Passionate People

“I am what I am because of who we all are.”

~Definition of Ubuntu, a Bantu concept popularized by Nelson Mandela

*Note: After over a year of work, research and case studies, I finally recently launched Live Off Your Passion: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Getting Paid to Do Work You Love. A big portion of the course is dedicated to surrounding yourself with passionate people. If you want to surround yourself with the folks who will bring you to a whole new level, this eCourse is definitely worth a look. There’s also a sweet guarantee so you can try it out with no risk. Enjoy!

Onward…

*****

Think of the five or ten people you spend most time with. What are these people doing? How passionate are they? Do they inspire you?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to find new friends.

The biggest single predictor of success (however you want to define it) is the people who surround you.

The world influences us more than we realize (and more than we’d like to believe).

Cultivate Passion

I just got back from the most energizing weekend I think I’ve had. I’ve slept an average of 4 hours the last four nights, and even that felt like too much. I just didn’t want to miss anything. Needless to say, I’m still recovering.

A few years ago a handfull of guys in their early twenties decided they wanted to do something to change the world. So they invited 50 or so entrepreneurs and future world-changers to get together and called it Summit Series.

In four years those 50 people turned into 1,000 of the most big-time thinkers and entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow. And I’m not just talking wealthy people. Sure some have more cash than they know what to do with, but more importantly, they are all on their own path to put a dent in the world. Philanthropy, technology, education, arts, human rights, innovation, personal growth, you name it.

This year the founders decided to put all 1,000 on a boat for four days. That’s it.

The rest was on us.

They knew that if you surround yourself with big dreamers and creators, the results would be exponential.

This equation has always held true.

Seriously, this group of game-changers would blow your mind. Most people you’d think of were probably on the ship. Have a look at a few attendees. I am grateful to have been among such company.

Everything starts with passionate people

Summit Series is not the point of this article. It’s just an example. There are thousands more – as long as you’re keen to do the looking.

I prioritize my life around spending time with passionate people. It started with my mother and father (thanks guys!) and has continued with friends, classmates and colleagues. I spend time around passionate folks I don’t even know, almost daily, because I seek out environments where they’ll be.

That’s how I realized I wanted to speak, write and coach through this site, it’s how I realized I wanted to run the investment partnership I do and it’s how I crossed paths with my wife.

It all begins and ends with passion.

You never know what you’ll get, but you can be sure it will be worth while.

I seek out these interactions every day. Beyond my wife, family and closest friends (who I try to never take for granted), the people I’ve recently met in San Francisco have changed the course of my life. Whether it’s doing some crossfit with Leo, sipping tea with Jesse or talking business ideas with Corbett, Tyler, Amber, Suzannah, Jeff, Jenn, Devon (thanks for the Ubuntu quote above!) or the dozens of others.

Spending time with them (and all you) is like therapy. You make me want to build new things, run faster, eat healthier, dream bigger and live on a new level altogether. Leo recently wrote about an unreal dinner that Jesse and his wife made for him, me and our wives a few weeks ago. His post inspired this one and is a perfect example of the interactions we all try to cultivate.

Relationships are a choice

Anyone who doesn’t have them, doesn’t care enough. It can be scary to meet new people, but there’s nothing more worth it. Our biggest fundamental need as humans is to love and be loved. We are all seeking out connection. But it’s not always going to find you. You have to go out and find it. Make it a priority to drown yourself with passionate people, and they’ll come out of the wood work.

This weekend I spent some fun time with Keith Ferrazzi, Chief Relationship Builder and author of Never Eat Alone (one of my top five practical/powerful books of all time). This guy embodies what he preaches in a way like no other. Keith also recently launched his Relationship Mastery Academy. Definitely worth checking out.

He and the whole ship taught and reminded me of some things that have been on my mind for a while.

Surround yourself with passionate people – some things to keep in mind:

1. Relationships give you permission to tell your story and have your dreams come alive. The more people you meet, the more you can change the world, both through helping others and spreading your big ideas.

2. Ask someone to tell their story. Everyone is dying to get their message out to the world, they just might not know it. Give them permission, get present and simply listen.

3. Be genuine and vulnerable – Get deep. When meeting someone, lead with intimacy. Humanize it! Don’t rattle off how great you are and all the things you’ve done. Bragging will only distance yourself. Be humble. Tell them the scary story of what shaped your life and what got you here. Were you abused as a child, grew up without a mother or witness a debilitating disease in a loved one? We all have defining personal moments in our life. Connect with people on that level.

4. Walk into a room and see friends not strangers. I don’t care if you don’t recognize a single face in the room. Adopt the belief that these people all want to connect as much as you do. Because it’s true. Walk up and see how you can help. See friends, and friends they will become.

5. Be a host at your own party. My wife, Chelsea, and I host dinner parties every month for between two and 10+ of our friends. We try to invite groups who don’t know one another so we can create new connections. When you’re a host you do everything you can to make them feel welcome. Do this with those close to you and those you want to be close. Make it fun and sit strangers next to each other.

6. Be a host at everyone else’s party. Being a host at your own home is a given. What about every other party you go to? The job of a host is to make others feel welcome and accommodated. Why only do this in your own home? Look at every interaction as a chance to be a host. Ask “how can I help you?” Have fun with it.

7. Fire people who don’t contribute to the dream. Our peer group is our choice. Choose wisely. We all have people who put us down or don’t believe in our ideas. They suck energy and diminish our potential. Who says you have to be around them? You don’t, so stop acting like you do. Take the 80/20 Rule to your relationships. Passion is too fragile and much too valuable. Increase your odds of finding it and remove the chance of losing it.

8. Repair bad connections. For whatever reason there are people in our lives we cannot get away from, who seem to be out to get us. Kill them with kindness. Sack up, be the bigger person and do the following. First, feel their pain–try to empathize and somehow see their side. Second, be complementary–tell them what you respect about them. You can always find something. Relate to them. Do this often enough and most people will stop treating you like sh*t. Often they’ll actually become extremely close to you because you’re the first one who helped them through their insecurity.

9. Choose to care about someone. The easiest way to get you to care about me is for me to care about you. The golden rule in reverse as laid out this weekend by Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes. Bust your ass to help those around you. Simple enough.

10. Spend routine quality time. Notice the life-changers you come across. It may be the shop owner down the street, your mother, long lost friend or your favorite author. Write them into your story. Set up group dinners, cook for them, plan a trip to the amusement park or rent out a paintball field (we just did this for a whopping $45/person for four hours of unreal primal fun!).

Get lost in conversation for hours. Make these interactions a weekly routine. There’s nothing more important. When you find someone new and interesting, see what you can invite them to right away that will make them feel a part of your life. They won’t forget it.

11. Find your things in town – Your ‘tribe’. Make this a priority. Some huge blowout on a boat is just one of unlimited options. There are like-minded folks like you all over your town. I don’t care what you’re into or where you live. This is the Internet’s best use case. Search out those groups. Check Craig’s List, MeetUp, coffee shop bulletin boards, Chamber of Commerce, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. If you overhear someone at lunch mention something interesting, don’t be afraid to ask what’s up. It’s worth it, for both of you.

“You are the average of the five people closest to you.”

~Jim Rohn

Life sucks alone…

Experiences, accomplishments and success don’t mean much of anything if you’re alone at home with no one to celebrate. They are also much less likely to happen. What makes going to a restaurant, bar or new place so much fun? For the most part it’s the people – either the ones you know or the ones you meet. Be intentional about nurturing these relationships. Stay genuine. We all could use the extra passion.

What these guys are doing with Summit Series is literally changing the world. If you don’t currently have a resource full of passionate inspiring people, then create it. It starts with the people you spend most your time with, then move outwards.

Without this support you’ll likely never do the ground-breaking things you’re here to do. It’s the biggest reason people don’t leap. People around them think they’re crazy and before you know it, you think you’re crazy too. All of a sudden you’re back to doing what everyone else is doing.

The hell with them!

Brainwash the impossible

Those who think something’s impossible generally don’t spend enough time around crazy people who know it can be done.

We should all be insane enough to think things can be different. That things can be better. Put all those crazy people together and suddenly everyone’s doing impossible things.

Most people I came across this weeked were on their first, second or third startup (often after selling the ones prior). For them business and passion-work is not a means for making a living but simply a way of life. These people thrive off the impossible.

I used to think entrepreneurship was unattainable. It was too hard to start a business. That’s what authority always told me. Then I started hanging out with entrepreneurs. Being well into my third successful business, I now see no other way.

Create a network people dream of…

Welcome the challenge.

You can have it. You just have to cultivate it. Surround yourself with people who light you on fire. You will fuel one another and the world will be better.

Passionate People change your reality

At around 6:15 last Saturday evening Shai Agassi addressed a group of us. A few years ago Shai founded Better Place, an electric car company aimed at eliminating the gasoline engine and with it the world’s dependency on oil. In 2008 he was laughed at for his ridiculous vision.

Then he went out and raised $200m to make it a reality (yes, that’s million–one of the largest and fastest seed raises in history). To date he has raised over $700m and has rolled his fully operational electric car network out to all of Denmark and Israel. It actually works and is much cheaper than gas. He could outfit the entire United States for what the U.S. spends on gasoline in one week. I remember hearing about this project three years ago and I thought he was crazy. Good thing he disagreed.

At the end of his talk he told us the following:

“Everyone of you is Clark Kent. You’re Superman and don’t even know it. You all have at least 5 or 10 companies in you. Do the world justice. Be ready when you sell your business or decide it’s time to move on. Go up a very tall building and jump. It’s easy—just miss the ground.”

The world is run off personal relationships. They fuel our passion and make the unthinkable possible. I don’t care what business you’re in or what problem you’re trying to solve. It can only happen by surrounding yourself with the right people who believe insane things can be done. Without that support, we’re nowhere.

Whether you know it or not, you all hold me to a higher standard.

I plan to live up to it.

What about you?

Need help finding passionate people? This will help…

I recently created a course that will help you with exactly that. It’s called Live Off Your Passion: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Getting Paid to Do Work You Love. A few modules are dedicated specifically to building a world-class network of passionate people (one of the bonus webinars and one of the Expert Interviews also covers the topic in deep detail).

There’s also a no-questions-asked “Discover Your Passion (and get paid for it) Guarantee” so you can try the course out without any risk – just as it should be!

I encourage you to take a look – I think it will help.

Also be sure to join our passionate Live Your Legend community:

 

Image Courtesy of nattu

Leave a Reply

104 Responses to “Rule #1: Surround Yourself with Passionate People”

  1. I love this article and I have always tried to surround myself with positive people. It’s one reason I like Twitter is because I can choose who I follow and normally thats always positive and enthusiastic people who are looking to help other people out.

  2. Scott – great article. Wish we hung out more on the boat, but I’ll be in SF soon. Hope to catch up more then! Cheers!

    • Scott says:

      Thanks my man. Great sharing a cabin with you this weekend. Keep me posted on your SF plans. Thanks for stopping by and giving a read!

  3. Awesome, awesome stuff Scott. At the risk of inflating your ego a little bit – which I’m sure this won’t be able to do – there is momentum building behind each of your posts. This post builds on the previous one and not just inspires action for some people reading it (myself included) but requires action.
    I could write more but I just want to say thanks. You are a fantastic resource and I’m all about resources!

    • Scott says:

      Thanks Joel! This is huge to hear. It means a lot. To be honest though, the momentum comes from all of you. I’m still writing like I was a year ago, there’s just a few more of you to keep me on my game. Thanks for doing that. I live for this stuff! Ego, still small I promise.

  4. John says:

    Thanks Scott, great article. Have you ever thought about doing an event for your followers/blog community? let me know if you would like to organize something in SF, I’d be more than happy to help.

    • Scott says:

      Interesting idea John. I had not given much thought to it and to be honest I have no idea how many folks are in town. What kind of thing did you have in mind? Would be fun to connect in person sometime soon.

      • John says:

        I have been to events like wok+wine (http://woknwine.com/about), which are a lot of fun and a great way to meet interesting people. Depending on the number of people in SF from your blog community, it would be fun to do a dinner, or some other event. I can help you organize it, if your interested at all send me an email.

        • Scott says:

          Awesome John. I’ve been to wok+wik events as well. The owners have become friends–they were actually on the Summit at Sea boat. They put on awesome parties. Maybe I’ll put you guys in touch and you can chat a bit. Would be a lot of fun!

  5. Christopher says:

    In Northern NJ, I find it difficult to find people who want to befriend me and form Power Groups.

    I’ve found though, that staying connected to people like you through your writing, like Tim Ferriss, like Leo, like Jonathan Fields, like Chris Brogan, etc., you are my passionate people. Just because I don’t talk to you on a personal level doesn’t mean that you don’t rub off on others. I appreciate you letting us hang on your coat-tails.

    • Scott says:

      You flatter me Chris. I am honored to be listed among such names… You nailed it though. If you can’t find the people in person then get online. Track people down on skype, create mastermind groups, do whatever you can. And I bet there are at least one or two like minded folks in your town. Search em out!

      In the meantime, you are always welcome here :). Thanks for being a part of the action!

  6. tibor says:

    dude you write a lot but its all good! thank you :)

  7. Hugh says:

    Awesome post, Scott. I had never heard of the Summit at Sea, but I now have a new goal of being on that boat when it sails next year. Surrounding myself w/ passionate people is something that is lacking in my life and I crave it. Whenever I spend time with an awesome, smart, inspiring person, I get motivated to find more inspiring people. I really need to focus more on it, as it’s a huge motivator for me.

    @Christopher – I’m in Central NJ. If you’re interested in starting up a group, I’m all for it. Let me know!

    • Scott says:

      Now we’re talking! A local connection is already happening. Run with it!

      You will love it on that ship Hugh (or whatever venue they choose next year). Passion is unbelievably contagious. Find it wherever you can!

  8. Marya says:

    ‘It must be exhausting being you’. This is something that has actually been said to me. And I took it as a HUGE compliement. :)

    Nobody is more passionate about meaningful living than me. Unfortuntely, sometimes it is hard to find people on the same wavelength. Especially when I am a bit of an introvert when it comes to meeting new people. But, it’s good to be reminded that one should keep on looking. Thanks for the post, it’s great.

    • Scott says:

      Keep looking indeed. They are out there but if you don’t let others know, you’ll never find them. It can be uncomfortable but take the leap. It’s a such a small one when you look at what you have to gain. Soak it in Marya. Let us know who you find!

  9. Hi Scott, this was a really inspiring and insightful post, and a passionate reminder to all of us, how important the relationships we cultivate and nurture in life really are.

    Go Scott, for being selected to be part of such an esteemed group of world shakers and history makers, it must be a real honour to be asked.

    I’m working hard on developing my relationships online at the moment. As a new blogger just how important that is, is becoming frightfully apparent. If active relationship building is something that’s new to you, this post will give you a metric ton of ideas. I really got a lot from it

    Thanks

    stacey

    • Scott says:

      Awesome Stacey. Building relationships has no doubt been the number one reason this site has been successful–as anything else I’ve attempted. Personal connections rule the world! Good luck with your new blog. I’m here to help.

  10. Tonya Leigh says:

    Hi Scott-

    Well, as one of those people on the boat, I witnessed the power of passionate people.

    When I look back on the years of my life when I struggled most, there is a common theme: unsupportive people.

    Part of the growth process is shedding people who, as you so beautifully said, “don’t contribute to the dream.” As I’ve done that, my life has seriously taken me from trailer parks to palaces. Who you choose to put at your table of excellence will depict how excellent you become.

    GREAT article, my friend. So much fun getting to know you on the boat. Love to you and your family.

    See you in SF!

    tonya

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for checking it out Tonya! I could not have said it better myself “Who you choose to put at your table of excellence will depict how excellent you become.”. Love it!

      Firing the haters is such crucial.

      Can’t wait to see you and the crew this week!

  11. Dominic says:

    Hey Scott,

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring and insightful post. I really appreciate your reminder to us that it is, in fact, a necessity to surround and immerse ourselves with likeminded and passionate people, and to shed away those who just want to bring us down.

    And it’s really true that the people whom we hang out with can have the greatest impact and influence on our lives.

    Apart from this, while there is a need to intentionally “weed” out the skeptics and naysayers in our midst, I do notice that we do have a natural tendency to gravitate towards those who are supportive towards us and those who want us to succeed. So, we do subconsciously select our peers and cliques.

    Thanks once again for the sharing! ;)

    • Scott says:

      You’re right Dominic, we do. But sometimes we forget that we can choose whoever we want to hang out with and even more so who we don’t want to. Just because they’ve been in your life forever, does not given them permission to stick around and bring you down. Life’s too short!

  12. @cdstern says:

    I absolutely love this post. Really great stuff.

  13. Karen says:

    Hello! Thanks for this article. It affirmed what I am trying to do in my life right now. I lost my job last week and it hurt to have to let go of something that I had enjoyed. It is time for a new challenge and new opportunities.

    I joined Meetup.com and joined various groups. Today, i got back from my first meetup and it was so refreshing to meet new people.

    Thanks for the great ideas! Please keep doing what you do! It’s a blessing to us!

    • Scott says:

      Awesome you’re diving into this stuff Karen. Meetup is a great service. Come back and let us know your progress since then!

  14. This is so important Scott…glad you’re talking about it.

    My band plays around clubs in Baltimore, and many of the bands we play with are really hostile to each other–they think that by trashing their ‘competition’ they’ll get ahead.

    In reality though, those bands aren’t their competition–the bands on Billboard are. The bands that are super friendly and generous are the ones I see really going places.

    The same idea applies to bloggers–and any kind of business really…not that you need me to tell you that :P

    Anyway, thanks again for the great post!

  15. Dev says:

    In life, ambition is redundant if you dont have the passion for it.

  16. Ashley says:

    I love this advice. Unfortunately I’m finding it difficult to implement. I’m new to the area (LA) and even though there’s a lot of people around, I’m not sure how to find people who are interested in what I’m into. What are the best ways you’ve found to meet people that generate these types of connections?

    • Scott says:

      Check out the above points again Ashley. They will help. I’m sure of it. Just start with one place and one organization that excites you and try to meet one new person. Let the snowball build from there….

  17. Luana Mercy says:

    Hello Scott,
    This article is so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing your insights. I have printed this article and put it in my purse so I can re-read in my downtime and keep these important ideas in my head.
    Thanks!

    • Scott says:

      haha! Yes! That’s the first article I know of that’s been printed and carried in a woman’s purse. I love it!

  18. Matt says:

    Scott I would just like to say that I found your website a couple days ago, and It has given me the courage to get out there and do it! To take that first step and get my life of passion started. I am now making plans to start my own business and live my life on my terms, and with the intensity that it was meant to be experienced. I am no longer on autopilot.
    I decided to start a blog because of you, and my first post ever is a summary of the courage and independence you have ignited within me.
    I am more thankful than you can imagine.

    • Scott says:

      It’s truly amazing to hear this Matt and I’m so excited and happy for you. The first step is the most crucial. Come back and let us know the momentum that comes of it!

  19. Josie says:

    Hi! My name is Josefine and I’m a fifteen year old girl from Sweden.

    I came across your article last night, and it just blew my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I went to sleep, it’s brilliant!
    I’ve always let others bring me down, and I’ve never had faith in myself. Now I believe I can actually accomplish what ever I want, if I just put my heart and soul into it and believe in myself.

    Thank you so much for opening my eyes, you’ve really inspired me.

    /Josie

  20. Donna says:

    Great post Scott I shared on FB. Thanks!~Donna

  21. Robert says:

    Hi Scott,

    I’m Robert from the Philippines and a starting entrepreneur. I’m so inspired by the article. I’ll take action and find passionate people that will both inspire and motivate us to do the impossible. Thanks Scott!

  22. @misscindyld says:

    Just stumbled upon your site and so far I love it! Looking forward to reading more :)

  23. Lenia says:

    “What about you?”

    Hi again Scott!
    To answer to your question, I think I am a little bit late to all that. But it doesn’t matter because I am discovering this way of leaving, I am passionate and motivate. I am inspired by your posts. Thank you very much.

    Maybe, I am not too late…in any case, better late than never :)
    I look forward to reading more :)

  24. steve says:

    Great article. I have believed that passion is key for years. I remember reading Think & Grow Rich as a teenager and developed a “master mind” group for the sole purpose of improving my passion. Now I have friends I surround myself with that feed into our passion. I really like what you said here and believe it can’t be stressed enough. Thanks Scott for this post.

  25. Ann says:

    LOVE THIS. So much freakin’ truth all throughout and I’ve personally seen it… from both sides. Shared this on FB. You rock, thank you. ♠

  26. Kristle Sandez says:

    It’s the second time when i’ve seen your site. I can gather a lot of hard work has gone in to it. It’s actually great.

  27. Robert Chen says:

    Great Post! Life isn’t life without passion.

  28. I can’t wait for the “How to connect with everyone” course. It seems difficult to find people as passionate as oneself in smaller towns. I could use a tip or two…

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  34. Awesome post. It is very much inspiring and a moral to everyone. Being in company of passionate people help us to think on the positive aspects of life. By being passionate ourselves, we can help out our friends to come out of their negative thinking.

  35. Lisa Jackson says:

    Hi Scott
    Completely agree with this. Thanks for the post.
    I’ve recently created a meetup group for this exact purpose. It was my second one yesterday and 22 people came along. We had so many great conversations and i’m still buzzing from it!! Absolutely worthwhile and the best thing i could have done.

  36. Marina Zet says:

    …very good article!
    I believe it’s also important to know, which people to eliminate from your inner circle:
    https://marinazet.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/kiss-these-7-sabotaging-people-good-bye/

  37. lynne says:

    hi, great post. We should really surround ourselves with passionate and positive people, the more we do, the more we become happy and fulfilled individuals. Thanks for sharing.

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