Countering Donald Trump’s assertion: “Always be around unsuccessful people, because everyone will respect you.” Austin Kleon states: “Stand next to the talent.” As Kleon puts it:
You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with.
It might be difficult, at first, but the best way to grow is to surround yourself with talented people. As I put it to my students: “Talent in, talent out.” The best way to grow, regardless of your discipline, is to surround yourself with others that are talented – preferably more talented – than you are.
Aligning with other talented people encourages you to develop your practice, rise to the challenge and improve.
Of course this isn’t easy – it’s much easier to enjoy the limelight around others you deem less talented – but when you’re moving in the shadows there’s little incentive to move towards the light.
The best way to grow? Find other that are brighter than you. Work with them. Learn from them. When you do so, you’ll find your talent – and, by extension, your success – grows as a result.