Who’s in Your Room

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The Quality of Your Life Depends on the People in Your Life
What if you lived your entire life in one room? Whoever you want to interact with in life – is in 
that room. You can continually change your room to include any and all the new possibilities 
that you might like to have in your life. However, there is one unique feature to this room that 
will never change – it has only one door. It is a one-way door with a sign that says; “enter-
only.” There is no exit. Whoever is in your room, stays in your room forever. Whoever comes 
into your room and whatever they bring with them, cannot leave – ever. They will remain in 
your room, with you, forever. If this were true, would you be more selective about the people 
that you let into your room? When I’ve asked people this question, I have always received a 
resounding “Yes, I would be a lot more selective!”
So, what kind of room have you created? If you live a life with drama all around you, then what 
people did you let into your life that created that drama? If your life is full of chaos, who was it 
that brought that chaos into the room? Are there harsh, angry, or toxic people in your room? If 
so, who allowed them in? Does your life feel frenetic and complex? Could it be that you let too 
many people (especially the wrong ones) into your room?
Right about now, most people who I’ve introduced this concept to are having an “OMG 
moment.” I can actually see the wheels turning in people’s expressions while they think about 
the type of room they reside in. One woman I spoke to said; “my life is like the waiting room of 
an ER, I keep letting in one wreck after another!”
Stop for a moment and think, “who’s in your room?” Take a quick inventory. Ask yourself 
how you might have lived your life differently had you known that anybody you let into your 
room might actually be there forever. Then think about how, going forward, you are going to 
determine which people to let into your room and which you’ll keep in the foyer. 
The people in your room profoundly affect the view you have of yourself and your life. At this 
point, it doesn’t actually matter how any of the people in your room got there, what came in with 
them, or whether you can get them out. You may have invited them in or they may have pushed 
their way in. They may be in your room because they are family or because you think you need 
them. If they are in your room, one way or another, their presence greatly impacts the quality of 
your life – for better or for worse. 
Going forward you can become vigilant and attentive to who’s knocking on your door. You 
can learn to manage who and what has already gained entry. You can set better guidelines that 
determine who you let inside as well as how to manage the current occupancy and what they 
brought with them. 
You might not be able to permanently eject people or things that are already in your room but 
you can definitely – permanently – change how those people and things occupy your space. 
The quality of your life is a direct reflection of who is in your room. How you manage who you 
let into your room, your life, or your network is very important. How do you go about choosing 
who you let in? The answer is a “metaphorical” doorman or a conscious awareness of your 
values and passions. Do you know what they are? If not, you need to spend time thinking about 
the values you hold dear and the kind of people you want to be around. Nobody gets in who 
doesn’t meet your personal values. Ask yourself; “are there people close to me that don’t live 
my values now? Would I have let them in if I had thought about this concept before letting them 
close to me?” 
This concept fits perfectly with building a powerful personal network. The people we bring 
in close to us should be people we want to work with. They should be people who share our 
values and our passions. Understanding this simple concept can help us choose between a 
person who we think has a skill set we need vs a value set we wish to emulate. 
We design the room with the people we live in. We can do that consciously or we can do that by 
happenchance. The choice is ours. “Who’s in your room?” Knowing this concept now – what 
would you do different in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Called the "father of modern networking" by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times 
bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI (www.BNI.com), the world's 
largest business networking organization. His book, Networking Like a Pro, can be viewed 
at www.IvanMisner.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute 
(www.ReferralInstitue.com), an international referral training company.