Who you become in the next 2 to 5 years is going to be directly related to the people that you associate with. If you associate with lazy people, average people, people that believe in mediocrity, more than likely that’s where you’re going to end up in the next 2 to 5 years.
According to Colin Powell, “The Power of Association is too real: The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.”
He went on to state, “Don’t follow anyone who is not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others, you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl, but if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”
So, the people you associate with are critical to helping you accomplish what your goals are moving forward, whether that’s in fitness, whether that’s career goals. The Power of Association is going to have an incredible impact on where you go. So, let’s talk about four ways that you can associate with and accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish.
Number 1 is the books you read, the blogs you’re reading, and the periodicals that you’re reading. People state, “I want to associate with key executives and leaders, but I don’t know John Maxwell, Jon Gordon or Andy Andrews. I don’t know those people, so how am I ever going to associate with them?” Read their books.
I’ve read every book that John Maxwell has ever written, so I could probably finish some of his sentences. So, there’s a sense of me understanding how he’s thinking, how he would approach things, and I can apply that to my life. If that person has something that I want and I can learn from them, great things can happen.
Here are some of the books that have helped me grow through the power of association.
The Coffee Bean by Jon Gordon Damon West
The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon
The Carpenter by Jon Gordon
The Go-Getter by Peter Kyne
The Bottom of The Pool by Andy Andrews
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
The Power of A Positive Team by Jon Gordon
Be Unstoppable by Alden Mills
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Thinking For A Change by John Maxwell
No Limits by John Maxwell
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Number 2 is podcasting, which is enormous now, and there are several great podcasts out there that you can listen to. There are great podcasts like “A Minute with Maxwell” by John Maxwell, or “Optimized +1” by Brian Johnson. It is one of my favorites, which I listen to every day. He provides philosopher notes and other great insights that are quick, easy to digest information, but something that I can learn and grow from him every day. I enjoy “The Garyvee Audio Experience,” and the list goes on an on.
There are also several excellent industry podcasts. The first place I would start is the Industry Syndicate (http://industrysyndicate.com): which hosts great podcast such as “The Voice of Social Sales” by Chelsea Peitz, or “Mortgage X” with the incredible Christine Beckwith and Jason Frazer, or “Mortgage Marketing Expert” with Phil Treadwell, and “Lykken on Lending” by Dave Lykken. These podcasts and many others are another way that you can associate with people even if you don’t know them directly.
Number 3 would be through social media. Whether it’s through LinkedIn, whether it’s through Instagram, whether it’s Twitter, you can start interacting with individuals that maybe you’ve never met before. A great example of this for me, especially over the last few months has been on LinkedIn. I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with people like Kevin Peranio at PRMG, Raquel Borras of Main Street Home Loans, Sue Woodard of Total Expert, Laila Khan of Guidance Residential, Ginger Bell of Edumarketer and Josh Pitts of Shred Media to name a few.
People that maybe I haven’t personally met, but now I’m starting to develop a relationship with and get to understand, “How they think? How they approach things? What are some tips I can learn from them? What are a few tips that I can pass on to them?” so it’s very, very engaging, and compelling.
Number 4 would be events, conferences, trade shows. It can be any type of event that is going to help bring out the best in you. For instance, I attend a men’s prayer breakfast every Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00 AM at Our Lady of Good Counsel. It helps me grow in my faith and meet like-minded men. We now have over 250 men show up every Wednesday. There’s high power in that and what it does is that it challenges me to be the best version of myself.
There are industry events that are incredible to attend. Some of these include the Housing Wire engage event, which was fantastic. It had a great lineup of speakers, and I made several new connections, which shared tips and insights that I’ve been able to implement. The NEXT conference by Molly Dowdy and Jeri Yoshida, is doing some fantastic things for women that are changing the face of the industry.
The Digital Mortgage conference by Source Media allows tech companies the opportunity to present the latest and greatest in tech innovation. The Vision Summit by the amazing Christine Beckwith, I was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be presenting at that event on the Media Mogul panel. The summit shared incredible tips, techniques, but more importantly, people got the chance to network and meet so many of these people that are moving the industry forward.
That’s what the power of association is all about, and it’s about building lasting relationships, it’s networking, its sharing ideas, and concepts. What you’ll find by meeting so many of these fantastic people that I referenced above is the fact that they are willing to share, they want you to come along and succeed with them.
So, if not you, then who? If not now, then when? The Power of Association can make a massive difference in who you will become. Let’s go out there and connect as we move the industry forward together.
Michael Hammond is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. NexLevel provides solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. A seasoned technology executive, Michael brings close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product and services experience. His expertise spans start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations, running businesses, business units, marketing, sales, strategy and product and services organizations. Michael brings exceptional insight, leadership, passion, and strategies that create profitability.