The people that reside in your inner circle of friends can profoundly influence your success in life and business. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to evaluate the company that you keep to see if it is aiding in your success or hinder it. Are your Friends preventing your success?
Recently, I watched a story on vaping in high schools on the news. If you’re not familiar with it, vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol which is produced by an e-cigarette or a similar device. Vaping is one of the newest trends among high school students.
As I described in The Power of The Cowboy Image, I believe that as Americans, we all have a little bit of lawlessness in our DNA. Since vaping supplies are not sold to minors under the age of 18, it likely started with an older sibling. The older sibling introduced the younger sibling to vaping and offered to help them purchase a vaping device and some e-juice, which is what creates the vapor. Wanting to fit in and wanting to portray a bit of rebellion as many teens do, he gave in to peer pressure and started vaping.
This is the essence of group thinking. One kid, who wants to fit in with an older sibling and his or her peer group, starts vaping. They then bring vaping to their group of high school friends and encourage them to do it too. In the end, either, vaping is accepted by the group of high school students and any decanters are shunned by the group until the peer pressure becomes so great that they cave into group thinking or the group rejects the idea of vaping and the teenager is forced to choose which group to be a part of. So, the company you keep can tell a lot about you now and about your future success.
I view a person’s social interactions like a series of Venn diagrams. While someone may belong to more than one group or set, once in a set or group, they tend to conform to the group thinking of that set. So, if you love to eat and are overweight, it is more likely that the other people in your life also like to eat and are overweight too since you tend to self-selected people who are like you or you just conform to their group thinking.
On the surface, this is not a great recipe if you want to break away from the crowd of working-class people and set off on a path of entrepreneurship. Your working-class friends will encourage you to give up on your dream of business ownership and remain a working stiff like them.
Now while many see group thinking as a problem, I see it as something to be used to your advantage. All you have to do if you want to pursue another skill or direction in life is to find a group or set that does what you aspire to become. So, if you want to achieve success as a small business owner you would want to hang out with successful small business people.
Organizations like the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SCORE are made up of entrepreneurs and are often looking for volunteers, or at the very least can point you toward local resources for entrepreneurs where you can find others who think more like you.
Are you friends preventing your success and where can you find successful entrepreneurs to be part of your circle of friends?
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