According to an article in The New York Times, the average person knows 600 people. If only 50 of those individuals each influence 50 of their friends, that number grows to be 2,500 people with whom you can potentially connect. If 50 of those people influence 50 of their friends, that number increases to 5,000.
With technology, the Internet and social media, we can now connect to people throughout the world without having to go anywhere. The more people you know and positively influence, the more successful you are likely to be.
Q: What is your personal experience with peer groups?
A: The first individual who helped me understand the peer group concept was Bob Goff of Goff’s Collision Repair Centers in Wisconsin. He is a real innovator.
His body shop wasn’t far from mine, and one day he walked into my business and invited me to a body shop association meeting. I didn’t really understand the concept of a body shop association at that time. I thought I was on my own and was going to run my business all by myself and make my own decisions.
I thought it was really strange that this guy came in and approached me, but I went anyway. To me, it was a little intimidating to go into a room full of my competitors without even knowing them. I remember going that Tuesday night and being in a room full of body shop owners from around Wisconsin. They were great guys and were friendly toward me and made me feel at home.
We saw a great presentation by Blackhawk and learned what the future held for the unibody car. It was very much like our industry is today with all of the technology we are facing. It was a revolutionary time in the industry.
From that point on, I didn’t miss a meeting. It was one of the most powerful things that had happened in my professional life. I went from a guy who thought he was going to fix wrecks to a guy who saw there was a much bigger world with a much bigger opportunity than there was within my four walls.