You are the average of the 10 people with whom you spend the most time. That’s right. So do an accounting right now… What friends, family members, and co-workers do you hang out with every day or week? Do you want to be more like them…or less? And do they help you succeed as a nonfiction writer?
Let’s say, for example, you aspire to become an author, build a business around your books, and live a laptop lifestyle. However, you spend your time with friends who are satisfied working at McDonald’s or the mattress store as salesmen, treat writing like a hobby, and always allow life to get in the way of writing, then you’re going to struggle to achieve your goal.
There’s nothing wrong with those types of jobs; don’t get me wrong. Nor is there anything inherently wrong with those mindsets or habits. But if a person is satisfied with living from paycheck to paycheck, only writing when they feel like it, or dying without ever coming close to achieving their writing dreams (let alone their potential), that’s an entirely different aspiration than yours.
You want to succeed as a nonfiction writer! You have dreams and feel motivated to achieve them.
If you aspire to become successful not only in your writing career but in your personal life as well, but you spend your evenings and weekends hanging around with people who only want to watch television or drink beer at the local pub, you’ll have a harder time realizing your dream. For you to achieve your writing dream, your time would be better spent talking about books you’ve read, attending personal growth and writing events, and doing writing sprints with your writing buddies.
Your mindset and habits align with those of the people around you. Unconsciously, you modulate your behavior to match theirs in an attempt to satisfy your need for acceptance and belonging. On a scale of one to ten (with ten being the highest), if your friends’ aspirations are at a level four and yours are at a 10. The more time you spend with them, the more your ambition level decreases or, at the least, doesn’t increase.
What are Growth Friends?
To achieve success as a nonfiction writer, you need to spend time with people who uplift, motivate, inspire, support, and even help you achieve your dreams. Friends who fuel your aspirations are “growth friends.”
Growth friends are the kinds of people—family, friends, or coworkers—who raise you up. When they see your aspirations are a five, they want to increase your aspiration level to a nine (at a minimum). Possibly, they are already at a level 10 (or higher) and want to help you get to 10 and above. If they are also a five, they want to grow with you.
Often, growth friends are growing in the same or similar ways. Even if they have different interests and goals, they are growing—and you can grow together and support each other’s growth efforts. So, if you can’t find a writer to be your growth friend, find other people who are growth-minded, motivated, and passionate about succeeding, and hang out with them.
Who will You Choose?
If you don’t already have growth friends, find some. Look for friends with similar aspirations or dreams—like becoming a millionaire laptop lifestyle bestselling author. These people are learning and growing and striving to put their skills to the test (or to develop those skills). Maybe they are successful authors already.
Growth friends are interested in personal development. They know that successful individuals in any industry or area of life continually develop and learn. These are people who might be more interested in taking an online course than watching sports in their free time. Or they might be more interested in traveling to expand their mind and have new experiences rather than sitting around the pool.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with sitting by a pool or watching some television. But the people who will help you level up and achieve your dreams are those who are striving, aspiring, and moving courageously, confidently, and enthusiastically toward their dreams—maybe even writing dreams—as well.
If you are growth-minded, you need growth friends. If you don’t feel like you are growth-minded but you want to be, you need growth friends to push you along and help you become one. They can take you to personal growth events, suggest educational seminars, give you books to read, and discuss topics that make you think in new ways. And know that even writers benefit from personal growth. Indeed, if you don’t write consistently, haven’t yet achieved your dreams, or feel stuck or afraid, personal (and spiritual) growth coaching, books, or courses will support your efforts.
How to Find Growth Friends
To find a group of growth friends, take the following four steps.
Step #1: Create a list of criteria for your growth friends.
What would you look for in new friends if you chose to find some? What characteristics would your growth friends have? Would they have similar aspirations? Are they be farther along regarding reaching similar goals? Would they have different careers, hobbies, or interests?
For instance, if you want to be a bestselling author, you may want to hang out with other authors. If you’ve never been into personal growth, maybe you want to find friends who have been personal growth “junkies” for a long time.
With whom would you enjoy spending time? What types of people would you find interesting and uplifting?
Make a list of all the qualities you want in your growth friends.
Step #2: Evaluate the ten people you spend the most time with now.
Evaluate your current friends using the criteria you developed. Do they meet these criteria? Who are they, and what are they like? What qualities do they possess?
For example, are they positive, striving, and reaching for their goals? Or are they negative, stagnant, or staying on a plateau? Are they taking action toward their dreams, or do they feel they can’t achieve their goals? Are they involved in personal growth or set in their ways?
Step #3: Determine where to find your growth friends.
Where might you find people who meet the criteria you developed? Maybe they belong to specific associations or organizations, like a writers’ club. Maybe they like to attend writers’ conferences, attend writing retreats, or travel as a way to fill their creativity well. You can often find like-minded people at MeetUp.com events.
You might meet people online through Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Then you can arrange to meet them in person.
Step #4: Take action.
Now, go to go to the meetings, join the associations, email people, and set up coffee dates—do whatever it takes to meet with these people on a regular basis.
Once you’ve taken these four steps, your growth friendships will develop naturally. And when you have a group of growth friends, you’ll begin to see the difference in your life. You’ll notice yourself leveling up, changing, growing, and taking bold steps toward your writing dream more consistently. You’ll also feel more enthusiastic, confident, passionate, and charged.
I suppose you could say old friends are the most valuable. You could sing, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold.” But in this case, the old friends who don’t help you grow are silver; the growth friends are gold—and so much more valuable.
Make growth friends, and you will reach your writing dreams and become a successful nonfiction writer much more quickly and easily than you thought possible.
Do growth friends make a difference in your writing life? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a writing buddy.
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Photo courtesy of nd3000