The Power of Proximity | Why It's Important To Surround Yourself With Successful People

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
— Jim Rohn

Have you ever been in a room when someone powerful walked in and suddenly the energy shifted?

Thats the power of proximity.

Why Surrounding Yourself With Successful People Is Important

One thought has been on my mind this week: proximity in it’s relation to success.

Success leaves crumbs. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be close to the crumbs of success — but, actively placing yourself within environments of success will increase the odds in turning towards your favour.

What even is success?

Everyone has a unique definition of this lofty term, success. I like to think success is having a flexible schedule that allows me to do what I love and contribute to the world. This contribution is in the form of writing, recording videos and coaching individuals.

Meeting Prof

I repeated this statement over and over again on my run this morning: “moving to Cape Town has been the greatest thing that has happened to me.” I’m in proximity to people I would have no chance of meeting if I were still in Pretoria. Prof. Tim Noakes is a prime example.

He trains at my gym (somehow this miraculously wasn’t planned) Getting to know Prof and reading his latest book, The Lore of Nutrition, has given me a rare opportunity to learn from one of the sharpest minds in sports science and nutrition. I have a newfound respect for this great man.

Who You Spend Time with Is Who You become

We are habitual creatures and evolved in tribes (well, at least I think so).

Body language experts will tell you that the body language of other people can affect you and others. I certainly believe this. If you spend time with groups of people that slouch and ramble — chances are you will adopt similar mannerisms fairly easily.

I will add: this isn’t to say you are now more powerful than others. Power needs to be a natural side-effect of making the conscious choice of continuous improvement.

Spiritual ego is real thing and it is one of the reasons I’ve backed away from “biohacking snobs” (fuck, I could even be one of these and not even know). The definition of a “biohacking snob” is someone who believes that, because they are improving themselves, completely neglecting the important people in their lives (family, friends and coworkers) is now a side-effect of that.

Also, what tends to happen, is they will bash anyone with an ideology different to their own. Try having a conversation with a keto-whore (someone who believes Jesus was in a state of ketosis and if you’re not then f*ck you) and you will see where I’m coming from.

It’s ok — and in fact, I highly recommend it — to take self-improvement with you to bed. But, don’t let the sudden influx of knowledge and “wokefullness” make you a douche bag.

Back To The Blog

Being in proximity to successful people has allowed me to achieve a number of things in my short amount of time in Cape Town. They may not seem like much to you, but to me they are small steps towards my success.

  • I’ve had the opportunity to do an Internship at a top advertising agency

  • I’ve had seen the inner workings of a young business thrive from it’s infancy to now (Motley Crew CrossFit)

  • Had a meeting with top creative director who borrowed me his time and gave me valuable advice on my journey forward

  • Not related to people, but Cape Town’s purely eclectic personality has allowed me to express myself in a unique fashion

Proximity is a priming mechanism. Our brains are wired to notice certain things — good or bad. Have you ever thought about buying a new car or item of clothing and suddenly you see that exact make everywhere?

When you are surrounded by people that exert energy that is infectious it is rather hard to be a slouchy bastard. You will, over time, feed off that energy.

Even if you don’t like the term “energy” (you unspiritual douche), being in proximity to successful people will give you insights into possible investment opportunities or corporate partnerships that would never have happened if you didn’t know them.

Proximity is Power: this is one of my guiding principles that I read every morning to remind me. I’m not the best at obeying my own principles, but over time I feel I’m getting better.

Ask yourself what you can do to increase your proximity to success?

  • Is it moving to a different geographical location that will give you a better chance of succeeding in your chosen category? Even if you can’t now, having the compelling future of knowing where you want to be will motivate you to take action

  • Is it asking one of the successful people in your gym for coffee and a chat?

  • Is it joining a toast society?

  • Is it starting your personal brand and putting your name out there? (which I highly recommend, even if you sell flip flops for a living)

Journal on some questions because mine are shocking. But you get the point.

Just remember: