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Five Kinds Of People You Need In Your Inner (Professional) Circle Think long and hard about the company you keep, and ponder if you've obtained the following personalities in your ever so vital, social foundation.

By Jamilla D. Ali

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


According to historical psychologist Abraham Maslow, human beings require continuous social interactions in order to survive as a species. Hence, our social circle is crucial for our survival! But on the flip side, I have witnessed many hold on to relationships that aren't of value to them. Whether it's due to loyalty, vanity, loneliness, selfishness, or any other hidden agenda, holding on to insignificant relationships in our personal and professional inner circles has the ability to impact, not only the imperative decisions we make as we grow, but the everyday practicality we consider in our daily lives.

I am fortunate to have a diverse group of friends who are passionate about a vast variety of things. However, as I've grown as a person, I've molded my inner circle based on a standard of invaluable personality traits that will enrich my life directly as I progress toward my personal and professional goals. Think long and hard about the company you keep, and ponder if you've obtained the following personalities in your ever so vital, social foundation.

1. The Trusted Confidant

During any upward entrepreneurial or career trajectory, you'll find yourself in need (sometimes desperately!) of a listening and trusting ear. This should be someone unbiased, and who will always remain mum about all things discussed. This person is well rounded and able to give you advice that's holistic, supportive yet constructively critical. Pick your confidant wisely, because this person will hold various pieces of your inner thoughts, fears and secrets.

2. The Fearless Traveler

This risk-taking, inquisitive friend, who craves culture on a global scale, will no doubt have a universal outlook on any and all ideas. This person hangs out with locals wherever they travel, and happily defend negative stereotypes head on. Having a cultured traveler around should give you a better understanding of global markets, from both a tourist and local standpoint. Your friend will remind you of all the possibilities far beyond your comfort zone. If you crave international success, this person would never hesitate to board a plane with you, no matter where the destination lies.

Related: Four Tips For The Novice Networker

3. The Inspirational Leader

This Type A, no-mountain-too-high, ready to run an entire corporation, fearless leader is a must-have in all social circles. This person will have a direct hand in influencing your leadership qualities, building your confidence and challenging you in ways you've never imagined. Typically, a highly successful person like this may serve as a mentor and has accomplished quite a bit in their life thus far. Grab your notebook and take notes when this person comes around full circle, because they will likely never slow down for you to catch up.

4. The Financial Guru

Money makes the world go round, and without an expert on it within your circle (unless you are one yourself!), you are less likely to obtain inside knowledge of in-depth money metrics. This person lives to observe stocks daily and may work around numbers each and every day. The added bonus of having this person in your circle is their ability to consult you on personal and professional financial goals, investments and companies that are rising in local and foreign markets.

5. The Social Butterfly

Social dynamics and cues have the ability to make or break anyone who desires to rise in their endeavors. Having someone around who can work a room full of strangers will encourage you to network and help build your own charisma. Your social friend has contacts in various sectors and can introduce you to several people at different events. Even if your social partner isn't someone who rubs shoulders with prominent people, they will encourage you to always attempt to impress and will push you to interact with those who seem unapproachable.

No matter whom you've decided to join your inner circle, be sure each person is on your team and genuinely wants to see you succeed. Everyone holds layers, and as the layers peel, be sure to gravitate toward those who demonstrate explicate and genuine loyalty.

Related: Developing and Maintaining Connections For Self-Made Success

Jamilla D. Ali is a native New Yorker and graduate of Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. Jamilla previously worked at a boutique branding agency in Dubai, United Arab Emirates where she  was responsible for all new client business development efforts. Prior to Jamilla’s experience in Dubai, she was a writer for various startup blogs catered to the underground hip hop music scene and cultural activities in and around the New York City area. Jamilla continues to pursue multiple disciplines and aspires to write a book documenting her life changing experiences at home and abroad. 

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