Inner Circle: Who we surround ourselves with is very important and key to our success. You’ve heard the saying, we are the average of the 5 people we spend our time with. If you’re serious about growing a successful business and are serious about earning and creating financial freedom, then I can guarantee you will have to make some difficult decisions about who you surround yourself with along your journey.

Unfortunately, you may lose friends and possibly even family who could be holding you back or suppressing your energy and ideas. Sounds like a hard decision to make doesn’t it. But you have to look after number one to be able to look after everybody else.

You see, people don’t like change. Especially when they see friends or family members changing and trying to better themselves. Like working harder than them, rolling up in a new car you have treated yourself to through your hard work and dedication. Because these people have stayed the same, doing the same thing day in day out and still getting the same results as they always have. Then these people become jealous of you. They try to manipulate your thinking because they see you bettering yourself and they simply can’t be arsed or refuse to change themselves or get out of their comfort zone, so they certainly don’t like to see you changing.

Fortunately for me I identified quite early on in my entrepreneurial journey that I needed to change a vast amount of my inner circle. So much so that I decided to completely move out of the area that I grew up in, in Manchester and moved to a remote location in Yorkshire. I had two reason for doing this. Firstly, it was to get away from any distractions so I could solely concentrate on growing my business and secondly to create a new very selective inner circle.

My new inner circle was very carefully selected. I chose some existing long-term friends to stay around me, a few selected business associates, some of my family, but not all of them it’s important to add, and I also joined my first mastermind group to integrate with fellow likeminded entrepreneurs.

Make the tough decisions and sacrifices you need to become the person you want to be

Whilst choosing my new inner circle, I had some very tough decisions to make. It probably impacted two people in particular. One was at the time a very close friend of mine who I spent most of my time with outside of working in my business. I say working in my business because at that time I was working hard to earn money just so I could go out and blow it on clothes, nights out and lad’s holidays. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed what I was doing at first, but I quickly realised it couldn’t last because if it did, I wouldn’t have a business.

I was only working three days a week and the rest of the time we were either shopping or recovering from nights out. At the time my friend had a young family and I were godfather to his kids so making the decision to move on was even harder. Looking back, I do believe it was the best decision, not just for me but for him and his family too. He began to spend more quality time with them, and I started to grow my business. To this day I do speak to him on the odd occasion and if I see him, I would always take the time to ask about his family and be polite but as far as being in my close inner circle, it wouldn’t work. We are miles apart from what we were.

The other tough decision to make was family, and it was my mum. I don’t want to be disrespectful to her as I respect her for bringing me in to this life and I am the person I am today because of everything I have been through in my life, but I can’t be around negativity and drama. You see my mum tends to manipulate people and fall out with them very easily. I refuse to be around people like this, so it was an easy decision, but also a very hard one because she is my mum.

The way I made my decision was this, if this was any other person who acted this way, then I’d avoid them like the plague. So, the decision was made, the same way I make any decision, quickly and it was implemented instantly. Trust me I’m not proud of this decision but one that had to made.

There’s a lot more to this story but here isn’t the place to talk in to it. I only wanted to include this to demonstrate what tough decision may come your way and how you make those decisions will determine your future.

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write in the particular chapter, whilst reflecting I have to say that two of the most important decisions in my business life have been about my inner circle. Decision 1. To move away from all of the distraction and people who didn’t fit into my life anymore. Decision 2. To join a mastermind group full of like-minded entrepreneurs who only have your best interest at heart.

When you think of starting up a business who would have thought that your inner circle could potentially shape your business and your success. These are the things you don’t get taught in school, college, university or anywhere for that matter. This is self-education from being surrounded by other successful business owners. Something you get from being part of a mastermind group.

I joined my first one over 4 years ago and with my hand on my heart, my businesses wouldn’t be where they are today without my friends and fellow entrepreneurs within that group. Sure, I have had to invest a lot of time and money to be part of this and get the advice and ideas I needed whilst also helping other members to do the same. But rather than just tell you how it worked for me I would like to show you the results it has given me in one particular company of mine.

2015 turnover – 188k

2016 turnover – 374k

2017 turnover – 904k

2018 turnover – 2.1 million

Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been easy, but I have implemented everything you are reading in this book and it has given me this kind of growth over the last 4 years. Whilst writing this, I’m about to launch my 4th business and this book will be the blueprint for its success.

To this day I am very selective of who I bring and accept into my inner circle. There are a whole lot of small important decisions you have to make that will help shape you, your business and your future.

Highly successful people make decisions quickly and execute them immediately, and how you choose your inner circle needs to be done in the same manner. You may have to cut loose from the people who are holding you back. This is your life and you only get one shot at it. Make the tough decisions and sacrifices you need to become the person you want to be.