Stack the Deck

Back in the days of the wild west, poker players use to keep their cards low on the table and close to their vests.  They did this to make sure no one else could see their cards and to avoid other players getting the upper hand by changing their playing style based on knowing about their cards.

In this analogy, I want you to think about your inner circle as the hand you have been dealt.  Now you might have a hand for business, for family, for friends … but usually in a special area of your life you are surrounded by the same set of people.  Those people don’t change much, you can occasionally ask for another card and get rid of one that isn’t serving your overall hand – but for that particular period of time, your hand is your hand.

If we hold this all to be true, then it would best serve you and the rest of the individuals in your inner circle to ensure you are surrounded by the best of the best!  If you can swap out a 7 of clubs for an Ace of Diamonds, it seems like a smart bet. 

Start with Friends

While it makes sense theoretically to pick your inner circle, there are some real-world logistics that can make that harder than it seems.  For example, you can’t really pick your family.  You can choose to spend less time with those that are particularly toxic, but you can make your mom, or your sister not be related to you.

You might have the same challenge with your co-workers.  You can only limit your exposure in many cases, unless you are the boss and even then, you have to go through the process of getting right of a poor performer and that can take time.

Yet, you theoretically have full control over which friends you choose to have in your inner circle.  When deciding who you want to keep close to the vest, look for quality instead of quantity.  Often, as adults age, they report being much more apt to state they would rather have a few close friends than a wide variety of acquaintances.  As we grow, we want to have those around us that will challenge us to grow too. 

Selecting a Winning Hand

How do you select these friends then?  Choosing people to be part of your inner circle can take time and requires trust in both yourself and in them.  These types of relationships might take time to hone and mature.  While you might have friends with some varied interests, it is often important to ensure you have similar values. 

It is also likely that your true inner circle, your circle of influence, will be small.  Four-to-six people max.  Often though it is more likely to be only two or three.   This allows you to create closer bonds and will allow you to develop a relationship where you both can come to rely on one another.

You know you have a winning hand when you find you are learning, growing, or struggling and you wouldn’t hesitate to call on them.  When you have friends in your inner circle that understands your values, knows what is important to you, and knows what your ultimate goals are in life you can build a deep and lasting friendship of support to help you stay ahead of the game of life.

If you need support in knowing which cards to keep and which to swap out, reach out to me or one of the coaches at

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