Reflecting on our compounded success recently to be able to spill my thoughts on paper for you, one of the key metrics that we agreed to in the beginning was to only associate with A-Players in their industry.

Let’s face it, life is precious and life is short.  It is a commodity that keeps ticking and we never know how much time we have on this planet earth.  In order to have the best possible experience on this earth, you should relish the opportunity to set high standards for yourself. Standards are important because it draws a line in the sand with what you will accept and not accept for all parts of your life.  If you want a great life, you need to hold yourself and those around you to high standards.  Remember, everyone always has another level they can go to, another gear, another reserve tank to tap into.

Along the same lines, when building up the layers of your power teams (yes you should always have multiple options for every service you require) you shouldn’t be afraid to invest the time to seek out the best in their industries to work with.  When you sit down with 3, 5, 10 people in the same industry, the top performers start to stand out.  How did they carry themselves? How did they interact with staff or the public? What was their office like? What does their finished product look like? What sorts of systems do they have in place to continue to get better and better?

Keep in mind, you may need to be referred into someone’s inner circle to have the privilege to work with them.  Yes working with top players is a privilege, not your right.  Be prepared to enthusiastically sell yourself and your vision to these people due to the level that you are currently at in order to do business with these groups of people.

As long as you are following some basic rules of referability yourself, you should be able to dance the dance with A-players and turn these dances into long lasting fruitful relationships.  Some referability habits I’ve been brought up with through previous companies and joint ventures are:

  • Be on time for meetings
  • Do what you say – i.e. be a person of your word
  • Finish what you start
  • Be a battery charger – ie be high energy and enthusiastic
  • Tell it like it is but not worse than it is
  • Don’t participate in gossip
  • Live a life of transparency and play out each day as if the world is watching
  • Treat each interaction as if a lifelong relationship depended on it
  • Always provide value and referrals to your inner circle so the relationship is one of reciprocity
  • Always be looking to improve yourself through courses, books, self-study and feedback from people you love and trust.

Your standards will change over time, and what you once thought was excellent will change 1,2 or 3 years down the road.  You might “outgrow” some of your power team members and that’s okay.  Be open to recognizing this fact, don’t be afraid to have a frank conversation about it if you feel the service is dropping compared to past months and be okay to look for new A-players.

At the end of the day, keep your standards high, and don’t rush to replace a supplier.  Take the extra time to seek out the best and keep peppering your current network for some excellent referrals, as referrals are usually the best source of people to work with!