The Secret to Being Extraordinary Is Being Average

So long as you surround yourself with people way better than you

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said that you become the average of the five people you most associate with. Makes sense if you think about the law of averages.

Since then, everyone from Tony Robbins to Tim Ferriss has repeated this line. Why? Because it’s absolutely true.

I stumbled upon this truth accidentally. Through the years in my job as an anchor on Bloomberg Television, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most successful people on this planet. After interviews, I’d sometimes have lunch or coffee with them. Other times, we’d literally just spend a few minutes after a segment talking. I’d pick up on little things they’d say that spoke to me. Through the years, some became friends. Eventually, a core group emerged as my “brain trust” — people I immediately rely on to check me, give me advice, offer their opinions.

Most of these folks are uber-successful. Some are also people I intrinsically trust because they’re super smart. I know that relying on them through the years has made me much smarter and wiser. There have been enough times where their advice has saved me from making the dumbest mistakes. Sometimes just being in their “world” has given me an education — meeting the people they associate with, hearing their conversations, watching how they navigate difficult situations.

I’m lucky to be in this position. It doesn’t mean though that if you’re not rubbing shoulders with the business elite, you’ll never be successful. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in whatever job I was in, I’d have eventually found this brain trust, albeit with a different composition. Smart, sharp people are everywhere (if you are interested check out who our Radiate experts surround themselves with in business here!)

I encourage everyone to develop their brain trust. It’s a big reason why I started my company, Radiate, which features a whole host of exclusive advice from the most successful people in business. The truism is correct that we are what we eat and we’re also what we consume in knowledge. If we choose to consume junk, we’ll become junky. If we surround ourselves with quality information that elevates, we’ll become elevated.

So start developing and building your brain trust. Once you have a great group of people to rely on, it will be the one time where it’s okay to be average.

Please join me on Radiate where you can get more exclusive insights from today’s top leaders! We offer a snackable collection of videos featuring our expert CEOs to help solve problems, gain perspectives and learn new business skills. Try out the “Netflix” for careers!


Originally published at www.inc.com.