Maximizing Social Networks for Success

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Does this quote sound familiar?  If you’re an entrepreneur or professional seeking to achieve more in life, this quote by Jim Rohn, motivational speaker, needs to be etched in your brain.  Everything starts with the brain, and success is no exception.  Your circle of 5 closest social networks influences your thoughts, words, and actions, so choose your 5 wisely.  I used to take this quote lightly, but as I began attending networking events, growing my social circle, and reaching out to mentors, I realized this statement holds legitimate value.

When you are building your life regardless of where you are on your journey,  your Circle of 5 will change according to your situation, goals, and choices.  Notice I said “circle” because it is most certainly up to you who you allow in your space.  At various points in life, you’ll need more emotional support, while other times more professional support will be required.  How do you leverage that Circle of 5 people for maximum success?  What is your role in garnering the most benefit from your Circle of 5 at any given time?  Take a brief inventory, and see how your social network is helping you or hindering you on the journey to America’s 1%.

Here are 5 ways to inventory and maximize your social network for success:

Who are your Circle of 5 right now?  

  • list your Circle of 5
  • decide how they relate personally or professionally to your life
  • family is necessary, but you can choose how often you’re with them (except for your own kids!)
  • friends are vital, but you choose how much, how often, and to what extent they’re in your life
  • professionals/co-workers can be positive or negative, but it’s still on you to decide
  • toxic people, whether family, friend, or professional need to be out of your Circle of 5.  I know it’s tricky, but that’s another subject completely.

Why are they in your Circle of 5?

  • your circle causes you to release neurotransmitters according to their “why” for your brain
  • label the “feeling” you get from your circle – this requires self-inspection!
  • boost sense of belonging/safety (oxytocin)
  • provide familiarity (oxytocin)
  • increase stress level (cortisol)
  • produce a sense of urgency for us (opioids)
  • challenge us to think big (dopamine)
  • motivate us to take action (dopamine)
  • reward us for success (dopamine)

How does your Circle 0f 5 move your success needle?

  • Do their words influence your thought/words/actions?
  • Do their own successes provide mentorship for us?
  • Do their attitudes impact our mood when they’re around?
  • Do we impact them positively or negatively with our reactions?
  • Have I grown personally or professionally since I’ve known this person?
  • Have I increased my happiness, health, or wealth because of our relationship?

What can I gain from/give to my Circle of 5?

  • Pull resources from your circle and look beyond the obvious ones
  • What talents does my circle of 5 possess? (speaking, organizing, motivation, networking)
  • What failures have they experienced that I may learn from?
  • What success level have they reached, and are they looking to up-level?
  • Would they be willing to mentor me directly?
  • Your circle is give and take, so ask these questions of yourself in order to provide your circle with valuable resources too!

Where can I expand beyond my Circle of 5 to elevate my network and success even more?

  • Your Circle of 5 will change if you’re going to live life and succeed
  • Where do top influencers in my field meet?
  • Where do I need to make changes in my schedule to make time to network?
  • Where am I lacking in my personal life?  Patience? Sleep? Finances?  Who could help me?
  • Where am I lacking in my professional life?  Organization? Knowledge?  Marketing? Who could help me?
  • List where you need help, and seek Meetups, networking events, masterminds, and educational groups to fill in these gaps.

After you analyze your Circle of 5, you’ll have a vivid picture of who is in your circle now, why they are there (up until now you’ve been allowing people to stay in the circle without justification, right?), how they are moving your success needle, what you are gaining from them and giving to them, and where you have deficits that need to be filled by shifting your Circle of 5 throughout life.

Step back and look at this vivid picture of your Circle of 5 like your admiring a gorgeous piece of art.  Your brain knows whether this Circle leads to success, but you must overcome the thought that your Circle is stagnant.   Visualize your Circle as fluid, moving, and shifting to meet your needs and theirs without burning bridges or creating permanent distance.  Success is a moving target for true entrepreneurs and C-suite executives because once we meet one goal, we push through to the next.   Success is built through relationships and achievements, personal and professional.  Success cannot be mastered without being surrounded by those on a similar journey.   Define your Circle of 5 for the present time, then optimize, maximize, and capitalize to catapult your success beyond average.

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