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I am not a regular viewer of Basketball Wives, but from what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on a circle, and even greater importance placed on who is or is not in it. Each reunion features that season’s outcast jockeying for position, or denying they ever wanted entry into said circle.

This season, Jennifer (the bourgie one) has been catching flack from Evelyn (the appointed keeper of the circle). Apparently, Jennifer has been collecting wealthier, more famous friends in the wake of the show’s growing notoriety. Depending on whose storyline you take as the truth, this may or may not be a problem for Evelyn.

Dumping your friends for the popular crowd is never a good thing; Mean Girls taught us that. (I think the cast would benefit from a viewing party, Vh1.) But, being mindful of the company you keep is. The cast of Basketball Wives has come under fire for bullying, with a few advertisers pulling their endorsements from the show. Jennifer may be showing she’s a little savvier than her cast mates by trading in her old circle for a new one.

Friendships Are a Reflection of Your Present and Your Future

A popular quote by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, says “a brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The people you associate with hold a similar, related power. Your social circle shapes your brand when you’re not in the room.

Just as people make judgments about you based on the work that you do, judgments are made based on what and whom you hold in high esteem. If your best girlfriend is a known bully or gossiper, it’s understood that you co-sign that type of behavior. As the old saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together.”

Your social circle is more than a reflection of where you are now; it can determine where you are going. Today’s interconnected world of business requires a strong network to get ahead. More than ever, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with people who are moving their lives in a positive direction.

More than just networking opportunities, a good social circle provides the foundation for a great career. If your personal relationships are steeped in negativity, they will undoubtedly poison your professional life. The people you surround yourself with have the power to propel you forward, or drag you down.

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