How to surround yourself with successful people

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the value of being alone and being able to make decisions based upon our comfort level with ourselves and our judgment. By using the tools of journaling, meditation and reflection, we can arrive at a pretty solid assessment of our strengths and weaknesses if we are able to be honest with ourselves.

But no man is an island and no one truly can exist independent of one another. True hermits don’t exist anymore. “Mad Jack” is a fictional character in a television series based upon a way of life that doesn’t exist any more.

If you wish to become truly independent, you’ll need to learn from other people the skills that you lack. Just as a runner is paced by someone in order to maintain his or her best/fastest times, you must choose to surround yourself with those who can pace you in your race to reach your own personal best.

We explored the concept of network in a previous blogpost, but today, we’re going to break down specifically the types of folks you’ll need to cultivate and seek out if you are to evolve into a fully-formed independent person.

Also essential to growth is the realization that you WILL need other people. Egos are the death of growth. When we feel as though we cannot learn from anyone else, our growth is arrested and we are stuck at a specific level of achievement from which we cannot escape until we acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.

How to get where you want to be: achieving independence is like a psychological and professional road map. In order to make this super surgically clear:

1. The first step is to determine where you wish to go.
2. Take stock of your skills that can get you there (ie. drive, intelligence, financial acumen).
3. Identify skills that you lack (for example, marketing, research, organization).
4. Find people who have achieved success in the skills that you require.
5. Cultivate their friendship:
• Follow them on twitter/facebook
• Read their blogs/white papers/journal articles
• See if you have mutual friends, ask to be introduced and why
• Listen to what they need; determine if you have an ability to help them
• ALWAYS maintain a give-get mentality. You MUST, MUST give first to receive. Karmaic math. Non-negotiable.
6. If you don’t know anyone personally, find a mentor. Here’s how.
7. Pick a skill and master it. Move on to the next skill.
8. Assess your ultimate goal. If it’s still your desired destination, relax, have a Coke.
9. Now keep going.
10. Before you realize it, you will have transitioned into someone who has gathered quite a bit of influence, skills and effectiveness. Congratulations!

You must always surround yourself with people who motivate, encourage and champion you and your efforts. In order to elevate your own performance, you must take an honest look around at the people with whom you socialize/work.

This is your baseline. Water seeks its own level. It’s not a judgment; it’s physics. One of my favorite blogs is written by Leo Babauta of Here’s his two cents about surrounding yourself with passionate people.

Once you have reached a level of independence and confidence in your skills, you will have an opportunity to become a mentor to someone else. Again, referring back to karmaic math, give back. Pay it forward. Help someone else on their journey. I promise that it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.



Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.


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