Understanding the Importance of Association

Well hello, and welcome to Episode 27 of Aftershock Weekly. This week we’re going to talk a little bit about association and how important it is for your business, for being around like-minded people, for success. Last week we talked and I told you that my daughter was on the way, and she was nine days late, but she finally came here on Tuesday, and we’re excited to invite Vivienne into the world. And as I was starting to think about the association, I thought, you know, I’ve got three kids: Vivienne, Joshua, and Zachary. And I know how important it is for them to be around good kids, right? You don’t want your kids hanging around kids with bad habits who, you know, maybe pick their nose a little too much, or they cuss, or aren’t in a good environment and a bad influence, right? So you’re very protective over who your kids hang out with. But how protective are you over who you associate with and who you hang out with that are like-minded with your goals?

So I wanted to talk about that, because I heard a long time ago, I was nineteen years old, a very good friend of mine said, “You’re going to be the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And as I sit and think about that, and ponder it, think about the five people you spend the most time with. Your beliefs are probably pretty similar, your income is probably pretty similar, where you live is probably pretty similar, your family might even be similar as far as if you have kids, they have kids. And if you want to step back and say, based on my goals for my family, and what I want to do with my business, are these relationships the most beneficial that they can be? Meaning, are the people that I’m working with, are they successful? Are they like-minded, are they forward-thinking? Are they in an industry like mine to where we can share ideas and grow?

So I’m going to have you do something. Go ahead and get a piece of paper, and I’m going to ask you a few questions. And I want you to write down those people, and put together a game plan. First is, who do you respect that you’d like to spend more time with, if you can? Go ahead and write that down. Number two: who’s an expert in your field or industry that you’d like to get to know better, and spend some time with? So think about those two people, what value can I add to them? Not what they can bring to you, but what you can bring to them. Meaning, if it’s a family member, maybe you can invite them out for lunch and spend some time, have some fellowship. Maybe you give them a gift, you were thinking about them, and there’s some value there. If it’s a business person, maybe you can take them out to lunch, maybe you guys can go out to dinner, maybe you can share a book or a thought or an idea that you know is going to benefit them. Maybe it’s industry-related, maybe it’s relationship-related. What’s a relationship and an introduction you could make to that person? Start writing down what value can I add to that person? Next, write down what value can that person add to me? What can I learn from that person? What relationship might they be able to introduce me to?

This isn’t selfish, this is actually a good thing to do, because you only have so much time, so it’s important that you spend time with people that you can add value to, and that add value to you. So by writing this down, and putting it on paper, it’s going to help you be more strategic in the time you spend in developing the people around you, learning from people around you, and putting out value to the people that are closest to you. Maybe it’s your spouse that you’re thinking about right now. If it’s your spouse, think about, “What can I do more for my spouse that I haven’t been doing lately?” As a guy, there’s a couple things, like doing the dishes for example. I know I have done a better job in the last year, but I can do more. I can pick up preemptively. I can probably be a little more thoughtful in getting her a nice gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. Bringing home her favorite food. Bringing home a dessert she might like. Getting her a massage, and scheduling it.

So those are some value-adds that, you know, I’m thinking about right now. How can I give back more in that relationship? So I hope this was helpful. I hope that you did write these things down, because whether it’s on a personal relationship side or on a business relationship side, it’s very important that you’re strategic in how you spend your time and who you add value to, because you only have so much time. It’s very limited. Especially if you have kids and you’re trying to keep work-life balance, making sure that you have the top five written down of people that you want to spend and invest time into, and then who will invest time into you, is something that could be a game-changer.

So with that, we thank you for tuning in, and we’ll leave you with a quote.