There is a current statistic that roughly 70% of Americans are unsatisfied in their work. I believe a major contributor is our tendency to stay in our comfort zone. And we don’t like change, so the longer we are in there, the harder it becomes to leave. This brings me to the topic for today about forming a personal success network.
Have you heard this quote? “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” It’s true. When you spend time with people you are allowing their influence on your life. Do your besties challenge you to do more, be more, raise the bar? Or do you tend to hang out with ‘yes’ people who just let you do your thing and affirm whatever you tell them is the best thing for you?
Obviously, we don’t get to choose all the people we let into our lives – parents, siblings, and to some extent, our co-workers. But we can select a few key individuals we allow to speak into our lives and have an influence on us in a positive way by forming a personal success network to serve as an advisory council.
Be very intentional about who you include in your personal success network. How do you choose the ‘right’ kind of people? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you make a list of candidates:
- Are they doing what you’d like to or hope to be doing?
- Do they challenge your thinking or behavior in a positive way?
- Are they well respected, sought after?
- Can you name some specific things you want to learn from them?
To actually form your network, review the list of candidates and narrow it down to 3-5 using the following guidelines.
- You may have 1-2 people in your network you don’t personally know, such as speakers or authors you listen to via podcast or TED Talks
- At least 2 of them should be people you know personally
- One may be (should be?) a paid coach
For those you know personally or have contact with, ask for an hour of their time to gauge if it is a good fit and then talk to them about being in your network. Think about your response to the question about specific things you want to learn from them and see if they are willing to teach you. Hint: Buy their lunch or coffee.
How to leverage your network:
- Establish regular, but not too frequent, follow up with 2-3 of your council members (e.g. monthly, quarterly)
- Have at least one accountability partner or coach you meet with weekly or bi-monthly to create a plan and then check-in on specific goals or action items
I would love to hear about your personal success network and any other ideas you have around this idea!