First and foremost, I have to admit something. This version of Who’s In Your Huddle was not the first or second or third version of this story. In fact, I scrapped all of the previous ones. If you are thinking, “who cares?” it’s okay. However, I’m telling you this because it taught me a lesson. Furthermore, it’s a lesson I think we all need to hear from time to time. Here goes…. If something is not resonating with you, listen to your gut. My gut was telling me something about what I was writing wasn’t quite what it needed to be.

Before you ask, this has EVERYTHING to do with Who’s In Your Huddle. Stick with me, I promise we’ll get there.

I’ve spent a majority of 2019 trying to get myself back into the right headspace. While this statement is way more dramatic than I mean for it to sound, it’s true. Unquestionably, I wanted to do something different in my professional life. Nevertheless, the WHAT has been less clear. Part of my journey to self-discovery (again, way fancier sounding than it actually is) has involved attending workshops, conferences, and various speaker series this year. Attending these types of events has fired me up on so many levels! Additionally, I’m amazed at one common theme which continues to emerge. The importance of the five people with whom you surround yourself. In particular, who’s in your huddle?

In fact, your personal huddle is one of the most important factors into who you become. Unquestionably influencing our evolution as an individual.


What is the feeling in your gut when hearing this next statement? “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Positive vibes and happy thoughts you are right where you need to be? Or conversely, some anxiety or unease in applying those words back to your own circle?

At this time, I feel incredibly fortunate with who’s in my huddle. As a matter of fact, mine extends well beyond five people. Without a doubt, what I call the starting five seems to change week-to-week. Why? First, life is busy and in a lot of ways dictated by the kids’ activities. Second, career and personal factors affect who I am around on any given day or week.

Even so, I’m imagining a tap in, tap out system of my network. They probably have a SignUpGenius I know nothing about. “Who’s got Heather?” I’m then envisioning someone stepping up and saying, “it’s me! She needs better focus for her business this week. I’m on it!” Or someone else, “she needs serious help with the kids. The red heads (Heather and Jake) are basically water and oil again today. I’ll talk her down!”

While this incredible system is not true in the LITERAL sense, reflection of my current network sure FEELS this way. MY PEOPLE absolutely have an incredible knack for being there physically or emotionally at just the right moment.

Who's In Your Huddle- 3 Mom friend posing

Mendy & Mo, part of my support team!


While this is all well and good to hear, how do we get ourselves to a place of peace around the WHO in our huddle? If you are anything like me, there’s nothing better than a good checklist! #nerd

For instance, here is what I would include in a list of requirements for my huddle:

  • Authenticity
  • Support
  • Comfortable
  • Space to dream and brainstorm
  • No judgment
  • Fun focused
  • Challenges me to be more

It should be noted, this is where re-write two (or maybe it was three) came into play. After listing out the above, I then went into detail about all of the ways my huddle(s) provides these characteristics for me. Despite this being a wonderful tribute to those supporting my evolution, at the end of the day, no one reading this gives a s**t. BAM. Subsequently, THAT’S what was not resonating with me.

It’s not that you don’t care about me. On the contrary, you probably do! But at the end of the day, I wanted this article to be a reflection of you. What your five people bring to YOU. Furthermore, if your current five people are NOT bringing in some of your newfound characteristics, how do you create a new community for yourself?

If I write thousands of words about how amazing, awesome, and fantastic my huddle is, frankly, you should roll your eyes and move on to another article. How is it serving you? My gut was trying to tell me this three times over. The writing about my own experiences was going against the very topic I wanted to drive home to you! What characteristics do YOU need from YOUR support team?


First, let’s start by listing the characteristics you want out of your support network. Keep in mind, these aren’t the requirements of EACH individual. Instead, you want each of the characteristics SOMEWHERE in your starting five. After all, you aren’t putting together a team of all point guards!

Second, who’s currently in your huddle? This could consist of spouse, partner, co-worker, boss, mentor, college friend, mom friend, business friend, business partner, counselor, life coach, high school friend, sister, cousin, aunt, mom, networking group, etc, etc, etc.

After making this list, compare your huddle with your characteristic list. What does your gut tell you? In particular, what is missing?

Lastly, remember, the quote we started with? “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I encourage you to think about something else based on this statement. Are you the smartest or most successful person in your huddle? How can you add someone to your team who pushes you to Up Level consistently? Adding someone to your circle at a higher level of success will undoubtedly make you strive to achieve more. They can support you to see potential in something because of their different vantage point. Interesting perspective for sure!


How does it feel to think about not only your people, but also to some extent analyze their worth in your life? Maybe a bit too much judgment for your liking, for instance? Absolutely, it can feel this way. Or guilt over analyzing a friendship or mentor relationship? Without a doubt, it’s a weird feeling.

Despite those emotions, stop yourself from feeling guilt over this exercise. Pull yourself instead into a mindset of clarity. You are trying to gain clarity on what is best for YOU. Obviously, there is NOTHING wrong with that!

Additionally, it’s important to step back once in a while and dig into what you want as a person. Ensuring you are fulfilling your own needs. As much as we examine the food we put into our body and ensuring its health value, it’s just as important to examine who we surround ourselves with. The vibe and energy they bring. The support they provide. Furthermore, ensuring our own success by checking off the characteristics we want out of our own support network.

Besides, you aren’t necessarily dropping friends because of this. At the end of the day, you have choices. It can often feel like we don’t have choices in life. It’s key to remember though, we DO have a choice in the people we spend our time with. Yes, there may be obligations you feel compelled to uphold. However, it’s your CHOICE to uphold those obligations. On the contrary, you may decide spending time with one individual has been more like a virus to your soul and it’s time to make a new choice.

I encourage you to keep in mind this notion of choice. The WHO in your huddle is your choice. Don’t undervalue what it is providing for you.


Last but not least, don’t be afraid to build your own community. This is your life. Besides, looking back one day and wishing you had pushed yourself “back in the day” to build a better support team can actually be avoided now.

Therefore, I’m encouraging you to take a look at the starting five on your team. If this fills you with joy in knowing it’s right where you want to be, awesome! Conversely, if you feel a void, figure out what is missing.

Now, go build your huddle.

It’s been fascinating to witness the topic of who you surround yourself with brought up by highly successful people in a variety of forums. The importance of this subject clearly overlooked by so many of us. Who’s in your huddle? What did your gut just tell you?

Now it’s time to go be the best version of yourself! Last but not least, celebrate your amazing teammates in this thing called life!

If we start telling new, more positive, and empowering stories, not only does the social script shift, the culture follows suit. – Michelle Gielan 

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