Slice society up by demographic, or simply cross reference the socio-economic pyramid and you’ll see the astonishing accuracy in the age-old saying… “Birds of a Feather Flock Together”
- Welfare recipients congregate with welfare recipients.
- Owners of struggling or mediocre businesses mingle at networking events with other struggling or mediocre business owners.
- And highly successful people gather around other highly successful people.
There are, of course, a few exceptions.
A few mavericks.
Those who refuse to adhere to convention. Those who ascend from one socio-economic group to another.
I’m such a person. I wasn’t born into wealth. I grew up in a comfortable, lower-middle class home. We weren’t well-off by any stretch of the imagination but I wanted for nothing either. I wasn’t surrounded by affluence. I didn’t know any high achievers. A millionaire was about as far away from reality as space walking. My father was a bus driver, my mother a part-time promotions girl and model. We knew a few actors and TV presenters from mom’s television work, but they weren’t wealthy either.
I left school at 16 with no job to go to. I spent six months waiting for a job on a “promise” that never materialised, got off my backside and went selling house alarms door-to-door on some of the roughest housing estates in England.
After a month I’d had enough and went into more “secure” work – working as an office junior in a Birmingham legal firm called Jagger, Son & Tilley. I was paid £35 a week. Three months later, on March 23rd 1987, I joined NatWest Bank doing clerical work until, in February 1989, I re-entered the world of sales and stayed in it for the next 16 years.
At every step of the way, I was surrounded by people just like me. People who operated at the same level of awareness that I did. People on my “frequency”, who thought, believed and acted in harmony with how I did.
Sure, I can think of a couple of career moves when I moved on to things perceived to be bigger and better. And sure, I felt stretched and slightly “out of my depth” for a short period of time, but it didn’t last long. I soon held my own. I wasn’t surrounded by people who were doing anything out of the ordinary.
You can get very comfortable surrounded by people hell-bent on achieving nothing out of the ordinary. Take a trip down to the Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors or your local BNI chapter and you’ll find a lot of very “comfortable” people.
Average thinkers doing average things, surrounding themselves with average thinkers doing average things.
I was part of that flock too in my first year in self-employment. Where else would I be? Like everyone else, following the oh so well-trodden path…
…I knew no better.
But the penny eventually dropped, just not in the manner you might expect.
One weekday morning I was sitting in my small, cramped office thinking about the trials and tribulations of my beloved football team.
I’m a Birmingham City fan. I know what it’s like to suffer under the indignity of constant under achievement. And as I sat reflecting on yet another defeat, I thought of a simple, if not (allegedly) “unrealistic” solution. What a difference it would make if the players of Birmingham City FC could train every week with those of FC Barcelona.
Imagine the impact. In a matter of weeks, their game would improve dramatically. Average championship levels players would become world beaters and “punch way above their weight” simply by being in an environment where that level of performance was the “norm”.
And that’s exactly what my exclusive high-end mastermind, Entrepreneurial Elite, brings to its members.
You want to know how to massively up your game and enjoy the rewards that come with it? Get in the mix with those playing above your pay grade.
This “moment of clarity” opened up a whole new level of awareness in me. Within three months, I’d shelled out $16,000 to go to Florida and work directly with people who demonstrated, by their results, they were in an entirely different league to me.
I’ve never looked back since. And I’ve never stopped investing significant amounts of money in developing myself and my business since either.
Why? Simple. The payback is huge.
Most people aren’t willing to invest money in getting better. And so they remain bound to their existing results and small, incremental increases.
I may not be a millionaire yet but I can say this… I’m not far off. Not by any stretch of the imagination. And the only reason I’m anywhere near it, is because I got myself out of the way and put myself in the way of successful people – meaning I purposefully got around people who stretched me and demonstrated, by their results, they were worth modelling.
The bottom line is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without investing at the level required to be around the right level of people.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here