Truth Bomb Tuesday: Sometimes you need to cull the dead wood… but get first things first.
Sometimes you need to cut people out of your life.
I’m not going to lie. Sometimes you do.
But I’m also not going to pretend that this is easy.
There’s a saying that your net worth is the average net worth of the five people you spend the most time with.
Now, I don’t imagine this has much statistical validity. And I certainly don’t recommend choosing your friends purely to bump up your net worth, but in my experience I think the basic idea is sound.
The five people you spend the most time with define your idea of ‘normal’. If everyone in your life is eating canned beans and living hand to mouth, then that’s what you think is ‘normal’.
Likewise, if everyone in your life is a passionate entrepreneur with million dollar businesses, that defines your idea of normal as well.
And I see it with the property investing community that’s grown up around my work. When you are surrounded by passionate and creative people who are determined to live their best life, that rubs off on you.
Yes, it’s partly about the transmission of skills and expertise. But it’s much more than that. It’s about attitude and outlook. It’s about courage and creativity. It’s about living life with appetite.
And so yes, your five closest friends define your net worth. But they also define your self worth. They define your attitude to risk and your entrepreneurial spirit. They define your lifestyle and what you dare to dream is possible.
Your friends define and confine you.
So you have to choose them carefully.
And I guess the only point I would say about that is yes, sometimes you do need to cut a bit of the deadwood out of your life.
But don’t let your friends be a scapegoat for your own failings.
I remember one student who came along to a few training sessions and it was like somebody had lit a fire inside her. She was super pumped. She couldn’t wait to get into her first deal. She couldn’t wait to be part of the community, making things happen.
And when her friends and family were a bit sceptical (and probably not unreasonably sceptical), she was quick to jump to the conclusion that she needed to get rid of them.
“Of course! They’ve been holding me back my entire life. They’re the reason I’m poor. They’re the reason I’m overweight. They’re the reason I’m stuck in a dead-end job.
It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.”
Slow down honey. You be careful now. That might all be true, but it’s always easier to blame others than to blame yourself.
I think ‘growth’ is the right metaphor. We outgrow people. Slowly and surely, they just stop fitting. They start to feel a tad tight. Then too small. Then constrictive.
It’s a process and it’s a process that only happens when you are making changes in yourself.
Get the causality right. When you grow, you sometimes outgrow others.
But culling others doesn’t cause you to grow.
So yes, you’ve got to be open to this idea. You’ve got to be careful with the company you keep.
But don’t be too quick to lay the blame for your life situation at the feet of others.
Just focus on your own development.
The rest will come in time.