“You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With.” Who Are Your Five?

A week and a half ago my friend and mentor Cliff Ravenscraft reached out to me and invited me to attend his workshop titled “Creating an Online Business Around Your Podcast.” I told him I had checked out the sales page but that it wasn’t in our budget. However, after further discussion with Cliff and my husband, I decided to make the investment.

As I figured it would be, the workshop was jam-packed with amazing information and Cliff’s presentation of that information was outstanding. The workshop was hosted in the Next Level Studio in Cliff’s home (“The Home That Podcasting Built”). Cliff and his family were so welcoming and hospitable. In addition to a great day and a half of content, the networking and relationships built were invaluable.

After the workshop I asked my friend Heather if I could swing by her house to say hi, as she lives just a few minutes away from Cliff. We sat on her back patio, and she asked some questions about the workshop. I answered enthusiastically, still on a high from it all.

Then Heather said, “I bet it was nice to get away and have some adult interaction.” I paused, then said, “Yeah, that was pretty nice.”

It hadn’t occurred to me until then. Sure, the workshop and relationships were awesome. But what I think refreshed me most was getting some time away to be in the presence of other adults—especially like-minded entrepreneurs who all have the same goal in mind: to build a responsible online business.

I didn’t realize how badly I needed it. The life of an entrepreneur can be incredibly isolating, especially in the early stages.

In the workshop, Cliff talked about Jim Rohn’s belief, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Cliff asked us to write down the five people we spend the most time with (outside of immediate family). It could be face-to-face interaction or interaction via phone, text, social media, etc.

I began to write down my five, starting with my church family and another close friend. I then realized that other than that, most of my in-person interactions are with my kids and husband. I have close friends, but I’m not intentionally getting together with them in person or picking up the phone to call them.

Cliff then asked us to take some time in the days coming up to write down the five people we want to intentionally spend the most time with moving forward. Who are the people I want to intentionally allow to influence the way I think through direct interaction?

I realized that in order to write my list and put it into action, I am going to be making some major commitments. I’ll be committing to investing in myself by committing to spending time with and investing in others.

But how in the world am I going to do that?? I’m a full time mom building an online business on the side. I don’t have time for intentional friendships!

That’s the issue though. I historically have not made (keyword “made,” not “found”) the time to be intentional about friendships. I was very academically focused in school. I got married my senior year of college, started graduate school a year later, and went straight into a job from my grad school internship. I worked full time until I had Margaret, then gradually moved down to part time, then resigned after my maternity leave with Charles. No matter which of these stages I was in, I struggled with being intentional about friendships.

After last weekend, I decided: No more. No more playing the “I’m a tired/busy mom” card. No more neglecting the amazing friendships staring me in the face because they’re just so much work. No more excuses. No more.

Is it going to be easy? Maybe not. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely.

Jesus wants us to live in community. After all, he spent a good deal of time with his twelve best buds. It seems to have served Him quite well.

Take some time this week to do the following exercise:

First, write down the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Second, write down the 5 people you want to spend the most time with.

Third, set a plan into action that will help you grow your relationships with those people.

It may seem like a lot of work and time that you don’t have to invest. I get that. But if you make this a priority, you’ll be amazed at the way your world changes.

Are you spending time with people who are lifting you up? Are you intentional about being around positive people who have your best interests at heart? What can you do to deepen those relationships?

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