The Proximity Principle Summary


The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman
The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love

My Thoughts

I was fortunate to attend the Dave Ramsey Smart Conference in November 2019 and hear Ken Coleman speak in person. Ken’s session was encouraging and inspired me to post this combination of notes from his talk and the book.

Key Questions

  • Who do I need to know?
  • Where do I need to be?
  • What do I need to start doing?
  • Will you help me?
  • Who else do you recommend I should sit with?
  • What do you think I should do next?


The Right People + The Right Places = Opportunity

In order to do what you want to do, you have to be around people who are doing it and in places where it is happening.

Spending time with the right people will change your perspective and improve your position.

You need to ask these three questions to activate the Proximity Principle:

  • Who do I need to know?
  • Where do I need to be?
  • What do I need to start doing?

The Right People

Five types of people you should be in proximity of:

  • Professors
  • Professionals
  • Mentors
  • Peers
  • Producers

What You Learn from a Producer

A producer is a man or woman who is a high achiever.

  1. Insight into your present and your future
  2. Best practices
  3. Resources and rhythm for learning
  4. Connections to more people and places.

High producers have a plan.
High producers have a process.

Questions you should ask a producer:

  • Will you help me?
  • Who else do you recommend I should sit with?
  • What do you think I should do next?

What the Right Peers Do for You

  • Push you to be your best
  • Lift you when you are down
  • Hold you accountable to your goals
Two Types of Peers
  1. Professional Peers
  2. Personal Peers

The Right Places

Five places you should have while finding your dream job:

  1. The place you are now
  2. A place to learn
  3. A place to practice and gain experience
  4. A place to perform
  5. A place to grow and polish your skills

There is no such thing as burnout – only buildup on the heart.

5 Things that Lead to Buildup on Your Heart:

  1. You have no passion for the work
  2. You’re in a toxic work environment
  3. You’re overwhelmed
  4. You feel under-appreciated
  5. You’re bored

The Right Practices

Four practices to apply:

  1. Create a network of connections
  2. Make connections count
  3. Take advantage of every opportunity
  4. Develop a proximity midset

Next Steps

List three people and three places that you want to get in proximity to in the next thirty days.

“Focus your actions on getting into the right place. The right time will take care of itself.” -Ken Coleman

Suggestions for the places you should be in proximity:
One should be a place to learn: podcast, books, coffee or lunch with producers.
One should be a place of rest to quiet your head and quiet your heart.

Related Book Summaries

Hope you enjoyed this and got value from my notes.
Here is a list of my book summaries.

2 thoughts on “The Proximity Principle Summary

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