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You’ve most likely heard sayings like the Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Those in our inner circle play an important role and can influence our well-being and growth.
Attracting the right people requires you to be who you want to attract. When entrepreneurs tell me they can’t find their people, my first question is, “Are you the person the desired circle would be attracted to?”
Your inner circle is not limited to one group of people. Think about the business and the various stakeholders that participate in it. You will also have several stakeholder groups. For this article, we focus on curating your inner circle to best serve you.
A personal advisory board
Think of this group as the people who play the same role as a council for a business, but for you. These are mentors who are more experienced than you in the areas you want to grow. Mentors should not be confused with paid professionals such as coaches, although there may be an overlap at times.
Make a list of the different advisors you want on your board. Be sure to start with those who will complement your skills and expertise. Avoid finding people just like you. They may have common values, but look for different strengths and experiences.
These are people who model the life you want. Your lives don’t have to be identical, but they should be similar. For example, your aspirational role model might be a mother who is a traveling entrepreneur, or a tech executive who started a nonprofit and grew up in a similar culture. You don’t want to copy their lives, but aspirational role models help remind you that anything is possible.
Some people will immediately choose people like Oprah, but I recommend choosing someone whose journey is a little more similar to yours. Think about an up-and-coming social media personality or a new author. It is better to choose someone who is 100 steps ahead of you than 1000.
Yes, your inner circle should include friends you don’t talk to. Sure, maybe they want to ask you how business is going and come to the company anniversary party, but you don’t sit around and talk about it. It’s so refreshing to sit in a hot tub with my friends with a glass of wine and almost forget I’m running a business because it just doesn’t come up. In fact, none of the conversations turn into business talk.
I call the women in the brain community my business besties. It’s intentional: We’re not just business partners, and we’re not just friends. We are a hybrid of the best of two worlds. We can talk about business, money and strategy, but also occasionally open up about personal relationships.
Related: How to connect with those outside our inner circle
Sphere of influence
This is your extended network. You don’t call them on their cell phones, but they send you an email to inform you of a voice engagement opportunity or want to bring up your business in a meeting. These could be people in your local community or even on social media that you think of when someone asks for an expert in their field and would recommend you for that press opportunity.
I call the people in my community “dreamers”. This is what we think of as our “ideal customer” or what some influencers think of as their fans. But they are not just followers or customers. These are the people you want to follow your business, buy from your brand and read your book, but you also want to have become friends.
Related: Building a relationship with a CEO? Free to the inner circle first.
The investment crew
These are people you pay to help you or your business to the next level. Think of the therapist who helps you heal childhood trauma or the business coach who will help you make six figures. I call them the investment team because – once you find the right ones – there is always a return on investment, and the benefits go beyond money.
So how do you find the people for these groups?
My inner circle is amazing. They get me and I get them. This is who they are. This is also who I am. It’s not manufactured, it’s organic. It is a symbiotic relationship. What I create speaks to their soul, and they are also the kind of people who move me. Embody who you really are and what your business is about, and you’ll understand exactly who is right for you. Stay away from people who put you down and hold you back.
Start by making a list of the specific qualities you want the people in each stakeholder group to have. The qualities should span topics including financial, personal, emotional, vibrational, etc. As you get specific and begin to embody what you are looking for in others, your people will trickle in. Have fun raising your circle of influence!
Related: How do you know which investors to let into your inner circle