In this series of High Performance Hacks, I’ll be delivering the practical actions, tactics and strategies used by the world’s best high performers across all fields to help them out-perform, out-work and out-shine their peers.

In this article we’re going to explore the benefits of networking, and I don’t mean just for the sake of it. I mean making connections with people who are better than you and are going to help you reach your goals…

Your network becomes your net “worth”.

It’s perhaps one of the most recognised quotes of your favourite guru’s “guru” – Jim Rohn.

Never have I believed this to be truer than right now, as I type these very words.

If you were to ask me to pick just one of these high performance hacks to recommend, I would struggle to narrow it down to just one.

But…

If I HAD to pick just one that would make the biggest difference, it would be this.

My view on “networking” has changed dramatically since I started spending a lot of time with high performance business people and entrepreneurs.

I always understood that networking “worked” for some, but I never understood just how important a part it plays in fast-forwarding your journey to success and becoming a super successful entrepreneur.

So what do I mean by networking?

Contrary to what many interpret the phrase to be, I don’t mean joining every “networking group” or “business club” that happens in your area – although that might be what works for you right now.

I’m sure that you’ll be familiar with the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”

I’d like to make a couple of amendments to that phrase.

Normally, it’s a phrase that’s used in a negative way when great people in an organisation who are more suited to a promotion or role have been overlooked by someone who is a family member of the boss or has a pre-existing relationship with someone higher up the chain.

I agree, that’s never a good move – and sure, some people may make a decent career from this sort of promotion.

But it won’t work for the rest of us.

So, I’d like to extend this quote a little bit and change it to;

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know AND what you learn from them.”

What I’ve discovered is that there are “levels” in business.

And what you tend to find is that people socialise, network and do business with people at the same level – which means that more often than not, they stay there.

Go to any networking group or event and you’ll see what I mean.

Everybody there is at the same level, has the same conversations, has similar goals, talks about similar problems, approaches life with a similar attitude.

Now, if you’re at a certain level and you’re happy to stay there, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to progress to the next level, the quickest way of getting there is by spending time with people who are already there.

Remember, your network is your net worth.

Why?

What you’ll come to realise is that people at the “next” level approach life and business in a different way.

They have different beliefs about what’s possible.

They have a different mindset and attitude towards life.

They have different problems to deal with.

The way they approach those problems is totally different.

And unless you’re lucky, I’ve seen with my own eyes that the only way to become that, an entirely different person, is to spend time with people who are already there.

Because when you do spend time with these people, their habits, though processes and everything else we’ve just mentioned will start to rub off on you and all of the hacks that we talk about in this article will slowly start to become an important part of your own routine.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Let’s say that you play football in a Sunday league team.

Your teammates and the people you play against are almost all going to be of a similar level.

Even after years of training and playing against people of a similar level of talent, the chances of you showing any significant signs of improvement are very slim.

Now let’s say that you started training and playing once a week with a top premier league club like Liverpool or Manchester City or “Insert your favourite club here”.

A year later, you return to your Sunday league club.

How much better a player would you have become by training with and playing against a far higher calibre of teams.

How would your reading of the game have changed?

How much would your fitness, speed and agility have improved?

How different would your skills in every part of the game be?

There’s absolutely no doubt that whilst you may not ever reach the standard of players in the Premier League (because of the habits and routines they’ve had since they were kids), you WOULD have become significantly better at what you do and as a football player, you would be unrecognisable to the rest of your former teammates.

The same principles are at play in business.

The challenge is, how do you mix with people at a higher level than you?

It’s a great question.

And it’s a scary thought too.

Why would people who are more successful than you want to spend any time with you?

What do you have to offer them?

What would you even talk about?

Guess what…

There’s no silver bullet.

So many of us fail to even get started because we spend too long looking for some magical “secret” that is going to instantly bring about success and make amazing things happen.

When it comes to sustained success, there’s no such thing as short-term gratification.

And even if you find something that provides that, the chances are high that it’s only very temporary.

Easy come, easy go.

You have to feel the fear, and do it anyway – as the book by the same title preaches.

And if this is something you’re not comfortable with, good.

Because if everyone felt comfortable doing it, everyone WOULD be doing it.

There’s nothing that will substitute putting yourself out there, getting in touch with people who you think you can learn from and making it happen.

It was for this very reason that I started my weekly podcast series, “The Truth About Business”.

This pushed me WAY outside of my comfort zone.

But I’ve met many amazing people that have inspired and motivated me beyond belief that I would never have had the opportunity to meet had it not been for the podcast.

Spending time with these high performers has changed who I am, how I work, my energy, what I focus on, who I connect with and ultimately, how successful I will be later on in life – of that, I have not one single doubt in my mind.

And I can say with confidence that in the last six months I have learned more about business from meeting with entrepreneurs at a higher level than I have in the last 15 years of reading books, going on courses, listening to podcasts and watching videos.

As much as learning from these resources plays a crucial part in being a successful high performance person, there’s nothing quite like being around people who are actually doing it themselves.

Seeing how they operate, watching how they move and communicate and experiencing their thought processes – you can’t beat seeing if for yourself.

If you’d like a bit more help on how to find people who will pull you up to their level and fast track your success, I’ve laid out a step by step plan including templates that you can use over and over in my Seven Week High Performance Workshop.

I’m going to summarise this high performance hack with a statement that may sound quite controversial, but is a test of how committed you are to your goals.

Once you feel like you’re no longer learning from your current peer group, or that they’re no longer helping you move closer towards your goals, it’s time to start pro-actively searching for a new one and making an effort to be around people at the next level.

Whether it’s a business coach, social life coach or mentor that you pay for or a social group of high achievers.

Spend more time around people who have achieved more of what you want.

As Darren Hardy, found of Success Magazine so eloquently put, “Don’t take advice from people you wouldn’t trade places with”.

Damn, I love that!

Life is short and if you’re committed to your goals, you don’t have time to waste.

Level up your network and you’ll eventually level up your net worth.

If you want to become a Lion, who must you hang around with?

Lions.

Ben

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