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Want to supercharge your success in anything you do? In fact, it’s everything you do, because every area of your life affects every other area. It’s all about the people you spend any amount of time with. Here are a few guidelines that work.

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person that you are today in five years, except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

You don’t mix Lagavulin with coke. Mixing a great single malt whiskey with cheap sugar water is just stupid. It dilutes and damages the exceptional product. Associating with people who are on a trajectory to failure is not wise.

When he gives you a glimpse of what is behind his mark, believe it, even when the mask goes back on. Don’t buy the lie; people are good at acting a part, but remember, the graceful ballet dancer on the stage in Swan Lake isn’t necessarily the same person when she’s on ecstasy at a club with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.

Talk is cheap; money buys the whiskey. Big hat, no cattle? Don’t believe what they say until you watch what the consistently do. “Consistency” is the operant word here. Observe their patterns of behaviour over time, and look at whom they associate with before you believe anything they say. (Others will be noting the people you associate with, too.)

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. You can’t stick your hand into the jam jar with having some of it rub off on you. What you hear, read, see, and where you go, and especially who is around you, is of paramount importance to those who seek to rise above mediocrity.

Drink upstream from the herd. If you don’t want your life tainted and poisoned by the bad choices of others, you have to avoid them. It’s better to walk alone than to be in the company of losers. And remember, their values will affect you a hundred times more than their religion.

Keep skunks at a distance. Get too close, and the stink will make others think that you, too, are a skunk. Spend enough time in a Starbucks and see how everything you wear starts to smell of coffee. Don’t even try it with smokers – you will instantly alienate good people with your foul smell.

Words that sink into your ears are whispered… not yelled. Parasites and predators will slowly influence, condition, and weaken you. They’re good at using their slimy tricks to persuade others. They will subtly plant bad seeds in your mind. Keep away from them at all costs.

Losers seldom reciprocate good deeds. There are only two kinds of people in this world of ours: givers and takers. The takers seldom reciprocate and always need something you have, be it friends, money, help, or connections. Identify this cancer fast and blow up that bridge, too.

And when you find good people who share your values, people who are smarter, richer, better connected, more experience, and wiser than you are, do all you can to build good relations with them. They will repeat that track records. They find it hard to find genuine, hard-working, ambitious, honest people, too. Reciprocate, go out of your way to attract them. They are the key to your greatness.

Finally, avoid people who are not clean and well groomed, those who procrastinate or regularly show up late for appointments, smokers, gamblers, the politically correct, and the obese. And watch the eyes of men: if they can’t keep their eyes off scantily-dressed waitresses in restaurants, they’re weak, and weak men are dangerous.

Looking back on my life of almost 65 years, I know this to be true. Pictured above, from left to right, Marnus Roothman, Jay Abraham, and me.

Robin Elliott