Who you surround yourself with is who you become.

9 steps for optimizing your circle 🧵
Step 1: grab 2 sheets of paper and a pen/pencil/sharpie
Step 2: on first sheet, make a list of your 10-20 closest personal connections

For me, this includes:

- Mom
- Girlfriend
- @austin_rief (co-founder)
- @SahilBloom (friend)

I get to 17 connections on my list.
Step 3: on same sheet, make a list of your role models

- dead or alive
- know or don't know
- must embody a trait that you desire to emulate

For me:

- Dad (integrity)
- @JayShettyIW (empathy)
- @KingJames (commitment)
Step 4: on same sheet, make a list of your communities

- collection of people you have a shared interest/experience with

For me:

- Startup Twitter
- University of Michigan
- Jewish community
Step 5: on same sheet make a list of your content sources

- focus on 10% of sources where you consume 90% of your content

For me:

- @packyM
- @stratechery
- @LoriGottlieb1
- @balajis

Stand up, stretch, crack your knuckles.

What you've done is outlined your current circle.

All of the inputs in your life that have an outsized impact on who you will become.

Okay, back to it.
Step 6: on sheet 2, draw a bubble with your name in the middle
Step 7: on same sheet, connect your name to values that you want to embody in life

- max 8 values, otherwise it becomes tough to focus on who you want to become
Step 8: take all items from sheet 1 and connect them to the most relevant values in sheet 2

Austin -> discipline
Mom -> service
Jay -> empathy
Sahil -> curiosity
Step 9: find holes in your circle

This is when the fun starts & when things become eye-opening.

This is when you audit & optimize who you surround yourself with.
1) First, take note of the things that you couldn’t assign to a value.

If it's family, maybe you're so close to them it's hard to separate values.

Or may they don't embody any, but that's okay, because family trumps utility.
If it's something like content, adding/removing is lower friction.

Perhaps you become ruthless about only consuming content that supports one of your values.
2) Second, take note of values that are bare.

For me:

Curiosity/empathy were less occupied than service/discipline.

I now think about what I can do to introduce things that embody those values.

Example: create a Twitter list of the 20 most curious people I follow
Think about how important this exercise is.

For the entirety of your career & life you'll have goals that map back to values.

One of the fastest ways to become your values is surround yourself with the right things.

This is the playbook to do that.
If you enjoyed this thread & want more like it, follow me on Twitter!


If you want my full thoughts on auditing & optimizing your circle, check out my podcast about it:


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