We’ve been told since we were kids that you are the company you keep. But have you considered that your bank account is also impacted by said company?
The people with whom you surround yourself impact your reality. It’s no coincidence that friends’ habits and behaviors influence each other’s health, weight, goals, drive, and yes, even income.
The topic of money can be needlessly taboo, so I sat down with New York Times #1 best-selling author Jen Sincero to discuss money, friendship, and much more. She breaks down for us some of the lessons she shares in her latest book You Are A Badass At Making Money.
Dig into our conversation below to bust up any misconceptions about making more money, and then go after making it!
Darrah Brustein: How do we up-level our inner circle, and why should we?
Jen Sincero: The people with whom we surround ourselves greatly affect how we view our reality: what we believe is possible for ourselves, and what we give ourselves permission to be, do and have, etc. If you hang around with a bunch of whiners who complain constantly about the crappy economy and about how evil rich people are, for example, chances are very good you’ll believe it’s hard to succeed and that it’s totally not ok to get rich.
Hang out with people who believe anything is possible and who joyfully set about creating realities they love, and chances are you’ll feel inspired, energized and motivated to create something awesome as well.
There are plenty of ways to meet new people who are totally going for it too: find groups in your area such as entrepreneurial networking groups, join book groups that focus on reading empowering books, take classes on whatever area of your life you’re looking to improve, find and pay to join coaching seminars held by coaches you’re interested in working with (you may have to fly to these). The world wide web is at your fingertips, and locating the types of organizations and events where you’ll run into the types of people you want to meet is easier than ever.
Brustein: How are our friends connected to the amount of money we make?
Sincero: Water seeks its own level, and we tend to hang out with people who reflect back the same “reality” we’re choosing to participate in. The more you surround yourself with people who insist money is hard to make, that rich people suck, that you have to do horrible, immoral things to get rich, that the economy is bad, etc, the more you will believe that. Conversely, if you surround yourself with people who think money is easy and fun to make, they believe that rich people do wonderful things with and to make their money, that anything is possible and that there’s plenty to go around, and that the more you believe that to be the truth, the more open you’ll be to getting into the financial flow.
Brustein: What do you do when the people surrounding you don’t support your goals?
Sincero: Don’t share your hopes and dreams with them. Set about finding new people who will not only support your goals, but who will inspire you to reach them. Sometimes, if the people in your life really drag you down, you need to stop spending time with them. When you set about making big changes in your life, you have plenty of your own doubt, fear and worry to contend with. You certainly don’t need to take on anybody else’s.
Brustein: How do you suggest handling any guilt that arises when you grow apart from friends?
Sincero: Perceive it as doing something good and healthy for yourself, as opposed to doing something mean to them. Also, nobody benefits if you stay stuck where you are. If you shrink back and don’t change to please others, who is that helping? You’ll most likely become resentful and grouchy and everyone will stay stuck right where they are. Meanwhile, by growing into the bigger, more badass version of yourself that you long to be, not only do you get to live an awesome life, but you show everyone that it’s available to them, too.
Brustein: Share with us about how those around us serve as mirrors for ourselves.
Sincero: We notice in others only those things that relate to ourselves. For example, you could find someone hilarious and brilliant, and I could find the same person idiotic and annoying. It’s the same person doing the same thing, but because we are viewing them from our own unique perspectives, they mirror back to us something different. What we see has everything to do with the eyes that are seeing it.
Brustein: You share an exercise in You Are A Badass encouraging readers to see yourself as someone who admires you does. Tell us more, please.
Sincero: For some strange reason, we tend to focus a whole lot on our shortcomings, on our feelings of being wrong or unlovable. Some of the biggest work we can do is around self-love. One of the things I suggest to nurture this is to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. This someone isn’t privy to your deep-seeded feelings of unworthiness or shame or whatever you have going on. Seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes allows you to tune in to the specific reasons that you’re awesome, without any of that other garbage attached.
Brustein: A misconception is that wanting or making more money is bad or selfish. What is your response to that?
Sincero: If you are a human being in modern society on planet Earth, you need money to do pretty much everything, especially to grow into a more expansive version of yourself. If you love your life totally, and don’t feel as if there are any experiences or things you’d love to have that you don’t yet have, that is awesome.
But if you feel you’d love to travel more, or donate in a bigger way to charities you believe in, or take classes, or live in a nicer place, or hire a coach, or whatever – all this costs money. It is in our nature to grow, just like everything else in nature grows. And as humans, this growth more often than not requires money.
Brustein: You write, “The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses”. What would you say to help people start to get out of their comfort zones today?
Sincero: Do things that scare the crap out of you on a regular basis. If you want to change your life, you have to do things you’ve never done before. You’ve gotten to where you are now by doing whatever it is you’re doing, so if you want to change your life, you have to do new things, things that are not in your comfort zone. You have to leap into the unknown.
The unknown tends to terrify human beings. When you discover things you could do that will change your life that are scary and new, instead of making up a bunch of excuses to not do them, run headlong into your fear and go for it.
This article was originally published on Forbes.