The Company You Keep

It has been famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Take a second to think about that. Who you spend time with can lift you up as much as it can bring you down. We all need other people who challenge and encourage us, whether it’s our co-founder, a competitor, a mentor, or friend. Here are five types of people who should be part of your Copreneur clan. 

Cheerleaders

Whether you’re just starting out or have been at it a long time, you need people who will rally behind your efforts. Cheerleaders are people who aren’t just fans of your business, but are willing to do something about it. When they sing your praises publicly, beta test your latest product, or introduce you to a great customer of theirs, one good cheerleader is worth a dozen fair-weather friends. 

Critics

It’s ideal to be surrounded by positive people who are rooting for your success, and it’s also necessary to have some naysayers. Don’t confuse criticism with negativity. Critics can provide the honest views that help us improve and grow our businesses. They can give us feedback that helps us grow ourselves. If you’ve attracted attention and along with it some critical feedback, then you’re doing something right. 

Gurus

One of the smartest things smart people do is surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are. They tap into the experiences and perspectives of other good thinkers, who help to shape their own ideas and actions. If there’s not a mature, leading authority in your circle, you can get some of the same effect by reading influential people or being part of a business peer group. 

Frenemies

And then there are those people whom we both like and dislike; who may be personable and friendly even as they compete with us. Why in the world would we keep them around? Because frenemies keep us focused. Competition causes us to assess our strong and weak points. Rivalry may make us resentful, but it also pushes us to succeed. 

Friends of Marriage

As Copreneurs, we need to foster strong, honest and loyal friendships that not only bring out the best in our business, but also the best in our relationship. Similarly, we need to steer clear of toxic friendships that can harm our partnership. Make sure your clan includes people who speak well of your spouse, who want you to have a good relationship, and who respect the commitment you have to each other. 

This Week:  Who are the five people with the most influence on your business and personal relationship? What is the influence you’d like to have on another couple in business? 

The people around you matter, so choose your company wisely.

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