Surround Yourself With the Right People: Lessons Learned from New York – New Jersey too! (Part 3 of 3)


Three days is so not enough time to explore New York City. We covered so much ground in so little time, I almost can’t even remember any of it! After running around uptown, downtown, midtown, and Chinatown, we hopped on a New Jersey Transit train and headed for the one, the only (well, not really – there’s one in Canada too) New Brunswick!

In my last two posts, you read about the lessons I learned from this awesome vacation. Remember, lessons are everywhere if you’re willing to see them. First, from Jersey City I learned that now is the time to invest in myself to prepare for the upcoming spring. Secondly, from New York City I learned that “Anything Can Happen If You Let It.” And in New Brunswick, I learned another important lesson. This time from my husband.

Who do you spend your time with?

One of the reasons we hopped on a 6-hour, turbulent airplane and endured 6 hours of leg-cramping, foot-swelling, jet-lagging in-flight service (or lack thereof), was so my husband could partake in a “Mastermind Group.”

Comprised of 10 people in his industry who are either where he wants to be in his career or are on the same path, this group gets together to learn from each other, network, and share ideas. Yes, one could think that they could be each other’s competition, but they understand that building your business is about creation, not competition. There’s more than enough to go around. Much more will be accomplished if they help build each other up rather than tear each other down.

At first one would think that my husband is crazy to spend airfare and hotel, not to mention the fees required to join this group and the opportunity cost of being absent from clients for 2 weeks. But my husband understands something that these people do as well: In order to grow you must surround yourself with people you want to become. That goes for your personal life as well as your business life.

Picture this: I want to be a world-class sprinter. As I train and prepare myself for the Olympics, I hang out with second-class sprinters, whose speeds are eons behind what I need to obtain. Yet I run with them everyday.

Are they going to push me as hard as if I were running with sprinters who are running as fast, if not faster than I need to go? Are they going to fuel me to run harder and push myself past my limits? Are they going to give me proven tips and advice that I can use to make myself better and faster?

Of course not! They’re going to slow me down! It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them as runners or that I discount what they are trying to do. But I know that for me to grow to the level I need to be at, I need to be around runners who are already there.

The same goes for any aspect of life. If I want to be a millionaire, I need to hang out with millionaires who will give me million-dollar ideas and introduce me to million-dollar clients.

If I want to exercise and eat right, I need to hang out with people who eat healthy foods and who live physically active lives. If I eat every meal with people who eat junk food and mock me for eating healthfully, I’ll likely fall off the wagon and scarf down a cheeseburger with them.

If I want to live life to the fullest and grasp every moment as an opportunity to live, love, give, and grow, I need to hang out with high-energy, passionate people who cherish life and all its blessings. If I hang out with “energy vampires”, they’ll drag me down into their dark world of pessimism and self-pity.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to be strong and hold onto your vision despite being surrounded by people who are the opposite. But wouldn’t it be so much easier and more fun to surround yourself with people who support your vision? Who give energy to it, feed it, and encourage it?

Isn’t it much more likely you’ll learn from people who have already achieved what you want to achieve rather than people who aren’t even on the same path?

Who are you spending time with? Who are you really learning from? Are there people in your life who are dragging you down? Maybe it’s time to pull away.

I’m so proud of my husband for seeking out people he wants to become and learn from. He gets it. They get it. I get it.

Do you get it?

And so our trip drew to a close. I spent a couple days exploring New Brunswick. I found cheap, but good eats at Celebrity Cafe, got some reading done at the local Starbucks, and even walked up to Rutgers University and pretended I was a college student. And I got to hang out with some of the best in the online fitness industry – for those of you familiar with them, Craig Ballantyne, Arnel Ricafranca, Zach Even-Esh, and Paul Reddick to name a few.

The trip home was bittersweet. It was good to sleep in my own bed and to see my crazy pug again, but New York City – and New Jersey too! – are beckoning for my return.

To all those jay-walking, crazy-driving, subway-cramming, loud-speaking, go-getting, tourist-assisting, diversity-loving, energy-projecting, life-embracing New Yorkers – and New Jersey-ers too – in the famous words of the Terminator Governor himself, “I’ll be back!”

Are You Ready to Live Your Vision in the New Year?

It’s definitely been an interesting holiday season so far. It’s been filled with many firsts for me: The first time we’ve gotten more than 2″ of snow on the ground, the first white Christmas in years, the first time my husband and I spent Christmas without the big extended family, and the first time I’ve felt prepared to go into the new year.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting as often as I normally do. Yes, the holidays have been a major culprit (who isn’t busy this time of year?), but I’ve also been spending a lot of time getting ready for 2009.

Many people view the New Year as an opportunity to start over. Like my husband, I’m not a believer in New Years Resolutions, but I do believe in going into the New Year with a clean slate, setting the stage to enable your success in 2009. That obviously means different things to different people.

To me, that has meant cleaning the clutter out of my condo, cleaning out my email inbox, reading up on certain career and self development topics, and even getting a hair cut, buying a new workout outfit, and of course setting my goals for 2009.

The New Year presents a perfect opportunity to start anew. With only two days left until 2009, what can you do to make sure you enter the new year with a clean slate? Let go of some of the baggage you’ve been holding onto this past year so that on January 1st, you’re ready to live the life you want to live in 2009. 

I started by asking myself, what is my vision for my life in 2009?  Then I looked at my current situation and identified what can be done RIGHT NOW to support that vision.  I also identified what has been pulling me away from that vision (or what have I been wanting to change or get rid of) that I can deal with RIGHT NOW.

  • Does your vision include a clean home?  Clean out that clutter NOW!
  • Does your vision include a more organized professional life?  Clean out your inbox NOW!
  • Does your vision include rekindling a relationship with a long, lost friend?  Give them a call NOW!
  • Does your vision include establishing a second source of income?  Draw up a plan NOW!
  • Does your vision include advancing your career?  Register for that training class NOW!
  • Does your vision include regular prayer or meditation?  Buy the meditation CDs NOW!
  • Does your vision include a healthy, strong body?  Buy the gym membership NOW!

See, a lot of people wait around, sitting on their thumbs until January 1st, thinking, “I’ll take action as soon as the New Year hits.”  I think that’s backwards.  When the clock changes from 11:59PM in 2008 to 12:00AM in 2009, that transformation should already be underway so you start 2009 with a clean slate.  All the baggage, all the regrets, all the bad habits from your old life are left behind in 2008.  Start it NOW, so on January 1st, you’re well on your way to living your vision.

Here’s to health, prosperity, wealth, and happiness to you and your loved ones in 2009!