“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn This is probably one of the most hardcore truths about success. It’s definitely not shiny and happy; it’s definitely not an aspect that is widely discussed when it comes to the public perception of success. Warren Buffett went so far as to say: “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Consider the following questions about the five people who have made a huge impact in your life in that last six months. Who is Supportive About my Goals? Real estate investing can be daunting. Depending on which one of the hundred plus ways to win the game it can be down right mind boggling. For example, the complexities of buying and holding a single family residential property are mild in comparison to a ground up development of a 160 unit apartment building for which you raised private equity. Whichever it is for you, I can attest my fan section has been invaluable sorting through all the resistance that comes with achievement. If it were easy, it would not be lucrative. Having that baseline to power through setbacks has served me well. Who is the Most Negative? It is nice to have effective criticism to use to improve. However if your “friends” makes Eeyore look like Tony Robbins then its time for a change. I can assure you from my experience you wont regret firing these people from your life. Does My Circle of Influence Pull Me the Right Way? Humans are the smartest of the pack animals. However, remember Enron? Did Andy Fastow’s group serve the investors and the employee’s well? Business decisions are interesting in this regard, from an ethics stand point. If you see your CEO taking a position and or actions that are clearly unethical do you call him out? Social and economic pressure make it less certain you will. Perhaps why a great pack to run with are crucial? The right pack will propel you to excellence – not test your ethics. Do I Need a Mentor or Coach? Success is certain if we model others that have our result that we want right? Is it possible to fail if we apply the minimum keys to success? Sure, certain people appear gifted and traveling to the moon is a tad different. Real estate investment role models are abundant, and reading is a great way to start to develop the road map to what we want. In my mind – the genius of BiggerPockets also revels itself in this regard. My debate coach in college was a tremendous mentor for my legal career…having someone you can ask all the questions about the hurdles worked for me. Regardless of source (person, biography…) it seems mentorship is key to accelerate results. Do I Have Running Mates? Having the Napoleon Hill-style mastermind group that was laid out so powerfully in Think and Grow Rich has been another momentous change. Imagine having a few close confidants that understand the goal, understand the resistance, and are working in league to create wins. Overall, the answers to these five questions have impacted me at various times throughout my professional life. It’s nice to actually understand the frame-work more formally and to be able to use it intentionally. What do you think? Have you had similar experiences? Photo Credit: Neal.