How to Build the Tribe Your Success Depends On

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July 31, 2017

Think about the people in your life who you can count on to encourage you to do more and be more than you might otherwise. Imagine if you had twice as many people cheering you on and supporting your success?

As human beings, we are innately social creatures. Accordingly, we are at our best when we feel a sense of belonging, community and connection to other people. But not just to any people, to people who bring out our best, and when life knocks us down, help us get back up and move on.

Related: How to Attract Amazing People Into Your Life

Hopefully you have people like that in your life. People with whom you feel safe to confide your struggles and share your dreams. People you know you could call on any time of day to be there for you, who have your back and care enough to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard to hear. People you can trust. Deeply.

The people you surround yourself with either raise or lower your standards, shrink or expand your expectations, broaden or narrow your thinking, dampen or boost your faith in yourself.

Nobody becomes great on their own; it’s the people around you who help you grow into your full quota of brilliance. Which begs the question: Who are you surrounding yourself with?

Below are three things you can do, which I share in Make Your Mark: A Guidebook for the Brave Hearted, to help you build the kind of tribe you need to thrive on your journey through life. Just beware, they’ll each require you to be brave in some way.

1. Be someone others want to hang out with.

Your vibe attracts your tribe. Be intentional about showing up as the kind of person you want to attract into your orbit. How can you expect to attract positive, proactive and authentic people if you’re not being that way yourself? You can’t.

Constantly complaining won’t attract go-getters. Forever worrying about what everyone thinks of you won’t attract free spirts. Being unwilling to take a risk won’t win the friendship of trailblazers. Being frugal with your money and tight with your time won’t attract big-hearted people who live from abundance—or it might, but they won’t hang around for long.

But if you’re committed to living authentically, speaking truthfully and elevating the spirits of those around you, you will build the rich and rewarding relationships you yearn for most. After all, how you show up in the world impacts who shows up in yours.

2. Prune your social tree.

If you’re committed to living an extraordinary life, at some point, you’ll inevitably outgrow some of the relationships you make along the way. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about the people you’ve shared a season of your life with. Perhaps many. It simply means that continuing to spend more time with them is limiting your future growth.

If you can’t share your wins with the people around you, know they don’t care or won’t celebrate them with you, then it’s time to find people who will. Whatever you do, don’t dial yourself down to lift others up. Downplaying your achievements and downsizing your goals so as not to intimidate people doesn’t serve anyone. You’ll never appease people who measure their worth based on others’ success.

If the people in your tribe right now aren’t pulling for you, it might be time to create space for people who will. As I write in Stop Playing Safe, sometimes you have to “prune your tree” to create space for better relationships to grow.

3. Hang out where cool people gather.

Last year, I was invited to spend a week with Richard Branson and a host of other big-thinking entrepreneurs and leaders from across the globe on Branson’s private Necker Island. Although the timing wasn’t great for me, I knew that, apart from meeting Branson, I would get to spend time with a host of people who would challenge my own mental map of the world and what’s possible for me in it. So I said yes and decided to figure out the logistics later.

I’m so glad I did. Sure, meeting and interviewing one of the world’s most iconic entrepreneurs was a career highlight. But the other people I met—several who had built companies worth many hundreds of millions of dollars—expanded my thinking, clarified my vision and reignited my passion. It also affirmed my belief that although amazing people might serendipitously walk into our lives, we have to do our bit to land ourselves in theirs.

So figure out where the kind of people you want to hang out with spend time and go there. Join a group of people who share a common interest, attend the SUCCESS Live conference (hoping to speak at one sometime soon!), join a service trip for people who are committed to a shared cause. The more time you spend in places that have the kind of conversations about the things that matter to you, the more people you’ll meet who will also matter.

In the end, you change your tribe and your tribe changes you. Either way, make sure it’s for the better. Your life is too short and your gifts too precious to settle for less than the biggest life you are capable of living.

Related: Success Must Be Attracted, Not Pursued