The 7 Types of People Every Entrepreneur Needs in Their Inner Circle—and How to Find Them

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You’ve probably heard statements like the Jim Rohn quote, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Those in our inner circle play an important role and can influence our well-being and growth.

To attract the right people, you have to be who you want to attract. When entrepreneurs tell me they can’t find their people, my first question is, “Are you the person your desired circle would feel like?”

Your inner circle is not limited to one group of people. Think of the business world and the various stakeholders that participate in it. You too will have multiple stakeholder groups. For this article, we focus on building your inner circle to provide you with the best possible service.

A personal council of advisors

Think of this group as the people who play the same role as a board of advisors for a company, but for you. These are mentors who have more experience than you in the areas where you want to grow. Mentors should not be confused with paid professionals such as coaches, although there can be overlap at times.

Make a list of the different advisors you want on your board. Be sure to start with the ones that would complement your skills and expertise. Avoid finding people like you. They may have shared values, but seek different strengths and experiences.

Ambitious models

These are people who model the life you aspire to. Your lives don’t have to be identical, but they do have to be similar. For example, your ambitious model might be a mom who is a traveling entrepreneur, or a technical director who started a nonprofit and grew up in a similar culture. You don’t want to copy their lives, but ambitious models help remind you that anything is possible.

Some people will immediately choose people like Oprah, but I recommend choosing someone whose journey is more like yours. Think of an emerging social media personality or a new author. It is better to pick someone who is 100 steps ahead of you than 1,000.

Good friends

Yes, your inner circle should contain friends you don’t do business with. Sure, maybe they’ll ask you how business is and come to your corporate anniversary party, but you’re not sitting there talking about it. It’s so refreshing to sit in a hot tub with my friends with a glass of wine and almost forget I’m running a business because it just doesn’t come to mind. In fact, none of the conversations turn into business conversations.

business besties

I call the women in my mastermind community my business besties. It’s intentional: we’re not just business partners and we’re not just friends. We are a hybrid of the best of both worlds. We can talk about business, money and strategy, but also occasionally openly about personal matters.

Related: How to reconnect with people outside our inner circle

sphere of influence

This is your extended network. You don’t call them on their cell phone, but they will email you to notify you of a speaking opportunity or they will bring up your company at a meeting. These could be people in your local community or even on social media that you think of when someone asks for an expert in their field and will recommend you for that press opportunity.

Your community

I call the people in my community ‘dreamers’. This is what we see as our “ideal customer” or what some influencers consider their fans. But it’s not just followers or customers. They are the people you want them to follow your business, buy from your brand and read your book, but you would also get along as friends.

Related: Building a Relationship with a CEO? Woo the inner circle first.

The investment crew

These are people you pay to take you or your business to the next level. Think of the therapist who will help you heal childhood trauma or that business coach who will help you get to six figures. I call them the investment crew because – once you find the right one – there is always a return on investment and the benefits go beyond money.

So, how do you find the people for these groups?

My inner circle is great. They get me, and I them. This is who they are. This is also who I am. It’s not manufactured, it’s organic. It’s a symbiotic relationship. What I create speaks to their souls, and they are the kind of people who move me too. Embody who you really are and what your business is all about, and you’ll understand exactly who’s right for you. Stay away from people who bring you down and hold you back.

Start by making a list of the specific characteristics you want the people in each stakeholder group to have. The characteristics should include topics such as financial, personal, emotional, vibrational, etc. Once you are specific and begin to embody what you seek in others, your people will trickle in. Have fun increasing your circle of influence!

Related: How do you know which investors to let into your inner circle?

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