Seventeen years ago, a good friend told me that if you want own a Ferrari one day, you have to start by being in the company of those who already own one. Back in the day, my interpretation of that was that the longer you hung out with people who owned a Ferrari, the more motivated you would become to actually get one. There was, however, a significant piece of that advice that I was missing; if you are the smartest guy in the room, you tend to become complacent and no longer seek to become smarter. However, if you are not the smartest person in the room, then perhaps you are actually on to something and as a result are more likely to be exposed to new thinking and elevate yourself to a level that will eventually get you what you want: a Ferrari.
The real problem I faced then, which perhaps many of our younger readers face today, is that I didn’t know how to be in the company of “Ferrari people,” because while I was ambitious, I had nothing to bring to the table – or so I thought…
Something that often entered my mind was, “Why would anyone with a Ferrari want to know me?” The truth of the matter was they didn’t need to know me, and had no reason to want to know me then. I was simply a normal teenager with a decent job and car, but nothing that you would stop to stare twice at – especially not if you were an exotic car owner.
My biggest mistake then, was that I didn’t really understand that perceived value was just as important as real value. Therefore I based all my assumptions in life on my own reality, not the reality of those around me. This is partly a big piece of what Third Circle Theory helps others do – to see from a different perspective – but at the time I was young and certainly didn’t know what I now know today.
At the end of this article, you’ll find a video on how to meet the right entourage and how to actually leverage yourself when networking with people who have achieved levels of success well above your own. Here is why you should always surround yourself with individuals who have achieved everything you want to eventually achieve:
1. You get real life experience, something no text book can teach you.
From learning loopholes to business tips, there is tremendous value in listening to someone who has been through the trenches you wish to go through. While no one will have an exact roadmap to follow, the information provided is critical to your long term success and can shave years of trial and error off of your journey. You don’t even need to be mentored, as successful people love to share their opinions and hang out talking about business and what they are up to. Being in their company means simply listening to the stories and absorbing as much as possible.
2. They are always doing something.
Successful people always keep busy especially with their own time. While they may no longer work in the conventional sense daily, their mind is always at work. Their ability to identify opportunities is critical and extremely motivating. While others see problems in all of life’s obstacles, those who have had success see opportunity. As a person who is learning, paying attention to how others identify problems is a very important step to becoming successful, especially on an independent basis like in entrepreneurship.
3. They don’t put down ideas.
You have no idea how many times I get approached these days and asked, “Is this a good idea?” Time and time again, my response is, “It’s a great idea,” because I see ideas as just that – ideas – and nothing more. Unsuccessful people project their own fears in their response and in most cases need to disagree with an idea you have as they do not see value in it. They are not personally involved and often fear you succeeding before they do, meaning they will always carry negativity as an excuse to fuel their own laziness. Successful people on the other hand encourage ideas, no matter how stupid, as they realize that through failure that success is found, and it’s on the basis of doing something and learning to take action.
Being in the company of those that have succeeded forces you to be better, regardless that it’s in your thinking, work ethic or personal life. Being surrounded by people who have ‘made it’ is a continuous reminder of how others have done it and it leaves no excuse for you to not do it either.
“Surround yourself with greatness, and elevate yourself to belong to it.“