Guilty By Association

Many years ago, I used to run my sites out of an office building in an industrial part of Richmond. There were two other tenants in the building. One was an auto repair shop. The other was a drug dealer who used his unit to make illegal substances. He was eventually busted after a month long police sting operation. I thought that was hilarious because the previous tenant was a marijuana grow op.

The laugh ended when the landlord informed me that I would have to leave or be evicted. It seem he thought I was a drug dealer as well because I had associated with the dealer and my lifestyle seem to mirror his. I wouldn’t show up to the office until around noon and the first thing I did was go for lunch. I used the office more as a hang out more than anything else. The sign on the door read “By Appointment Only” but there was no phone number listed anywhere for people to call. Of course, I wasn’t a drug dealer but that didn’t seem to matter to the landlord. I was guilty by association.

You Are Who You Associate With

Have you ever noticed that successful people hang around other successful people? Birds of feather really do flock together. If you’re a jock, then chances are most of your friends are jocks as well. If you’re a nerd, then you hang around other nerds, If you’re broke, then chances are you don’t have many rich friends. This is not by accident. This is the Law of Attraction at work. You attract to you what you are.

One of the reasons many commentators disagree with my Never Live On Cash post is because of the power of association. The commentators asked me how many people I know who never run a credit card balance? The answer is everyone I know. I hang around financially responsible people who know the difference between good debt and bad debt. I don’t hang around people who are financially irresponsible. The people you hang with affects your reality. I had assumed that everyone pays off their credit cards because all my friends do that. However, others assume most don’t pay off the balance because none of their friends do.

The power of association is extremely powerful in the way it dictates who you are and how much money you make. If you want to change yourself or you lifestyle, then quite often, it will require you to change the circle of people you associate with.

Are Your Friends Keeping You Down?

It is said that you are the average of the five people you hang out with most. Take a look at your five closest friends. If they are not where you want to be, then it may be time to find five new people who are.

Dumping friends because they’re not where you want to be may seem cold but one of the biggest barriers to success is quite often the people you hang around with. They laugh at your crazy dreams and say you’re wasting time trying to be a big money blogger. More often than not, you’ll let your friends keep you down because of peer pressure and the desire for acceptance. However, If you want to break out of the rat race, then you may need to stop spending so much time with your current buddies and start associating with people who have the same dreams and goals as you.

The truth of the matter is, you’re not really leaving your friends. More often than not, it will be your friends who will leave you. As you move up the ladder of success, your old friends will no longer be able to relate to you. There will also be the jealousy factor as well.

In order to continue climbing the ladder of success, I make sure I associate with other successful people. I thought I was doing well when I was making $10,000 per month. Then I started associating with people like Shoemoney and Neil Patel. Now, I can’t imagine living on only $10K per month. If you aspired to be more than what your friends want to achieve, then you’re going to have to find others at your level or above and start associating with them. Birds of feather flock together. Success breeds success. This is why the rich get richer. If you want to become rich, you need to hang with the rich.

Perception is 9/10 Reality

I wasn’t a drug dealer. But because my landlord saw me associating with a drug dealer, I got branded a drug dealer. Perception is a really powerful thing. For a politician, perception is reality. For the rest of us, perception is 9/10 reality.

Just by hanging around successful people, you are perceived as a successful person yourself. This is based on the birds of feather flock together mentality. It is perceived that the rich don’t hang out with the poor and vica verse. If you associate with successful people, you are perceived as successful even if you’re not. The cool thing about this perception is it can manifest into reality. Hang around successful people long enough and you’ll become one of them.

Success Is A Team Effort

Success really is a team effort. No man or woman has ever done it alone. Sure, it may seem like it sometimes. But I assure you, anyone who have achieved success had a supporting cast. Like it or not, the people you hang with is your supporting cast. They will either keep you down or lift you up. If they’re keeping you down, then it may be time to find a new supporting cast.

My advice. Don’t associate with a drug dealer. 😛