Choose Your Friends Wisely

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

John Lee Dumas

That quote may not have originated with John Lee Dumas but that’s how he closes every episode of his Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast. It’s probably most often attributed to Jim Rohn. Whoever it originated with it’s true and it’s backed up by research.

Some studies even suggest that it goes far beyond five, and you may even be influenced by your friend’s friend, but let’s focus on a smaller number today.

If we look at our circle of friends and decide we need an upgrade how do we do it? I want to share a couple of ways with you.


How to Make New Friends

I am the cohost of a podcast called Through a Therapist’s Eyes. The host of the show is my good friend Chris Gazdik. Chris is a mental health and substance abuse counselor and an Amazon Bestselling Author.

We did an episode on our show about friendship and Chris believes, and makes the point, that friendships are also essential to our mental health. He says, “Friendship is the antidote to loneliness” and I agree. To me great friends are the best, and I am very grateful for mine!

So if you look at your circle and decide you need to make some new friends how do you do it? On our show Chris talks about how he did this. He intentionally set out to make friends, almost like one sets out to find a mate. I thought this was weird because friendships have always come naturally to me, but after he explained it I understood and it makes sense.

When Chris set out to make new friends he put himself in situations where he was around people. He found out what they were interested in, found things in common, and he joined in and engaged in the conversation. What resulted for him was lots of new friends.

I’ve included a link to a 7 minute excerpt of the podcast here and the full episode on friendship is here!


Putting Yourself in Situations

In order to make new friends Chris put himself in situations where he was around people he could engage in conversation. Let’s talk about how to put yourself in those situations.

Common Interests

I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a little over three and half years ago. I remember having a conversation early on with a guy who is now one of my best friends. He was telling me about a 50K run he participated in. As he was talking I actually had the thought, “these are people like me”. I now have some GREAT friends in the dojo!

If you have an interest, seek out places where others hang out that have the same interests. Mine was martial arts, but yours may be church, yoga, cycling, books, business, etc. Some of these are obvious to find but if you have an interest that is unique check out Meetup.com. There may be others who have scheduled events on Meetup or worst case, create your own meeting and see who shows.

Professional Organizations

There are lots of professional organizations out there and you are certain to find people with common interests by joining. I want to improve and hone my public speaking skills and am considering joining Toastmasters International.

If you are a small business owner I recommend checking into your local Chamber of Commerce and/or your local Business Network International group. If you are a professional google “your industry professional groups” or search on LinkedIn.

There are many professional groups you can join that will help you upgrade your network of friends.

Mastermind Groups

This one is my favorite and has paid HUGE dividends for me! If you don’t know what a Mastermind group is it is “a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support”.

The Mastermind group became popular when Napoleon Hill wrote about it in his timeless masterpiece, “Think and Grow Rich” but the concept can be traced back to Ben Franklin’s Mastermind group called The Junto.

It has become more popular in recent years and you can google ‘mastermind your topic’ and find existing Masterminds you can join. We offer Masterminds here on Win In Your Mind, but call them Boat Crews.

Another way to join a Mastermind is to create one. I created a group in 2016 and we still meet every Tuesday morning at 8 AM. I have developed some GREAT friendships with the guys in my group over the last few years.

When I decided to create my Mastermind group, I did some research on how to create a group, wrote up some guidelines based on how I wanted it to run, and personally invited 10 guys who met my criteria to join. I ended up with 8 and we have all benefited as a result of joining.

Some of the benefits have been:

  • Deep friendships
  • Networking
  • New perspectives
  • Business, family, and life advice
  • Community support
  • Accountability
  • Challenge
  • Feedback and brainstorming

I am also a member of two Masterminds (Boat Crews) through my Unbeatable Mind Coach training.


Summary

Over the last few years I have been intentional about making new friends. I have found people with common interests, joined professional organizations, and joined and created Masterminds.

Because of this, I now hang out with martial artists, authors, a couple of Navy SEALs, and high performing businessmen, athletes, and coaches.

Who are you hanging out with? Choose Wisely!

If you’d like help evaluating your network and making a plan to upgrade or if I can help you with any other topic please sign up for a FREE two hour strategy session with me by clicking this link to my calendar!

Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter (form to the right) and get our FREE breathing course and check the schedule for upcoming Big 4 of Mental Toughness webinars.

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