Humans are social beings, and one of the essential parts of life is being able to socialize and form interpersonal relationships with people. To quote the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Man is a social animal” — the need to seek and maintain interpersonal relationships with people is one of the most fundamental needs in life. Whether at work, school or on social media, we’re constantly engaging others to form lasting relationships as humans.
A large part of being successful and happy in life is dependent on the relationships you’ve been able to form. On a day-to-day basis, we have countless interactions with people; colleagues, family, friends. However, not every interaction you have is meaningful, nor does it lead to creating a long-lasting interpersonal relationship.
Today we can have thousands of followers on social media, hundreds of numbers saved on your phone, but if you really think about it, out of the hundreds and thousands, who is actually a part of your circle? Who do you deem important enough to be a part of your circle?
The people you can have meaningful and “real” relationships with are the most important relationships in your circle. Your circle represents the people you are closest to and the ones that you interact with the most.
Why is your circle important?
The people that are closest to you are the ones that influence you the most. Hence the term “circle of influence” — the people you surround yourself with play a significant role in influencing you. Without supportive, loving, and authentic relationships, you won’t be able to find happiness in life. Does success matter if you’re not happy? As entrepreneurs, the overall goal is success — you don’t start a business to only fail.
When it comes to being successful, a crucial component is developing relationships that matter. You need to be able to choose the right people to be a part of your circle of influence. You want to surround yourself with people that will make you better instead of holding you back. It’s not always about how to become successful, rather, it’s more important to focus on who you’re becoming successful with.
Who should be in your inner circle?
Your inner circle is a circle within your circle. Your foremost circle is the people you’ve built meaningful relationships with, but your inner circle is reserved for the most important people. To put that in perspective, you may have a large circle of friends, but your inner circle of friends is the ones you’d call your best friends — the friends that know you the best. Your inner circle should be occupied by people that add value to your life.
When it comes to deciding who deserves a spot in our inner circle, we tend to add as many family members, friends, co-workers, etc. However, it’s not about filling your circle with as many people as you can; you want the right people in your circle — people who will help you grow and succeed.
In order to succeed, particular roles need to be played by people in your circle. You can multiple people fill out the same role, but if success and happiness are what you’re after, your inner circle must include:
People that have already achieved what you want to achieve. Mentors are people that have already been on the journey that you’re setting out on. They are who you aspire to be, they’ve achieved whatever goals you’re reaching for, and that’s why they’re crucial for your success. You need people that can advise and direct you while you’re on your journey to success. A mentor knows precisely what you need to do to get to where you want to be.
Earlier, we mentioned that you want to surround yourself with people that build you up. You need people that will challenge you to be a better version of yourself. Builders aren’t afraid to criticize you when you’re wrong — people that aren’t afraid to keep it real with you. However, builders don’t only knock you down, but they’re also there to motivate you to become better. They need to be better than you, raising the bar so that you can raise your own expectations and, in turn, develop into a better version of yourself.
Having a sound support system is important because the road to success also comes with its fair share of adversity and failure. That’s why you need people that will support whether the news is good or bad. Supporters are usually the people you can trust the most and the ones you know will always be there for you.
A key part of business is networking; finding people with similar dreams and goals is why you need networkers. Networkers are also known as connectors; they are the types of people with the largest social circle, the kind of people who know everyone. You need connectors because they’re the people that can introduce you to others. Networkers will get to know you and find out the plans, goals, and interests you have, and they’ll be able to introduce you to someone they know with similar plans, goals, and interests.
Think about who you currently have in your inner circle — have you surrounded yourself with people that will add value? Pick the right people to be a part of your inner circle. So many entrepreneurs struggle because they don’t have a positive inner circle. It’s time to fill your circle with people that have ambitious plans and meaningful purposes. Your chances of being successful and reaching your potential will increase when you have an inner circle filled with people that align with your goals and want you to succeed.