Author: Allan Grant


Jim Rohn says that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.


John Maxwell talks about the Law of Environment where ‘Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings’. When we go to the office every day, we are surrounded by our working colleagues who may fit into these 5 people who influence us. You may have customers that you visit regularly that inform how you think about business or success, and you have built a close relationship with them. Though we may have managed these 5 people in the close circle over the years, how has COVID changed the people we include in this circle with the pandemic limiting our face to face interactions?


Many of us have spent unprecedented amounts of time at home in recent months. This has forced us to reevaluate how we do business, prioritize what is important to us, acclimatize to new technology, and manage remote offices. For years, the people we have spent the majority of our week with, were our business partners, whereas recently it has been our family. For most of us, our family is our most important relationship in life, but do they always help us in our business life? Do some of the family’s agendas really feed our business?



With all the changes in the world, meeting over the internet has changed the dynamic of relationships; for instance, do we have the same influence in selling through a screen, rather than in person? Yes, I think we can all agree that it has changed; is it for the better? Are you being as effective? I submit to the world of business owners that our influencers may not have been replaced, just the nature of our relationships has changed. By learning new meeting skills, we can manage our relationships through a screen, including: reading body language, staying focused on the people you are meeting with (putting away other work), smiling, and engaging our active listening with head nods, smiles, and keeping eye contact with your audience.


Networking has also changed. Some Provinces are open to allowing meetings in person, some are not. For those that are not able to meet in person, virtual networking (although not the same as in person events) are still happening. If your network is not meeting, then either encourage the organizer to start meeting, or start a new one yourself! As entrepreneurs we are used to nothing being handed to us, and this is no different. Take the reins and build the network that you need to keep going!


Foodservice organizations and restaurants are the most affected by these closures and market challenges. The businesses who have managed their way through this pandemic are still worried about how they are going to make it through to better times. Finding opportunities to engage with like-minded owners is key to our success. Comparing and sharing strategies with like-minded individuals and leaning on each other as a business sector, are key to success in this challenging market. Don’t be shy; reach


Other industries/businesses may be overwhelmed by a booming business as a result of pivoting to serve the new needs in the marketplace. Make time to connect with others. Business goes as the owner goes. Brad Sugars tells us that we have the exact businesses that we have designed for ourselves. Meaning, if you want a better business, you have to be a better owner. Stay focused on growth, don’t get overwhelmed by ‘putting out fires’, and take the time to focus on improving your business. Hiring a
coach and networking could be the next step to keep you on track and building your business in this new environment.


Who are the five people that determine how you thrive?