If there was a single quote that’s had the biggest impact on the way I spend my money, build my career and live my life, it’s this one by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So be they better be awesome, right?
No pressure to anyone out there that knows me 🙂
Think about that quote for a moment. Think about the five people you spend most of your time with: your partner, your roommate, your best friend, your coworkers… You’re the average of all those people.
Now think about what it feels like to spend time with the most awesome people in your life. The people who watch how much money they spend and inspire you to do the same. The people that motivate you to eat right and exercise after spending just a day with them. The people who are passionate about what they do and light you up with new ideas.
When I’m around awesome people, I want to be more awesome. And I feel more awesome. If I’m the average of the five people I spend the most time with, then naturally I want those people to be incredible so my average bumps up!
Over the past year, I’ve been really intentional about adding awesome people into my life.
And it’s totally transformed my career, my money and everything else in my life.
My week of awesomeness by osmosis
The best example of this happened last week. I spent an incredible four days at my favorite conference of all time: FinCon (a.k.a. the super fun/nerdy personal finance bloggers conference/party). Imagine the buzz of 600 people in a room who want to be better at what they do. Imagine hanging out with ultra-successful friends who have made millions of dollars doing what you do. Imagine being recognized for the work that you’ve been doing and people coming up to you and saying, “I love it, and I’ve got an idea for how you can be even better.”
Everyone I spoke to was inspiring, motivating, encouraging, positive, creative. I felt like a better version of myself just being surrounded by so much awesomeness.
Oh, and everyone was extremely budget-conscious, so there’s a win for the wallet, too. 🙂
What to do when you’re not surrounded by the awesome-ness you need
FinCon was a concentrated moment in time where I felt my average sky rocket. But I’m also very conscious of surrounding myself with amazing people in my day-to-day life.
And I didn’t realize how much I was a product of everyone around me until after college when I was drowning in debt and unhappy with my job.
After graduation moved to Washington DC and found myself in a culture that didn’t jive with me. After a long day at the 9-5, the DC young professional would migrate to a happy hour with friends spent catching up over drinks and complaining about work. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good drink after work, it just wasn’t my jam.
At the time, I was trying to pay off $30,000 in student debt and drinks at the bar did not fit into my budget. I was also in a place in my career where I was trying to figure out what kind of work made me happy, so being surrounded by after-work negativity was dragging me down. And yet, if I wanted to participate in the DC social scene, it meant spending lots of time at bars and talking about how overworked and underpaid I felt.
So what do you do when you’re in an environment that brings you down? You just do you. And then you find new awesome people.
Despite the pressure to unwind at the bar after work, I stuck to my guns and only spent money on what mattered to me. I ordered soda water with lime when I went out to bars (yes, I was that girl). And I stopped engaging in negative work talk. My friends realized quickly that I wasn’t going to be dropping money on drinks and I was not interested in complaining. I just did me and the environment started to shift around me.
But I also knew that I wanted to surround myself with people who would push me to be a better version of me. I wanted people who would help me dream beyond my current job situation. I wanted people who were also thinking differently about life and valued saving money.
So I started adding more awesome people into my life. I began mingling with more entrepreneurs and artists – folks who thought creatively about life and career. I started hanging out with my more health conscious friends who wouldn’t mind meeting up for tea at home instead of cocktails after work. I hung out more with my frugal-conscious friends who also wanted to save money and still have fun. I started surrounding myself with successful and inspirational people so I could succeed and be inspired.
And I noticed a shift happen: the more I hung out with awesome people, the more awesome I felt personally, professionally, financially and emotionally.
It’s that shift that led me to a conference like FinCon, surrounded by people I admire who lift up my average beyond anything I could have ever done on my own. It’s the shift that help me straighten out my money.
It’s a simple equation: awesome people make me more awesome.
If you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, make them awesome.
So how do you bump up your average?
If you’re the most successful or talented person in the room: run. Run away fast.
Then go find a group of friends who are better than you. Find people who raise you up, people who challenge you. Find the people who will hold up your goals and ideals just as high as you do – and come up with new ones.
[Click here to tweet: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so make them awesome.”]
Once you start hanging out with your tribe of awesomeness, two things will happen:
- You’ll see your own awesomeness, and you’ll find out that there are people out there who can push you to be even more amazing than you already are.
- Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re an inspiration and you’re helping other people be more awesome too.
So go find the people out there that rock your socks off. They’re waiting for you and they’re ready to help you reach whatever goal you’ve got in your life. Talk to them, hang out with them, be around them and boost your average. And you’ll make them more awesome for it, too 🙂
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