It has been said that your income is the average of the total income of the five people you spend the most time with.

I think I agree with that. I’d say in general that “birds of a feather, flock together” etc.

I think it’s also important to think about your “circle of influence” in all aspects of your life – not just finances – it’s not a huge leap of faith to realize that your way of thinking, your attitude towards success, your relationships, your business and pretty much your life are all essentially influenced by the average mindset of the people you converse or interact with the most.

Sports psychologists call it “leveling” and “sharpening”. Leveling refers to when the average person in the “circle of influence” has less skill than you – then your skills tend to diminish and “level” out. If the average person’s skills are above yours – then you tend to “sharpen” your abilities. It’s one of the reasons why finding a good training partner or crew can elevate your workout. And why surrounding yourself with successful people is one of the fastest ways to ensure success.

So how is your circle of influence looking? Are you surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals with similar goals and mindsets? Does your circle contain people who earn more, and know more than you do? Are you learning every day as a result of your interactions?

Or are you surrounding yourself with negative people – who tell you that “you can’t do that” or who’s entire life consists of looking forward to Friday night Happy hour. Get a picture in your head of the people you associate and interact with the most. Is that group something that most would aspire to be part of? Or are you being “leveled” by association?

Bill Parisi once told me that his goal is always to be the dumbest person in the room – it’s the fastest way to get smart. Make sure that you are in a position to “sharpen” just based on who you associate with. This is a little concept that will reap big rewards for you.