The Essential Power of Surrounding Yourself With Like-Minded People…

in Do What You Love, People & Products

Community.  Allies.  Team.  Support Group.  Alliance.  Mastermind.  Tribe.

I don’t care what you call it.  It’s absolutely essential to your success.

I’ve always known this to be true, but it’s been undoubtedly confirmed by nearly a hundred independent conversations I’ve had with people over the past week.  And here’s the thing… it doesn’t matter what your goal is.

More and more, I’m realizing there are only 3 essential components to lasting success:

  1. An undying, relentless passion.
  2. Clarity of your mission.
  3. Immersion in like-minded people that “get it”.

I’ve known the first one since the first month I started blogging.  I fully realized the second one in the last 3-4 months.  I just filled out the third one here in the last week.

I’ve discussed the first two in detail on the blog before and will continue to rant on them in the future.  However, today I want to break down the concept of surrounding yourself with like-minded people.

You can use whatever term you like, at the present time my favorite term to use for this is “Allies”.

Allies are people in your life or business that are fundamentally interested in seeing you succeed. It’s your support system… your safety net… your biggest source of inspiration.

Most people have two problems in this area:

Problem #1:  You have more haters in your life than allies.

Or at least the haters in their life are louder and more annoying.  This can happen in all segments of life.

Attempt to radically get out of debt?  There will be haters.

Try to start a blog to change the world?  Your family will think you are f@(*ing crazy.

Sell everything you own to travel to the other side of the world with your 1-year-old daughter?  Strangers will email you to tell you that if you loved your daughter you wouldn’t “drag her around behind you” while your pursued a selfish fantasy.

Look, folks, I’ve been there.

But here’s the thing.  Haters will always hate.  Let them.  Screw them.  Wish them the best and then let them wait to die in whatever way they see fit.  In the meantime, go out and do something for yourself… for your family… for the world.

“Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it.” -Chinese Proverb

Here’s the best news of all:  you can replace the haters in your life with allies.  You don’t even have to convert them!  You can just replace them.

I didn’t grow up 50 years ago, but I’m imagining it was much harder to find, tap into, and surround yourself with like-minded people. As a society and a world we were much more location independent.  Your friends, interest, and thus your personality was often molded by where you lived and who else happened to live there.

Obviously, that’s still the case today. My handful of closest friends are still the guys I grew up with. Courtney and I lived down the street from each other as kids and started dating in the 7th grade. So don’t get me wrong.

However, with the power of technology and the internet it’s easier than ever to truly immerse yourself with other like-minded people. No matter what you have a passion for or interest in… you can find a group of people online.  You can find tens of thousands of people passionately building communities, businesses, and charities… pouring their souls and hearts to build up themselves and everyone around them.

So stop trying to convert haters. Even loved ones.  There’s no need.  Seek out your allies online. Meet them in person. Help them. Learn from them. Eventually, if the haters are an important part of your life… they’ll see the light.  They’ll come running.

Problem #2:  You aren’t tapping into all three layers of “Allies”…

When seeking out and recruiting Allies, it’s important to gain inspiration from the 3 different layers:

  1. Revolutionaries
  2. Confederates
  3. Recruits

Once again, I could care less how you name these 3 layers.  I like cool, fancy names.  Some people prefer others like mentors, friends, newbies.  Whatever.

Here’s the point:  You need all of three of these in your corner.

Revolutionaries are the guys and gals at the top…

They are the trail blazers… the ones that lead the charge into battle.  They are the people the inspire you to take action and show you that more is possible.

I’ve had many people fill this role for me in the last 2-3 years of my life.  Each separate area of my life (finances, relationships, work, passion, etc…) often has different revolutionaries helping grant the inspiration.

My three (current) biggest revolutionaries:

  • Chris Guillebeau – Responsible for 95% of my approach to business and blogging.
  • Danielle LaPorte – Constant source of energy, passion, and bluntly authentic writing.
  • Dave Navarro – Dave produces the most tangibly-valuable free content anywhere.  Not close.

Everyone needs this layer.  It’s the juice that trickles down and helps spread to all the other layers. It’s where almost everyone starts.

Next, you need Confederates…

The people on the same level as you are.  The men and women in the trenches next you… scratching, clawing, succeeding, and failing in real-time with you.  These are people who “get it”.

Confederates are good enough allies that they can tell you when you are screwing up. This is absolutely essential.  The other layers won’t be as forthcoming when you f’it up.

I’m lucky to have a small handful of people in this category. They know my business inside and out. They know my struggles and my strengths. They know my plans and my fears. They aren’t afraid to tell me when I misstep and are quick to point out when I hit a homerun.

This is a layer that so many people I talk to are missing.  They know lots of people on the same business level… they follow each other on Twitter.  They know another family crawling out of debt or another couple struggling with their marriage.  They may even fully acknowledge that they are “allies”.

But they never take the relationship deep enough. They never really ally.  They stay on the surface and thus miss much of the benefit, inspiration, and motivation.

Take action now. Take the first step to deepen the connection.  Create a mastermind group.  Reach out to someone to be a blogging buddy.  Get on the phone and pour out your thoughts to someone on the same level… business or personal.  It’ll help.

Need a specific example? One of my confederates, Karol Gajda, recently reached out and rallied together the minimalist blogging niche.  He asked 13 different confederates in the niche to combined 17 different guides into a single package. Karol packaged $225 in value and sold it together for $27 for 3 days only. He called it the “3-Day Minimalist Book Sale” and he sold over 1500 copies of the collaboration.  He donated his first 24 hours to Kiva.org (over $9,000).

How ridiculous is that example?  When Karol told me about the idea, I instantly gave permission for him to include Unautomate Your Finances.  It took me 2 seconds to say yes.  All the bloggers involved can get all their best content into the hands of more readers and fans of minimalism can save $200.  All because Karol had the balls to step up and coordinate it.

What can you do like this?  It doesn’t need to be a sale of premium content.  How can you rally your allies? How can you help build up everyone?  How can you help a similar group of families accomplish a similar goal in your community?  Do it.

Don’t forget about Recruits…

Most people have the first two layers in one form or another.  A revolutionary inspired them to take action and they have at least one or two confederates (even if the connection could be deeper!). However, many times it stops there.

Don’t let it stop there.

Help new recruits. Give back.  There is almost always someone newer to the journey that you can help.  In the middle of paying off debt?  Help the flustered single mother make a list of everything she owes.  Recently sold your excess crap?  Help teach your sister how to list an item quickly and effectively on eBay.

I’ve been desperately giving back to new and up-and-coming bloggers for the past year.  Do I know everything?  Not a chance.  But I had people who poured themselves into helping me early on when there was no benefit to them.  I didn’t have an audience yet.  I didn’t have anyway to repay them.  It didn’t matter.  They gave their time, provided their expertise, and but their boot against my butt when I needed it.  All for free.  Just cuz.

But you know what?  On all the Skype calls, emails, and phone conversations when I was “helping”…  I was learning.  I was growing. Reaching out and talking to new recruits helped me more than it did them.

Every time I gave advice, it was as if I was looking in the mirror and talking to myself.  I was reminded of what was really important.  I came away emboldened and motivated from almost every conversation I had with a new blogger.  I’d like to say I was “giving back”, but the truth was I was taking even more energy from the situation.

So… don’t forget.  Give back the first chance you get. Doesn’t matter what journey you are on.  Find someone new and help them as much as you can.

All 3 Layers in Practice:  The Unconventional Groupie…

This past week I had the chance to develop all three layers at the same time.  It’s been an awesome experience.

This past Tuesday, Courtney, Milli, and I co-hosted Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Book Tour in Bloomington, IN.  Courtney baked some cupcakes, I picked up some wine from a local winery, and we joined another 20-25 people from all over Indiana (including my buddy Joel Runyon) for a engaging discussion.

That night, Chris was planning on driving to Cincinnati in one shot.  I was planning on going to Cincy anyway (I live between Cincy and Bloomington), so I decided to ride over with Chris.  I called up another confederate, Matt Gartland, who was on his way to bed. Rather than sleep, he waited up and hosted us as we arrived late in Cincinnati for the meetup the next day.

The next day, Matt and I brainstormed his upcoming plans to take over the world for several hours before heading to the coffee shop where the book tour was being held.  Cincinnati was an even larger meetup, with 30-40 like-minded individuals gathering for another amazing conversation.  Afterwards I got to go out to dinner with Chris, Matt, the insanely insightful Jane Friedman, and the engaging Todd Henry (who has his own book coming out).  The dinner conversation finally convinced me to write a book.  Yep, a real one.

At the meetup, Chris turned and said “You know Ann Arbor and Chicago are the next stops…” I still don’t know if he was half-joking or half-serious (I guess both), either way I thought… what the hell…  Why not?  A quick call to Courtney and 15 minutes later, it was decided.  I’d keep the fuel coming in by heading to the next two stops.  Chris and I made the 4 hour drive up into Michigan.

It helped that another handful of passionate confederates where coming out to Ann Arbor, including my friends Karol Gadja, Johnny B. Truant, and Matt Jabs.  Around 40-50 other people joined us at the flagship Borders store on the campus of Michigan University. Once again, seconds after I started meeting new people… I knew it was worth it.

That night, Matt (Jabs, this time) hosted me at his house before I boarded an Amtrak train to Chicago from East Lansing.  Quick funny story here.  I mixed up time zones as Chicago is an hour behind Indiana.  This meant that I was going to need to do a radio interview DURING the end of the train ride.  I desperately searched for an empty train car, which there was none.

So I did whatever any sane person would do.  I stood up, announced to the dozen rows of people around me that I would be doing a radio interview, loudly, on my cell phone for the next 30-45 minutes.  I apologized in advance and explained that I was an idiot that mixed up time zones.  Gladly, everyone was cool with it… giving me thumbs up and asking me why I was awesome enough to be interviewed. 😉 So the front of train car 6 got a one-sided interview and the show went off without a problem.

The Chicago meetup had some last minute theatrics as the venue didn’t know that 75-100 people were about to converge on them for a book tour, signing, and discussion (there was an obvious mix-up somewhere).  Regardless, it worked out and by the time most of the people arrived things seemed to be clicking.

After yet another deep and rewarding series of conversations, I walked in the rain to Hostel International, crashed for the night, and boarded a bus back to Indianapolis in the morning where Courtney and Milli were waiting.  :-)

Why in the world am I sharing all this?…

Because this is an example of me building my own layers.  I needed this experience to recharge my batteries. I’m deeply influenced by surrounding myself with like-minded people.

I hadn’t planned on dedicating 5 days and 4 nights on the road away from Courtney and Milligan.  But I tapped into the flow.  It was so inspiring, on all three levels, that I took as much advantage as I could.  I’m full of passion and dedication right now. Thank you to everyone in Bloomington, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, and Chicago.  I owe you.

Your situation is different. You may or may not enjoy touring the Midwest by car, train, and bus hanging out with people focused on living a deliberate and remarkable life.  I do.

I got a heavy dose of inspiration from a few revolutionaries, deepened the connection with a dozen confederates, and helped provide advice to a bunch of people who were in the early stages of their own journey.

For me, folks… this is living. This is what “it” is about.

The only thing better would for Courtney and Milli to have been able to join me.  They couldn’t this time.  But we are taking steps to ensure that they can in the future.  :-)

What’s your next step?…

Mine was 4 stops of a book tour.  What’s yours?


How can you expose yourself to passionate Revolutionaries?


How can you deepen the connection with Confederates on the same journey as you?


How can you start helping other new Recruits… now?


Answer these questions.  Literally.  Write them down now.  Take action.

Let me know how I can help.

This is essential stuff people.  You need this.

Do it.

photo by Elvire R.

Disclaimer:  This post has affiliate links (currently).  Buying through this link doesn’t change the price, but it does help support this site.  Also, Karol is a close friend.  And he gives me advice all the time.  And I think the specific affiliate link is the best value I’ve ever seen online in 20 months.  I could have gotten all the guides for free… but I already owned them all.  Oh… and I have a guide that’s part of the sale.  I think that covers everything. 😉

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel Runyon October 4, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Baker this is awesome. It was great to hang out again. Sounds like you had a great mini book tour with Chris. Glad it was found. Talk to you soon.


Baker October 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM

Great to see you again, Joel. Chris called it a “traveling roadshow”… 😉


L.Duncan October 4, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Love this post! Found your blog from twitter and had to link to you today!

Have a great day!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Thanks, so much. Appreciated you sharing this with your audience. :-)


Tom Owens October 4, 2010 at 11:39 AM

A superb post, Baker! Applause to Courtney and Milli for letting you be you. The best part of your story is what’s UNSAID. At no point did you say you were doing this to boost your ebook sales. You were supporting Chris and others. You are authentic. That’s why you’ll keep succeeding.

“Dating since 7th grade…” WOW! That’s destiny.


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Thanks, Tom. Appreciate having you in our corner. :-)


Moneymonk October 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM

“Haters will always hate. Let them. Screw them. Wish them the best and then let them wait to die in whatever way they see fit” whoa Adam is getting hard !!!!!!!!!

I so agree, maybe some people are so sensitive they allow people to mess up their mind and their future, so sad.

I am grateful to be in America where you can do what you need to do in order to build a future.

Great Post.Good motivation!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Yeah, this stuff really effects a lot of people. I can’t count the number of people I talked to that wanted to do something remarkable, but had family, friends, and co-workers just plain hating on them!


Matt from Nashville October 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Fantastic post, Baker. Thanks for sharing so personally about where you’ve been and how it’s landed for you. Those three layers of community and the exhortation to bond more deeply with allies is a great point that I really needed to hear.

Missed you over the summer, and it’s great to see you catching fire here in the fall!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Thanks, Matt. Now go bond with those allies! Fire comes and goes… maybe someday I’ll blog about creative burnout… right now I’m just happy to be back. :-)


JR Moreau October 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Great post. It can be hard to find like minded people consistently throughout life. I’ve moved a lot and changed my interests quite a bit in effort to refine the good things in life and leave behind the bad ones. I’m finding it’s crucial to cultivate every single good connection you make and let the ones that don’t contribute wander off. As little wasted energy as possible is crucial.


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Yeah, true. This is why I love the online community so much. I love the fact that using the web and social media, I can quickly find and cultivate these relationship.

Of course, being able to transition these into the real world (at meetups and such) is the icing on the cake. I love it!


Paul Williams October 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Excellent article, Adam! I have to thank you again for taking the time to talk with me. Your advice was extremely useful and insightful and I’m still trying to figure out what it will look like for me. I do know I don’t want to do something I’m not passionate about, and you helped spur me into thinking more actively about what I’m really about. Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration!

I think I’m still on the recruit level and maybe inching into the confederate level with some people. I’m going to have to keep thinking about all these things and our conversation. Thanks again!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Rock on, Paul. I’m glad I was able to help. :-)


Hugh October 4, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Baker this is a ridiculously awesome post. I obviously don’t know you personally, but I can feel by reading this how amped up and energized you are from last week’s tour. You say that you are full of passion and dedication right now and I can tell. That must be an awesome feeling. I would have to say that one of my goals right now is to find “work” that makes me feel like that. Thanks for the inspiration and I may take you up on your offer and let you know how you can help me, a beginner recruit!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Hugh, you aren’t going to find it… you have to *make* it. :-)

I’d love to get to know you personally! Haha, stay in touch. Glad to have you along for the ride.


Josh Crocker October 4, 2010 at 1:17 PM


Dude, this post couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for me. You’ve helped me to clarify a thought that’s been in the back of my mind for quite some time. Especially after reading Chris’ Art of Non Conformity book and learning about the “small army”, this is invaluable information!

Also, you’re a pretty freakin incredible salesman. I think I may just go and buy this ebook package now! Thanks dude!

– Josh


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Josh, thanks man! Also, it’s easy to be a great salesmen when you only pick and choose the best offers by insanely genuine people. That’s why I love this platform. I don’t have to sell advertising or sell *anything* but a handful of value-packed things.

Appreciate the kind words!


Wojo October 4, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Inspiring read, truly. I’ve always admired you for the ability to just put yourself out there and run with it. It’s proof that with the right approach and a lot of passion, even the “little guy” can succeed. :)


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Not sure I’ve found the “right” approach… but I’m always trying! 😉


Wojo October 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM

One of many “rights” I guess…but certainly not the “wrong” one… :) The whole post, really, is one big manifesto of an approach to blogging/business/life, and one that is a good, clear blueprint. Good stuff!


Tonia October 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM

I found you via http://www.home23duncanboys.blogspot.com I agree 110%. I’ll be following via twitter. Thanks for this post today!!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Thanks, Tonia. I hope you’ll stick around. I have big plans!


Adam Martin October 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

What a great post! I am glad you had a good time. I wish I could have made it down to the event in Bloomington. I think you are an inspiration to all. Keep up the good work and I will be looking for the book.

– Adam


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Sorry we missed ya, Adam. I’ll let you know in 2 years when it comes out. 😉


Kristen Sloan October 4, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I found the section about finding revolutionaries, confederates and recruits very helpful. Thanks for breaking down the importance of finding like minded people in the different categories. And to echo some of the other comments, it’s great to have you blogging more consistently again!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 2:54 PM

It’s great to be back, Kristen. Glad you connected with my terminology… sometimes I think my brain works in really weird ways. At least there is one other person who can say the same! :-)


Rob Ward October 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Hey Baker!

That’s awesome news to hear you are going to write a book – I recall Chris prompting you to do so at the Cincy meetup. It was great meeting you there.

Thanks for the many reminders. I definitely need to find some fellow Confederates (you and Chris, and Dave are my Revolutionaries) to keep me motivated.


Baker October 4, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Hey, Rob, was great to chat with and meet you in person! I’m excited to be called a “revolutionary” ;-). I’m sure we’ll be crossing paths again really soon!


Rob October 4, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Rock on! Love this post, and need it as I just don’t have many real world people, and easily retreate from online people. Seek out and surround with like minded people for success. Relationships are fuel!!


Baker October 4, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Exactly, I feel like I’ve been fueled up! :-)


Cherie @Technomadia October 4, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Thank you thank you thank you for this very timely post for me. Our little blog has been getting more and more visibility, and the few haters starting to come out of the woodwork has been getting me down. It’s been stressing me out, and knocking me off my purpose for blogging in the first place – to connect with and find my tribe of like minded folks. I love the way you’ve broken down the three categories, it’s spot on.

Your post is just what I needed to read to help remind me of my purpose. To do what it takes to stay my course. To inspire, and be inspired. Because you are absolutely right, it is what it’s all about.

Thank you to all who recharged your batteries, and thank you for helping recharge mine.


Baker October 4, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Sweet! I’m glad I could help give you guys some help back. I appreciate our chats and we are taking more and more steps… ;-). Can’t wait to cross you guys on the road!


Chris "On Tour with the Circus" Guillebeau October 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Hey Mr. Baker! This is awesome. I was thrilled to have you along for the ride — remember, the tour picks up again next week in D.C. Feel free to take the Dakotas off, but I’ll expect to see you back in the saddle again soon.

Seriously, you’re doing great and I’m happy to support your own remarkable journey. When you do the ManVsDebt book tour (or any other tour), I hope to come out somewhere and do the intro and security for you.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Um… I’ll have Ken do security. Duh. :-)


Joshua October 4, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Good post.

FYI, I’m trying to go through your affiliate link but it’s a pain in the butt. Can’t get to actually buy the guides b/c have to deal with all the email enrollment stuff.

It might need attention.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Yeah, Karol had issue with the 1000+ people that lined up to get the package. Can’t believe how popular that was (well, I guess I can, which is why I used it as an example!). :-)


Heidi October 4, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Awesome article. My husband and I really value the like minded friends in our life.
We just recently made the decision to sell all our crap and travel the world. We actually only have one more week to get everything sold and get out of our condo. We need to get on fast forward with making more connections. So may plan is to hang out on this blog and others like it as much as I can.

Thanks for your inspiration!


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Heidi, we are glad to have you hanging around! Your own journey sounds exciting and I can’t wait to see where it takes you.


Chuck Rylant October 4, 2010 at 7:26 PM

This is an outstanding post. Consider yourself as having added at least one new ally with this new post.

My 1st goal with my writing was to meet more like minded people because it seems there are so few, but as you share, the internet opens the door to so many bright, motivated and interesting people.

And on your hatter bit, there are a lot of people that are not doing anything that really diskike seeing people that are.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Nice, another ally! :-) Yeah, keep at it. The internet has crazy potential for you to bump into many, many more out there.


Vic Dorfman October 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Great post brother!

Nothing better than traveling all over and meeting people who totally get it!

Fire Under Butt = Rekindled

Good Vibes~


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Exactly. My butt is hot, too. Oh, wait… you get the point.


Mirella October 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM

This is such a wonderfully tangible way to think about the people we have in our lives. I always love something that can help me think about and organise my thoughts.

Some of us have got so used to having a lot of “haters” around us that we start thinking we are actually alone, that we’re just so different that we either have to accept it or try to deny who we are.

This three tier approach is such a great way to think about what sort of people may be missing from our lives and who we need to proactively seek out. And as you say, this is so much easier to do now.

Time to go find my people!


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:13 PM

You bring up a great point about the “haters” making us feel alone. They have a tendency to do just that. Almost like roadblock put us to blind us from the like-minded people around us! 😉


Janell Beals October 4, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Great post covering so many key points. I particularly like the part about simply replacing the haters…intriguing concept that has a lot of truth behind it.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Yeah, it’s one of those tips that’s easier to say then do. Sometime we *can’t* replace the haters physically, but we can replace them mentally and emotionally. :-)


Justin Lukasavige October 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Great insight, Baker. Community is the number one key to my success. Without it, I’d be the owner of a mediocre business.


Jay October 4, 2010 at 11:06 PM

Very encouraging post. It inspires me to deepen my relationship with other bloggers and like-minded people that I respect. Being relatively new to the blogging world, I especially want to work on connecting with intelligent people who inspire me and can help me grow, as well as finding those I can already help. Thanks!


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Jay, that’s an awesome place to start. Connect with those people and look for ways to give back to their missions and/or their communities.


poch October 5, 2010 at 12:24 AM

This is just my no. 1 stumbling block. I only have like-minded allies on the Net but they’re far from me in real world. sigh


Justin Lukasavige October 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I hear this a ton, Poch. I’ve been a leader at the Free Agent Academy (http://faatrial.com) for years. There are a lot of online sites like it, but what we figured out years ago is that it’s not enough. So, in addition to the online stuff, we host 4-5 in-person events each year in the mountains of Colorado. That’s the real benefit.

In addition to that, I don’t have anyone local who is on the same wavelength with me. So I have a call with a friend every Tuesday morning. We keep each other accountable and continually tell each other to stop caring about what other people say/think. Being in communities like this have been the best thing I’ve ever done for my business.


poch October 5, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Justin -Glad to hear of your success. I wish I could experience it too the way you did.


Justin Lukesavage October 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Well, everyone is going to have their unique experiences, Poch. I’ve been at it in business for 5 years. I didn’t find the Free Agent Academy until about 18 months into it. I didn’t hire a coach for the first 12 months. Those first 12 months were rough.

But through it all I tried to surround myself with real people who cared. It was tough, but that’s what kept me going.


Matt Jabs October 5, 2010 at 12:45 AM

Great stuff Baker. As you layout so accurately in this article, it was awesome being around other like-minded people, and finally meeting so many face to face. You’ll be glad to know that I’m making serious moves to uncover the thickly wrapped package that is my passion… so I can finally uncover it for all it is, then let it shine before the world.

Instead of going for the bananas through the cage, I broke the glass, grabbed the banana’s and ran off to make the most of them. And here I am. :)

Cheers man… until next time.


Dave@50plusfinance.com October 5, 2010 at 1:11 AM

With all your energy coming off your post, I had to go lay down. But first checking out the E-book deal.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Rofl… nice one. :-)


Brett October 5, 2010 at 7:40 AM

Great post. I’ve been struggling w/ starting a focused blog (pretty time-consuming day job, 2-yr old twin boys and a 3 1/2 yr old daughter and exhausted wife when I get home) and have felt almost guilty wanting to take the time. It’s passionate writing like this that helps me keep my idea in view. Now to find a few minutes a day…..


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Yeah, that’s where you have to start. Prioritize it as much as possible… and work it in wherever you can. There are dozens and dozens of success stories of it happening out of 30-60 minutes a day at first. :-)


Nathan Hangen October 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Awesome man, I love it! There’s great power in this, I’m looking forward to the book.


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:19 PM

I’m looking forward to it to… maybe not the writing part, though. 😉


Andrew Jacobson October 5, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Adam, thanks for this. Great inspiration for me, at the relative beginning of my journey…


Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:20 PM

No problem, Andrew. Been there. Keep going, man. It’s worth it.


Alan October 5, 2010 at 1:10 PM


What can I say that hasn’t been already said. Incredible post! You hit the nail on the head with your description and compairsons of how to allow people to speak into your life just as you are speaking into the lives of others. Ironically, my church just finished a series on this exact subject. Here is a link that will just further support your post….



Baker October 5, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Nice, Alan. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll check out the series in a bit! Rock on.


blogjunkie October 5, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Great post Baker. I’ve heard the concept before but you’ve broken it down nicely. Now you need to write a guide on how to get on the Revolutionaries’ radar :)


Jeffrey Mitchell October 6, 2010 at 11:53 AM


It was great to meet you in Chicago and am glad you could make it out. I showed your Tyler Durden and Redical ways to Simplify Finances posts to my wife before the event and I show she liked meeting you. Anytime you are in Chicago, you are welcome to stay with us as we are fellow “confederates”.


Jeffrey Mitchell


Meg October 6, 2010 at 3:34 PM

As much as I want to go to the meet-up in Seattle for Chris’ tour, I doubt I’ll make it… Ha. The hubs would be upset if I went to Seattle without him anyhow. (Or spent money to go and didn’t make anything back. So working trips = okay, mini-vacations without him = not okay. Don’t blame him.)

I could totally use a great support system… Alas, I have like none. I probably need to get a bluetooth headset and get on skype. Maybe it’d help, I’m not sure. (I’m afraid to talk to people, like talk talk.)


Ramblings of a Woman October 6, 2010 at 8:14 PM

So exciting to read about your ‘book tour’ with Chris G and others! I am excited as he will be here in Atlanta at the end of October. I have already signed up to be a part and bring cupcakes! As I am newer to this journey, it will be exciting to hear him speak and meet him in person!
On an aside, I am excited to go to a conference in Atlanta tomorrow which is faith based and among the speakers is Seth Godin! I can’t wait to hear him either!
Love your blog!


Bill October 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM

This is so true Baker. The internet has made it possible to connect with so many like minded people through blogs, forums, and the like. It is essential to keep reading blogs like yours to keep me motivated! Thanks!


Brigitte October 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

I love how you broke down the three groups. I’m just starting to get a blogging circle of confederates, and it has been game-changing. When I am stuck, feel out of sorts or worrying about a new topic, I have people I can reach out to. And I share back in return.

And, I wanted to jump on that tour with you all so badly! If only my husband wasn’t running a marathon that weekend, I would have been in Madison in a heartbeat.


Dwight Anthony October 16, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Very important to surround yourself with positive minded and like minded peers. How important is this? I’ve heard your income is usually with 10% of the people that you hang around with. This is a staggering statistic as people not congruent with your path in life can actually hold you down not just financially but also emotionally, mindset wise and personal growth.

Baker, other than the revolutionaries that mentor you, what was your biggest takeaway of learning to mess with like minded people? Was it a life seminar or similar? Thanks

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog dot Com


Melody Watson October 23, 2010 at 8:01 PM

This makes me really happy – your post AND how I came to read it. Feeling the need to read something by a like-minded person, I also wanted something from a voice I haven’t read this week. Enter my delicious list! A simple keyword search of my bookmarks for “travel” and “blog” led me back to your site; the title of this piece jumped out to me immediately. Thank you, thank you. It’s great the way you break it down. I hadn’t thought of the layers within our allies, before, the way you shared them. Lots to ponder.

Meanwhile, what a fun story! I love spontaneous mini-adventures like yours. Having been to the AONC meetup in Durham, NC last week, and also been super-inspired by other like-minded folks, I enjoyed your story that much more.

I won’t wait so long to visit your blog again!


Erin Wilson October 24, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Catching up on blog posts, and wanted to leave a thank you.
I don’t think I’ve ever read one of your posts and not felt inspired.


Jason Digges October 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Really nice post… You can up your research to 101 people. after 14 months in a mastermind/coaching group the traction and inspiration I feel on a daily basis is ridiculous. I was forced to start sharing this by providing guidance to others because it was so palpable.

would love to connect, I’ll hit you up on twitter.


Jason Stewart July 30, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Hi, thanks for sharing you awesome story and explaining why all three layers are important. Keep up the great work.


Michele Michael January 31, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I used your blog as a source of inspiration for my Entrepreneurs Success Network today. It was well received and everyone left inspired. It’s really something we talk about all the time. Like minded people …..I’ve coined the term Soul Suckers for those other people … the haters.


Angel Cruz February 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Nice post Baker. Keep up the cool blog posts!


Steven Moore February 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

This has inspired me and I am in need of inspiration at the moment.
I hope to find more people who are capable of sending and receiving wisdom of this sort in my path through life.
Thank you.


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