The people with which you associate are a much bigger influence on your self-concept than you may give them credit for, both negative and positive. Do you want to fly with sparrows or soar with the eagles?

 
If the true power of these people was acknowledged, there would probably be some who wouldn’t be in your life and you’d be spending a lot more time with others who are supportive and encouraging.

 
It's always sad to see relationships go by the wayside, but this is your life we're talking about. You can't afford to have negative people in your life if you are determined to create an abundant life for yourself.

 
A mastermind group is the most positive, productive association you can have. You can find people to mastermind with on your job, in your church, in service organizations or clubs you may belong to and at live events you attend. Together you'll brainstorm and empower the entire group to unlimited success.

 
Masterminds can be as few as 2 people, but somewhere between 5 and 10 works the best. The main thing is that a mastermind group creates measurable accountability. You need to be accountable to someone other than your family and friends to keep on track and not give in to excuses.

 
Find people who are already where you want to be in life or, farther along the path than you are so they can help you along the way. Make sure you have something to contribute that will benefit them. Look at your special skills and how they would benefit others in your mastermind.

 
If you want to earn $1,000,000 this year, it wouldn't do you any good to mastermind with people who earn less than $100,000, would it? Keep in mind what the goals of the other members are to see if this is the group for you. The people you associate with will determine the degree of success you achieve in your life. That's why the like-minded people you meet attending the same events you attend is a great place to start.

 
Back at home, what organizations do you belong to that have members you could form a mastermind with? Three years ago I made a decision to join a group of entrepreneurial, success-oriented people from all over the world. I knew these were people I wanted to be a part of my life, but I had no idea the huge impact it would have on my success.

 
As a result, in just a few months I was introduced to other groups and everything in my life has become better. Besides my financial success and the joy of living my life on purpose, I now have many interesting friends and know some pretty famous people. Three years ago it was a fantasy, within months it became my life.

 
On December 6th, 2001, I was one of the people attending the $1000 a plate National Charity Awards Dinner in Washington D.C. It was a moving evening in tribute to the heroes of September 11th. When I received the invitation with The President and Laura Bush listed as Honorary Chairmen I knew I was going someplace I'd never been before. Walking into that ballroom with everyone in evening gowns and tuxedos and so many famous, important people was a little like Cinderella going to the ball.

 
A few weeks earlier I went to the bookstore to look for a book by an author I met at a seminar the week before. Laura Davis is the best selling author of "I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation". I looked down the aisle and realized there were 5 books by people I knew, just in that row. How my life has changed!

 
Later I came home and watched Oprah honoring "Famous Dave" Anderson as part of her Angel Network. I had just been talking to him at the same seminar. I enjoy those things in my life, they are inspiring. All I changed was one thing. I decided to spend time with some new people. Now I spend time with the kind of successful people I have admired for years as well as making some incredible new friends.

 
All of those things happened in just the first few months of my joining a mastermind group of like-minded people. Since then I can't even separate out what it's meant to my business growth and to me personally to have these kinds of people in my life, everything is so interconnected.

 
I would highly recommend taking a leadership role. It creates a strong focus on your part because the group is depending on you to keep everyone else on track. It's your job to remember what each person is looking to get out of the group as well as what they have to contribute.

 
It's always amazing to me how quickly a mastermind group can accomplish things. Sometimes as fast as you can say what you need, someone else is telling you how they can give it to you. Help comes instantly in many cases and creativity abounds. You can feel the energy of the group whether on the phone or in person. If you are in the same area as the other participants, there is an incredible energy of meeting in person.

 
By far, the best place to meet people to the largest group of potential mastermind partners is at live events. A perfect opportunity for women entrepreneurs is coming up August 6-8th in Las Vegas at "Women's Business Empowerment Summit". Drop whatever you were planning on doing this weekend and be there! You can get more information at www.WomensBusinessEmpowermentSummit.com

 

Excerpted from " 9 Keys to Living an Abundant Life" by Lynn Pierce

 
Lynn Pierce mentors entrepreneurs and sales organizations. Learn the communication and sales skills that get clients 3 times the results in
1/2 the time with 1/10 the effort. To receive the free mini-course "9 Steps to Getting to YES Without Selling" visit www.GettingToYesWithoutSelling.com

 
Lynn Pierce is the #1 Best Selling Co-Author of Wake Up…Live the Life You Love and author of, "Getting to YES Without Selling, The YES System" and "Change One Thing, Change Your Life; A Personal Transformation System"