We’ve all heard the “you are the sum of the people you spend the most time with” quote before.
Every successful business owner I know takes this seriously.
It’s why we literally pay to be in certain rooms for the chance to connect with a certain person and/or type of person, push ourselves out of our comfort zone too many times to count and always lead with a service-first mindset.
All things that don’t show to the outside world but are happening every. single. day.
I consider myself to be fortunate to have learned both the importance and necessity of all of this in my first year of business and can now reflect back to just how powerful it has been throughout the past eight years.
It’s also why I feel it’s important to share this with you as well because if you have been…
Loving the idea of collaboration but not knowing anyone who you could collaborate with,
Feeling like you’re the only one around you going through this rollercoaster of a ride called business,
Jumping from one idea to the next, with no substantial traction on any of them,
Consistently downplaying your gifts and talents,
Stuck at a plateau for months (or even years) and unsure of why,
… your circles of support may need to be created and/or upgraded in order to reach your own next level of growth.
Circle of Support #1: The Hype Squad
There are the people that most likely don’t know much about the day to day of your business but they know, love, encourage and support you and the fact that you have a big vision you’re stepping into.
These people could be anyone from a spouse or partner to family members or friends and are most likely who you also spend the most time around.
And if you think the people who surround you in your everyday life don’t affect your business’ growth… think again.
How would you feel about your business if your spouse or partner was always reminding you of your shortcomings?
How would you show up on social media if the friends around you kept complaining about how you share too many selfies online?
How positive would you feel about your future if everytime you share your vision with a family member, they tell you all ways that would be difficult to achieve?
How would you sell in your business if those closest to you talk about money being the root of all evil?
This can be a touchy circle of support for a lot of people to look at because these are people you love. In fact, some of them may have been around for a significant time of your life.
However, love alone doesn’t give someone an all access pass to speak into your business or vision.
This is why it’s important to know the difference between those you love with distance and those who are inside this circle… and that there is room for both in your life.
Also, it’s important to note that only YOU have to know who is in your hype squad circle. There is no public declaration needed.
This is simply a way for you to give yourself a boundary around whose opinions, thoughts and beliefs serve and don’t serve your growth.
Keep it small. Keep it impactful. Evaluate and change this circle as little or as often as you need to.
Circle of Support #2: The Road Warriors
These are the people on the business journey with you. Your peers and/or your friends in business that are also going towards their own big visions.
They get the rollercoaster of both feelings and actions and are on the ride themselves. This means they can provide a different kind of insight than those who aren’t also in business.
This is the one I get asked about the most because business owners always want to surround themselves with more people who are like them and are also going to that next level.
It makes sense when you think about it because when you first start your business, it’s easy to find people to surround yourself with.
Everyone has big goals.
Everyone is “all in.”
Everyone is excited to learn and grow.
However, as time passes, you begin to realize why over half of business owners aren’t around by year five. Running a business isn’t for everyone.
That then leaves you trying to sort though who is still moving forward at the pace you are.
Ready for the reality of the Road Warriors circle?
They come through your investments.
In other words, welcome to what I lovingly call “paying for friends.”
I have friends that cost the amount of a flight and an event ticket.
I have friends that cost me humility in reaching out and saying “I think we both compliment each other, can we coffee chat?” and being willing to hear no and be embarrassed.
I have friends that cost me sleep as I stayed up till 3am in the corner of a retreat house talking all about life and business.
I have friends that I met in group coaching programs and memberships to simply get around more people like myself.
I have friends that cost me $25k by joining a high-ticket mastermind for people at my level.
I have friends that cost me years of networking and serving to be connected to, with no guarantee of anything.
While many of the above completely pushed me out of my comfort zone, personally and financially, they have been worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY AND HOUR.
Many learn about this behind the scenes truth and get frustrated. They feel like they have to “pay to play.”
You do, and that’s not a bad thing.
Welcome to business where we pay to play every day.
In one or all three at any given time.
If you ever wondered why it feels like everyone knows each other, at a certain point, it’s because they do.
Because, while we can shout how important it is to get around the right people (and do what’s needed to do so), most will ignore this.
The small percentage that don’t have made the choice to invest in rising together.
This is the circle of support that I find changes the most for people who are growing quickly as the type of support you need from your Road Warriors circle will change as well.
My rule of thumb is to ask myself if those in this circle encourage, align with and boldly challenge you. If one of these is missing, it’s a sign for me to change up this circle.
And, just like the Hype Squad circle, you can still love them from a distance. They just don’t have a full access pass to speak into your business the way they once did.
Circle of Support #3: The Guides
These are your mentors and coaches – both of which I’m sure you’re no stranger to this one as we are sold messaging the power of mentorship and coaching every single day.
What are you not told?
There’s a lot more to this circle of support than just hiring someone to tell you what to do and/or bring out the best in you.
Sometimes the investment is to be in someone’s energy because it ignites something inside of you.
Sometimes the investment is what you have to do in order to get on that person’s radar for future referral and/or collaboration purposes.
Sometimes the investment is to give yourself accountability to show up and take action because the transaction alone gets you into #gomode.
Sometimes the investment is simply following them from afar and using their story and/or experiences to both motivate you and to shine a light on what’s on the path ahead.
No matter what your reasoning is, this circle of support contains those who have achieved what you aim to achieve in your business and will be able to provide insight your Road Warriors circle can’t because they simply haven’t been there yet.
However, similar to the Road Warriors circle, this circle will align with the speed of your own growth. This means that there will be a few select Guides that are with you for years but most will interchange with others who align with what your current needs are.
I encourage you to keep this circle small, just like the others, in order to prevent yourself from chasing too many different ideologies, strategies and/or information at one time.
Do You Have All Three Circles Covered?
If so, high five! I hope this helped in confirming that you are on the right track in surrounding yourself with the levels of support that will truly support you along the journey.
If not, here is your gentle nudge to adjust your circles as needed so that you can move forward in a way that serves your big vision.