Success Tip: Are you hanging out with the right crowd?

photo by Tony the Misfit


I had a couple of great meetings last week with the kind of people that I would like to hang around with (or work with).

I imagine everyone knows that person that’s always happy – you know the one that can almost be annoying except that they make you smile.

On the other side of the coin, you probably also know those people that are never happy.  They start an awful lot of sentences with “Yes…but” and proceed to tell you in great detail why something won’t work.

It can be incredibly draining to deal with the negative people (and these days there’s more of them than ever!).

The great news is that for the most part you get to choose who you hang out with.  (Family might be a little challenging, but in almost every other case, you have a lot of influence).

If you really want to experience success, enjoy what you do and transform all of those hours of work into something you look forward to, give some thought to the people around you. 

Here are the 3 things you need to do:

Surround yourself with ‘Challenging’ People

I mean challenging in a good way – the kind of people that make you stay at the top of your game just to keep up with them.

I’m talking about people that have great attitudes.  A sunny and happy disposition is part of that, but even more importantly they approach problems (both yours and theirs) with the attitude of ‘what if we tried this’ or ‘There’s a way to solve this – let’s figure out what it is’.

These are people that are into learning and trying new things.  They aren’t afraid of new ideas.  They fully buy into the idea of helping others to help yourself.

They’re not afraid to give you the unvarnished truth from their perspective – that doesn’t mean just telling you what they don’t like or where you might be wrong, it really means making positive, constructive criticisms on what you could do better.

Even if you mostly work on your own, you can (and should) have a some sort of support group – perhaps even an advisory board!  😉

Beyond an advisory board, start looking around for people that you click with, that seem to be making things happen and find a way to strike up a relationship with them.

Drop the Negatives!

If you’ve been struggling to reach your goals for some time, there’s a pretty good chance that you are dragging around an anchor or two.

Anchors are those people that continually paint you into a box and place limits on you.  They may not do it on purpose – they may not even realize they’re doing it, but the drawback is that even if you don’t agree, if you can hear them you are influenced by them.  They are holding you back.

Take an inventory of your 20 closest associates that you see on a regular basis.  It could be friends from college, the neighborhood, people you work with.  Once you’ve got your list, do a quick checklist review on each of them, asking the following questions:

1.  Does this person ever inspire me? 

2.  Does this person challenge me and suggest new ideas to try?

3.  After spending time with this person do I feel more energized than I did before I saw them?

If you have at least a couple of no’s for that person, then you should start finding a way to distance yourself as quickly as possible.

Become a positive

The best way to attract positive people is to become one yourself.  If you’re already inherently positive – Great!  Now challenge yourself to do more of that.  Go out and make things happen. 

If you’re not as positive as you’d like to be, then it’s time to start changing.

Shake things up and try new things – even if you fail, you’ll succeed because you’re learning!

When you meet with someone, go into the discussion with the mind set of ‘how can I help this person out?’  Can you introduce them to someone?  Are you really good at something they’re struggling with?  It doesn’t have to be a big deal and you don’t need to give your business services away, but it’s been proven time and again that helping people solve their problems will ultimately generate rewards for you.

If you’ve ever felt that creative spark when you’re meeting or working with someone that’s a real dynamo, then you know how fantastic that experience can be.

Where do you fall on the negative – positive spectrum?  How about the people you hang out with?  Share your thoughts here – I’d love to hear them.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

3 thoughts on “Success Tip: Are you hanging out with the right crowd?”

  1. Jim Gaudet says:

    I try very hard to be a positive person and ever since I have thought this way, things have been better for me. I have felt better, and business has been good.

    I think the most important thing I have done.

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