“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn
I remember when I was working as an investment banker. I hated the commute. I’d park in this huge building and have to walk across the lot to the elevator. I felt like a robot doing the same thing day in and day out. The problem was, everyone in my office was doing the same thing as me. I thought this way of living wasn’t just normal, but somehow dignified.
I found the work monotonous after a few years, the same profit and loss statements to analyze in the same industries. The same stories from burned-out CEOs and CFO’s that wanted to possibly sell their companies. I would ask the same questions, “Do you have any customer concentration issues?” “ What do you forecast for the upcoming quarter?” Blah blah blah blah.
Again, we were all in our different industries doing the same thing so at lunch we would compare notes about this company or that company. Once in a while, we’d come across an exciting company in a defensible niche with great margins. It was exciting and we could see the various opportunities for our clients to buy THIS company. Of course, one bad quarter later, the deal would be dead or postponed. It was depressing.
It wasn’t until my firm hired a new person that I saw a different way of living. Here was someone doing a “side hustle”. What? You could work full time and still do something else on the side? I didn’t know anyone else at the time doing that!
We are like fish swimming in the water yet we don’t know what water is. We just think this is life. That’s how culture affects us. Different people from different parts of the world have vastly different conditioning than us. For example, do you eat meat? Well, some people in India would look at your eating cow the same way we would look at someone eating a dog.
It takes effort to buck the trend of culture and luck to have the awareness to see a different way of life. Take inventory of the five people you’re hanging out the most with in your life. If that’s not the average you want to be, then today is the day to level up.
Don’t think about it. Just do it. Find a mentor, listen to podcasts of people you’d like to be like. Find a mastermind group. Ignore the mind’s resistance. It will be tough to level up because your friends won’t like it. Can you tolerate being disliked while you level up? Think about it, there are 7 billion people in the world. Does it really matter if a few of them don’t like the “new you”?
I remember that last day of work like it was yesterday. The fear of the unknown. The loss of my work friends. Hell, losing medical benefits sucked! Nevertheless, it was the best professional move I could have made at 30 years old. It allowed me the freedom to find better mentors and hang out the most with people I wanted to be like. These new people introduced a new lens of seeing the world I was never exposed to. Hosting the Art Of Passive Income Podcast is my way of accessing incredibly accomplished people I’d never have access to weekly. I don’t miss one day of that job nor do I miss any of those relationships that were holding me back. It was tough, but it was worth it.
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself” Shannon L. Alder