The past 2 weeks have been quite the roller coaster. I just got back 2 days ago from a 10 day trip to Miami. Each year for several days I meet with one of the most interesting and unique groups of entrepreneurs from around the world.

It all started many years ago when about 50 of us completed an executive education program at MIT. Our graduating class decided the education and the fun was too much to just end that year so we formed an alumni committee to plan an annual event to meet and learn in different cities all over the globe. The program has grown over the years to include people who completed the same program in different years but the premise and quality of attendees has never faltered.

It is a very unique group of people and I am very fortunate they let me still come year after year. The group consists of highly successful entrepreneurs from the US, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia and even Kansas.

These men and women are between their mid 30’s to upper 40’s and run companies ranging from medical devices, magazine publishing, computer recycling, insurance, financial services, engineering, construction, movie studios, call centers, software and more. I won’t specifically name anyone, but some of these guys’ companies are quite well known.

Each year we converge on a city for a fantastic educational program as well as a bit of debauchery that goes well into the wee hours of the morning. But more important than the education received from the hired speakers is the learning we receive from one another. Many of the attendees are well known entrepreneurs, authors and speakers in their own right who could easily lead the room in an educational program.

Relevant to my own business I made connections for greatly improving my marketing campaigns, ways to legally move money offshore and allow it to grow tax free, high level banking introductions, highly effective negotiation strategies, and a shopping cart full of other tools to implement over the coming months.

Why am I sharing this with you?

For one reason and one reason alone. If you are not connecting with and learning from people who can raise you and your business to the next level, you are in serious need of an upgrade to your sphere of influence.

I am certain the vast majority of you reading my weekly newsletter are highly successful entrepreneurs, investors, doctors, lawyers, and freelancers from all over the globe. But just because you have reached the level of success you enjoy today is no excuse to remain complacent.

One of the most important things you can ever do to grow personally, mentally, physically and professionally is to raise the level of those you surround yourself with. For me, this annual event is my fueling station. I attempt to surround myself with successful people on a daily basis, but this type of event definitely raises the bar.

Think about your current sphere of influence. Now compare yourself to that group. Are you roughly equivalent to that group in many ways? I have mentioned this before and received a bit of negative feedback from it but I will discuss it again.

Take a look at your 5 closest friends. In most cases your income is the average of those 5 friends. Your net worth is the average of those 5 friends. Your house is most likely about the same as those 5 friends. Your social plans, your physical fitness, your weekend hobbies…. You get the picture.

Are you happy with that? Go ask people in your sphere of influence if they would like to join you on 2 week motorcycle trip through the Alps. Ask them if they would like to climb Kilimanjaro with you or go on a hunting trip in Siberia.

Not your cup of tea? What about spending 3 weeks on the beach in Bali or going to New Zealand for a month?

These things take time, money, freedom and adventure. How many of your friends would be willing and able to do these things? I know if I sent an email to the group in Miami I would have several takers.

It’s a big world folks. Do you really think your life is best lived going to work Monday – Friday from 8 – 6, eating the same meals, watching the same tv shows, playing golf on Saturday then yard-work on Sunday, only to hit the repeat button again on Monday?

Get out there and live your dreams. Experience life as it was meant to be lived. See the world. And most importantly surround yourself with people who challenge you to be more than you are today. Complacency is easy. It’s also boring as hell.