In this blog series, Show Me Your Friends, I’ll Show You Your future, our goal is to build and sustain a networking circle that positions you to be a leader, form relationships with influential people, and become the greatest version of yourself. In the first blog, How to Build Strategic Relationships and Networks, I taught you how to identify your value system and think about how the people in your current circle fit in it. The phrase, “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future,” means knowing yourself: your morals, your ethics, your character, and surrounding yourself with people who similarly view life. When I see your friends, it will give me tremendous insight into who you are. 

Think of these people as your team. Your allies. Your squadron. These are going to be the people who will help you become the best version of yourself. How? Because you are sharing each other’s resources with the same thought — ascending. Remember from last week: Like attracts Like. 

“Alone we can fall, together we will rise.”

In this Part #2 of our series (creating positive environments for success),  I am going to talk about the importance of not only creating a healthy circle but using it to your advantage.

Yup, I said using. And, there is nothing wrong with that. 

Remember, I stated in the last blog I am all about The Give. If you are in my circle and you need a quick call for advice? Let’s schedule it. Do you want to meet someone in my network that you would like to do business with? Done. Do you need some help with something personal? I’m there. 

Life works out in a circle. I know with complete confidence that in the future, I may need that introduction. I may need that advice. I may need that help. And, I know that my circle will be there for me. The more I give, the more I get back. It’s the way life works. And we all benefit from it. 

Of course, I get it, that sounds like I have a large “exclusive” circle. (I see what I post on Instagram as well! lol)  In some ways, I do. But I have earned each of those relationships. I have spent a great deal of time not only understanding myself but fine-tuned who gets in my inner group. However, that doesn’t mean I am not open to meeting other people. I live for that. I never know who I will meet that is on the same wavelength as me and could be part of my circle one day. 

“Always keep yourself open to meeting new people. You never know if one day they could be a trusted confidant either professionally or personally.”

Relationship Management is my number one priority. I could not have created both of my companies if this was not a top priority. I needed to build a strategic environment that created an opportunity for all to rise with the tide—bringing together people who share a common goal, helping others develop their business, and being conscious and intentional at the same time. 

“Never be afraid to be real: just be yourself .”

It is vital to create a healthy work environment around you. For me, this means surrounding myself with like-minded individuals. 

Think about it. If we are going to work for one-third (!!!) of our lives, we want to enjoy what we do and who we do it with. Like-minded people, assuming it’s the right mindset (lol) can help expedite the goals you are trying to accomplish. It makes it easier to build a network, introduce others, and make recommendations without hesitation. 

“Like-minded people in your environment will also challenge you and call you out when you aren’t delivering on your end.”

Accountability is so crucial. Being like-minded doesn’t mean that everyone thinks or operates the same way. Again, you have core values in common. That’s the foundation. 

“Like-minded people can help point out your blind spots. They won’t do it to bring you down. They will do it to help pull you up.”

A supportive environment for success is critical both professionally and personally. Remember: there are never “bad” times — only “challenging” times. We must use our words carefully and precisely! 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 speaks just to the importance of a supportive environment, “Two better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.” 

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

A supportive environment of success encourages and holds you accountable to make you better to go even higher. 

Now, of course, the road to creating my circle was not a smooth one. I have been burned before, but that’s ok. Look, everyone is in your life for a reason, for a period of time, or your whole life. Whether that happens with you and someone who has left your life, remember to honor and be grateful for the time you spent together. 

Think about it — you would NOT even be reading this if everything in your life didn’t specifically happen. You literally would not be reading this. All roads of your life have led to this very moment. And, you should be grateful for all of it for getting you to where you are today. 

I do love people. And, I do give everyone the benefit of the doubt. That philosophy has helped me over the years, but it has also bit me in the butt. People will disappoint you, so be ready, but do not lose your giving spirit. 

When people don’t follow through, or you realize they are takers, you let them exit stage left into the sunset. And, most importantly, I wish them sincere luck on their path. It is a lonely existence being a taker. Hopefully, they can find a way to have them treasure-giving, which is tremendously fulfilling.

“Again, keep gravitating to the type of people you want: diversity in backgrounds and industries. This will allow you to expand even further.”

It is tough to separate from someone, no matter the reason. It varies based on the relationship you had and the reason you want to separate yourself from them. Depending upon the level of the offense will determine your approach. 

“Regardless of the circumstances, you always take the high road.”

I want to amend the first sentence of this blog. My friend Jason once said: “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” That quote has stuck with me for over 15 years, and I say it all the time for myself and my kids. It’s so true and is a direct reflection of who I am. Don’t take the quote lightly. 

“Be intentional about who you are around, everyone is watching, and your legacy depends on it.”

There are many things in our life we can control. Who we are and who we want to be is one of the most important ones. You control the controllable. 

It will be impossible for you to reach the most authentic version of yourself alone. Creating the right environment will be paramount to your success.

Now Go Forth and Conquer!