If you were training to run a marathon would you train with those who are preparing for only a half marathon?  If you were watching your weight would you go to an all you can eat buffet?  If you wanted to ace an exam, would you go out for happy hour the night before?

Many times, the key to our success is surrounding ourselves with the right people.  Those who will hold us accountable and elevate our game.  While at the 2013 40 Under 40 Awards Banquet, I was blown away by the caliber of people who won.  Each of the 40 winners had a certain energy about them that was felt in the entire room.  It became very clear to me that the reason for their successes was due in large part to the people that were in their lives, both professionally and personally.  It all involves choices.  Choices about what circles they travel in and the type of life they lead.  It didn’t just happen.

Deciding first what your professional goals will be, then building the relationships to help you get there, can make a big difference in determining the outcome.  There will always be those who will want to sabotage your road to success or tempt you to stray from your course.  But, if chosen with care, there will be those who remove obstacles, help build the right relationships, and encourage forward thinking.  I think all the winners did just that. They surrounded themselves with others who also wanted to fly.

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