Episode 33: Associations Matter - 15 Minutes to Freedom Podcast | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Episode 33: Associations Matter - 15 Minutes to Freedom Podcast".
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This is 15 Minutes to Freedom. I'm your host, Ryan Neidell, and today's episode is Associations Matter. So I've heard over and over in my life that you are the sum total of the five people you surround yourself with. And it's one of those things that Gary Vaynerchuk has said a lot about and obviously that trickles down into, or not necessarily trickles into, but other social influencers, other successful entrepreneurs say that as well.
Personal Experiences And Influence
Gary Vaynerchuk (00:25)
And I, for a while, thought that was complete bullshit.
Associations Matter (00:32)
I look at the number of people that I associate with and the close friends that I have, and I thought that my level was, the level of my life was increasing every day. I have great friends, great people in my life, and thought, boy, that's kind of bullshit. The only thing that makes it important that you surround yourself with the five greatest people is if you're willing to consistently push each other and level each other up. You can surround yourself with great people, really phenomenal businessmen, really phenomenal beacons of what they see in their industry as success. But if you're not pushing yourself to drive at their level, then you're really just hanging out with them. You're not, you're not growing. So I started diving into this a little bit more personally and go back into the time of my life when I was in the car business. You know, I had a great friend named Dominic Turnock and Dominic Turnock was an Englishman. He literally came over from England, came to the U S was one of the first sales guys that we hired after I came on board at the Mercedes-Benz dealership here in Columbus. And I didn't like him to start with.
We had an adversarial relationship, admittedly, because he intimidated me a little bit. My sales prowess and what I was able to do in that part of my professional career had me at the top of the food chain. And when I saw him come in, I saw, wow, he has his own way about him. He has his own, you know, he has that thick British accent that the customer is just eating out of his hand. Like, I know I have some competition. Well, very quickly, I took the advanced step up into sales management. He ended up working and being one of my, at that point, closest friends. But I can remember him and I would go out after work. We'd have, as he would call it, have a pint. But specifically, we'd have a beer or two or sometimes obviously much more than that. And he started to show me that you could speak as eloquently and control conversations the same way outside of the car world as you could inside the car world. And I was enamored by this. We would go to a bar or a restaurant and he would have the waitress and all the ladies around eating out of his hand. Now, Dominic is not an overly intelligent or beautiful looking man. He's probably at this point now 45, maybe 50. And if he's listening, no offense, Dominic, but he's older, he's slender, typical slightly crooked English teeth. There's nothing amazing about him other than his personality. And so his personality would shine consistently. He would always be the center of conversation.
Closed in in the Car World (02:48)
He'd always have people around, always have people looking to feed off of him. And so as all these people are around all the time, he's showing me like, look, the way that you control a sale, the 12 steps to the sale inside the car world, it's the same way if you want to close somebody outside the car world, if you want to make somebody feel important. And so that was great. I started implementing that. However, I must put another spin on this, that during the same time period, Dominic's engaged. Dominic's engaged to a young lady, and I was dating at least one woman at that time, which eventually turned into three or four. And this turning into three or four was because, not because, but as I'm associating with Dominic, I see how easy it is that it's every Thursday night we're going out for drinks or going to meet up with people. And then using him to enable me to tell stories and lies to the woman I'm dating at the time about where I'm at. I'm telling these stories and lies because it's more fun to go out with him and hunt new women because I see it's like this new rush. And then that part of my life kind of exits and I go to a competitive dealership across the street and I eventually bring Dominic over and then I bring in another guy into my life. His name is Devin Applewhite. So Devin is a very charismatic, very good looking black man who also has the same abilities that Dominic has. I really can't call them womanizers so much, maybe a little bit in their own right, but more just the fact of just having that self-confidence that they just don't care. They're just going to go out and find a new woman to talk to all the time.
It Was Take That Into My Rest of Life (04:08)
But what ends up happening is Devin ends up getting engaged as well. So now I have these two engaged friends that are encouraging me to go out and talk to women. I'm assuming that this is acceptable. This is what life should be. So I start mirroring the behavior of these two men. And not saying it wasn't inside of me. I'm not ever going to blame another man for my own decisions. Lord knows it was not either one of their faults that I wasn't able to be faithful. I was weak. I was cowardly. I wasn't able to sit down with the woman I was dating and look her in the eye and just say, this isn't the right fit for me. I always came up with the bullshit justification that if I just slow played it and found somebody else, that eventually the old relationship would blow up and I wouldn't have to be the bad guy. I wouldn't have to have the tough conversation. And that's just a story of my 20s. So I keep going down this vicious cycle of thinking that this is acceptable. And then we all start lying and covering for each other. You know, if one of our girlfriends or theircés would start to catch on, they'd simply go to me and ask me to cover them that they were somewhere that they weren't. And of course, I'm thinking as loyalty and the way the quote-unquote brotherhood at that point works, you take care of your friends. You lie for them if you have to. I thought that was being a good friend. Little I know that at this point, being a good friend is looking that person in the eye and telling them to shut the fuck up and change what they're doing. Being a good friend is not enabling bad decisions and bad behavior. Being a good friend is having people understand there's a different path to go on. But I wasn't of that mindset then. I was of the mindset that, look, I just have to help my friend out. And so this goes on for the better part of 18 months, two years, maybe even longer. So much so that Dominic eventually fades out of my life a little bit, and I step into the web hosting world, and I bring Devin along with me. I go from sales to CEO of the company, and I bring Devin in to backfill my sales position. So now Devin is helping me in a new environment still enable my old bad behavior. Except now I've leveled myself up, and I'm associating with another, I'll call it group of degenerates, as much as I love all of them, that are making multiple six figures a year, that have endless ability, that all find it to be acceptable to cheat on their wives, significant others, spouses, lie, gamble, whatever the vices are. And so every time we travel, every time we're around each other, it's almost like a pissing match to see who's got the most crazy story of the dumb shit that we did and that we're laughing that we're getting away with it. Now this is all association. These are the people I'm hanging out with. So this is now what I'm accepting to be appropriate. Now that's in my personal life. Obviously in the business world, we're all accelerating at a rapid pace. All of our businesses are growing exponentially, really week over week, sometimes day over day, because we're all pushing ourselves that way.
Something Else (06:43)
But our release or our justification is then when we get around each other or we're away from the people that are quote unquote important in our lives, that it's okay to cheat on them. It's okay to flirt with women. For some of them, it's okay to buy hookers because it's not cheating if you pay for it. That was the life I was in. And so eventually that whole world comes crashing down for me, not only because of the fact I just got burnt out and the fact that the hosting company went in a different direction and I ended up being forcibly pushed away from CEO, somewhat stepped down from it, kind of an in-between story there.
Taking a new Life Path (07:07)
We'll catch up on it another time. But went out on my own and stopped associating with some of these people. Had a falling out with Devin. He ended up moving to Florida. Was no longer speaking to Dominic. I lent him some money that I wasn't able to pay back. And I'm sitting there looking like, what has the past six or seven years of my life really consisted of? Sure, I have some phenomenal stories. Some of the craziest stuff ever. Parties in the real world suite at the Palms. Having topless dancers have naked tricycle races around the real world suite at the Palms having topless dancers have naked tricycle races around the real world suite, videotaping it, throwing meat at them. Things are degrading at this point, but you don't imagine this stuff really happens. That was the life that I was living. And this life isn't anything that I actually want. I was doing it because it was easier to go along with the flow than go against the flow. Because the flow of life was everybody else is doing this shit, so this must be the right way to do it. Like cheating on your wife, cheating on your girlfriend, having multiple girlfriends, going to strip clubs consistently, whatever it is, those things were normal. And if you didn't do them, you were looked at as abnormal. And being weak of character and mindset back then, I certainly couldn't go out on my own and take a step back. At this point, I could very easily go to any one of these events, any one of the things that we would all go to, enjoy myself, have a good time, not drink, not go to a strip club, and I certainly would never imagine cheating on Lindsay. And I'd be okay with the fact if they talk shit about me behind my back because I know exactly who I am and why I'm doing it. But back then I didn't. I was easily malleable. It was very easy for me to be bent into a position that compromised what I knew to be right from wrong. So to look at that part of my life and how heavily the associations matter, I realize they do. It's not just this sum total of five friends. I've had to weed out friends here locally because as I went down the path of what we'll call the warrior's way, you guys watch this on YouTube, see some of the pictures I post. I'm actually wearing a wake up warrior shirt right now. Part of this men's group and the men's group at the very base level is based around the fact of a few key points. One, stop fucking lying. Just tell the truth.
Wake Up Warrior (09:29)
Above all else, tell the truth. Two, do a sequential amount of things every morning to put yourself in the most power that you can to feel good about yourself before you leave the house. And three, find all the power and purpose in your family because they're ultimately all that matters. So the associations I now have inside of this group of men, it's actually just on a call before hopping on this podcast, with 11, well actually 12 total of my brothers, as we call them now, on this call, empowering each other, pushing each other, pushing each other to be better, making sure we get more shit done every day. Pushing each other. Pushing each other to be better. Making sure we get more shit done every day. The slogan of Wake Up Warriors, be more, do more, suck less. That's really what the association that I'm now a part of equates to. And that's forcing all this exponential growth in a positive direction. Where I know the people I'm talking to on a day-to-day basis don't cheat on their wives. And if they do, they come clean about it and they deal with the ramifications because it's cause and effect. I know the people that I'm associating with now on a day-to-day basis care about making sure their body is in the right position every day. They're not abusing anabolic steroids like I used to. They're trying to become weaponized. They're trying to become functional to not only protect their family but also to feel good every day in their own skin. I know the guys I'm associating with have a mental connection or a spiritual connection to God or whatever the higher power is that you happen to believe in, that we meditate every day. We focus on that. I know above all else, they put their family before anything because ultimately that's all that matters. And those were things that even growing up as a young man, I didn't have. I didn't know that. I didn't know. Like I was taught, my father taught me, the harder you work, the more money you make, the happier your life would be. Now, he taught me that now from a position of divorced at 14, in my life when I was 14, unhappy, almost suicidal, on antidepressant medicine, all the way to the point that he's not. Now, he's had a happy marriage now for, gosh, I think 17 or 18 years, the second time around. But the first time, like, if I look at what I was really taught, what I was learning, it was all bullshit. Like all of it. And so the people that you talk to every day, if you go, Tommy Baker, another good friend of mine from Wake Up Warrior, he's had some posts on this lately that resound with me. If you look at your phone, you look at the people that you speak to the most, the five most frequent phone calls, the five most frequent text messages. That's going to tell you a whole hell of a lot about where you're going to get to in life. If you're surrounding yourself with people that are going to bring you down or say it's okay to not do things that you know or say that it's okay to do things that aren't correct, those people are going to drag you backwards. They don't help you. They don't help you get to where you want to get to. They don't help you. They don't help you get to where you want to get to. I had that here, unfortunately, in Columbus. I had guys, as I took this path into the wake-up warrior way of life, that I tried to show this new what I'll call operating system, this new way that puts me in a different feeling. I'm able to do more every day than I could do in weeks or months before. And I hand that over, and they lie about it, and they say they're going to do it, and they don't do it. And their life is regressing backwards. Or at least for me, I feel like I'm running 100 miles ahead, and they're probably only going a mile an hour. It doesn't work. So the associations that we keep and the people that we speak to every day are either going to propel you forward to a different direction, a different place, or they're going to hold you back. And by holding you back, they actually are pulling you backwards, because life's always going to progress. Technology is always going to move forward. Technology is always going to move forward. Business is always going to move forward. You should always be moving forward unless you're happy with stagnation. See, to me, stagnation ultimately equates to death. If I'm not growing every day, if I'm not learning every day, if I'm not expanding every day, I feel like I'm fucking dying. And I've realized that about myself. I've had to come to terms with the fact that if you're not about some level of expansion or personal growth, that you and I ultimately aren't going to have a long run together. Not because you're a bad person, but you don't line up with me. You're not increasing my life. You're not making my life better. And other than showing you what I'm doing and try to encourage you to do the same or get some input from you, I can't make your life better either because I'm not going to be able to understand where you're coming from other than the point that I was there at one point in my life. And no, I don't want to be there anymore. So I really look at the sum total of this, you know, what I always call the Gary Vaynerchuk thing of the sum total of the five people that you hang around. Like I said, I used to think it was bullshit. But as I look at my life now or I encourage you to look at yours, where in your life, if you look at your body right now, whether it's you're hanging out with people that are overweight, that go out to eat and drink beer all the time, or you're hanging out with people that enjoy going to the gym and enjoy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, that's going to affect the direction your day goes almost every day.
The Importance of Association. (13:43)
Same thing in your business. If you're surrounding yourself with the people around the water cooler all telling each other how bad this company sucks, how much I don't want to be here, man, I wish my boss would just leave, get off my back. Those are the people that aren't going to help you get to the next level that you might want to get to. Same thing in a relationship. Coming from a guy's perspective, if I'm going out every Friday night and having beers with my buddies around a bar stool somewhere talking about the fact of how bad and miserable our wives are and how we can't wait to cheat on them or I just wish that she'd go away or it's cheaper to keep her.
Wisdom On Influence
All the dumb shit that we all say to each other as men, like those people are not the right people to sit yourself around if you want to level up how that relationship really functions. So as you take stock and audit of what you have in your life, I heavily encourage you to sit back, figure out what you want, and then start finding yourself people that mirror what you're looking for out of your own life. It's surprisingly not nearly as hard as you think it to be. Whether it's universal law or the energy that we emit, there's something that brings those people into your life if you live that way long enough. brings those people into your life if you live that way long enough. And living that way long enough and putting one foot in front of the other every day with actionable items is just another synonym for getting shit done. Hey guys, Ryan here. Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please head over to iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you consume audio and subscribe to 15 Minutes to Freedom if this brought you value please do me a favor and drop me a 5 star rating then share this podcast with someone who needs to hear it for additional content head over to RyanNidell.com that's R-Y-A-N-N-I-D-D-E-L dot com