‘We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.’
– Jim Rohn – Motivational Speaker
Who do you associate with? Who are your friends? Who are your business partners?
Your reputation, especially in business is so important. Your reputation usually precedes you. It should be guarded at all times. Just like you would review your financial position, or business plan throughout the year to make sure you are on track. You should review who you spend your time with, and maybe more importantly who you listen too.
Relationships are key in personal and professional settings. You will be measured by who you associate with. You should consider with care who you commit too in business. It’s great when you are in a good and profitable business deal. But get into a bad deal, and it can be tough to get out.
How do people identify you? How is your customer service and first impressions? Do you get referrals from customers? How do they talk about you? This all is part of your character. The idea is to have your customers talking well of your service. This is the greatest of capital, as people that trust them with take their advice to work with you.
Do you want to be recognized with the people you currently do business with? It encompasses the whole business. It’s your employees, partners, vendors, and even your customers. Would you introduce one customer to another? You should review your customers, to consider if these are the people you want to help and work with. Your career is 40 – 50 hours of your week. Spend that time wisely.
Always deal with people who respect you, and the relationships you have fostered with others. You would not want to refer a bad person to a business contact that may hurt your relationship with that contact. Your contacts are an extension of yourself, and should be respected also.
“The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you. – Colin Powell
Learn the power of saying No. We all have limited time, and resources and should consider who we want to spend our time with thoughtfully. It is a combination of potential for a relationship, can it grow, can you learn from it? Then also whether you like the other person and have something to offer them in return. The key is value, and both sides need to bring it.
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”― Albert Einstein
Relationships compound, in both directions. You ever notice in your life that good relationships you have with close friends just keep on giving more positive results. These good friends introduce you to other good people and so on. Well, bad relationships can have the reverse effect. You associate with one person of questionable reputation, and they just want to pair you up with other people you do want to spend time with.
This all applies to advice you receive, and mentors you listen too. Never take advice from someone you would not want to switch places with. If you do not want to be like someone, then you should not listen to them.
Find out what you want in life. Then find someone who has it, and emulate them. Ask them questions, to discover what they did to get there, get their success and learn from them. Many successful people have coaches, but are careful in selecting them.
“With few exceptions, when a manager with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for poor fundamental economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.” Warren Buffett – April 11, 1988: The inside story of Warren Buffett
Extra Tip: I would recommend a book with some classic wisdom. Do not let the title sway you, the information is timeless: The ART of MONEY GETTING & The Way to Wealth by P.T. Barnum & Benj. Franklin (Author)
Podcast: Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia
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