Monday, November 3, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 2 comments

The 5 People You Need In Your Circle of Success

The 5 People you need in your circle of success | Yes, We Ris

CIRCLE [sur-kuh l] noun: "an arrangement of people or things around a central focus or theme."

Ever had a theme week? A week where everything seemed to come back to or point at a specific message, theme or idea. Well, I recently had a theme week and it "revolved" around  circles. It started with a conversation with a friend; then there was a trip around my old stomping grounds; followed by singing with my sorority sisters; to some table decorations and a breakfast conversation. By the time the week was over, everything was pointing back to the simple idea of "the people in my circles".

Some mean me well, others have completed their useful time and others are surprisingly showing value in new and unexpected ways.  Without boring you with all of the minute details, I'll summarize the learnings from my week of circles. In the end, it came down to me understanding that:
  • We all have more than one circle
  • While they are always whole and complete by nature, they can change based on need and circumstance
  • Not everyone should have/get the same access
  • We are in charge of our own and we must act responsibly in our role(s) in other peoples
Beyond these points,  the most valuable takeaway I got from my theme week was my success and/or failure is due in no small part to who is in my circle. If success is on your agenda, you may do well to make sure that you have the following five people in your intimate circle:

1.  A CHAMPION - SPC has been in my corner from the day I met her at the bus stop. She gave me the lay of the land, introduced me to some folks and made sure that everyone in the neighborhood knew that I was cool peeps. Beyond my parents, she is my single biggest cheerleader. It is because of her alone, that I got a freelance gig that sent me on a free trip to South Africa, have made repeat appearances on a national news program and been invited to countless movie premieres and advanced screenings. Beyond the public, fun stuff, she is by far the biggest dreamer I've ever met in my life. She has a vision of possibility for me (and all her friends) even when we cant seem to see it for ourselves. She believes in me.

2. A COUNSELOR/MENTOR - JRC is like the big sister I never had. She is someone that I can confide in and more importantly, she tells me what I need to hear. She has seen more than me and has an informed and unique perspective. She has no pride of ownership about what she knows and she is never jealous. JRC will tell me when I am wrong and when I am right. She is honest and direct, and I know that when she talks, its always in my best interest, even when its not easy to hear.

3. A SOUNDING BOARD  - The thing about  a good sounding board is that, they just listen. They listen so well that they can repeat previous conversations, correct you on finer points and details and remind you of things you might have forgotten. This person, has no vested interest in anything other than making sure you feel heard, seen and valued. They know you well, especially your weaknesses and your dirt, but they never throw either back in your face. Depending on the situation, this person may vary...just know whether or not you can trust them. Thanks MWP for being this person for me.

4. A STRAIGHT SHOOTER/WING (WO)MAN -  WHATEVER THE SITUATION, asked or not, you will get the truth straight, no chaser from this person.  this is the person that will say to you as you are getting dressed to go out..."take that off, you look like a stuff sausage!"...without being asked. This person is probably the most important person in your circle. As you climb the ladder of success, many will tell you exactly what they think you want to hear. Your shooter/wing(wo)man will see through all those folks and tell you what you need to hear. A trusted allied and confidante, they don't  have to know what you do or how you do it, they just need to know where the side of the road is and be able to yell "ditch" when appropriate.  My straight shooter keeps me on the path, makes sure I don't look like an old lady with my wardrobe selections and sends me easy-cook recipes because she knows I will eat out every night if I get bored with cooking. She is my travel-partner and road-dawg, I trust her with my life and family. PG, nobody can replace you or what you do.

5. A COLLABORATOR - Most advisers and experts will tell you that your peers cannot help you get ahead because "they are where you are, not where you are trying to go." I disagree. KDA is someone who understands me and what I have to go through  on a daily basis. When you have someone who truly understands the nature of your work or what you are trying to do, they can help you to think-through ideas and nail down your options. He/she is never your competition, but someone with whom you can have a mutually beneficial arrangement. A great collaborator, they know how you think and understand the nature of your beast, and when you all work together amazing things can happen.

Now...if you don't have all of these people in your life already, you now have a place to start. If you have people in your circle(s) and these positions aren't covered, then you might want to rethink one or two of them. If you find, you have these basic positions covered, then you can start building out...and watch the richness of your life unfold.

Peace, Joy & Love,
Michelle H.


  1. Great article! I have a few different circles and I never looked at it this way! MNH is my A STRAIGHT SHOOTER/WING (WO)MAN and supporter!

  2. I've had these in the past but i really need to identify who my new ones are.