A few months ago, I read a post on Elite Daily called, ‘Why It’s Impossible for Entrepreneurs to Find Real Friends‘. As soon as I read it, my mouth fell to my heels.
According to Paul Hudson, here are the realities to why Entrepreneurs don’t have any friends:
On Human Nature:
There is something inside of us that bugs us when others are succeeding and we aren’t. We like to think of ourselves as on top of the world; we imagine that if anyone in our group of friends succeeds, it will definitely be us. When it’s not, we hate the situation we find ourselves in. We don’t hate the situation our “friends” find themselves in, but we hate the situation they are putting us in.
Because they are succeeding, are we automatically failing? That’s what experience seems to prove. It’s easy to think that you’ll be there for your friends to support them, to help them live their dreams, but unfortunately, you won’t. The more success your friends experience, the less time they have to spend with you like they used to. Will you be willing to support them when you feel like their success is forcing them to abandon you? Of course not. They don’t have a choice, of course, but you won’t care.
Why Your Friends Wont Support You:
Any reason your friends have to not support you, they will use to do just that. It’s a combination of their large egos and their egocentric tendencies that will have them leave you on your lonesome.
So basically, your friends stop talking to you because they want to see you do good, but never better than them.
Much like the author, and the 3.2 million people that shared that post, many of my Creative Entrepreneur friends, as well as myself share this same sentiment.
I feel bad because it’s made many of us less than enthusiastic about making genuine connections with people. Your old friends hate you, and your new friends want to use you. As Paul so wonderfully pointed out, you start realizing that your old definition of friendship won’t work because running a business is stressful, and everyone in your life plays an important role on helping the ship carrying all your emotional baggage stay afloat. You learn to accept being by yourself because that’s the easy, sane thing to do.
People feel invalidated and assume that just because your life seems perfect, that there is no need for them to check on you or be included in your life. Whether it be traveling out of the country, or walking a red carpet, people get weird the moment you start experiencing new things.
I recall a moment in my personal life going through great lengths to celebrate a friends new job, and then a few weeks later she found out I was attending the Grammy’s. All of a sudden, she came to the conclusion that I thought my accomplishments were more better than hers. The hilarious part in all this is that I hadn’t even shared with her that I was attending the Grammy’s partly because I didn’t want to rub it in anyone’s face. What she saw was my attendance as an accomplishment…But I, like other music professionals, saw it as the one moment in a dark, stressful industry to actually have fun. It’s not the pinnacle of our careers and rarely has an effect on it unless you’re nominated. It’s just a celebration of music. And even though I never even told her I was going, just the thought of me going made her feel bad because it was a new experience and something she wasn’t apart of. In the end, I was branded something I was not. Little did she know I had five tickets and planned on asking her to come along. ?
At that time, I was also on the cusp of homelessness and going through major changes in my life in which, I really needed her as a friend. Because my life looked one way, she never cared to ask How I Was, and didn’t know I was barely keeping my head above a sea full of snakes. Before I could tell her what I was going through, our friendship fell apart.
Sadly, it doesn’t end there. I even had a friend stop talking to me because I couldn’t get her booked for a huge production because she chose to stay out all night partying instead of going to a production meeting. I can seriously paint some of my old friends with a broad stroke of disappointment.
I’ve lost a lot of friends this way because they were unable to be happy about their own success. I meant it when I pledged to the Spice Girls that Girl Power would forever be apart of my life, and in every accomplishment I made, I knew that I wanted to bring some of my closest girlfriends in to have a slice of the #Girlboss pie. But like Paul Hudson, for my own sanity, I had to let that dream go when many of my friends exited themselves out the equation because they let jealousy get in the way.
Sidenote: I hate the word jealousy. I’ve always felt like the word gives you some sort of sense of authority to believe that someone could possibly be “jealous” of you. It seems so narcissistic. But apart of growth, and learning to accept who you are, you have to call a spade a space and move on. You can’t find productive ways to deal with jealousy if you don’t acknowledge that it exists.
Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, the core theme in all this is to learn how to be happy with your own life and your own success. This applies to both Entrepreneurs and the “friends” of Entrepreneurs.
HOW TO BE HAPPY
Mind Your Own Business, Literally.
The problem is, a lot of us spend so much time researching what other people are doing, and not enough time building our own empires. I know during the times I’ve felt jealousy, it was because I wasn’t spending enough time minding my own business–both figuratively and literally.
There is an important power we all have to design our own life. And when I finally woke up and took ownership of that, I stopped worrying about what others were doing. I stopped measuring my success against my peers and I started enjoying the things that were meant for me. From that moment on, I was actually able to enjoy my life. Who would’ve thought…
Growing and maintaining a business takes a lot of work. If you’re always in someone else’s field, you cannot tend to your own. You can’t become successful if you don’t mind your own business. When you spend hours watching someone else, you’re only doing a disservice to yourself by taking all the attention away from you, and gifting it somewhere else.
Stop Feeling Bad For Yourself
Focus on What Is Meant For You
Start Your Day Off With Gratefulness
Be The Change You Want In The World
All the times I’ve been jealous, it’s because I kept pitying myself. Jealousy stems from the belief that one does not have control over their own destiny. Think about it…if you really believed you could design your future (in which you can), you wouldn’t be mad at someone else for designing theirs. I’m not a victim and neither are you. If you don’t like your life, change it.
How many of us have ever been jealous of something that at the end we realized we didn’t even want? *Raises hand* Human behavior is a funny, funny thing. You think you want that youtube beauty guru’s success but then you realize you don’t even like to put on makeup. But why are you mad? Maybe it’s because you want the freedom to unravel your dreams. Stop focusing on her career, and focus on your dream, your creative business, and your craft. If you had her life, you wouldn’t even like it anyways so let the girl that likes it enjoy it!
I know some of you are tired of me saying this, but jealousy also stems from our inability to acknowledge our own accomplishments and how far we’ve come. How can you be happy, if you won’t even be your own cheerleader? We’ve gotta start loving ourselves a lot more…
It’s so easy to be miserable, it takes much more effort to be happy. It’s also wayyy easier to be bitchy, than it is to be a kind person. If you want your social space to be one of camaraderie and encouragement, you’ve gotta be a friend and encourage others (and select like-minded friends with morals that care about genuine connections). Quit being mad at your successful friend, and start supporting them by doing simple tasks like ‘Liking Their Facebook Page’, Comment on an Instagram photo that no one is showing love to, Show up to their events, and champion them even when the world isn’t supporting a god damn thing.
Don’t be that friend that will only endorse someone once they’ve gotten momentum. People need you at all levels, especially at Grassroots.
Be the type of friend that likes a friends Facebook page when it only has 3 likes. Don’t be the friend that shows up for the party 40,000 post likes or 50,000 followers later. At that point, just stay at home.
Be sure to check out…NO NEW FRIENDS: Why It’s Impossible For Entrepreneurs to Find Real Friends.
I promise you it’s an interesting read.