Choose Your Friends and MLM Business Associates Wisely

“When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.”   William Somerset Maugham

If you look only at the opportunities that come to you and never at the people who bring them, you take the chance of getting yourself into longstanding situations (let’s call them relationships) that may tug you gradually (or even suddenly) away from the person you want to be and turn you into someone you’d find disagreeable.

Remember, what you do most of in life is what you become — whether you like it or not.  Be smart when you pick your friends, because you will become them.

The people with whom we surround ourselves have a great deal to do with what we become. This is an especially important consideration in our MLM business, where we come into contact with all sorts of characters — brilliant and motivated, brilliant but lazy, dull but dedicated, dull and lazy.

In thinking back on my professional life, I can see relationships that — however beneficial they may have seemed at the outset — eventually turned into sticky, swampy problems. Had I asked myself before getting involved with any of these people “Is this someone who sees the world of business the way I do?” I might have avoided a good deal of stress and, in some cases, saved a bundle of money.

As a general principle (though not a hard-and-fast rule), over time, you end up being more like the people you associate with. And so, it’s smart to choose very carefully the MLM business partner (s) you spend a lot of time with.

The lesson works with friendships too, but the criteria are somewhat different. In business, it makes sense to search out people who have strengths that complement your own. You want to develop relationships with the smart, the hardworking, and the well-connected.

In friendship, a person’s attributes can’t be measured in terms of how he might affect your professional growth and prosperity. What matters in friendship is more malleable and subtle.

In all cases, you want, I’d think, to associate yourself with people who are relatively trustworthy and honest. (I say “relatively” because I believe only the phoniest and scariest of people pretend to be 100% pure in these virtues.) And for friendship especially, it seems to me that you should want to associate with people who have the same basic idea that you have about what is good and true in life.

I’ve picked my friends by finding people I wanted to be more like. People that had qualities and virtues I admired. It worked.  Whenever I’ve succeeded in life, it has been because of my friends. My friends have taught me business skills, life skills, and, time after time, have put me in a position to succeed.

Does that mean you should never spend time with “friends in low places”? Of course not.

I have a wide array of friendships — and I’m not going to give any of them up. I don’t suggest you give yours up either. At this point in my life, I am what I am — and the people I associate with aren’t going to change me.

But when you’re young and/or you’re just starting out in business, it is a good idea to take some extra time in thinking about the other guy’s/gal’s character when you form a new relationship.

Think about the important business and personal relationships you’ve had — the good and the bad. What could you have done differently to avoid those that had a negative effect on your life? What will you do in the future?

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