By now you’ve heard the cliches:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

“Your income will be the average of your 10 closest friends.”

Visit a prison and ask any inmate what kind of friends they had prior to their conviction.

This information shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Bible warns us about hanging around the wrong kind of people. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,  do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV).

It’s true that we become like the people we spend time with.

In a recent podcast I addressed some increasingly frequent questions:

1. How do rich people think?
2. Is money the root of all evil?
3. Can we really have it all?

My encouragement was to spend time with rich people if you want to become one of them.

The many comments have included the title above: “How do I find rich people to hang around?”

The expectation is that we have to wait until we are one of them to spend time around them. And that is just not true. Let’s look at some possibilities:

  • Attend book signings – I recently attended a book signing for Michael Hyatt’s new book and got to meet Stu McLaren, Ken Davis and a bunch of other top leaders in business.  Cost for the event – zero
  • Watch for business breakfasts (I attend a couple a month – free because they are sponsored by local businesses.)   Our local Entrepreneur Center provides a monthly Entrepreneur’s Coffee, a monthly coffee meetup for Nashville’s business leaders to network and hear stories about entrepreneurship and starting businesses. No charge to attend.
  • Lunch and Learn events. The Scarlett Leadership Institute provides monthly Lunch & Leadership events – free for anyone who wants to hang around leaders.
  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Become a member of your local Rotary Club
  • Attend concerts – here in Nashville there are multiple free concerts in any given week
  • Spend time at the Country Club – I am a member of the Vanderbilt Legends Club. While I don’t golf that gives me dining privileges in their exclusive clubhouse.  I eat there 2-3 times a week. The meals are priced comparably to O’Charleys or TGIF. I see people like our mayor, Darrell Waltrip, Vince Gill, Gary Chapman, the president of the local college, authors, and many others. My cost for that exclusive membership – zero. I just pay for my meals – that’s it. So rather than popping into Logan’s with the mall employees I make it a point to spend that time with high achievers.
  • Listen to EntrepreneurOnFire with John Dumas. He interviews amazing people like Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Pat Flynn and more. (Here’s my interview in that list.)
  • Listen to EventualMillionaire with Jaime. She interviews nothing but millionaires and you can hear how they think and what they do.

You can do everything I just listed here – long before you are a millionaire. The common mistake in thinking is that we “have” and then we “become.”  If that were true, lottery winners would be grateful, respectful and continue in success. Rather, we observe that most of them are angry and broke within 3 years.

One of the hallmark characteristics of highly successful people is that they spend time with those who are already performing at the level at which they want to perform.

We have to “be” before we “have.” And you can “be” the person you want to be – today.

Article originally appeared at 48days.com. Used with permission.

Dan Miller, President of 48 Days LLC, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes that a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be.

Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom Meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences speaking on aging and changes in the workplace as well as at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love. Book Dan to speak or check out 48 Days products at www.48Days.com.

Committed to personal priorities, Dan and his wife Joanne are approaching their 45th anniversary and have 3 world-changing children and 12 amazing grandchildren.  

What does it mean to be fully alive in your work? Many of us are not yet doing what God put us here to do. Dan looks at the changing work models and outlines a plan for integrating your dreams and your passions into your daily activities. If you’ve ever buried your dreams in an attempt to be “practical” or “realistic,” Dan will show you how embracing those very dreams is the most practical way to enjoy life and achieve the success you’re looking for.

Publication date: March 4, 2013