How to analyze the environment to make sure trends and people are working in your favor

22 minutes reading time

The environment you operate in greatly determines how successful and happy you will be. The right environment is like a leverage or accelerator that helps you achieve your goals faster and more easily. Your environment also greatly influences how you think, talk, and act.

That means your agency and potential are determined by (1) your personality and (2) the environment in which you find yourself. There are two important parts of the agency equation and you must pay attention to both.

An integral part of self-improvement is thus building yourself the right environment. I call it a motivational environment.

An environment with many opportunities, where you can thrive by employing all your talents and where you can get promoted for good work done; an environment that encourages you and pushes you to constantly improve and grow, but also offers support, empathy and safety nets.

I know that motivational environments are rare, but they do exist or you can help build (yourself and others) one. You must never forget the power of the environment when you are making decisions in life.

Nobody can succeed alone

You can be a Superman, but if you operate in the wrong environment, your stamina sooner or later gets spent, your spirit demoralized and your ambitions stifled. Nobody can succeed alone, we all need strong support from the right kind of people, an encouraging culture, and positive market trends.

Where you currently are = Your starting point + Your character + Your environment

In most cases, the environments are the ones that choose people. Unfortunately, when people don’t consciously build the right environment for themselves, they usually get stuck in the wrong ones. Don’t let that happen to you.

You can choose or, to be more exact, build yourself the right kind of environment. You have enough personal power to do that, at least to a certain extent. Choosing the right environment for yourself equals being proactive, working in a smart way and having a superior life strategy.

In this blog post, you will learn how to analyze the environment to make sure people and trends are working in your favor and that they aren’t hindering your potential. You will learn how to analyze the environment you operate in and to act – to consciously choose the right environment for yourself, not just accidentally find yourself in the wrong one.

Why the environment matters so much?

I operated in the best environments (elite high school, startup accelerators etc.) and very bad ones (almost a ghetto where I was raised in the 90s, government organizations, broken family etc.). For me as a highly sensitive person, it immediately became obvious how big of an impact an environment has.

Being in a bad neighborhood is like being a healthy apple among rotten apples. You sooner or later start rotting, even if you aren’t aware of it. On the other hand, being in a good neighborhood is like being a green tomato among the juicy red ones.

Sooner or later, you too become ripe and you thrive. There are exceptions, of course, but the general rule is that you become who and where you spend the most of your time.

Here are the main reasons why the environment is so important:

  1. The environment has a great influence on your values and behavior
  2. In the right kind of environment, there are many opportunities you can undertake
  3. There is more room for collaboration and less need for competition when trends are supporting you (and all the other entities)
  4. Positive trends work like accelerators that enable you to reach your goals faster
  5. In the end, the environment greatly determines the quality of your life

Firstly, the environment greatly influences your values and behaviors. In my career, I collaborated with hundreds of companies and there was always the same pattern.

In poorly performing companies with bad culture, people were gossiping, fighting and spreading negative energy instead of being productive and innovative. People who wanted to do good were suffering and newcomers didn’t last a few weeks before they were drawn into fights, manipulations and injustice.

In contrast, a relatively healthy environment encourages collaboration, innovation and transparency. The vibe in the office is positive, people are smiling, even if working hard. If everyone is helping you improve and progress, you start to help others sooner or later.

If everybody is contributing ideas and isn’t being judged for the bad ones, you gather the courage to start contributing ideas sooner or later. That’s why Steve Jobs has a no bozo rule in the company and decided to work exclusively with A-people.

It’s the same with families. If a family is toxic, everyone develops their own (toxic) survival mechanism (heroes, mascots, scapegoats, distant person etc.). The energies with which the toxic family operates are dishonesty, shame, guilt, control, ignorance and other manipulations. It’s impossible to be emotionally well in such an environment.

There is no perfect environment, there are frictions in every single one of them, but there is a limit when an environment becomes toxic. In healthy families, empathy, love, tolerance and encouragements are in the first place.

Then there are opportunities. If there are no opportunities, people are forced to brutally compete, or in the worst case even slaughter each other (wars). When markets go down, when there are no jobs and bank accounts are empty, people must fight.

In such environments, you are forced to forget about values, integrity and collaboration, and take care of your own survival. Few people are capable of collaboration, empathy and support in such brutal circumstances.

On the other hand, when markets are booming, you are exposed to many business opportunities and that is the strongest possible safety net. When you take care of your basic safety and financial needs, you can then finally climb much higher on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

You can invest your mind and energy into collaboration, self-actualization, love, belonging and recognition. Markets are fluid, they go up and down, but you can absolutely make sure that they work in your favor, that they don’t kick you off the pyramid to the bottom. Never ignore what’s happening to markets, because markets always win.

Finally, the environment can work either like a big accelerator or a repressor. Two people with the same level of competence on different markets have completely different potential. A person on the right market has the potential to become a millionaire and a person on the wrong market can get nothing but gray hair in a few months.

As you can see, the environment is half of the equation for how quality your life will be, if not even more. One part of the equation is working on yourself (personal development and constant improvement), the other part is finding yourself in the right environment. Your environment determines your potential as much as you determine it with your own personal power.

Your- nvironment

Elements of the environment that greatly influence your life

There are two important elements of every environment – people and trends. People represent everything from general culture in your country, office or home to individuals you work with or interact with on a daily basis. They all have a great influence on your life. People can make your life on Earth heaven or hell.

The second element of the environment are trends (together with how good the current situation is). There are many different trends that influence your life, from political and economic trends to social and technological ones.

We can also add legal and environmental factors to the list. Economic trends are usually the most important, because when the economy collapses, it drags everything else down with it. Trends can be positive or negative.

When I talk about trends, there are really two important factors – the current situation and the outlook. Not to make things too complicated I call it “trends” with one word. Why?

After travelling to 50 countries, what I’ve noticed is that in less developed countries if trends were positive, people were generally more satisfied than those in more developed countries that were losing their competitive advantage.

The state of every environment is important, but the outlook matters even more in many cases; because the outlook is the one that kills or encourages hope.

Now let’s move on. People and trends are the basic compounds of every environment. They both influence every individual in two different habitats where we all operate:

  • Personal environment, together with home, spouse, family and friends
  • Business environment, together with office, co-workers and stakeholders

All four variables are highly connected (people, trends, personal, business). If you are unhappy at your job, you usually spread the misery in your home environment. If you have a lot of support at home, you can show support to other people at your job. If you don’t earn enough money in the business environment, it greatly influences the quality of your personal life and your family.

That means you must mind all four variables – people in your personal and business environment, and different new paradigms that are coming in sight in both habitats. If you miss one disruptive change or disruptive person that comes into your business or personal life, you can quickly get tripped up and everything collapses. It’s not about being paranoid. It’s about being prepared, smart and keeping your eyes open.

Knowing all four categories, let’s microscopically break down the elements of the environment that influence your life. That will be the basic framework for our analysis. As I mentioned, every element influences your personal and business life, since everything is interconnected, but usually it has more influence in one single area.

Personal Both Business
Spouse Country culture Boss
Primary family Political status and trends Coworkers
Secondary family Economic status and trends Mentors
Friends Legal system Stakeholders
Social trends Infrastructure Company culture
Environmental trends Weather and climate Technology trends
Home location & neighbors Social security Office location
Access to healthcare Access to education Market trends
Quality of food Demographic trends Business opportunities
Community life, meetups Transparency & Corruption Access to resources
Dominating religion Gender equality Competition level
Access to nature Tolerance Purchasing power
Cultural life Work-Life balance Innovation level
Access to information Freedom International integration
Physical security Economic inequality Strong industries

Understanding the perfect environment for benchmarking purposes

Now we know that to prosper in life, you need to be part of an environment that feels like home and natural to you, and enables you to prosper, develop and grow. It’s very simple to know if you are in the right environment. If you have to ask yourself, you’re not. You just know it deep down.

Next we have the question of positive and negative trends. If the environmental outlook is positive, that usually gives people hope and will to live and fight. If the outlook is negative, people often turn to zombies. But what are positive trends? It’s quite simple.

If the environment is developing towards the perfect environment, then the trends are positive. If the environment is moving away from the perfect environment, then the trends are negative and you should somehow act to mitigate the risk and potential damage.

Then we have the main rule about the perfect environment. No environment is perfect. Friction, tension and challenges are always present in every environment. That’s what enables progress, innovation and personal development.

Nevertheless, there is a limit when an environment becomes a toxic one. There is a limit when anomalies don’t encourage you anymore, but stifle your potential. It’s the same as with stress levels. A little bit of stress encourages you to act. Too much stress turns you into a passive zombie.

We must also mind the individual differences and preferences. One person might thrive in a certain environment, but another person might suffer in the same environment. There is no ideal environment for everyone.

Life is about diversity and various communities with different sets of values. The values are the ones that determine how well you fit in the environment. And it’s your job to find the environment where you fit in. But we must all respect the differences and strive towards variety.

Here are a few examples of normal differences: Some people love creative freedom and others love order and discipline. Some people love to work in solitude, and others need to socialize a lot. Some people love environments that are more spiritual, others prefer practical ones. And so on. These are all natural and acceptable differences.

How to analyze the environment - Benchmark

But there are general elements that every healthy environment must have. Here they are:

Basic physical and psychological safety and security

There is no healthy environment that doesn’t offer basic physical and psychological safety and security. Feeling safe, not being abused in any sense (physically or emotionally), having access to a healthy diet, normal sleep schedule and decent housing and working environment, these are all the basic elements of a healthy environment and human rights.

Unfortunately, there are many poor countries that still don’t provide these basics today. And even in developed countries, there are many families that are violating these basic rights with toxic behaviors and abuse. It’s almost impossible to live a happy life in such an environment.

We also must not forget about the environment in a narrower sense – having access to clean water, air and exposure to nature. It’s hard to live a happy life if you can’t feel the connection with Mother Nature and it’s hard to operate optimally if your lungs don’t breathe clean air and your body isn’t properly hydrated with clean water.

At this point, I must also mention money. Only having enough money doesn’t automatically lead to happiness. Otherwise every billionaire or movie superstar would be super happy; and you can find many depressed wealthy people and superstars.

But a lack of money and poverty absolutely leads to a lower quality of life. It’s hard to live a quality life if you are living from paycheck to paycheck. That means the ideal environment enables you to live a decent financial and material life. And if you are a minimalist, you don’t need millions for that.

Tolerance leads to empathy, collaboration and love

The second important element of every healthy environment is tolerance. Tolerance encourages everyone to be who they are, as long as they aren’t hurting other people. They can develop their own hobbies, interests and personal style. Tolerance is the essence of collaboration, innovation, empathy and acting out of love for humanity.

All that brings positive vibes in the air. It awakens creative energies and divine humanity traits. Instead of disconnecting, excluding and hating, it leads to connecting, sharing, loving and learning from people who are different. Tolerance also encourages people to innovate and try new things, because the community is tolerant to failures.

People who are not tolerant are afraid. Fear-based environments are rarely happy and healthy. Much like extensive fear does damage to your body, so it does damage to environments.

On the other hand, people who are tolerant trust in themselves and life, and have a loving nature with developed basic goodness and willingness to collaborate. That’s the kind of people you want to be surrounded with.

Transparency that leads to trust, security and fairness

Then we have transparency. Transparency leads to trust, a sense of security, and fairness. A lack of transparency leads to corruption, mistrust, and unfairness. In non-transparent environments, people start to manipulate, shame and guilt trip each other.

People start plotting and gossiping. In a non-transparent system, effort is rarely rewarded and that kills healthy ambitions and motivation.

When an environment is transparent, rules are known, there are no privileged individuals and hidden agendas. It’s a blessing to work in such environments. If you do some research, you can quickly find that more developed and happier countries are more transparent and have less corruption.

The key ingredient of transparency is honest, deep and direct communication (with no hidden agendas). Transparency must always be accompanied with a working legal system.

Encouragement to become the best version of yourself

A healthy environment recognizes your strengths, talents and potential, and encourages you to make the most out of them. The right kind of environment pushes you to become the best version of yourself. It provides a certain level of organization and discipline, but also enough encouragement, mentoring and positive feedback and praise.

The best environments provide the right balance between constantly pushing you out of the comfort zone, and providing enough safety nets when things go wrong.

In that kind of environment, you are exposed to many intellectual conversations, talented people and opportunities. You feel valuable, you are aware of the value you contribute to the society and you love your work at least to a certain extent.

A positive outlook and constant innovation

We must not forget the importance of the environmental outlook. A healthy environment is an environment with a great vision, mission and potential.

It’s an environment that goes forward, an environment that brings hope and clear objectives about where to go. That kind of an environment encourages innovations, improvements and technological advancements.

Technology deserves a special mention at this point. Technology increases productivity, connectedness, mobility, quality of life, access to information and knowledge. That’s why it’s an important part of any healthy environment. Besides law and a high level of awareness, technology plays a key role in the positive development of civilization.

The outlook (vision, mission, potential, trends) is important on the country, municipality and industry level. When you are analyzing an environment, you have to pay attention to all of them. And finally, there is no positive outlook without a stable political, financial and macroeconomic system.

If we summarize all these points, we can say that you should look for an environment that:

  1. Makes you feel safe and supports you at your life goals
  2. Encourages you to make smart life choices and to collaborate with other people
  3. Accelerates your success in a fair and transparent way, and provides safety nets in a case of failure
  4. Gives you a good quality of life with a potential for self-actualization
  5. Lets you be who you want to be, as long as you aren’t hurting others

How to analyze the environment to understand your current position

Now we have all the inputs for analyzing an environment (for yourself or anybody else). We know that there is no single optimal environment for all people, but there are traits that make an environment healthier or more toxic.

There is no perfect environment, but there are environments that are super healthy and environments that have too many disadvantages and thus become toxic.

We know that we must pay special attention to the general culture, people, current situation and trends. And we know that every individual is affected by their home or personal environment and the working or business environment.

Now it’s time to start analyzing based on this framework.

How to analyze the environment - business

Analyzing the business environment

Let’s start by analyzing the business environment, because it’s a little bit easier than analyzing the personal one, where stronger intimate feelings are always involved (and consequently cognitive biases).

You can also make changes in business life more easily than in private life. And besides that, you can find many resources and pre-made analyses that can help you get the bigger picture in what kind of a position you are in the career or business sense.

To have a complete picture of any business environment, you must do an analysis on three levels. They go from the broader macroeconomic perspective to a more specific microeconomic one:

  1. Country level
  2. Market level
  3. Company level

The first question is where to find the data. It’s easy to find secondary data and different external analyses for countries and markets.

You can check different databases, NGO reports, documents prepared by trade associations, analytic companies, embassies, banks, the World Bank, magazines and universities. Search engines are also your best friends in this regard, just don’t give up too soon.

Where to get the data for the company you work for depends on the type of company – whether the company is trading publicly or not, are financial reports in your country public or not, what is your level of clearance in the company, and so on.

Usually every bigger business has some kind of a competitive analysis or business plan. If not, it’s a good exercise to make your own analysis. In the process, you will learn a lot about your company and get many ideas that you can then pass on to management (and potentially even be promoted or rewarded).

When you know where to get the data, you must know that there are standard analytical approaches or frameworks for how to analyze the state and potential for each of these three levels. I will suggest the best frameworks to use for analyzing your environment and how it influences your life.

The country level – PESTLE analysis

For the country level, the most appropriate analysis is PESTLE analysis and a few country level indexes are also worth considering.

A quality PESTLE analysis will give you a good overview of any country, and indexes provide a good benchmark of your current country with other countries. In the PESTLE analysis, you analyze the following elements:

  • Political: Political system, political stability, infrastructure, tax policy, regulation, funding, grants and initiatives, freedom of press, personal freedom, employment legislation, international trade policies, ease of doing and initiating a business and trade restrictions.
  • Economical: Economic growth, strong industries, interest rates, exchange rates, inflation, economic climate, macroeconomic stability, unemployment rate, national debt, labor costs, seasonal factors, health insurance, social security, stage of business cycle, impact of globalization, economic outlook and likeliness of economic change.
  • Social: Cultural norms, education, religion, demographics, social attitudes, health consciousness, income distribution, media views and freedom, lifestyle, fashion, taboos, mobility, social responsibility, interest and pressure groups, ethnic diversity and social welfare.
  • Technological: Research & development, emerging technology, technology transfer, development of IT and e-commerce, openness to innovation and changes, technology diffusion and disruption and degree of automation.
  • Legal: Law and policies (antitrust, consumer, discrimination, employment, health, safety), bureaucracy, court system, law enforcement, general safety, regulations and standards.
  • Environmental, ethical: Clean air and water, climate change, land use, access to nature, safety, business ethics, attitudes, corruption risks, energy availability, pollution, waste management, carbon footprint, geography and disaster quotient.

I suggest you try to find a few PESTLE analyses for your country somewhere online. Governments, chambers of commerce and other NGOs often make them public. After getting a general overview of your country, there are a few indexes that can help you to benchmark your country with others. Here they are:

  1. World Happiness Report
  2. Human Development Index
  3. Legatum Prosperity Index
  4. OECD Better Life Index
  5. Global Peace Index
  6. Where-to-be-born Index
  7. Forbes – Best countries for business
  8. World Bank Doing Business Ranking
  9. Global Competitiveness Report
  10. List of other rankings

Knowing where your country stands should help you make several general decisions. First, the toughest question – should you change the country or not? Can you live a quality life without migration? Then there is the strategy for how to protect yourself from potential dangers like financial or political instability.

If you understand what is coming sooner or later (like a bubble bursting), you can prepare better. PESTLE analysis can also help you make decisions about where to adapt, where you can contribute to the development of your country, and how to maximize the positives.

The market level – five core questions

There is one very important rule in business: Markets always win. Being on the right market is a blessing, and operating on a market that is small, ultra-competitive and shrinking is extremely hard and painful.

In the long term, choosing the right market is probably the most important career and business decision (because you can always change the company or go work internationally).

On the market level, there are only a few core questions you must answer for yourself with the analysis:

  1. Do you like the industry/market you work for and honestly want to contribute to its growth and development?
  2. Is the market big enough with many opportunities and is it growing (strong growth predictions for the next 10 years)?
  3. Are there any big threats or disadvantages that could have devastating effects on your career (bubble burst, moving factories to countries with cheaper labor force etc.)?
  4. Are you working for a company that is or can become a key player on the market? It can also be your own business.
  5. Do you have competences that are in great demand and rare supply on this market (that’s the only real job safety)?

When you have answers to the five core questions, you can dig deeper. You can compare growth of the industry you work in with other industries (and forecasts for the next five years). You can calculate TAM, SAM, SOM for your company.

It makes sense to further analyze potential threats (jobs moving to another town or country, industry bubble etc.) and opportunities. When you understand the market trends and paradigms, you can absolutely make much better career choices.

The company level – do you fit in

There are many different types of analyses you can perform on the company level. Benchmark analysis, balanced scorecard, heptalysis, MOST, SWOT, Porter’s five forces, nine-box matrix, BCG matrix, core competencies analysis, CATWOE and analyses in the business plan, just to name a few very popular ones.

They are all quite complicated for our needs, so we will simplify things a little bit. On the company level, you are interested in two main things – (1) is the company performing well, meaning growing together with the market or industry. The second important factor are (2) relationships at work.

If we first focus on the position and potential of your company (the one you work for or own), these are the important parts of the company’s operations you should know, understand and compare to competitors and your personal goals and values:

  • Vision and mission – Do you feel the vision and the mission of the company and want to honestly fight for it? Is the vision something that inspires you and thus you love to come to work every day?
  • Strategies, tactics and objectives – Do you agree with strategies and goals of the company in general? The higher the position you have, the more you must understand and be comfortable with the company’s business plan.
  • Market opportunity – Is the company innovating hard enough, seizing all the market opportunities and growing together with the market (at least as fast as the market is growing)? There must be a strong marketing- and sales-oriented culture in the company.
  • Competitive advantage – Does your company have a clear competitive advantage over its competitors? In a sense, every company today must be a tech-oriented company that is constantly innovating.
  • Financial position of the company – Is company in a good financial position? This means it’s profitable, has sound profit margins, doesn’t have too much debt and has many safety nets for troubled times.

These are the five core elements you must be familiar with, wherever you work. Now, if we switch our focus from operations to people, the Gallup group did great research on what makes a great workplace.

They found twelve main factors that contribute to strong company culture and a workplace where people feel great.

These are the important questions to focus on in the analysis when you are studying your business relationships and general company’s culture:

  1. You know what is expected from you at work
  2. You have the material and the equipment to do your work
  3. At work, you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day
  4. In the last 7 days, you have received recognition or praise for doing good work
  5. Your supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about you as a person
  6. There is someone at work who encourages your development
  7. At work, your opinions seem to count
  8. The mission and purpose of your company makes you feel your job is important
  9. Your coworkers are committed to do quality work
  10. You have a best friend at work
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to you about your progress
  12. In the last year, you had opportunities to grow and learn at work

I would add three more things to these twelve factors: (13) Do you respect your boss and can learn from them, (14) is the company culture Kaizen culture that is not corrupt and constantly innovates, and (15) do your personal values match the company values. The last one contributes to a feeling of fitting in, that you are in the right place at the right time.

For the business environment, make sure that you are in the right industry and then in the right company. Alternately, you can open your own company in the right industry.

And if you are living in a not very promising country, you have two options – move out or find a company that does international business. An analysis of your business environment can help you extensively with making these decisions.

How to analyze the environment - home

Analyzing the home environment

When we analyze the home environment, we are interested in three personal environmental factors.

The first component is (1) analyzing family as an organizational entity, the second is (2) the quality of each personal relationship (with family members and friends), and the third (3) location of your home.

The quality of individual relationships

Let’s start with the second component. The quality of each relationship is a subjective measure, but you can quickly assess whether a relationship is on the safe, healthy side.

Below are the signs of a healthy relationship, and if a relationship is within these norms most of the time and no abusive behavior is present (physical violence, cheating etc.), these are the kind of relationships you are looking for:

  1. Both people have the center on themselves and only then is a relationship formed
  2. You share similar values and interests, and you create, have fun and experience things together
  3. There is a high level of tolerance, transparency, trust and respect
  4. You listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs
  5. There are always more dimensions present in a relationship
  6. You encourage each other to constantly improve and achieve personal goals
  7. The investment into the relationship is close to 1:1 from both sides (on average over a longer period of time; fluctuations are natural)
  8. You communicate with active constructive responses 80 % of the time and you communicate a lot about the important things
  9. You hold each other up when tough times come
  10. In intimate relationships, there must be love and sexual attraction

In addition to that, you can assess the intensity, duration and frequency of drama in every relationship. It’s a good sign of how healthy a relationship is. The less drama, the better (as long as a relationship is not completely passive).

And for the intimate relationship (your spouse), there are additional 18 questions that can help you answer if you are with the right person.

Now you should have a good picture of the quality of each relationship in your personal life (mother, father, siblings, spouse, kids, friends, other relationships). If you do the analysis for 10 most important relationships in your life, you will quickly get a picture of which relationships are healthy and which aren’t.

The general family environment

The second thing we are interested in is the general family environment. Every family functions like an organization with its own culture, values, system etc.

Knowing that, we are especially interested in the following elements of every family environment:

  • Family history and heritage (geographical, ethnical, status etc.)
  • Quality of genes – potential illnesses, physiological traits etc.
  • Core family values
  • Home rules and obligations
  • General climate and outlook towards life in the family (strict, relaxed, formal, informal etc.)
  • Positive and negative behavioral patterns
  • Inclination towards sports, science, creative arts, other hobbies and interests
  • The importance of formal education
  • Family goals and ambitions
  • Financial status of the family and money habits
  • Unwritten rules in the family environment
  • Family religion and traditions
  • Eating habits
  • Other factors

Now, the question is what you can do with all this information. Things with friends are quite easy, you can always terminate relationships with the toxic friends in your life.

With family, things are quite different. You can’t choose your own family (except your spouse, which is a very important decision). Nevertheless, there are several ways how the analysis can help you:

  1. You can better understand yourself by deeply understanding your roots. It’s a way of examining your life and getting to know yourself better. That’s also a way to see your past in a more positive light.
  2. You can consciously decide what kind of a legacy you will hand down to your offspring. In other words, you can decide which family culture elements you will change or improve in your secondary family.
  3. Understanding your family (developing empathy for family members) gives you great insights that can help you maximize the love that you receive and give back to your family. You can develop more empathy for family members, set clearer boundaries and decide with which family members you will develop deeper bonds or create a greater distance (if a relationship is a toxic one).

The location of your home

The third important part of the home environment analysis is where you choose to live. This includes everything from the general decision on whether you prefer to live in a metropolis, town or countryside, to the specific neighborhood and flat or house you choose.

Where you live has a big impact on your life. The simple rule is to choose a location where you feel good. Your house or flat must feel like home. It must be something you consciously choose.

The important criteria when choosing where to buy your home are:

  • Town infrastructure and transportation options
  • Bureaucracy levels
  • Presence of local communities, meetups for different hobbies and nightlife
  • Exposure to business opportunities (usually collates with town size and development)
  • Access to nature, clean air and water
  • Neighborhood safety
  • Access to formal and informal education
  • The suitability of the town for kids and elderly population
  • General vibe of the town (does it resonate with your personal vibe)

You have to choose which criteria are the most important to you, and then find the best city for your lifestyle. Municipalities invest a lot in promoting their local environments and all the activities they provide.

You can also find many online tests that recommend where would be the best place for you to live by choosing the criteria that matter to you the most. Ask yourself how you would like to design your life, and then assess which locations can support your life design the most.

Make people and trends your allies

The gap and the best way to change your environment

Now you know how to analyze your home and business environment and what to look for in both of them. The better you know yourself, the better you understand what kind of an environment you need to flourish, the better off you will be.

Choosing the right environment is an important part of your life strategy. It absolutely pays off to take a day or two to analyze all the discussed environmental elements and then prepare a plan how you will build yourself a superior environment that will enable you to flourish and thrive. Action is an important part of the analysis.

Thus your concluding thoughts in the analysis should be:

  1. What kind of an environment you are currently in now
  2. What is the best environment for you to operate in (realistically achievable; and mind that your standards can constantly change depending on your life situation, needs etc.)
  3. How big is the gap
  4. How you will get to the desired environment (by implementing changes into your life)
  5. Leave some room for error – what you think you might like and what you actually like can be two different things (so make sure the search mode is a big part of your acting)

The last question is what is the best way to build the right environment for yourself. The answer is one step at the time. Well, I dedicated an entire article to the topic of how to build yourself a motivational environment.

But in summary, start with the elements that you can easily influence – join a new meetup, find a mentor, redecorate your home, find a few new friends, and then build up from there. You should absolutely go for the low-hanging fruit and then scale the changes up.

And when you are improving your environment, you must know that some elements are out of your control. In such cases, your only option is to adapt. Where you are the one in control, change things to the better, where not, adapt.

You adapt by changing yourself, by staying flexible. If you don’t want to lead a revolution, sometimes changing yourself is your best option. But if that isn’t possible, then a revolution might be in order – hopefully for the better.

So for the end, next to every environmental factor in your analysis, mark properly: change, adapt, or disrupt. Enjoy analyzing and building yourself a super supportive environment.

About the author

Consulting and management coaching

Blaž Kos has managed venture capital investments over the past 12 years and participated in the development of the start-up ecosystem in the region. Today, he advises companies on growth strategies, process optimization, the introduction of lean agile methods and the digitalization of business. In addition to the Slovenian blog, he also writes an English blog, which was selected among the 50 best bloggers in the world in the category of personal and business growth.
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