2 min read

Nurture a network of freaks

  • Your peer group will shape you
  • Choose a new normal
  • Be a freak of nurture.

Your Peer Group Will Shape You

The company you keep will shape your life choices and outcomes. When you're surrounded by smokers, you're more likely to smokeObesity' spreads' to your friends. Being friends with rich people drives upward economic mobility.

The people we're surrounded by have more power over our behaviour than we realise - not because we consciously emulate them, but because we absorb invisible social norms and expectations.

When I joined Thought Leaders Business School in 2018, I felt this power almost immediately. Writing a book went from a 'one day' aspirational goal to an ordinary, expected achievement almost instantly, thanks to a community of practice.

At Consultants of Choice, we do the same thing for our members - running your own business isn't a dream; it's a daily reality.

Choose a new normal

Look around you. What's 'normal' in your world? Consider these three prompts:

How do your people make you feel?

Reflect on how you feel when you leave meetings, coffee dates and conferences. Are you inspired? Energised? Flat? Dejected? Frustrated? Take note of who has what effect on you, and try to be conscious of that throughout the day.

Who do you need more of?

Who do you need more of in your life? More grounding? More role modelling? More families? More go-getters? Write them down and think about how you can consciously make that happen.

Who do you want to be?

When you know who you want to be and you're clear on your values, you have a higher chance of cultivating a network that supports that. Take some time to think about what you value and aim to achieve in your life. That could be in your community or your personal life. It could be at work. When you know what you're looking for, it's easier to find.

Be a freak of nurture.

In Adam Grant's latest book, Hidden Potential, he says:

"People who make major strides are rarely freaks of nature. They're usually freaks of nurture."

 Nurture is about how our character and skills are developed and nurtured by our environment. The people we associate with shape that environment - and ultimately, they shape us. Choosing who we're around is a vote toward our future selves.

It's hard making friends as an adult. Juggling calendars and building connections is difficult. It takes over 40 hours to form a casual friendship and around 200 to get close. There's less time, it's more awkward, and it takes effort to build a new circle. 

But to flick back through Hidden Potential (I've stuck a lot of Post-Its in this one) for some more data-driven smackdown: "The best way to accelerate growth is to embrace, seek and amplify discomfort." In short, if meeting new people and networking with others makes you feel uncomfortable, that could be where your growth lies.

Who should you surround yourself with, and where can you find them? 

Til next week,

- A

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