The people in our lives shape who we become, therefore we should choose those people as carefully as we can. As Joshua Fields Millburn says, “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.” You may not be able to explicitly choose every person in your life, but you’re more likely to be surrounded by the right people if you give thought to who the right people are.

First lets discuss the four different types of people or roles who have a major impact on your life and then we’ll get into some of the specific areas where you should be aware of the people who influence you. Some people can play more than one role at the same time, or change roles over time and they can influence you in multiple areas of your life.


Humans model their behavior based on what other humans do. We can’t help it. We can play a very active behavior in choosing some of the behaviors that we model, but we are simply wired to act like other people so we should try to choose wisely when selecting the people we model. We call them role models, idols, heros, archetypes and even stars.

What makes models different from the other roles is that you don’t have a direct interaction with them. That means they can be alive or dead, near or far, real or fictional. They are simply the people you admire and want to be more like whether you know it or not.

Models are like the target we are aiming for.


Mentors are different than models because there is a relationship. Mentors have already done the thing you are trying to do and provide you with feedback. Sometimes even a tiny amount of feedback from the right person at the right time can make all the difference. Mentors provide advice, guidance and help. Both mentees and mentors benefit from the relationship, but the flow of information is usually one way, from the mentor to the mentee. The relationship is usually motivated by some sort of exchange other than money.

Mentors are the Models that we know.


Managers are the people who are paid to compel you do the things you are supposed to do, and do them better. Sometimes they are paid by you and sometimes by others. Other names include, supervisor, coach, teacher, trainer, instructor, consultant, boss, official and officer. These relationships are also defined by a mostly one way flow of information. The manager provides information and ideally, encouragement. There are many different “management styles” but “coaching” has proven to be one of the most effect. The process involves; providing information, experience and feedback. Their specialized knowledge, experience and outside perspective is essential for maximum results. The best at anything and everything have coaches because it is the only way to become your very best.

Managers help us push our limits and are required for excellence.


Masterminds are about a mutual exchange of information. When people come together for a “brainstorming session” or when they “bounce ideas” they are masterminding. Two or more minds working together on anything is greater than the sum of it’s parts and creates a combined Master Mind. Masterminds are often called a council, committee, board of directors, board of advisors, trustees, cabinet and even brain trust. The groups are supreme at generating ideas, setting goals and holding each other accountable for achieving goals.

Masterminds fuel creativity and accelerate achievement.


There are no perfect people so it makes sense that we may admire some qualities of a person while not liking other aspects. That’s why we should choose the people we admire for the specific traits we admire them for, or the specific area of life where we would like to emulate their results.

I’ve identified several different areas of my life where I want to continue to improve and where I believe finding the best models, mentors, managers and masterminds is one of the best ways to do so.

I created a document to help me identify and keep track of who these people are. If you want your own copy so you can identify your own 4Mx10 people, post a comment below.