Chapter 2 – The Network Problem
Monday, October 30th, 2023 in: Advice
This is Chapter 2 from ‘STOP BEING A BUSY FOOL (With the Entrepreneurial Freedom System)
When I embarked on my journey with CTA, it was like setting sail alone on a vast ocean. I navigated as best I could, but I kept hitting invisible barriers. It was a classic case of not knowing what I didn’t know. It wasn’t until four years in that a realization struck me like a lightning bolt. The missing piece? Investing in myself and expanding my network with like-minded entrepreneurs. This was a turning point that shifted everything.
Now, I want you to ponder something: We’re often the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This insight isn’t just a modern concept; it’s a timeless principle highlighted in Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich”. Hill talked about the mastermind group—a gathering of minds, each pushing and inspiring the other.
Finding myself amidst a sea of entrepreneurs, all navigating their unique challenges, was an eye-opener. I soaked in invaluable lessons, like the wisdom from “Traction” by Gino Wickman. I began to grasp the essence of a solid foundation, the importance of a strong team, and the power of shared values. Suddenly, what was ‘normal’ started to change. Before, as a lone wolf, I felt alien among non-business owners. But here, among my peers, I found my tribe.
Let’s talk about the right network. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. For instance, I never quite clicked with local BNI groups. They have their place, sure, but I craved something deeper. I was on the lookout for a tribe where I could grow, not just as a business owner but as a person.
It’s about finding that sweet spot where mutual growth is possible, where you’re part of a collective journey rather than just your own. This isn’t about quick wins; it’s about cultivating a garden where you can reap what you sow, where you can sidestep pitfalls that others have stumbled into.
Many entrepreneurs spend a decade only to realize they’ve been reliving their first year over and over. They don’t evolve. But a powerful network or mastermind group can be a slingshot to success, a bypass for the usual hit-and-miss.
Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich” emphasized the transformative power of continuous learning and surrounding yourself with those who elevate you. He introduced the ‘mastermind alliance’, a group of individuals united in purpose. This isn’t just a gathering; it’s a powerhouse of synergy. Each person brings something unique, and collectively, they create a dynamo of success.
Remember, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. To grow as an entrepreneur, you need to level up your circle. This doesn’t mean discarding old friendships; it means broadening your horizon to include those who challenge and inspire you.
The quest for the right group is not always straightforward. It’s not about attending every networking event or joining every group you encounter. It’s about discernment, finding what resonates with your values and goals. Sometimes, it’s about creating your own mastermind group if the right fit isn’t out there. It’s about a balance, not just business growth, but personal development too.
As Hill put it, a mastermind group is about ‘coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose’. Aim for this. The right group offers not just shortcuts but accountability, often the nudge we need to stay on track.
💎 Gem (this means you need to write it down)
DON’T BE IN BUSINESS FOR 1 YEAR, 25 TIMES!
I made reference to this point. I heard it from Zig Ziglar who said that many people do not take the time to truly learn from their experiences. I have seen business owners struggle as they make mistakes and then blame outside factors and not focus on their own learnings. Please look within and question what you could have done differently and what you will do next time. Einstein said that the definition of insanity os doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results!
⏳ Thinking Time
This means you can get far more value from what you just read if you take 10-20 minutes with a pen and paper to brainstorm some ideas and reflect on how this relates to your circumstances).
Consider the five people you spend the most time with. Estimate their income levels, then average this out. How does this reflect on your own goals and aspirations?
To sum up, building a meaningful network is key. It’s more than attending events or being part of a group; it’s about active engagement and contribution. The value you receive is in direct proportion to the value you provide. And sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone to join a group of people who are where you aspire to be can be the catalyst for unprecedented growth. It is not clever to think that you have or should have all of the answers. I have come to realise that many of the most successful people in the world have an amazing network to draw on. You will need to change your identity from being the person who has all the answers to a student that willing to learn, this is when you can truly flourish as a business owner. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.
Remember, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room!
Busy Fool Mistake #2
Thinking that you have all the answers.