You're the average of the five people you surround yourself with. I hate this advice.
This is probably the most useless and lamest advice I've ever heard. I would love to surround myself with so many great people. But as a matter of fact these people will never surround themselves with me. I'm just an ordinary guy. So why would they hang out with me?
I wouldn't hang out with me either if I was them..
And if they did hang out with me and the saying were true, well then these extraordinary people would turn into ordinary people themselves. Because, well you're the average of the five people you surround yourself with..
Here's the thing. I would love to hang out with James Altucher all the time. I want him to be my best friend. I want him to be my buddy. He would teach me all sorts of cool things. Maybe even chess. I played chess once in my life..
I would also love to hang out with Seth Godin. Then we could talk about super smart stuff all day long. And we would make fun of ordinary people. Like myself..
Aaaaand I would love to hang out with Gary Vaynerchuk. Because he's a cool dude. And he would teach me everything about wine and the hustle. I hate wine. But I'm sure I'd love it once I'd hang out with Gary all the time. And I'd finally figure out how to make good right hooks. Mine just suck..
Unfortunately, this is never going to happen. They will never hang out with me. Just like the people you want to surround yourself with will never hang out with you. And that's totally fine. And that's the reason why the advice you're the average of the five people you surround yourself with is useless. For most of us.
None of the folks you'd want to surround yourself with will ever surround themselves with you. Never going to happen. Matter of fact. They only hang out with equally awesome folks.
Just like James Altucher hangs out with Tim Ferriss. Or Seth Godin. Or Mark Cuban. Or Tony Robbins. They've all been on his podcast.
And then they'd all meet up at a secret location, high fiving all the time and talking about super smart stuff. And teach each other super cool tricks.
But here's the thing. There is a way you can hang out with all of them. How you can surround yourself with your idols. The people you want to surround yourself with. How you can learn from them.
Here's what I did a while ago. I reduced my information input to a minimum. I stopped reading useless blog posts from useless websites with useless headlines that only help the useless website owners.
Every time you click on their headlines (or share their stuff) you put money in their pockets. And you waste thousands of brain cells reading their useless stuff. And your tribe gets too big.
Ever since I only consume content from a selected group of people. I built my tribe. Not in the sense of people I hang out with. But more in the sense of a content tribe. People whose content I consume. I don't know any of them. It's hard to get into my tribe. I'm very selective..
Like James Altucher, Seth Godin or Gary Vaynerchuk. They're all in my tribe. Each and every one of them has a special purpose in my tribe. Each one of them teaches me one specific thing that I want to become good at.
James Altucher for storytelling and podcasting. Seth Godin for smart ideas and thoughts. And Gary Vaynerchuk for his honest style, his videos and the hustle. Whatever this hustle is he talks about all the time..
That's all I did for the past two years. I almost exclusively consumed their content. Whenever I consumed more stuff from too many different authors at the same time the entire thing went haywire.
My tribe got too big. Too big to control. Too many conflicting ideas, too many styles. Confusion.
Maybe my brain can't handle a bigger tribe than 3-4 people. I don't know. It's not that I consume their stuff 24/7 but when I do I try to focus on my tribe.
Sure, sometimes I add a few more folks but kicked out most of them after a while. The inner circle stayed pretty much the same. As for Gary, I only started consuming his stuff a while ago.
What happened ever since I started doing this and built my tribe is that I turned into a mix of all of them. Even though I don't surround myself with them in the real world, the advice seems to work.
I am now the average of these folks. I still play in a totally different league though. But at least I found a way to surround myself with them.
My writing is inspired by James's and Seth's writing. I started my podcast The Yann Girard Show because I loved James's podcast. I started Ask Yann because I liked the videos Gary put out for his show #AskGaryVee as well as James's podcast Ask Altucher.
So whenever you feel like surrounding yourself with some of the best out there, whenever you want to step up your game, start with building your tribe first.
And maybe one day you might be lucky enough to meet one of them.
And then you can tell them the story about your tribe.
And that they've secretly been a part of it without knowing it.
Now that I think about it, this might be a pretty damn good way to break the ice.
Feel free to steal it and use it whenever you meet one of them.
Or whenever you meet someone YOU want to surround yourself with..