Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

On The Power of Proximity

Published 3 months ago • 4 min read

Reading time: 4-5 minutes

Hey legend,

Last week, we focused On Letting Go of what's currently conflicting with or undermining our future goals.

Specifically, when it comes to habits, this is where I’ve struggled the most.

Not adding new habits.

But unlearning old ones.

As I was drawing mostly from my personal experience, I thought I’d ask my IG community where they stood, and here's the response:

This confirmed that I wasn’t alone.

Old (“bad”) habits can act as a handbrake if they’re in direct conflict with the new (”goal”) habits you’re trying to introduce.

So, I turned to research to see what the most effective way of changing behaviours was.

And here's what I learned.

Environment Change ➡️ Habit Change

"There’s just one way to radically change your behavior:

Radically change your environment"

- B.J. Fogg

During a presentation at the American Psychology Association's 2014 annual conference, Professor Wendy Wood, author of ‘Good Habits, Bad Habits’, shared this statement during her presentation on her research:

" must derail existing habits and create a window of opportunity to act on new intentions.

Someone who moves to a new city or changes jobs has the perfect scenario to disrupt old cues and create new habits.

When the cues for existing habits are removed, it's easier to form a new behaviour."

- Wendy Wood

Old habits can’t be entirely removed overnight.

But by significantly disrupting them, it gives you and your new habits the best chance of sticking.

So, in a practical sense, ask yourself how you can adjust your current environment so that you:

🟢 Make your desired behaviours as easy as possible.

🛑 Make your unwanted behaviours as hard as possible.

I get it.

You may be unable to pack up and leave for a new city tomorrow.

But there's an aspect of your life that you can change today.

It's a part of your life that has, and continues to, influence your good (and bad) habits every day.

Who You Surround Yourself With

“The more of your identity you draw from a group, even when you’re not around that group, the more likely you are to uphold those values.”

- Amber Gaffney

Audit those you spend the most time with - both offline and online.

Do they uphold the standard of the new and desired behaviours you want to develop?


Do they reinforce the unwanted behaviours that you want to let go of?

Changing the "who" and "how long" I allocate time with others has been one of the most powerful forces in reshaping my behaviours.

And it didn't involve dramatic "break ups" with friends or colleagues.

It just involves a conscious intention about where your time is directed.

In some cases, you may be unable to access those you want to surround yourself with because they're geographically away from you (or no longer with us #RIP 🪦)

If that's the case, get creative:

  • Read their autobiographies or books
  • Listen to their podcasts or speeches
  • Invest in their learning from them via content or courses

Whatever you can do to immerse yourself by being within their sphere will be worth it in reinforcing the new standard of behaviour you desire.

Alternatively, you may not be able to find others who are specifically focused on the same habit you're focused on changing.

If that's you, then I highly encourage you to...

Form Your Group

I've struggled to remain consistent with my content creation for years.

However, I couldn't find any Australian-based groups of like-minded creators or solopreneurs focused on content creation.

So I just gave a metaphorical "meh" and decided it'd always be that way.

🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️ <--- Me, circa 2015 - 2022

Then, towards the end of last year, I came across Justin Welsh's article 6 Important Lessons I Learned In 2022.

Lesson Number 3 felt like it was written for me:

Lesson 3: Invest in your environment
This upcoming year, I want you to find 3-5 people who are on a similar journey as you are.
But they must be passionate, optimistic, smart, transparent, and unselfish.
They can be well-established friends or people you just met on social media.
Invite them into a Slack group, Discord group, or SMS group.
Each day, pump each other up, share your learnings, support each other’s content, talk about your biggest mistakes, and lean on each other.

- Justin Welsh

💥 That was the catalyst I needed.

So, at the start of the year, I began sharing tips & strategies to help others struggling with their content creation.

Very quickly, I started receiving messages from those struggling with accountability, support and consistency around their content creation.

As per Justin Welsh's article, I took this as my sign to invite them to join a private messaging group on Slack.

We then declared our weekly content creation goals and once a week, we'd meet on Zoom for accountability and support.

And the results were remarkable.

Seeing win after win being posted from those in our group, made me realise that we were onto something really special.

The Power of Proximity

Since then, The Storyteller Sprints has expanded to solopreneurs and creators from all across Australia.

But we're not only online.

We've started offline meet-ups as well, which has brought us even closer together and that proximity has elevated our sense of connection, confidence and community every month.

Forming this group has been one of the best decisions I've made (and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner!).

So when looking ahead to your 2024, remember that:

"You ultimately become who you surround yourself with.

Make it a great group this year".

- Justin Welsh

So, in summary:

  1. Environment Change - One of the most powerful ways to disrupt an old ("bad") habit you're trying to unlearn is by changing your surroundings to make the undesirable habit as hard as possible.
  2. People - Those you surround yourself with can reinforce good or bad habits, so choose wisely "who" and "how long" you're dedicating towards them.
  3. Group Formation - Give your new habit formation the highest chance of sticking by joining or forming a group where the habit is the expected norm.

And if you've been looking to form the habit of sustainable content creation using the power of proximity, then you're invited to join our January 2024 Storyteller Sprint cohort 🚀

Tap on the button below to sign up for our waitlist, so you'll be first notified when enrolments open within the coming weeks.

PS: Each cohort is limited to 5-10 spots, and for our latest cohort, we filled up all spots just from our waitlist (i.e. we didn't publicly promote enrolments), so if you don't want to miss out, you know what to do!

PPS: Have a marvellous week ahead, and see you in the next one, legend,


Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

Your Digital Storytelling. Simplified

Simplicity scales, complexity fails. Join the community of digital storytellers scaling their influence, impact & income with smarter systems.

Share this page