Recently I was told that you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. Which really made me stop and think about all the people I tend to attract as well as those whom I hang out with on a regular basis. I realized that, in many ways, I’m a pretty lucky guy because I have a great core group of friends, associates, and family that tend to be mostly supportive.
A circle of supportive people is one of the most powerful groups you can have in your life. With the right circle, you can get the motivation and understanding that you need to build your self-confidence and accomplish your most cherished dreams.
I have some supportive people in my life and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be spending time with these folks. They help me achieve clarity and have given me the loving kick in the rear that I’ve needed for so long. Having a support team — and I’m not just talking about a VA here — is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
Think About Who Supports You
It may sound simple, but few people really think about which of their friends, family and associates are supportive and which aren’t. You may have friends that you’ve hung onto for years simply because you have a history together, even when that friend isn’t supportive. This is counterproductive and can lead to not only a toxic friendship that does more harm than good, but can wreck your self-esteem as well.
There’s not a whole lot we can do about our family – we’re kinda stuck with them, like it or not — but to gather friends and associates who are truly supportive, take an honest look at each of them and see whether they measure up when you need support.
The reality is that there may be people that you need to cut loose in order to cultivate a supportive circle.
Meet New People Who Share Your Values
If you don’t have many supportive friends, it’s time to make some new ones. Join a civic organization or the Chamber of Commerce, do volunteer work or support a cause that will allow you to meet people who share your set of values. Join a mastermind group. Get yourself a coach. With these values in common, you can meet people who understand you and will support you when you need it. You’ll each have a common point of reference and can use it to connect to each other.
Talk to People In Your Situation
Whether you’re a new mother or a recent retiree or a new business owner, other people who understand your current situation are more likely to be supportive than those who don’t understand it.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Folks around you – and unfortunately this often means spouses, partners and other family numbers – likely can’t see the value in what you are doing and usually encourage you to go out and get a real J.O.B.
While you can’t get rid of these people – short of divorce or murder – you can simply choose to not engage them about your business. Just don’t talk about it with any of them. If anyone asks, simply tell them that things are going great and thank them for asking.
But there are usually a lot of opportunities to hang out with other entrepreneurs and business people and you would be wise to seek them out.
So, to meet people with a similar life or business experience, join a local club for people like you. Look online for local clubs or better yet, start one of your own. A group of people who understand your experience on a personal level can not only offer you support, but you will also be well equipped to give it to others. Your circle of friends and business associates will be there through your ups and downs and will always understand the problems you share.
It’s important to keep your circle of friends close when you need them. To keep the group functioning well and being supportive of one another, find a way to meet regularly, even if it’s just once a month over coffee. You can ask for the support you need and your associates will know just how to support you. Always be sure that you ask them how you can support them.
Make a List of What You Want in a Friend or Business Associate
You know that you want your group of friends to be supportive, but how will your circle provide that support? Look for friends who are sympathetic, caring, unselfish and who have a sincere need to connect with others.
You likely have other traits that you want to see in your friends and associates. Make a list and look for people who meet your criteria. With just the right mix of people, you can create a circle that will provide just the support you crave.
Just remember, you can’t sit at home behind your computer and find all the support you need. Get out and meet people.© Copyright 2012 Marty Marsh