Here’s the thing: If you surround yourself with immature people you will sink down to their level. The same with negative people,you will become one too. And positive people… You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with.
If you want to get on better business and life you need to surround yourself with smart people rather than positive/negative or immature people.
How do you know you are around smart people?
Smart people tend to be the ones that ask you questions. They are the curious people, the ones that find other people fascinating. They rarely speak in cliches or buzz words, and they are able to attribute a quote to a person when they use it. They are happy to share good books, good films and good ideas. They recognise greatness in others even if its not the same skillset as their own. They are not afraid of the competition, because they know there is only one of them, in fact they actively refer people to the competition. They are not insecure people.
Sound familiar? Everyone knows someone like this, the trick is to find more of them, and then surround yourself. They are often well connected and are happy to make introductions if you are the right fit. They instinctively know the right fit because they are used to being around people, are more observant, and most importantly they listen.
Consider this for the moment. You have found a great group of smart people and one of them is looking for what you do, do you rush in like a bull in the china shop and tell them how great you are or do you do something else. If you do something else then you are in the right company, there is always someone who pitches to their friends, heck I have a former client who propositioned a contact of mine about business in the ladies toilets. I could no longer allow her to represent me or be associated with me after that- I don’t train clients to ambush someone seconds after they’ve wiped their bottom.
Related Article: Seven Challenges Smart People Overcome
Desperation taints all business with a foul taste.
I don’t know about you but when I’m around smart people I’m quieter. I have to listen carefully sometimes because their language is different from mine and other times because I need to absorb what is said. There’s this saying that goes along the lines of “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” (Epictetus in case you were wondering, a Greek from the school of the stoic thoughts), and this is something to remember when you are with people smarter than you. You don’t have to try and impress them by reciting all your achievements, accolades or using big words, you just have to be comfortable with yourself and your purpose.
Smart comes in all packages
There’s street smart, academic smart and all other kinds. You need to work out which kind you need to surround yourself with. If you want to be the next David Beckham then you need to train with Footballers who are better than you so that you raise your game. Mingling with Einsteins won’t help you make it as an athlete, if I recall correctly Einstein wasn’t much of one. You need to be around the people who are better at what you do, you need to read them, watch them and listen to them.
Consider masterminding with smart people, or mentoring with them. This is something people who have moderate success don’t consider doing because its a financial investment. It’s an investment in themselves and that may appear selfish. They may think that they should be doing something else, but when you are running a business and you are the key person you can only get so far with what you’ve got. The next step is to put a value financially on what you do and who you do it with.
And the next step?
Reach out to the smart people, hang out with them. Actively seek out invitations with them, at seminars, and conferences and through their own programs. Yep that’s right, their programs and membership courses are access to them and other smart people. Often these are paid, velvet roped communities. Do some research and find out who mentors the people you admire, who they hang out with and start listening to what they have to say.
About the Author – Sarah Arrow
Sarah is the Content Creation Expert at Sark eMedia.