Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform

Did you know your success depends on who you know?

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I’ve made some huge changes in my life recently.  The biggest change I have made that I would like to share with you is that I have become, for the most part, self-employed!

It’s taken a long time to get to a place to make this decision, and anyone who has made that jump themselves (or hasn’t and is still thinking about it), will know just how scary and exciting it can feel.

In my new life I work as an academic for 2 days of my week, and the rest of the week I am scarily, wonderfully, amazingly my own boss!  For me it’s been so fantastic because I now have some clarity.  I can give myself wholly and fully to my students and the work and research I am so passionate about for 2 days, and the rest of the time I get to play, explore and be creative about how I work (watch this space because there are some pretty big projects coming your way before the end of the year).

What do you want to change?

So, why I am I telling you this, aside from the fact that everything is wonderful right now?  Well, it’s because I know that there are some key reasons that this has happened for me right now and a lot of that has to do with the people I have been associating with…


I have over the past few years gathered around me, both consciously and unconsciously (the Universe heard me), people who have shifted my thoughts, challenged me and shown me ultimately that other things are indeed possible.

I could go into the many areas that these people have had an impact because the areas these people have impacted me is multi-dimensional and far reaching, but for the purpose of this post I will stick to the main topic at hand which is self-employment.

Who do you hang out with?

Have you ever heard the saying that you are a product of the 5 people you spend the most time with?  Well, I happen to think that the people you spend your time with is really, really important.

The people around you help to shape who you are, your beliefs and as a psychologist I’m also aware of the ‘group effect’, specifically in this case Group Cohesion  What studies in this area show us is that whilst you may not always agree what members of an group of people do, you are more likely to agree or go along with ways of thinking and being because you ultimately have created your own ‘norm’ and to go against this would mean not fitting in (put very simplistically psychology peoples!).

So think about this for a moment, if you are not achieving what you want right now, why not take a look around you?  Who are you associating with?  What is your partner doing or saying to you about what you want to achieve?  What do you friends or colleagues say to you, or maybe they don’t say anything they are ‘just being’ not what you want to be?

One of the best strategies you can implement to start changing something, is to start associating with and surrounding yourself with people who either doing what you want to do or who are at least supportive of what you want to do.

For me, the biggest role model has been my mum who made a successful business out of her own passion which was a group therapy home for Mentally Ill patients.  My Dad did the same with his love of houses.  He ran his own property development business, back when it wasn’t so popular!

Now, I surround myself with determined, passionate, hard-working and knowledgeable women who are, for the most part self-employed and living a life of location and financial freedom.

Success rubs off…

So, although success doesn’t rub off per se, after all you can’t really be successful merely by association; I can tell you that good evidence both research and certainly in my own life and practice, shows that who you choose to spend time with has a big impact on what you do, who you are and ultimately, who you end up being.

Choose these people carefully.  Learn from them. See what they do and build your knowledge.

Welcome and be generous and giving to those who truly inspire you and ‘light you up’ and with a smile say goodbye to those that don’t.  Misery attracts misery, success attracts success.  I know which camp I’d rather be in.

Till next week…

I’d love to hear from you.  Have you ever experienced this?

Did you feel like you needed to make changes to who you spent time with?  Maybe you too have noticed a big difference in choosing to associate with other like-minded people?

I’d love for you to join in the conversation and tell us all about it…


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