One of the biggest things that people do not talk about is their peer group, community, and support. For someone that values constant improvement in all aspects of my life from business, fitness, and relationships, it can get quite isolating to the outside world.
I was having a midnight movie night just a couple of days ago with an old friend I knew seven to eight years ago. Back then I was an army enlistee, and we would go out, hang out late, and break some rules like walk into places we should not be walking into.
Friendship and Personal Growth
Since then, I have changed from a counter-cultural individual to a pretty well-adjusted individual. I no longer spend too much time hanging out late, and I don’t smoke as much as I did before (just a little if there’s whiskey involved). I am well-traveled, have read a gazillion books from philosophy to literature, and have created revenue in my business as a dating coach and multiple industries… the list goes on.
I was looking forward to hanging out, discussing our lives and goals looking forward. However, we ended up breaking the rules as much as we did all those years ago. If you asked the twenty-year-old me, I gleefully took pride in my actions; however, this time, I instantly felt a disconnect. I instantly knew that we were on different ‘wavelengths.’ He was still trying to break the rules as much as he did seven to eight years ago. Trying to ‘get by’ or ‘cheat’ society.
Everyone that I know of that is obsessed with growth has almost always said that it is a somewhat lonely journey.
When I was hitting the clubs weekly all those years ago as a mentee to a dating coach in Singapore, at that point of time, all my friends thought I was being weird.
When I started taking my business seriously and started having a lot more personal boundaries after leaving my last formal job, the people around me reacted negatively.
Birds of the Same Feather Flock Together
Interestingly, it was the people who were more successful than I was that were more empathetic but also more encouraging to the process.
When I hit my first $10,000 net profit in my business in a month, it was my business coach at that point of time that was doing $20,000 a month that reached out to me and said: ‘Good job, Marcus.’ He and I continued hanging out and today we’re friends.
It’s interesting how our relationships with the outside world evolve as we grow.
Seven years ago, I was arrogant, rebellious, and angry. My friends around me were also arrogant, rebellious, and angry.
I started on my self-development journey and met a couple of friends that were also attempting to improve their dating lives with women. Some of them are still friends with me today.
When I took a couple of gap years to dip my toes in business, there wasn’t a single friend in University that could resonate with what I was attempting to do. Their values were different. Nothing against them, it was just different values.
I am twenty-seven years of age as I write this. The majority of my friends are in the corporate world. Unfortunately, that was my peer group. I always half-jokingly said that I am the weirdest JC kid. The majority of entrepreneurs I meet didn’t take the JC route.
I’ve been to multiple parts of the world, created revenue in multiple industries, had a dating life that an average man can dream of, and of course, some of these values aren’t exactly adopted by the average person out there, much less my peers.
How to Build Your Ideal Lifestyle
I am pretty damned good at doing things by myself, and I haven’t had a business partner for years. However, it can be quite isolating at times.
These days, I find myself asking myself, who are the people I would like to hang out with at this point of my life?
Here are some ideas:
- Young and driven entrepreneurs
- Young and driven professionals
- People that dress well and carry themselves well.
How can I connect with people from such demographics? Where do these people spend their time hanging out? They certainly aren’t hanging out at heartland malls at midnight on a Sunday night (which was what I was doing with a long-time friend of mine).
They’re probably attending business events, taking Yoga classes, doing martial arts classes, or partying at the hottest parties on the weekend. They aren’t nineteen-year-old pick-up artists trying to get a free entry into clubs.
So, as I teach my clients: draft out the characteristics of the people you’d like to connect with, find out where they spend their time, invest time in these demographics, and then connect with them.
Connecting with someone can be as easy as listening to their stories.
Successful people often have untold stories they like to share. You can learn a lot from sitting for an hour over coffee with someone. Or even so, just connect as a human being. This is how you ‘be of value’ in a social sense.
If your current peer group isn’t ‘resonating’ with you, then you have to be proactive about taking steps to connect with new people. Admittedly, I have been pretty lazy in this area. ‘Tiny success’ can get into your head. I started thinking I was ‘too good’ for others after making some headway into my business and my own dating life.
Valuing Community and Support
Quality relationships contribute a lot to our happiness and emotional health. I can’t stress this enough. Take this from someone that enjoys working alone and is quite a lone wolf in how he works.
This is why I value community and support. This is why I also created an in-person monthly support meet up group for all my clients; not only for them but also myself. The majority of my clients become my friends after a while (if they continually show up for the meet up sessions).
Since I teach social skills, I should really take my own advice sometimes. Community and like-minded peers are priceless. It’s no wonder that a huge part of my clientele is skewed towards people who are also entrepreneurial and looking to better their dating and relationship lives.
Question is, how are you going to construct your ideal life? Who are the people you’d like to spend time with? What are their characteristics, and where do they spend their time? How are you going to connect with them?