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Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.”

For affiliates, perhaps it could be worded, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for the people you follow on Twitter, the posts you read in forums, and the blogs you peruse.”

I grew up playing golf and one of the lessons I learned as a kid was from the late instructor, Harvey Penick.

“Don’t go to dinner with bad putters.”

What? How does that apply to business or marketing or well… anything outside of golf?

What Penick was saying was that if you want to be a great putter, hang out with great putters. Penick was suggesting that to learn more about putting and developing the right mindset for success, you must associate with great putters. Go to dinner with them. Practice with them. Pick their brains and observe their attitudes, preparation, and routine.

The same goes for learning or improving at anything. If you want to learn how to develop a great marriage, hang out with people who have been happily married for 10+ years, not your two college buddies who recently got divorced. If you want to get into better physical shape, hang out with people who are active and eat healthy, and stop meeting your pals for greasy burgers and fries for lunch.

If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, stop hanging out with affiliates who whine all the time about the industry, their merchants, or their performance. Quit reading posts from people who discourage you. Quit associating with friends who tell you that you need to get a “real job.”

Instead, find people who have a positive attitude about affiliate marketing and support you in your efforts. Find people who have been doing this for a while, had their ups and downs, failures and successes, and associate with those people. Find members at a forum like ABestWeb who are positive and helpful and read their posts.

In your personal life, make sure that your friends and family support you. They should understand that you are working; not playing on the computer all day, and that you are committed to being successful. If they remain unsupportive or critical, they have one of two choices: get on board or get out of the way. That means you may have to end some friendships or avoid certain people until their attitude improves.

You must make the choice to fill your mind with knowledge from people who make you feel better, inspire you, and teach you how to improve. It will have a huge impact on your current and future success.

Matt McWilliams of Legacy Learning Systems ( )is the 2010 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award Winner for Affiliate Manager of the Year.

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