Building Your Crew

It was my junior year in high school. Like most nights, I was at a friend’s house smoking weed. After smoking some especially good weed, time stopped. I had a moment of clarity.

I looked around the trailer. “This is what’s to become of me?”

My friends would call. I wouldn’t call them back. I summarily ended relationships with 5 of my closest friends.

I was too young to realize it, but I had stumbled upon a major pillar of life success.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Consider, for example, this study on fat people:

Wondering why your waistline is expanding? Have a look at those of your friends. Your close friends can influence your weight even more than genes or your family members, according to new research appearing in the July 26 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The study’s authors suggest that obesity isn’t just spreading; rather, it may be contagious between people, like a common cold.

That may seem abstractly shocking. How could having fat friends make me fat? They don’t peer pressure me into eating.

We are what we do. We are not what we think, or what we feel, or what we say, we are what we do. – Gordon Livingston

A person didn’t just become fat, by the waving of some magician’s wand. The fat person chose to be fat. He made bad choice after bad choice. The person is fat because of what he does.

Your four fat friends call you to go out to eat, and you agree. The fat guys are not going to hit up a sushi joint. they’re going to want to go to Marconi Grill or Cheesecake Factory.

Because you’ve been conditioned to be polite, you’re going to eat at a shit restaurant with these people. Because of the framing and anchoring cognitive biases, your food choice will be based on what your fat friend orders. “I’ll eat some spinach and artichoke dip, as that’s not nearly as bad as the appetizer platter he ordered.”

Suddenly your own waistline has swelled. You might not be as fat as your four friends, but they have made you fatter.

The opposite is true. If your friends are fit, you’ll be fit, too. On a Saturday afternoon, your friends will be at the gym and then eating light meals. If you want to hang with them, you’re going to go where they want to go.

Suddenly you’re in better shape.

If you’re out with guys who approach women, you’re going to approach more women. Even if you don’t approach as often as your friends, you’ll still have access to more women than you would if your guys were cowardly beta bitches who tremor at the sight of a beautiful woman. Your average notch count will increase, simply by virtue of hanging out with players.

My table scraps are better than most men’s meals.

Having a legit crew will raise you up. The problem with most men is that they refuse to break up with shitty friends. Guys will complain that their friends are mooching, or not buying drinks, or hiding out when the check arrives.

A friendship is a garden. You must water the flowers and pull out the weeds.

If you hang out with losers, you will become a loser. If you hang out with winners, you will become a winner.

If I had stayed in that house smoking weed, I’d be stuck working some shit job in a shit down town, married to some shit cow and raising some shit kids.

I decided to “raise my average.”

As with most decisions, it’s one we must reaffirm often. I always tell myself, “Raise your average.” If a guy is slowing my roll, he’s out.

But don’t just look at your friends. Look in a mirror.

Raising your average means stepping up your own game. Success is a virtuous circle. The tighter your game is, the tighter your friends’ game will be.

Everyone will bring everyone up. Or everyone will bring everyone down:

When a single crab is put into a lidless bucket, they surely can and will escape. However, when more than one share a bucket, none can get out. If one crab elevates themself above all, the others will grab this crab and drag’em back down to share the mutual fate of the rest of the group.

Get away from people who will bring you down. Get them out of your life, and no situation in life will seem inescapable.

  • Bronan the Barbarian!

    This is the exact reason I quit smoking weed.

    • samseau

      This is the reason I barely drink alcohol.

  • Phoenix

    I went out with my friend and his girlfriend downtown one night last week. I came to the realization that he’s too much of an asshole for me to hang out with, and his girlfriend isn’t much better.

    I lost them when they got into a fight about some immature bullshit. However, luck kicked in when I ran into an old friend who hooked me up with a drink and went to town, teasing the shit out of 2 girls. I joined in and my game was tight, only because HE was there.

    Infact, I blew them out. Got one of the girl’s digits written on my arm.

    But anyway, I’ve lost most of my friends and I really can’t blame them for it. It’s on me, and all I can do is move on and work on success in all areas of my life.

  • Ash

    Same as Bronan, exact reason I quit smoking weed.

    • demetrius

      Ok guys cannabis has nothing to do with being a loser or anything like that. You stopped inhaling THC good for you, but don’t put “that is why I stopped smoking weed” as if it is something that holds you down or something. Cannabis has helped many of the best creative minds of this planet including kings and your first president. It is true that many people using cannabis these days may hold you down, but instead put “that is why I stopped hanging out with that type of people” instead of blaming the plant. Thank you

      • asdf

        Smoking weed often characterizes laziness. It’s not that weed is bad, it’s just that those who smoke tend to be lazy. Talking about munchies and how you’re going to smoke a bowl when you go home gets you nowhere in life.

        In order to leave behind a bad habit, you also have to leave behind people who enable that habit. Smoking weed is often a group activity. You have to quit weed, quit the people you smoke with, and quit the habit of being around both altogether if you want to go forward.

      • demetrius

        you are quite right as I said most people smoking cannabis are lazy people and mostly talk about munchies and other characteristics of being under the influence. Again that is not always the case, it is as if you are saying that the people that spend their time drinking alcohol are mostly dumb alcoholics who only talk about football and how they hate their wives.

        It might be true but it doesn’t mean it is the fault of the alcohol. I believe you see my point here, don’t blame the alcohol for you not being able to progress mentally, physically and etc.. Change your way of living, your friends and you might be able to enjoy a conversation that will help you growth over a nice bottle of whatever you like to drink with some other people. Anyway that is not the topic of this post and it is just something I wanted to point out.

  • AverageMarriedGuy

    Excellent post, basically stopped most interaction with my biological brothers because they are losers. My new crew is fit, motivated and smart. Good place to be.

  • Blunt

    I agree with the statement you’ve made here. Do you have any suggestions on how to develop or join a new better crew? There are some good members of my crew but its huge and there is too much dead-weight.

    • Ash

      Just do it. That’s all there is to it, I just stopped ringing my friends, being lazy weed smoking losers they didn’t remember I was not there half the time.

      Screen your new friends like you would screen girls.

      • Blunt

        Yeah, I get that. The ditching the old crew is not really the problem, going without a crew is also not a problem. But eventually I’d like to find and develop a new crew, I’m just trying to think of the best places to meet quality candidates.

  • anonymous x

    I’ll allow myself to cheat with fried chicken once a month, usually it’s at a regular sit down place. Some old reliable step up from KFC. But I’m somewhere in the deep South this month so I stepped into a local fast food joint to see what the big deal was. It was OK, but what made it memorable were the customers already there: candidates for People of Walmart at least in heft if not in clothing. One table looked like a guy and his two sisters, all three at least 350 pounds each. Another table: a 250 pound mom with her 150 pound 8 year old boy. I really felt sorry for that kid. Today’s post reminded me of these people: not everyone is strong enough to resist the siren call of their “friends”.

  • Clash1e

    This is exactly why I never started smoking weed.

    • MadMav


  • WestCoast

    The hardest step IMHO opinion is finding new people to bring you up and to the right, them as well. As time passes the % of people bringing up your average declines rapidly. Top 10% well then top 5… 3… 2…. Etc.

    Cutting people off is pretty easy. Can this guy help me and I help him as well? If so contact is in my phone, if not I am deleting the number. The rare cases you meet someone doing way better than you that you can’t help, best to just keep the number and contact when you believe you can add something.

  • Chi_Banger

    I have to agree with demetrius stop demonizing the plant (even though it’s the devils grass har har) Weed doesn’t ‘make’ people lazy, people are just lazy, I know some people who are very high functioning on weed and have friends who wait until they are done with work. I used to use it myself to relax and be creative, but now it just isn’t for me, my crew smokes pot but are musicians and workout ect;

  • Jason

    Fantastic post!

  • nek

    The guy who is only a friend when he doesn’t have a girlfriend is a good one to drop too.

  • Matt

    I wish I could find good people to hang around with, instead I’m now having to do everything solo. It get tedious.

    • Eric S.

      Go look for all the opportunities for making friends(local meeting, get together, internet). In the internet age, making good friends is dead easy if you are solid and actively looking to make friends.

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  • Ben Runkle

    This is a good post for me to ask this question actually, I’m more of a loner and I keep to myself a lot but find myself wishing I had a few quality friends. The thing is, that while I can text girls and talk to them and keep them as friends, I have a much more difficult time texting other guys. I sometimes just have no fucking clue what to say to them over text or what to talk about on a daily basis. Anyone have any solid friendships that can give me some advice?

  • John

    “Raise your average”

    In the gym I call that “raising my minimum”. If I’m doing three sets and I complete it, I’ll raise my starting set next time.

    • John

      I’m laughing at all the weed smokers defending their plant. The pot heads defend it like it’s their kid or some shit. The wise would be well off to avoid you.

  • Badger

    In my generation (Gen Y/Millenial), there’s this very strong invective against cutting non-productive people out of your life, as if your friendship was a charity operation. It’s this bogus sense of collegiality and “equalism” which has also infected young men’s game and leadership ability – it’s like it’s bad to put yourself first or to say “I’m the leader and this is what we’re doing.”

    It is, in reality, a feminized way of thinking; females are the ones who have these “frenemies” they can’t get rid of who drag down their life, and when asked why they don’t get new friends, they say something like “I can’t just ditch them, they’re my friends!”

    I’ve told people on at least one occasion, “I’ve got shit to do with my life, I don’t have time to babysit these basket cases.”

    I expect to lead a productive, active life, and having loser friends hanging around is incongruent to that expectation. It’s sad that it takes a sense of the epic to motivate men to get losers out of their lives. Men should just do that as a normal course of things.

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  • Gary

    Building a crew like anything takes time, patience and persistence. Sometimes you really have to seek out those who are on the top of the game and make a genuine effort to befriend them.

    One of your best posts to date. Good work!

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  • FrancisBegbie

    I was exactly like this. Ditched my old crew, and being a relatively small town, began bumping into them all the time. It’s depressing to see how many people my age, (20-23) are stuck with videogame/porn addiction. The only way to deal with that is to cut yourself loose, no one’s fighting for you in that last garrison but you after all. And while you should always help a mate in need, if it isn’t reciprocated, you have to ask yourself, what exactly are you doing with yourself and your own life.

    Superb post.

    • SongTalkingMan

      How did you ditch them, specifically? And how did you get yourself into a new crew?

      • Anon

        I find it to happen like this a lot. Get new friends. Evolve past them. Get new friends. Eventually you start making new friends.

        Ditch the video games, ditch the porn. like attracts like. The second you start to improve yourself you’ll notice guys around you who do the same. Make friends with them.

        • SongTalkingMan

          How long should I estimate that it will take? How long did it take for you to fight your old, bad habits? How long did it take for the new habits to become standard, everyday habits?

          • Costello

            In a similar boat to you at the moment. Had to ditch a circle of live-for-the-weekend losers.

          • h3ltrsk3ltr

            I’m working on this as well. My approach so far has been to develop rapport with individuals in essential columns. For example, I’ll befriend someone at my gym who seems to go on a similar schedule and portrays qualities I would like to emulate. I’ll do the same thing at places where skill and knowledge are presented: toastmasters, psychology conferences, sushi bars…

            Speaking of sushi restaurants, I’ve had more success picking up Japanese/ Chinese girls than I ever thought would be possible. Asian chicks seem to love me. But my point is you might find a fellow sushi-loving redpiller at a sushi place. Who knows.

            Taking girls to interesting events is a decent way to meet friends…hmm, just spitballing here…but yeah I think the gym is a good bet. A club or restaurant you’ve got locked down might be good as well…but this is a slippery slope, I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to a bar with the best intentions (pick up chicks, network, develop social skills) and got wasted and made an ass of myself, or at least, not achieved my goals.

            Random places I’ve met friends: Fishing on a pier, crossfit gym, pickup basketball, volunteering, rock climbing, cliff diving in lake Havasu, hiking the Appalachian trail, a bar fight…

            Yeah, just do a bunch of interesting stuff and keep alert for opportunities.

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  • Sirita Wright

    Great post! I have to agree a lot of people are simply too afraid to break up with their shit friends. Thereby sealing their fate. Often they seem to being doing the BEST out if their wack ass crew and see no need and/or have no desire to do more with themselves.

  • Ryan

    I’d say “Raise your standards”

  • Victorian Gentleman

    Agree with all this but: it’s easier to say hang out with winners than to actually do! I’d love my posse to be highly accomplished millionaires of high character but how?

    I did notice something: I met a high quality fellow at the gym the other day, we chatted at length. Normally (before I got serious about personal development) I would’ve given off neg vibes and he would not have started a convo. Next time I see him I’ll get his number – no homo – because life really is a team sport and the more high character people you know the better.

    To answer my own question after thinking about it: get ruthless about personal development if you want a higher quality posse . You will feel better, look better, attract better quality acquaintances, and have the skills and drive to cultivate that into something valuable – a friendship, if not a mutual benefit pact. Power loves power and winners can spot and love a winner.

    tl, dr: become better & you will attract and cultivate a better posse

    • Danger & Play Blog

      I hang out with winners.

      Everything I say is something I do.

      Stop looking for excuses.

  • coach1173

    Excellent post. As an older guy I’ll advise the younger generation to do this ASAP. As with all things in life it gets more difficult as yoy get older. You’ll need solid guy friends as you get older. They tend to disappear after college. If you are late to the game like me you’ll likely stall.

  • Douglas Mackenzie

    shit post.
    it doesn’t actually give you any advice on building your crew – e.g. how to find / identify / bond with guys that are positive. it should be called ‘don’t be afraid to ditch losers’. which is advice. but the absence of a negative doesn’t equal a positive.

  • Half a hero

    Great advice, and … good to read this. I ditched my old crew years ago because I noticed something was wrong. I never felt right when we went out to party or whatever. Ditching them resultes in 2 years of semi-loneliness, times where I thought it may have been a mistake, but if I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have had the courage to kick myself in the ass and go for more. I would have been stuck with excuses for mediocricy.

    Better to be alone and on the right path than have ‘friends’ and suffer. If there’s someone out there hesitating: Free yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it a thousand times.

  • Otto Blitzer

    I am an introvert, have been for a long time.People come into my life, they always turn out to be losers and get cut.
    I am married, fifteen years.Wifey is my best Friend, as it should be.
    We recently met a couple, both very positive, confident, and real go-for-it kinda People.
    The guy and gal are new in their relationship, it’s great to see new and true love as it happens.
    My guy friend, he’s just by nature, a very positive and strong-minded guy, been through real tough times, but doing real good now-same with his lady.
    I think I’ve found a TRUE Friend, don’t want shit, a giving type to those who deserve it-loves the right people, hates the right ones, too…
    Asking me about joining a local gym-I am going for it, full-out, got a work-out partner…there may be one or two others we may take on…time will tell.
    Love your work, Cernovich!..Thanks.

  • jj

    What if the people who bring you down are your family? Like your parents and sibling? How do you “cut” them out of your life?