from successful backgrounds. They work their way up from modest beginnings.
Many had jobs where they were able to spend time with successful people.
Being a caddie at a local country club may allow you to spend four hours with four successful people.
Many businesses offer internships where you can work directly with the most successful people in the company. You might be a gofer getting coffee and doing basic things, but it’s a way to earn the trust and respect of successful people.
Seminars & Conferences
Successful people often travel to seminars and conferences. They’re likely at least partly successful because they’re looking to learn new things.
They’re going to seminars and conferences to learn new things, see speakers and attend roundtable discussions and more.
You could follow the line of thinking above with causes by becoming a volunteer at these events. Work your way to the point where you’re interacting with the attendees. Maybe you’re in charge of the mailing and emailing list. Maybe you could be on customer support where you can answer questions attendees have. Helping people is a great way to earn trust.
You could host and foster discussion at roundtable events.
These are just a few ways to meet new people that are successful. I think you can do this at any point in life. You could even surround yourself with people that aren’t successful yet, but that are likely to be.
These folks will be driven. They’ll have big dreams. They’ll be doers. They get things done. They show up on time. They’re readers. They’re helpers. They’re always looking for opportunities and they’re probably not afraid to fail.
The science seems to support the idea that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Hopefully the tips above will help you find a great five.