If you want to know who your friends are start a business

As I said in an earlier post, family have their own reasons and concerns when we tell them were starting a business, although their objections can be quite different to your friends and here’s why?  People who have become your friend over time, have done so because they like the person you are not the person you are about to become or are trying to become, even if you’re not trying to change as a person, starting a business means that change of some sort is going to come.

Maintaining a positive attitude is tantamount to your success however, a positive attitude is nowhere near as contagious as a negative attitude, so you have to be careful about what information gets to live inside your head. Negative self-talk is bad enough but negative friend talk is even worse. I probably don’t need to remind you that some of those friends may only be your friend because you’re meeting their needs, especially if you’re a people pleaser like I used to be.

These friends will feel threatened by the changes you will undoubtedly make however, their concerns are not about you. What they fear is, what this will mean for them. How will this affect them and what do they stand to lose?

Friends will soon get mightily pissed off with your unavailability along with your new ways of thinking and doing and if you think they will be excited for you and your plans they won’t. If you’re lucky to begin with, they might say ooh that sounds good or interesting, but that’s unlikely to last. I’m not suggesting your business will take forever to launch like mine did especially if you get the right help, but realistically a journey like this is going to take you away from the norm as you and they have known it so far. And if like me, you become relatively cash poor for a time, they will resent that even more because you’ll be spoiling what it is they had with you, in terms of having the money to do things together. Or in some cases and even less popular is, if up until now you’ve been the bank of friend.

It’s around this time friends will lose patience with you. They’ll get sick of you saying no to them and they’ll move on to other friends. The other thing that happens is, they feel threatened by what it is you’re trying to achieve. They don’t want to see these changes because in their mind, not yours, you might highlight all that is wrong with their lives. They know the work you do now and the life you have now. They understand that, they’re part of that, but that’s going to change over time and even if that’s not your plan, there’ll be some changes that none of you anticipated and not everybody will like.

Your friends may have been harbouring ideas to branch out themselves, but you’ve beaten them to it. And they may resent the fact that they would love to do what you’re doing. Not necessarily the same business but releasing their inner sky diver, taking a leap, being brave and having the courage to go after something for themselves, so that brings its own resentment because they didn’t have your courage. That’s not a criticism, but it is a fact that could make you very unpopular among those who until now have been your friends.


And if you become cash rich which is your plan, they will resent you even more because now you’ve shifted the lifestyle balance between you and even if you never mention money, your success is likely to be evident somewhere and once this happens it can make your friends uncomfortable or envious around you. Even if you’re just making enough to make ends meet to begin with, the fact you’re earning under your own steam and not being answerable to anyone else represents a level of success and not everyone will want to bathe in your sunshine. In fact, it’s possible that what was once a good place for you to hang out, has now turned into a toxic environment and if that happens it might be better to just get out.

During my long start up journey, a close friend who’d seen my continued success in my adult life and I hers, also witnessed my course correcting, mistake making and cash sucking struggles in my new life. Due to what I still believe was a behemoth misunderstanding at the time, our relationship blew up and on the back of that she used my failings to highlight all I’d done wrong with no mention of all I’d got right over the years. There were lots of other painful criticisms and the fact that I retaliated with equal and undeniable force, sealed our fate.


It was brutal and as Brené Brown would say, it put me flat on my face in a world of shame. It broke my heart and took a long time to get over, but eventually I came to understand that if this was really how she felt then it was better for me to know and understand for both our sakes. It wasn’t an easy situation to move on from because I loved her deeply. That said, and I don’t know about you, but me, I find it difficult to un ring a bell and even if that bell ringing has been delivered in a fit of pique or comes from a place of pain, it can be the undoing of even the deepest relationship. I know my own limitations and once that seed of disillusion had been planted, as it was in my mind, then it would have continued to grow unchecked unless I stopped feeding it.

Something else I discovered after all that bell ringing and again no pity pots please, as I shared my heartbreak over this with my mentor, she said,  Ah yes discovering you were needed but not wanted…….there is a difference and now that you know she doesn’t like you either, that’s going to take some time to process.

She wasn’t wrong, there is a hard realisation that comes from knowing that who you thought you were is viewed very differently through someone else’s eyes. As I was forced to face up to this, it made me question everything that had got me to that point in our relationship for example, what did I do wrong?

Where did I make mistakes, what could I have done better and what will I do differently in the future? It took time to work it out and I don’t think the process has reached its conclusion yet but so far, I’ve reached an accommodation and learned many things from this. Among them were two standout lessons; #1 I’ve learned that there were no winners because there can be no winners in these circumstances. #2 I’ve learned to accept the loss and all of the adjustments I’ve had to make as a result of not having her in my life, which meant I eventually made peace with and stopped fighting with myself over something I couldn’t change.

Do I regret it? Of course I do, but I’m hoping that in time I will be able to join the dots and make sense of how and why it ever happened in the first place but I’m not there yet……………..

What regrets do you have and how have you managed those regrets? Please pop your comments in the box below and thank you for taking the time today