Change The Crowd You Run With

One of my favorite parts of running is the amazingly high caliber of people I have been privileged to run with over the past few years.

Check out this partial list of people that have joined me on one or more runs:

Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine
Robin Sharma, Leadership Guru
Tony Robbins, Personal Development Guru
Joel Osteen, Spiritual Leader
Dr. Wayne Dyer, Personal Development Guru
Gary Vaynerchuck, Branding and Social Media Expert
Jim Rohn, Success Expert
Mike Dooley, Possibility Expert
Seth Godin, Business Thought Leader
Marshall Goldsmith, Business Thought Leader
T. Harv Eker, Sales and Success Guru
Sally Hogshead, Fascination Expert
Chris Anderson, Founder of TED
Jack Canfield, Personal Success Guru
Michael Port, Personal And Sales Success Guru
Malcolm Gladwell, Business and Success Expert
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Technology and Business Experts
David Rock, Brain Expert
Kerry Patterson, Workplace Communication Expert

I know what you’re thinking: “DANG, he’s connected.

Not quite. Although I do know a couple of those people, the reality is that my iPod is full of audio books and programs.

Instead of listening to AC/DC, Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber when I run, I invite an expert, guru, or thought-leader to run with me. 

I used to believe I needed some thumping, pumping music to keep me going, but one day I decided to try an audio book instead…just to see if I could follow along. I honestly thought I’d hate it, but I wanted to absorb more books, so I gave it a shot. The next thing I knew I was in the shower, barely able to remember running, and with a thousand new thoughts racing through my brain.

I was hooked, and I’ve done it ever since.

You don’t have to be a runner to run with a crowd of experts, either. You can invite them to walk, bike, or lay in your hammock with you, too. I invite them to ride to work with me in my car. Even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes each way, that adds up to a lot of world-class advice each week.

The way I look at it, you could listen to one of the mind-numbing morning radio shows or you could listen to something that actually feeds your brain, sparks a new idea, and helps you grow.

In other words, you can listen to the “Morning Zoo” or you can develop a more successful YOU.

On our recent mecca to Hilton Head, my entire family (well, except for me) fell asleep on the drive. I dug out my headphones and listened to a big chunk of  Max Lucado’s Outlive Your Life. On the way home from the trip, I secretly wished they would fall asleep again so I could finish it. They did.

Hey, I still like my AC/DC sometimes and I often drive through the streets of my sleepy little suburb cranking the music louder than most teenagers do. But listening to Back in Black one more time doesn’t help me learn anything new, be more effective at work, or build a more satisfying life.

The late motivational author and speaker Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say “Five years from now you’ll be the same person you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet.” I have found that statement to be more true than I ever imagined.

If you want to be better at what you do, change the crowd you run with.

Not sure where to start? Here are some resources to explore:

Free resources:

  • Ask friends if they have any audio books or audio programs you can borrow.
  • Search iTunes for podcasts from people you want to learn from. Many of these are free.
  • Search for experts on YouTube and create a playlist that you can play on your smartphone.
  • Download the My Power Podcast app for a free podcast each week from Nightingale-Conant. You can also listen online.
  • Most libraries have a selection of audio books. Some libraries even have them available to download.

Inexpensive resources:

  • Subscribe to (or buy books one at a time) for books you’ve always wanted to read.
  • Search iTunes for audio books, too.
  • Subscribe to SUCCESS Magazine. Each month, the printed magazine comes with a CD that typically features three experts interviewed by the publisher, Darren Hardy. The digital edition comes with the same in mp3 format. This alone is worth the subscription.
Even the resources that cost money are downright CHEAP compared to the value you get.
Do me a favor, I know the resources I mentioned are not the only ones out there. If you have other ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment below either using the blog comment box or the Facebook comment link. Your ideas will help other readers! Talk about running with a better crowd!

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