“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
Why? Because I’ve finally found the place where I belong.
I’ve found my tribe.
Every day I’m surrounded by amazing people who inspire me, and who bring the best out of me.
It feels absolutely amazing, and I’m deeply grateful for it. But believe me, it took a while to get here.
Today, I want to tell you the story of how it all came together, and show you how to find your tribe so you too can come fully alive.
Searching For My Tribe
It all started around March 2011, when I was living in Australia and fell in love with the work of the great Tony Robbins.
One of the principles Tony taught me is that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
This concept stuck with me, and really got me thinking.
Where should I move upon returning to North America?
My head was filled with big dreams and ideas, and I knew I needed to surround myself with greatness to make them come true.
But where to go? How was I going to find my tribe?
After thinking about it long and hard, I finally decided that San Francisco was the place.
The Bay Area is renowned for being a hotbed of creativity and entrepreneurship, and is the epicenter of the World wide Web. I figured since I was starting an online business, it made sense to go there… right?
Literally within a few hours of getting there, something felt totally off. The city was too urban, too crowded for the small-town guy in me.
I couldn’t imagine myself living there, even if I got to hang out with the Zuckerbergs of this world every day.
3 days later, I got on a bus and moved out of San Francisco. Experiment… failed!
The next morning, I arrived in San Diego, a beautiful city in Southern California with amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and many world-class online marketers.
I loved it at first, but I soon realized that something wasn’t working.
Because the city is so spread-out, my opportunities to be around great young entrepreneurs were few and far between.
I knew that set-up wasn’t going to help me make my dreams come true. After 4 months it was time to say good-bye and try my luck somewhere else.
I got on a plane and headed over to Boulder, Colorado. I had heard good things about it (ie, it’s ranked the #1 city in the US on the Gallup Wellbeing Index). Even though I didn’t know anyone there, I had a great feeling about it.
Within a few days, magic started happening in my life.
I was meeting exactly all the right people, and I knew something special was unfolding…
Finding My Tribe
Fast-forward to last Sunday. I moved into a sweet house with 4 people I totally respect and admire. The kind of people who just last year I could only dream of hanging out with!
My roommates Cesar and Banks work at The Unreasonable Institute, an incubator for world-changing social businesses, while Taylor and Romain work for The Unreasonable Group, an organization serving as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in the 21st century and aiming to address the greatest challenges of our time (wow!).
2 blocks from my house is The Village, a house where 5 of my best friends live. These guys are total bad-asses, and some of the most inspiring and hard-working entrepreneurs I’ve ever had the chance to meet.
Evan, Nathaniel and Shane are building Rework, a company that connects exceptional professionals with companies that are making the world a better place. Raul is building Emotion.Is, a social network platform designed to increase empathy and deepen connection between individuals. Finally, Teju is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Unreasonable Institute.
Every day, we all gather up in The Village’s living room (turned co-working space) and crank out epic work ’til the wee hours of the morning.
All of us want to be successful, all of us want to make each other better, and all of us want to change the world. It’s simply amazing.
It took a while to get here, but I can now say I’m truly surrounded by greatness.
Tony Robbins would be proud. :)
All right, now that you know a bit about my story, let’s turn it over to you!
What’s your current environment like?
Are you surrounded by people who inspire you? People who make you better?
Or Are YOU the smartest person in the room?
If you’re really committed to becoming the best version of yourself and making BIG things happen in the world, it is imperative that you surround yourself with people who make you better.
You might be thinking… “OK, but how do I do that?
Buckle down. I’m about to teach you.
Here are 5 Tips to Surround Yourself with Greatness.
1. Set The Intention
One of my favorite sayings of all-time is ”Once you commit to something, the universe conspires to help you.”
If you want to surround yourself with greatness, it all starts with setting that intention.
DECIDE that it’s going to happen and that you ARE going to find like-minded people. Make a deal with the universe. COMMIT to it.
When I first got to Boulder, I set 2 strong intentions:
1) To move into a large house with awesome people.
2) To become friends with the crew from The Unreasonable Institute (who I knew from watching their amazing reality show).
I didn’t know HOW, but I knew somehow I’d find a way to make these things happen.
2 months later, I’m now living in a large house WITH the Unreasonable crew!
Amazing, isn’t it? I can barely believe it myself!
It all started with an intention, with being pro-active… and letting the universe take care of the rest. (Thank you!)
Right now, it’s important that you get clear on the kind of people you want to surround yourself with.
What kind of people inspire you? Who makes you better?
Who can help you achieve your wildest dreams?
Get really clear on what these people are like. Then set the intention that within the next year you’ll be surrounded by them.
2. Be Willing to Let Go of Some Old Friends
For most people, this is the hardest step.
As you start evolving as a person, it’s likely that your friends won’t be growing at the same rate as you. Or that they won’t be dreaming on the same scale as you do.
Is this happening to you already?
So, what to do? Well, there are two options.
If your friends are negative, or shooting down your ideas/aspirations, it’s time to cut the tie and let go of that friendship. Plain and simple. You need to make space for some better friends in your life.
If your friends are positive but they don’t inspire you/make you better, cut back on how much you see them. Instead of hanging out once a week, scale it down to once a month or so.
Don’t compromise on your values and beliefs, and you’ll attract the right people.
3. Be Open to New Experiences
If you want to find your tribe, you have to be willing to take chances, to put yourself out there, and to do things differently than you previously have.
If you’re living in a city where nothing’s happening, you might have to pack up your things and leave.
This can be scary, I know. But it’s exciting as hell.
You get to pick ANYWHERE in the world, and design the life you want there. You might grow more as a person in the first few months there than you have in the last few years at home.
If moving is not an option for you, you have to be willing to meet new people in your city. Go to the places where you know inspiring/interesting people hang out. Conferences, workshops, meet-up groups, skillshare events and TEDx events are all great options.
The opportunities are everywhere. The question is: are you willing to take advantage of them?
P.S. When you meet someone new, be friendly, take interest in them, and grab their contact information. Then make sure to FOLLOW UP (by phone, text, email) in the following days. That’s really the key to forming new relationships.
4. Seek Extraordinary Communities
More and more, groups of extraordinary people are coming together in an effort to help each other reach new heights. These communities are appearing in all corners of the world, and they’re a great way to meet several awesome individuals at once.
As you might know, I spent all of July at The Bold Academy, an incubator for high-potential individuals. The sense of community there was incredible. And more recently, while on vacation in Montreal, I had the chance to spend some time at Valhalla, a new sustainable community aiming to change the world.
If you want something a bit more funky, check out my friend Tony Neves’ new kick-ass project, The Ignition Lab.
5. Find Epic People Online
Thanks to this great tool called the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find like-minded people. If you search around online, you’ll discover tons of communities of people who can inspire you and help you in your projects.
I encourage you to take it a step further: when you find someone who’s doing something directly aligned with your goals and dreams, email them and build a personal relationship with them. You can’t even fathom where this new relationship will lead in the future.
If you’re really bold, why not invite that person for a quick chat on Skype? There’s nothing like “live” face-to-face interaction, even if it’s through a computer screen! I had a great chat today with a guy who contacted me and a few hours later we’re already working on a very cool project together!
Like I said earlier, when you put yourself out there in life- great things happen. With the Internet, it’s no different.
So now, I’d love to hear from you.
What strategies are you going to use to surround yourself with greatness?
Where are you going to find your tribe?
Whatever you do my friend, don’t settle. Don’t stop until you find that special group of peers.
And soon, you too will feel like the luckiest person in the world! :)