Want To Be Successful? Surround Yourself With Better People And Level Up

17.June 2013

Our Journey

Photo Credit: The Thinking Doll

It’s been seven months since my last day of cubicle work. A lot has happened since then. We sold all our stuff, visited family and friends for a while, moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand, started The Global Bookshelf, and set ourselves on an entrepreneurial path with all the ups and downs that go along with that.

The best thing we did though? Surround ourselves with passionate, motivated, forward-thinking, successful people.

Chiang Mai is a hub for digital entrepreneurs. The laid back vibe of the city, coupled with a warm climate, cheap living, and fast internet means that there is a large community of people making an unconventional living.

It took a while, and it meant really stepping out into uncomfortable to make ourselves go to the meetups, but we wormed our way in and were left nothing short of super inspired.

I realized that we always underplay our successes. I met people that I already knew on-line; people I consider successful and ahead of me. My confidence soared as I found that I actually know more than I realize and am just as successful as these friends. I just need to start using what I know rather than hiding behind always thinking I need to learn more. More action and less preparation.

I found that even the most innocuous of conversations can be a learning event. I would learn about a new process or method while chatting to someone while at our workout sessions. I would find out about a new tool or website while sharing a beer at one of the fabulous dinners our friends would host. I just needed to step out and take the time to ask the questions. Almost every single conversation I had ended with me running home to research whatever I had unearthed.

I now know just how hard people are working to make their dream come true. Being surrounded by successful people means being surrounded by some of the hardest working people I have ever met. The hours people are putting in, the innovative ideas they are generating, and the dedication they have left me reeling. It’s the difference between knowing the kind of time people are putting in and realizing just how much time that really is. I was left impressed and quickly recognized that we need to step it up.

It’s challenging to surround yourself with people who are better than you. It’s comfortable to stay in a familiar circle relying on what you know and feeling confident in your abilities. It’s more than worth it to step out and see what you can learn.

Two things I have learned:

  1. You know more than you think you know. Once I started talking to people I realized that my knowledge base is quite wide and deep and that often, even if I don’t know something, I can relate it to what I do know. Turns out that the chasm between what I want to know and what I do know isn’t that big.
  2. People want to help. They are willing to answer questions, tell you what they’re up to, and share their hard earned secrets. No, they’re not going to tutor you but if you listen closely, ask questions, and respect what it is they do, answers will result and then it’s up to you.

I had no idea of all the different things people were up to. Meeting so many digital entrepreneurs here has opened my eyes to the myriad of ways that people are out there making a living. Sure, it’s not all for me but I have learned something from every single person I have met. I can only hope that perhaps I have helped someone along the way also.

Success is definitely more than just what you know, it’s also about who you know and what you can learn from them. Agree?


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16 Responses to “Want To Be Successful? Surround Yourself With Better People And Level Up”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Well said, my friend. Well said.

  2. Amy Dapice Says:

    “I can only hope that perhaps I have helped someone along the way also.” -Gillian

    Can you see my hand raised up high from across the world? Lucky me, I have been one of the someones helped by Gillian. Great post my friend and thank you.

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures Says:

    Love this post and I couldn’t agree more! I think it’s SO important to surround yourself with amazing people.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Turks And Caicos: Day 3 (Part 2)

  4. Carmel Says:

    When I was in college, we had a local businessman tell us essentially the same thing. That message really stuck with me and I think so far, I’ve done a good job. There’s so much opportunity in this travel and blogging community, as well. It’s exciting to learn about what everyone is doing.
    Carmel recently posted..MY UNDERWATER FEARFUL ADVENTURE

  5. Leigh Says:

    I think that’s a very good point Gillian – and it’s always uncomfortable to get out of your zone and hang around successful people but the personal rewards on so many levels can be amazing. I think you know a heck of a lot and was impressed with your ability to bring people together in Calgary.
    Leigh recently posted..Biking the Viking Trail in Newfoundland

  6. Kate @30Traveler Says:

    Could not agree more!
    Kate @30Traveler recently posted..Bike Friendly Airports – 7 Essential Elements

  7. Kim Says:

    Sounds like you met some amazing people!
    Kim recently posted..Dear life

  8. Jill Says:

    Loved this post Gillian! I’m so happy you guys had such a great time here and we miss you more and more each day!

    Keeping my fingers crossed that our paths cross again somewhere in the world

    Jill recently posted..Boosting Quality Score: How To Recover From Google Panda

  9. Sebastiaan Says:

    Lovely post! And I feel the same. Surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people is some of the best things I’ve done recently.

    It was awesome to meet you guys, sad to see you leave. Hope to see you guys around, maybe in CM, if not elsewhere!


  10. Ali Says:

    Great post Gillian, definitely something I needed to hear!
    Ali recently posted..Views of Nice, France

  11. Jessica Says:

    Definitely! I think especially when you’re frustrated or going through a slump, having people in your life that are making it work can provide a fresh boost of optimism and inspiration. Plus, I think when you create a positive environment with like-minded people, it attracts more positive things into your life.
    Jessica recently posted..Sunday Snapshot: Phra Nang Beach

  12. Jennifer Says:

    Completely agree. I just need to find these people so i can surround myself with them!!
    Jennifer recently posted..The best of Australia and New Zealand cruises

  13. Dale Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your post and that the more inspiring people I meet on our travels, the more inspired I become and proactive to do something and achieve something I wouldn’t have considered before.

    My main hope is that somehow I can pass that on.
    Dale recently posted..Break Free – The Ultimate Guide To Housesitting

  14. Mandy Says:

    Absolutely true! YOU are one of the successful people I surround myself with. I consider myself so lucky to have a number of these ladies in my life! YOU ROCK!

  15. Lawrence Michaels Says:

    You make a good point. I’m planning on moving up to Chiang Mai within the next year as well. There are too many negative people down here in Phuket. Hopefully the change of venue will be a big step forward for me.
    Lawrence Michaels recently posted..Hell’s Highway aka. The Thai Visa Run

  16. Barbara Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Surrounding ourselves with better people is a good idea in every aspect of our lives. Negative people can only bring you down!
    Barbara recently posted..Zipline The Canyons in Ocala Florida