"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art." - Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616) Spanish novelist.
Growing up I often heard my best friend's father Nick say something that I would later realize was a key to success. He said, "Show me who your friends are and I'll tell you what you are!"
Well, that was usually followed by a long speech about why his son Frank should not have hung out with certain people.
I was like a second son to Nick so I would get to listen in on Frank getting yelled at. By that time, I had already been homeless and off the streets and working my way through High School, so I never thought of hanging out with the types that Frank did. Of course I was no angel but, I chose my friends as carefully as I could.
Frank never got the point back then, but Nick knew very well about the power of association.
You see Nick, grew up the only son of an entrepreneur and brother to six sisters. Since he was the baby boy, he got a lot of attention and love from his father. Although all of the children did, Nick got just a little more.
Nick's father the owner of a motel and a construction company could rival the strength and attitude of the strongest of the strongmen of his day and even ours. He grew up with the same mentality of his father AND the strength to boot!
The problem with Nick was that he associated with the street gangs of his day and didn't listen to his father when he gave him the same speech, "Show me who your friends are and I'll tell you what you are!"
Associating with the wrong people didn't end there though, later in life he ended up associating himself with the some of the most ruthless mobsters around and as time went on, Nick gained both the wealth and the bad habits these guys had.
Finally, the days came when his acquired gambling addiction took all of the wealth away. Although he could have lost his life many times, it took the loss of his money to finally stop associating himself with these people.
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." - George Washington (1732 - 1799) US Statesman
Although Nick didn't follow the above advice, he is still a good man and still does great things. After all he took me off the streets, gave me a home and taught me lessons from his past which also became my key to success.
Like Nick, many people don't realize that wealth by association works the same as guilt.
When asked how he intends on being America's first black billionaire, Don King said, "By hanging around other billionaires!"
The truth of the matter is that whether you want to learn something significant or learn to be more successful, the people you associate with are the probably going to be one of the major keys to your success. I'm sure you've heard countless stories about those "lucky" people who gained wealth and success through others who were more successful at the time. I've personally heard and learned about many such stories.
Association is one of the reasons that many people pay big bucks to be mentored by very successful people.
The "Key" reason people do this is: In order to get what you want or learn what you want you must go to the source.
Find a personal or business mentor or coach and learn everything you can from them then apply it.
The other part of your key to success by association is that you will generally attain the average success and/or wealth of your 10 closest friends. The reason for this is that by associating with people who are more successful or wealthier, you are then able to tap into their intellectual, spiritual or financial resources.
That my friend, is an enormously critical success factor. To see an example of this, look at marketing online or offline. You will see that people and businesses often associate themselves with each other (one being more successful than the other) to build both credibility and wealth.
Apply the Success By Association Principle to your business and life, then buckle up for the ride! It WILL be your key to success.
Copyright 2005 Rasheed Ali