31/03/2017 07:28 BST | Updated 01/04/2018 06:12 BST

#SquadGoals - Top Tips For Entrepreneurs About The Company They Keep

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Last month, the popular social media catchphrase, 'Squad Goals' was cemented into the English language when it was added to the Oxford Dictionary. Defined as being used in reference to a person seen as something to aspire to or emulate, especially when it comes to friends. With over 3 million references to the phrase on Instagram (and counting) it might be time for you to consider your Squad Goals.


Squad goals might have been catapulted into the stratosphere with photos of celebrities posing with other like-minded bright young things amidst a backdrop of private jets and dessert festivals. But it got me thinking about my own, less glamorous but highly effective, 'squad.' Here's what I've learned about how today's entrepreneurs can create their own squad goals:  


First, surround yourself with people who get it

It takes a certain kind of person to have the single minded approach to start a business, invent something new or indeed do anything that makes you stand out from the crowd. I have on occasion missed a friend's birthday, not made it home for dinner with my family and spent years of my life travelling from one country to the next. The people I surround myself with don't just understand why I do it, they support it and a lot of them even share this trait. They might not all be tech entrepreneurs - some own restaurants and shops or are even full time parents - but they do all share the need to throw everything at their passion.


Second, remember you are what you eat

Or in this case, you are what you hear. There's a real need to surround yourself with positive and constructive people who give you the advice and support you need. This doesn't mean everyone in your squad is successful or rich. But it does mean that they are interesting and inspiring and make you a better version of you. In turn you have the same effect on them.


Third, always be open to new friends

It's never too late to make new friends. Plenty of people I know are closed off to making new friends. Certainly it gets harder as you get older, but you need to be open to it. A great thing about my job is that I meet all kinds of people every day. Young, old, smart, creative, technical... And you never know when one of those people will turn into a lifelong friend who will enrich your life - especially when they bring with it a different perspective.


Fourth, you are the company you keep

For better or worse, you are judged by the people you surround yourself with. This can't be overstated. This doesn't mean you drop your oldest friends for those you think could give you a leg up. But you do need to consider the affect your relationships have on your reputation. I've been fortunate enough to have countless introductions from friends to people who have been useful to my business. These contacts have given me the time of day because they trust our mutual friend's recommendation. If someone in your circle is more likely to bring you down than boost you up, it might be time to reconsider your Squad.


The Bottom Line

Squad Goals isn't just for millennials. The people you surround yourself with matter. They have the power to support you, stretch you and drive you to success.  My squad is full of interesting and inspiring people, and it grows every day. I suggest you find a squad that does the same.