The Key to Business Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You photo

The Key to Business Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You

When thinking about how to develop our business,most of us tend to focus on projects, courses, and certifications. We overlookone very key piece of the learning puzzle: proactively surroundingourselves with people who will push us to succeed in unexpected ways and, in sodoing, build genuinely rich, purposeful lives of growth, excellence, andimpact.

We typically spend at least two decades in ourformal education and, in developed countries, hundreds of thousands of dollars.However, few of us engage in a deliberate, determined search for those wiseindividuals who, through their inspiration and advice, can literally make usnew.

How can you find this group? The followingguidelines should help:

Think about the people who inspire you. These can be teachers of certaindisciplines; inventors; entrepreneurs; business, social, or publicleaders. I have always been moved and inspired by specific people,not just abstract professions. I “met” them originally in many cases byreading their work or about them, but also via social media and at conferences.

Don’t be afraid to chase. Conferences are a great place to getinspired, approach, and start a relationship with some of the people you’veidentified. Other cases may require a much more determined investment. Butthink how little time commitment it is compared to what we invest in oureducation, or to the opportunity cost and frustration of a poor career choiceor wrong job decision.

Aim for a mix of people inside and outside your industry. External contacts can potentially have thebenefit of greater independence, a broader perspective with radically newhorizons, as well as potential connections across both worlds which willbenefit everyone.

Be candid about the reason for your interest. Most truly great people live their liveswith genuine passion and want to expand their missions. Most times, theywill be delighted to both inspire you and help you see how to close the gapbetween dream and reality.

Ask them specifically about how to get started. Some invaluable advice about what I had todo: You need three Cs: capability, which you have; connectivity, which atleast initially you can do through the global network of social media; andcredibility, which you don’t have yet. 

Have crucial conversations in the right settings. Meeting face-to-face with no distractionswill help you reach a level of intimacy which simply can’t achieveremotely. 

Don’t hesitate to ask the truly big questions. What shall I do with my life? What reallymotivates me? What am I doing that I really don’t like to do? Whilepondering these questions, in addition to checking my capability, connectivityand credibility, I also engage my friends in conversation about three otherCs: contemplation (Am I in touch with my inner compass?), compassion (DoI show it for myself and others?), and companions (Who else might inspire me tonew growth?)

Proactively seeking out and cultivating those whowill help us become better versions of ourselves is, by a wide margin, the keyfor living a truly happy and meaningful life.

Adapted HBR Sept 2018Fernandez-Araoz


To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business”