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The Entrepreneurial Friendship Paradox

What to do when your friends don't 'get it'

“People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime”… Whilst this is TRUE (and we know it, LOGICALLY) it doesn’t always make it an ‘easy’ thing to come to terms with.

I mean, if you think about it… we’ve all had friends throughout our lives. Some are still around and some aren’t… What I’ve found throughout my entrepreneurial career for both MYSELF and for my clients, this tends to be AMPLIFIED while you’re going through an accelerated growth phase. Don’t you?

There are friends who ‘get it’ and there are others that don’t. There are some who are cheering you on and others suggesting you should go back to your day job because this level of stress and pressure just ‘isn’t worth it’.

The BIG QUESTION is “So what do you do about it?”.. and this gets asked of me A LOT and I wanted to share my thoughts on it so as to help you work through this.

One of the big things that tends to happen when you’re growing your business or career – or even personally – is that you are going to change. You are going to evolve. You’re going to grow. There is fallout from growth though, and today I’m going to explain one of those things that tends to fall out.

It really sucks when you’re busy growing and it’s going really well and you want to talk to your friends about it and often, they just don’t understand. They just don’t get it. They kind of look at you like you’ve got a couple of heads, or maybe 25, and you’re talking about the things that you’re learning and growing and doing, and then… sometimes mid-sentence, they can kind of sit there with this glazed look like they care, but they don’t care.

One of the reasons that this occurs – and I’m going to speak very generally – when you become friends, people tend to attract friendships and friends that are on the same kind of energetic level. Now, when you’re committed personal growth (or even business growth), inadvertently what happens is that you experience a whole heck of personal growth that is often times, faster than those around you.

You learn more about yourself. You learn about self-sabotage. You learn about your limits. You learn about upper limit problems. You learn how to bust through those.

You learn about money blocks and how to bust them out the water. You learn how to be more productive. You learn how to be more efficient. You learn how to utilise your creativity in different ways.

If you’re growing your own business, you learn how to market yourself, and all of the other things that happens as a result of that. Now, what happens energetically is your frequency actually increases. Because you are utilising growing this business as a tool for actually growing yourself, as well as helping the people that you help and a by-product of this is that energetically you raise up.

Now, if you’ve got your friends that are here, and they can feel energetically that you’re lifting, there becomes an energetic mismatch. Energetically, they don’t like it, so they’re going to look for ways to help bring you back down to their level. Now, they’re not doing this … some people are, but they’re not doing this to be nasty or because they don’t believe in you or because they don’t have your back. They just don’t know how to energetically lift to where you are. They’re not having the same experience that you are…So most of the time, they’re not going up with you and ascending in that way. This gap just kind of becomes bigger and bigger and bigger.

You’ve got a couple of choices here. You can endeavour to educate them and help bring them up. Now, if they’re not ready for it, then it’s going to probably feel a little preachy and it’s probably going to feel a little bit like you don’t think that they’re good enough where they’re at. Now, that’s not the case, but there is an energetic mismatch.

The other choice that you have is to drop back down. Now, that’s probably not a good choice either. The other thing that you can choose to do is, obviously, keep growing and keep investing in yourself. Keep learning and keep ascending and you’re just going to need to be able to acknowledge that even though that there is that difference between the frequency levels, you’re either going to need to choose the conversations that you have with these people and be aware of the difference … Alternatively, there may be times when it’s time to let them go, to stop that friendship happening.

I had a friend of mine that we’d been friends for a very long time, one of my absolute best friends. What I found when we were going through this sort of thing, this is what happened, was that every time we spoke, she was very negative about everything. When I saw her, it was all like fighty and aggressive and stuff like that. I didn’t want to be around that kind of energy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I made the choice that I did not want to keep putting up with that. It took me about two years to actually break away because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I loved her and I loved the friendship that we had, but it was no longer serving me. We had a conversation and she said to me that what she wanted, she wanted me to be the person that was complaining to her and crying my eyes out when my husband and I fought, stuff like that. I’m like, “I don’t want to … that’s not the way that I want our friendship to be,” so I fought for it for as long as I could and it just got to the time where I couldn’t do that anymore. So unfortunately I had to break up with her.

It was really heartbreaking and it was horrible and I didn’t like it. I know that if and when the time comes for you, you probably won’t like it either because you’re a good person. You want the best for people. You actually want them to be growing with us, but if they’re not, if they’re refusing to move, then all the amount of cajoling and talking to and everything isn’t going to change anything. You want to be aware of the people that you’ve got around you, and sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s family, sometimes it’s classmates. Whatever it is, you want to be aware of who you’re surrounding yourself with because you’ve invested all this time and energy into increasing, right?

You don’t want to then come back down to the person that you once were. In fact, you can’t do that, but you don’t want the people who are surrounding you to drag you back down. It’s like you can’t fly with the eagles when the turkeys are hanging on your feet. It’s like it’s too much dead weight or a heavy weight to be lifting for where it is you’re going for your growth.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be kind. It doesn’t mean that you don’t be nice about it, but you will need to be firm and have really good boundaries, okay? Then, you either make the decision to limit the amount of conversation that you have with them, or perhaps just subjects or the topics of conversation.

There are some people that I speak to, some friends of mine, that we don’t talk about business at all. I don’t talk about what they’re doing. I don’t talk about what I’m doing because it’s unnecessary. There are other friends that I talk to in depth with about business because they’re on the same sort of level as me. All right? So that’s just some things that you want to consider.

The second part to all of this, though, that I would like to remind you of is that it is okay for you to draw a boundary and for you to stop being friends with these people, if that is what you choose. It does not make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you evil or horrible or whatever.

You just need to be able to make choices and decisions that serve yourself in the best way humanly possible … serve you, serves your family. What serves your clients? What serves your mindset? What serves your energy? How do you feel internally when you have those calls with people who don’t really get it? For the most part, it’s not very pleasant, so whilst loyalty is a really great trait to have, you don’t want it to get to the point where it’s actually loyalty to a fault, or where it’s doing you damage. All right?

Choose your friends wisely. Choose your community of people that you have around you really wisely. And, most of all, protect yourself. Protect your energy. Protect your learning. Protect your legacy. Protect your frequency, and do the absolute best that you can. Be kind, be firm, and just get out there and find your people.

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