Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Playing The Bigger Game - PART 6

Step 6: Surround Yourself with People Playing A Much Bigger Game.

Once you realize that intimidation is for suckers, it’s time to use that newfound knowledge to surround yourself with people who will force you to play a bigger game every single day.

If you’re not actively working to add more of these people to your social / professional circle, then you’re in trouble.

Here’s why:
As humans, we tend to live up to the expectations of our direct peer group. In fact, for the most part, it’s a limit – an average of maybe our five closest connections. Don’t believe me? Rich people hang out with rich people. Overweight people tend to have an overweight social circle. Health nuts chill with health nuts. We tend to hang around with people who reinforce our current set of behaviors, and we don’t deviate much.

Because of that, a small-game crowd can actively pull you down. Yeah, this is the sad part. Hanging with struggling business people? See what happens when you tell them you’re taking a daring risk. (”Are you crazy?”) Trying to lose weight? See how people react around you when you try to eat more sensibly. (”C’mon, live a little.”) If you decide to up your game, you’re rocking the boat for your own crowd, and they will – with the best of intentions – try and draw you back to “safety.”

It’s a tough world for those hanging with small-game crowds. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you to ditch your friends and associates – far from it. Instead, you I’m saying that you need to be working on expanding your own circle to include more bigger-game people and be open to helping your current peers come along for the ride.

If your current peers aren’t willing to play a bigger game, be gracious and understanding. It’s not easy. You may even be squirming thinking about it. But nothing motivates like a good example, so focus on being one.

How do you find people who are playing a bigger game? It’s simple. Look for the people at the top of the food chain in your niche and consider their type of game. Does the thought inspire you or terrify you? If it’s the latter, there’s no shame in that. Maybe it makes no sense for a one-person operation to try and jump to the game of someone with a staff of hundreds.

So go one level down. Who’s one tier down from them? Can you play your game on their level? Inspired? Run with it. Terrified? Drop down another rung, and lather/rinse/repeat until you get to a point where that feeling of terror softens into the sense that “Oh crap, I might actually have a snowball’s chance of pulling this off.”

A snowball’s chance is good enough. It’s a start. Find people at that level and start networking your way onto their radar (more on that in upcoming Tuesday’s when I’ll give you notes on networking). Start stepping out and risking some public failures and they will do what they can to keep you from failing.

There’s nothing a successful person loves more than giving a boost to someone with chops, because they remember when someone a little higher up did the same thing for them. Leverage the hell out of that.

When you hang with people who play a bigger game, they actively pull you upwards. To continue hanging with them, you’ll feel a positive pressure to push yourself in all the right ways and to stop making excuses. They’re not going to accept your excuses and fears of failure. They’ll understand them, and they’ll empathize with them … they just won’t tolerate them.

And when that happens, you’ll push past your limiting beliefs and play that bigger game to the max so you can keep hanging with that group of real players. I’ll step you through how to start the ball rolling on. Game on.

1 comment:

Nathan "Seven" Scott said...

I had to laugh at the part that says Overweights hang out with overweights. Too funny! Great post!




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